Annual Events To Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Date
London is a fantastic city to get married in. Rich in history and diverse in architecture, you can walk a hundred metres and go from new world glass and steel to old world french limestone and stained glass. London has it all in abundance.
When choosing your wedding date, it’s important to consider that this bustling city has events happening all the time. This year saw a few London wedding dates coincide with other major events that made getting around on the day tricky. It wasn’t a major headache for me, i’m one person with a rucksack, when you have over a hundred guests and are moving from one location to another, an oversight in planning could lead to you losing an hour of your day in traffic, no one wants that.
Here, I’ve considered the big events that take place in London so you can cross reference when they are happening and decide if it will be a factor when choosing your ideal wedding date.:
Annual Events in London:
#1. April – The London Marathon
Every April, thousands of people gather at the start line of the London marathon to run 26.2 miles around the capital. Typically to raise money for charity, applause, others race each other as if running that far wasn’t enough. I photographed the marathon for a charity a few years back, some ran it in costumes and fainted, others obviously hadn’t trained, it was carnage, but a lot of fun.
What you need to know is that it starts in Blackheath and ends on The Mall. I used to live in Blackheath and they shut ALL OF THE ROADS. This is true for the majority of central London. It’s not just the route that gets shut, it’s all of the surrounding areas too for safety and security. Check what date it’s happening and don’t get caught out!
#2. May – The FA Cup Final
Two teams kick a ball until one team is victorious, this happens endlessly throughout the year across multiple divisions of football and culminates in north west London in May.
Outside of central London, so the impact not as widely felt as the marathon, but worth considering all the same. I would also hasten to add that you could be getting married anywhere in the country and the effects of the FA Cup final be felt. I’ve seen many (admittedly male) guests be completely locked into their phones during the wedding reception as they either watch the game or keep up to date with the text updates.
#3. July – Wimbledon Tennis
Wimbledon, it’s a real place, quite a nice place actually, I thoroughly recommend it as a destination for an afternoons jaunt. The tennis takes place in July and the town itself is rammed with tennis lovers and tourists alike. The surrounding hotels will all be booked up and expect the roads to be bumper to bumper.
There are a few wedding venues in close proximity to the all England club and i’m sure they are more than used to dealing with the increase of people during the two weeks that the tournament is held, but still, worth thinking about if you’re getting married in south west London.
#4. July – Pride Parade
Similar to the marathon, expect road closures throughout central London and the transport system to be much busier than normal on a weekend (when it’s bloody busy anyway). Could add some awesome colour to you shots if you plan it right though!
#5. August – Notting hill carnival
I can’t say I’ve ever been to the carnival, but it seems to be a mega deal and I’m sure plenty of the streets in the surrounding areas are closed for security purposes. Again, worth noting the date as August is high time for weddings and all the surrounding hotels and Airbnb type accommodation may well be booked up. You don’t want your guests having to travel miles and miles after a hard nights partying. This could actually be a blessing in disguise. The carnival takes place over the entire weekend, so you could get married on the Saturday and then hit the carnival on the Sunday with all your guests and keep the party going!
Is your local football team having a home game?
Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Fulham? All big teams with a substantial following. Premier league teams typically have bigger stadiums too so the amount of fans on the streets and using the public transport system will be increased significantly on match days.
Every other year June-July
The World Cup
The European Cup
If the premier league every weekend or the fa cup final wasn’t enough, every other year we have a major international football tournament taking place. This doesn’t happen in the UK every year, but whenever the national team is involved, eyes start to wonder towards screens.
Even if England aren’t playing gents can’t help themselves and I can guarantee someone will be watching the game on their phone rather than being present at the wedding. You can’t stop it, it may even be an integral part of your day, who knows you may love football and positively encourage it. Put it up on a big screen during the wedding breakfast? Or have an unplugged wedding? Your choice, but just remember that it’s going on in these months.
Planned Rail Works
This is much more of a short notice deal as it’s often difficult to get exact dates of when new works start. All you can really do is plan around ongoing works and always assume that they will run over the original schedule. A few weekends in 2018 Euston station was shut.
I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t have to get into London over those three weekends, but I can imagine that caused plenty of upsets for professionals and tourists alike. Have a look on the national rail site or the government transport site to check out planned closures on the national railway lines and improvement works that might be happening on the underground.