Southern brides may stress about the 10 or more bridesmaids to include in their wedding (and the groomsmen too, of course!), but the choosing of a wedding date is far harder than the choosing of bridesmaids. This is where the big trouble and stress begins. 

Engaged couples know that it’s not just your calendar you have to juggle when planning your wedding date, it’s all your bridesmaids’ schedules, groomsmen’s schedules, friends’ weddings, and trying to avoid Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, MLK Weekend, President’s Day Weekend, and very likely Labor Day and Memorial Day. Oh, and there are all the religious holidays to contend with as well. Yes, the calendar starts to get limited quickly. At this point, we’ve eliminated 13 of 52 possible weekends. But, there are still more dates to avoid.  

For everyone who is in disagreement on those long holiday weekends being not-ideal for a wedding date, remember that airfare and hotel rates are typically elevated for those weekends. There are also plenty of recurring family get togethers over 3-day holiday weekends, so a wedding may interfere with these intimate annual events. Aunt Mary Sue will be talking about you behind your back if you choose one of these weekends. Just sayin’.

Bride and groom dancing and friends celebrate

The joy is from getting married, and from pulling off the feat of wedding planning.

And yes, while typically a couple is choosing the wedding date together, we all know that typically the bride is the one with the most concern here. So, we’ll make the assumption for this article that this is the bride navigating these choppy waters.

As most brides are choosing a date a year in advance, they may not know the upcoming SEC or ACC football schedule. But, oh my. If a Southern bride picks the same weekend as the Florida vs Georgia game, or the LSU vs Alabama game … it’s bad. Many other such rivalry games exist, so for this reason, many Southern brides will simply elect not to wed in September through November. If this sounds extreme, you do not understand the South and football.

But, then there are football playoffs and bowl games … and duck season. As most of the month of January is open for duck hunting, let’s just eliminate from September to February 1. 

At this point, we’re down 34 weekends that are off limits. But, that leaves 18 weekends that work right?  

Not so fast.  

There is also March Madness to contend with, so go ahead and mark off the last two weekends in March as well as the first weekend in April. But, Easter and Palm Sunday may overlap with March Madness on some years, so let’s just call this two weekends down instead of three down, to be fair.

And, you can’t get married on The Masters’ weekend. No, ma’am! Down one more weekend.

Oh, I certainly hope you or your betrothed are not accountants. If you are, let’s eliminate all of March through April 15 because you simply can’t get married in tax season, right? That would eliminate another three weekends from the already crowded March Madness/Passover/Easter/Palm Sunday/Masters season.

We’re now down to 15 weekends that are available, but only 12 if y’all are accountants.  

February is looking mighty fine. But, February is the trickiest month for weather. And by “weather” in the South, we mean ice. So, let’s eliminate that month. As we’ve already accounted for President’s Day weekend, that’s only three more weekends to eliminate.

12 weekends left for the non-accountants. Okay, accountants, you are good at math. We’re eliminating you from this tally, but keep up, alright? You are at nine at this point.

For conversation’s sake, let’s assume you are NOT getting married on the coast. Because … hurricane season. That would eliminate all of the summer. But, if you are getting married on the coast, remember that hurricane season starts June 1. 

Let’s also consider some big events that friends may be attending. For example, Derby is a big ole Southern thing that many need to work around.

Then, you’ll want to avoid your birthdays and your siblings’ birthdays, anniversaries and expected due dates for relatives or close friends. Let’s assume, conservatively, that with all of these obstacles, that means you should knock out three more weekends.  

This brings us down to nine weekends left.  

Now, you are likely to be navigating a graduation or two, and if you are getting married in your hometown, graduations mean filled hotel rooms. Or, if you have a weekend with a large event in your city, like Nashville’s Music City Marathon or Memphis’ Jazz Festival or Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival, it’s harder to find venues and hotel rooms. Let’s assume your city has at least three weekends unique to your city that you’ll want to avoid. And, let’s say one graduation weekend. That means four more weekends to eliminate.

This brings us down to five weekends left and 47 eliminated.  

If either of ya’ll are turkey hunters, a lot of April and May may be off the table. The good thing is we can assume these dates fall over the already mentioned holiday/Masters/tax season/city-specific events/graduation dates. So, we’ll call this one a draw and keep our tally where it is. Five weekends left.

And, with your bridesmaids and the groomsmen, we’re going to assume there are at least two of these weekends that don’t work.  

There you have it. You have three weekends to choose from to get married and they are likely going to fall in the spring or summer. Oh, July and August weddings in the South can be really hot … and school is starting back up in August making it hard for many parents.  

Let’s eliminate August.  

You’ve likely already eliminated a couple of weekends in August at this point, so let’s just eliminate one more weekend for this count.

You have TWO weekends left to plan your wedding.  

Next, bring these dates to your favorite venue and caterer and photographer and see if they are available.  

And thus, Bridezilla is born.  

Maybe just hire the wedding planner and blame it all on them?  

Good luck, Southern Brides! 

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Thank you to Amos Gott, of AmosEvents, for weighing in as our expert help!

We are also looking forward to authors Mary Huddleston and Asher Fogle Paul’s novel, “Without a Hitch” available for pre-order now. Described as “Sweet Home Alabama meets Crazy Rich Asians meets The Devil Wears Prada in this hilarious romp through the world of extravagant Southern weddings” we are sure that that the missteps of wedding dates are only a fraction of what will be discussed. Pre-order now for December delivery.