Friday, January 2, 2015

Why It's Good to Keep Your Wedding Date Options Open -- Especially in Chicago.

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Narrowing down the date or a selection of your dates for your wedding is always like shooting a moving target. First you have to think about who else is engaged and if there are already wedding dates set in stone for your friends and family. Next you have to consider what time of year you want to get married. And of course, there’s always the challenge of finding a ceremony location if you aren’t planning on getting married at the reception site.

However, there are other factors that you should be considering in your search that could affect you, as well as your guests. Chicago is well-known for being one of the top three cities for conventions. During these conventions, tens of thousands people converge from all over the world to our amazing city. These conventions can have a major impact on the costs of your wedding and the availability of your venues and services.

As an example, the ASCO Convention (American Society of Clinical Oncology) brings approximately 25,500 folks to Chicago during the first week of June. Those 25,500 attendees need hotel rooms. The average rate during this week tends to run in the low $300’s if you are lucky enough to find availability. It may seriously impact your guests' ability to attend your wedding if their hotel stay alone will cost them $600.

The National Restaurant Association hosts their annual conference in Chicago in mid-May. The NRA show will bring approximately 58,000 attendees. Given that the attendees are all in the hospitality industries, it is almost impossible to get into a restaurant during their conference, which makes planning a rehearsal dinner a tough job. Not to mention, the hotel room rates are much higher than normal and room blocks may not as available as they are on other weekends.

To avoid these situations, I recommend checking out your city's local convention and tourism website for large scale events that may have an impact on everything from hotel room availability to restaurant reservations and street closures, just to mention a few. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau has all of the pertinent information a Chicago "engagee" needs to plan the wedding of his to her dreams as hassle free as the city will allow!

Engagement Fun Fact:
In the United States, June is the most popular month for weddings, followed by August.

Thank you so much to Rebecca and our friends over at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for all their sage advice!

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