They may not seem glamorous now, but trust us, you’ll be so happy you took care of all these nitty-gritty details ahead of time.
If you’re planning a wedding on Fourth of July weekend, you’ll have a few more small logistics to consider than you would with a different wedding date. Whether you scheduled your nuptials to coincide with Independence Day or not, keep these planning tips in mind as you go to ensure smooth sailing when the day arrives.
Who doesn’t love the the Fourth of July? It’s a feel-good summer holiday that often comes with a nice, long weekend which means two things: Many people free up their schedules, but others also like to use their free schedules for personal vacations. Just be mindful of this potential dilemma and send your save-the-dates a little earlier than we’d usually suggest (which is about six to eight months before the wedding). That way, your guests know not to book or schedule other holiday weekend travel plans that would interfere with attending your day.
Another important task you’ll want to get a jump on is making reservations. It’s summertime, it’s the weekend and it’s a holiday (read: it’s a party night!), so things like transportation, entertainment, equipment delivery and hotel rooms could be in high demand depending on the location. Lock these details down early to get your top pro picks and minimize last-minute stress.
Fireworks make the Fourth really special—but you can’t forget logistics. Whether you’re planning to hand out small sparklers or flaunt an all-out fireworks display, check out your state and local fireworks laws to make sure you have the proper permits to do so. Permitted and prohibited consumer and display fireworks vary by state, and some venues could have specific policies outlawing even small sparklers and candles. Do a little research, then talk options with your planner and other pros.
If you’re not so taken with fireworks (maybe you chose this weekend simply for scheduling reasons), see if there’ll be any going off near your wedding venue, then plan accordingly. If there’s nothing you can do about the neighboring country club’s big, booming display, definitely don’t plan important, sentimental wedding moments (the vows, your first dance, the best man speech) during the commotion.
Noise and Alcohol Permits
When planning any outdoor event, you’ll always want to read up on local noise and alcohol permits (again, these laws vary regionally), especially if you’re hosting outside. Don’t forget these two legalities! They’re not the most fun to plan, but they’re definitely what make the party (hello, cocktails and dancing!). Plus, dealing with them beforehand is way more fun than dealing with the consequences of not dealing them in the first place. Phew!
Due to the holiday, roads and highways might be jammed with travelers. Tell your guests to try to get ahead of the traffic so they don’t get stuck in bumper-to-bumper for hours and show up cranky (or miss your “I dos” completely!). Also, provide alternate routes just in case. A great place to give directions is on your wedding website.
Your wedding location may also be an Independence Day destination, especially if you’re on the water, which could mean local holiday festivities and swells in the population. Be mindful of crowds—both of cars and pedestrians. Find out if there’s a parade, carnival or block party you need to know about that could hinder a smooth ride, or the most direct route, to your venue (again, offer a few alternative directions within the area). Another thing to consider? Late-night celebrations means crowded bars and restaurants, so we highly suggest securing a good after-party spot in advance, rather than winging it when the time comes post-reception (nothing kills a wedding party buzz like the desperate search for a large enough bar).
This applies to all warm weather weddings: prepare for the heat! Take care to provide good shading, fans, cool cloths and lots of cold refreshments for your guests—no one will have a good time if they’re melting. (Psst… don’t forget the bug spray and sunscreen if you’ll be outdoors!). Get all the essential summer wedding tips you need for your Fourth of July wedding right here.