It’s Independence Day over here in the U.S., and it has put me in mind of something…there are a number of holiday weekends throughout the year that people tend to reserve for mini-trips, long-and-lazy BBQs and special plans with friends or loved ones.

But, given that there are only 52 weekends – and therefore, only 52 dates from which most couples can choose to have their wedding, eventually, we are bound to run into a problem. One would think most engaged couples would try to avoid holiday weekends (even if they do make remembering anniversaries easier)…but it’s been brought to my attention that some couples think there’s no more fun way to spend a precious 3 – day weekend than at a wedding.

Well…if it was non-generic, totally awesome fun party kind of wedding, sure. But to err on the side of caution, here are the top dates to avoid having your wedding.

4. Independence Day  (July 4th)

I can see what wheels would turn to make this seem like a good idea…3 day weekend for easier travel, warm weather, and an excellent chance of free fireworks!

But to most people, the 4th is one of those few holidays that doesn’t involve dressing up. In fact, most people take the opportunity to wear as little possible, and maybe strip even further from there. We may start the day in shorts, tank tops and flip-flops, but by the end, the kids are running around in soaking swimwear, moms are cooling their toes in the grass, and the men are down to their wifebeaters or just shirtless (spending all the time around the grill sure heats them up!)

You know what a July 4th wedding will really boil down to? Sweaty guests wearing too much, wilting flowers, and everyone wishing they could be eating BBQ, beans, and corn instead of your standard old wedding fare.

Also? No color scheme is going to work that day. Any variation on the red, white and blue will just make it look like a luncheon or dinner party for the Daughters of the American Revolution. And any other colors will just emphasize to everyone the fact that they are not celebrating the occasion they REALLY want to celebrate.

* The only exception is if you plan a real Independence Day wedding, with the BBQ, casual attire, beer, lawn sprinklers for kids, and excellent firework proximity. When you have that wedding, invite me.

3. Christmas

Do we really have to go into this? Yes? Fine. Weddings the weekend before or after Christmas, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, or any other major holiday of your religion, is just really inconvenient. There are a lot of preparations leading up to those holidays: decorations, preparing for family gatherings, spiritual fasting, atonement, etc. The last thing anyone wants to have to do is cut into the prep or recovery time by attending a wedding.

And in the case of Christmas…that’s just another set of gifts to add to the credit card debt.

So, if you have to have your nuptials at a time where most of the world is already preoccupied, make it really count. Make it awesome. And campaign too, to make sure your guests actually show up.

2. New Year’s Eve or Day

It seems like  such a romantic idea. Start off your marriage on the first day of the year! Except, New Year’s has become a major party holiday. People make plans – buy tickets to parties – weeks, if not months, in advance. It’s a time to booze it up, put on nice party clothes, and celebrate the end of Holiday Season. Attending a wedding puts a bit of a damper on that.

For one, most people know it’s rude to get wasted at a wedding, so the drinking should be kept in check. But as they’re watching you cut the cake and have your first dance, who’s to say minds won’t wander and wistfully think about all the wild fun they could be having across town?

Furthermore, your guest list may be rather sparse. Many people who went out of town for the earlier holidays may still be away, and others may not want to fork over the cash for notoriously high airfare prices in that weekend.

A New Year’s Eve wedding is best suited to a couple who really wants to party. Skip the sit-down dinner and just pass round after round of hors d’oeuvres. Save the champagne toast for midnight, and hire a killer DJ to rock the house. Make sure your guests know it’s going to be more of a party than a wedding, so that no one is unpleasantly surprised.

And as for New Year’s Day? …Just don’t. People will be hung over, or grumpy because they didn’t have a chance to get hung over the night before. Also, it could be really hard finding vendors for that day.

1. Valentine’s Day

Woe betide anyone who invites me (or any couples, singletons, divorcees, gays, etc.) to a Valentines Day wedding. The most romantic day of the year? Arguably. A decision that may cost you many friends? Very likely.

Everyone has plans for Valentines Day. Everyone. Couples have romantic dates planned. Singles have “I hate VD” parties planned (pity optional). Gay couples have plans, and possibly marches/protests about the equality of love and the right to have it legally recognized.

Everyone has plans. No one wants to go out and spend the evening celebrating you.

Pick another day, another weekend. Save yourself any resentment, be it minor or irrationally fierce. And save yourself from the sticky-sweetness of Valentine’s, which taints everything around it for days.