So the question has been popped and you’re now engaged. What’s next? Perhaps one of the most important things you and your future spouse should talk about now is the wedding date. Your wedding date affects so many other factors of your wedding. In fact, depending on what you want for your wedding theme, you might not be able to do any further planning unless you pick an exact date for your ceremony.
There are various factors that affect a couple’s choice of wedding date. Some couples pick a date that is special to them, such as an anniversary. Others choose a date that is the most convenient for loved ones and guests. For many other couples, picking the right wedding date can be nerve-wracking and frustrating.
The truth is that the process is unique to each couple; there are no set rules you should follow for setting your wedding date. But here are some wedding planner-trusted tips that can help make the process a little easier for you.
- Start the selection process by writing down your vision for your wedding day.
Imagine that it’s your wedding day. What do you see? Do you want to see lush greenery, with flowers everywhere? Or maybe you prefer snow-covered mountaintops. You might want to see a gorgeous view of the beach at sunset.
For instance, if you love flowers, rolling fields, and greenery, you probably won’t want to get married in December, when many beautiful flowers are not in bloom and you can’t hold your wedding outdoors. So you might want to consider a wedding date that’s in the spring or summer.
The physical ‘environment’ of your wedding ceremony should help you narrow down your choices to two seasons, at most. This immediately gives you a short list of potential wedding dates. This should also give you a good idea of the ideal venue for your wedding ceremony.
- Take the weather into consideration.
According to wedding planners, the most popular months for weddings are June, September, and October, most likely because the weather is beautiful in the early summer and fall. You can usually rely on past records and standards to gauge the weather for your wedding date, but wedding planners recommend tracking the weather as you plan the wedding.
The best way to deal with unseasonably unusual weather is to add some padding in your budget for it. For instance, if you’re getting married in December or January and the weather is expected to be unusually warm, have some room in your budget for bottles of water or fans for the guests during your ceremony. If the fall weather is turning out to be quite nippy, have some shawls ready for your female guests.
Of course, you may also have to adjust some of your wedding plans to accommodate the weather; for instance, you might not want to wear a heavy wedding dress or a thick suit during summer, or, conversely, a backless dress won’t be comfortable for winter wedding.
- Weigh the pros and cons of an off-season wedding date.
Choosing an off-season wedding date is perfect if you want to cut down the rental fees for your ceremony and reception venue, but you’ll have to make some adjustments in other aspects of your wedding. For instance, if you want daisies for your January wedding, your florist may not be able to give you good prices on them, as the flowers are out of season in January. So either you find new flowers for your wedding or you set more room in your budget for the additional expense.
The same goes for weddings that are held on weekdays rather than weekends. Venues might give you considerations when it comes to minimums for weekday receptions, but the same might not be true for your wedding vendors.
One great perk of choosing an off-season wedding date, though is that you can spend a little more money on other aspects of your wedding. For instance, consider springing for personalized guest favors or other activities and items that will make your wedding more memorable.
- Reconsider picking a major holiday for your wedding date.
Wedding planners recommend thinking twice about picking the following for your wedding date: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day. You might also want to reconsider getting married on religious holidays, event weekends, major sporting events, September 11th, and other holidays of this nature.
Think about your guests. Would they really want to spend a major holiday like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day celebrating you and your spouse instead of being able to celebrate for themselves? Of course, your wedding is about you and your partner, but you also want to make sure that your guests will be excited about your wedding day. Plus, hotels, car rentals, and flights tend to get more expensive around the holidays. You want to make sure that your guests will be able to make it to your wedding.
Your wedding date should also be memorable because of your wedding itself, not because it was also New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Sure, holiday weddings can be great fun and makes for some good memories, but you should also keep in mind that they can be a bit more expensive. Flowers, for instance, are ridiculously expensive on Valentine’s Day, so having them at your wedding might really throw your budget off.
- Think about what you want your wedding day to be and try to have that represented in your wedding date.
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential wedding date to two to three months, the process of choosing the perfect date gets easier. Out of all those days within those months, consider if any hold special meaning to you as a couple or as individuals. Maybe you want to get married on the birthday of a dearly departed family member. Similarly, strike out any dates that you want to avoid, like death anniversaries.
Many couples opt to get married on the wedding anniversaries of their parents, grandparents, or other couples they have a special relationship with. This adds a deeper meaning to the wedding day and makes it even more memorable.
Give yourself plenty of time. Rushing the process of picking a wedding date only results in frustration. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you and your future spouse, so you can be sure that the date you pick will be perfect for your wedding.