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wedding planning tips to get organized

Wedding Dates to Avoid in 2014, 2015 and 2016

Ready to set a date? Check this list of dates you might want to steer clear of when booking your wedding.

Photo: Blackdog Imageworks, LLC

Personally Significant Days

Check your own calendar for college reunions, family weddings, anniversaries or other events, like big conventions or festivals in your city (call your local chamber of commerce), and any annual occasions that involve your family or close friends.

Holiday Weekends

Holiday weekend weddings have pros and cons. You've got an extra day for the festivities (and recovery!); plus, a Sunday wedding is often less expensive than a Saturday one would be. However, costs of travel and hotels may be higher. And if you're looking to marry around Valentine's Day, be wary of your floral bill, especially if you've got your heart set on red roses -- they'll likely be more expensive than at any other time of the year. Likewise, reception sites often charge a higher fee for a New Year's Eve wedding. Also consider the impact of a holiday weekend on your guest list: Some families have standing plans or traditions that they'd prefer not to miss.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of January 18-20, 2014
Weekend of January 17-19, 2015
Weekend of January 16-18, 2016

Presidents' Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of February 15-17, 2014
Weekend of February 14-16, 2015
Weekend of February 13-15, 2016

Mother's Day (always a Sunday)
Make sure your moms are okay sharing this weekend with your wedding. And ask yourself, do you want your anniversary to fall the same weekend as Mother’s Day when (or if) you become a mom?
Weekend of May 10-11, 2014
Weekend of May 9-10, 2015
Weekend of May 7-8, 2016

Memorial Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of May 24-26, 2014
Weekend of May 23-25, 2015
Weekend of May 28-30, 2016

Father's Day (always a Sunday)
Like you would with your moms, check with your dads about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you’re okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father's Day if you decide to have kids.
Weekend of June 14-15, 2014
Weekend of June 20-21, 2015
Weekend of June 18-19, 2016

Independence Day
Friday, July 4, 2014
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Monday, July 4, 2016

Labor Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of August 30-September 1, 2014
Weekend of September 5-7, 2015
Weekend of September 3-5, 2016

Numerically Quirky Dates

4/10/2014 (a palindrome) falls on a Thursday
12/13/14 falls on a Saturday
5/5/15 falls on a Tuesday
5/10/15 falls on a Sunday
5/15/15 falls on a Friday
6/16/16 falls on a Thursday
6/10/2016 (a palindrome) falls on a Friday

Columbus Day (always a Monday)
Weekend of October 11-13, 2014
Weekend of October 10-12, 2015
Weekend of October 8-10, 2016

Halloween
Avoid it if you're terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!).
Friday, October 31, 2014
Saturday, October 31, 2015
Monday, October 31, 2016

Thanksgiving (always a Thursday)
November 27, 2014
November 26, 2015
November 24, 2016

New Year's Eve
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Religious and Cultural Holidays

Be mindful of religious and cultural holidays (your own and those of your guests) when planning your wedding. There may even be restrictions at your house of worship as to whether you're allowed to marry at these times.

Palm Sunday
April 13, 2014
March 29, 2015
March 20, 2016

Easter Sunday
April 20, 2014
April 5, 2015
March 27, 2016

Passover (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Friday, April 22, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016

Tisha B’Av (begins at sunset the night before)
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rosh Hashanah (begins at sunset the night before)
Thursday, September 25, 2014, until nightfall on Friday, September 26, 2014
Monday, September 14, 2015, until nightfall on Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Sunday, October 2, 2016, until nightfall on Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Yom Kippur (begins at sunset the night before)
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hanukkah (begins at sunset)
Wednesday, December 17, 2014, until nightfall on Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Monday, December 7, 2015, until nightfall on Monday, December 14, 2015
Saturday, December 24, 2016 until nightfall on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Friday, December 25, 2015
Sunday, December 25, 2016

Kwanzaa
Friday, December 26, 2014, until Thursday, January 1, 2015
Saturday, December 26, 2015, until Friday, January 1, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016 until Sunday, January 1, 2017

Eid al-Fitr (dates may vary based on how each family observes)
Monday, July 28, 2014, until Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Friday, July 17, 2015, until Saturday, July 18, 2015
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, until Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Eid al-Adha (dates may vary based on how each family observes)
Saturday, October 4, 2014, until Sunday, October 5, 2014
Wednesday, September 23, 2015, until Thursday, September 24, 2015
Monday, September 12, 2016, until Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ram Navami
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Friday, April 15, 2016

Krishna Janmashtami
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Thursday, August 25, 2016

Days of Remembrance

We're talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful -- it’s up to you to decide.

Patriot Day
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Friday, September 11, 2015
Sunday, September 11, 2016

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Monday, December 7, 2015
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Major Sporting Events

If you're die-hard sports fans -- or if you're worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game -- avoid getting married during popular sporting events. And if a lot of your guests come from the same alma mater, watch out for homecoming weekends and bowl games that might conflict.

Super Bowl Sunday
February 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, NJ
February 1, 2015, in Glendale, AZ
February 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, CA

Final Four During March Madness
Saturday, April 5, 2014, and Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, TX
Saturday, April 4, 2015, and Monday, April 6, 2015, in Indianapolis
Saturday, April 2, 2016, and Monday, April 4, 2016, in Houston, TX

Unlucky Dates

If you're superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures.

The Ides of March
For ancient Romans, an "ides" was simply a date that marked the middle of the month -- until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 B.C. Since then, "Beware the Ides of March" has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Friday the 13th
The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Code of Hammurabi doesn't include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as many as 3 millennia old. And it wasn’t until a successful novel titled Friday the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation.
June 13, 2014
February 13, 2015
March 13, 2015
November 13, 2015
May 13, 2016

Leap Years
Greeks and Romans thought that starting any new life event -- from getting married to baptizing a child -- in a leap year would bring bad luck.
Next Leap Year: 2016
Monday, February 29, 2016

-- Justine Lorelle Blanchard

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