Congratulations! You answered that first big question with a “Yes, yes, yes”!
Now you have to answer that next big question, “When’s the Wedding”?
Oh you’re definitely going to hear that question a lot over the next few months! As soon as anyone admires your ring their first question is going to be “When’s the big day?”
It’s like they think you already had everything already planned in advance.
And if it were only as easy as just looking at a calendar and picking a date.
If only it were that easy……
Well don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you pick a wedding date, or at least narrow it down.
And none of our tips involve a calendar and a dart board (but that’s definitely one way to go).
Pick the Perfect Wedding Date for You
The average engagement these days is around 14 months, and that should give you plenty of time for planning all the details for your big day. Whether you have that much time, or more or less, you’ll be able to find the perfect date for you.
The venue and the date go hand in hand. These are going to be your first big to-do’s in planning your wedding.
Well, right after you figure out your budget.
Yep, we know there’s a lot of information and you have no idea where to even start, so read on.
Know Your Budget
Before you make any big decisions you have to have your budget worked out. You don’t want to fall in love with an amazing venue and then discover that it’s way out of your price range when you really start planning.
Do you have a date that’s super special to the two of you? Or a date that just sounds good and you’ve got it in your head to get married then?
Your first date or the anniversary of a special event is a great date to celebrate. A date with a special meaning will also make for some fun stories at the wedding.
But if you’ve already picked a wedding date, that means that you’ll have to be flexible with other parts of your planning.
If you’ve got your heart set on a wedding date then you will have to be flexible in most other areas of your wedding. But that’s okay. If you pick a wedding date that’s important to you and plan around it, it can make some decisions a lot easier as you move forward.
Lauren chose a wedding date that fell on a Tuesday. She and her fiance had fallen in love with the date itself so everything else was planned around that. Yes, a Tuesday is unconventional, but it also opened up a few vendors that she might not have been able to have otherwise.
As much as we hate for the venue choice to be at the top of the list, it’s a pretty crucial element.
A popular venue can book up very early, some 1-2 years in advance. This can certainly limit your date selection. If you’ve got your heart set on getting married at a particular place you might need to be flexible on your wedding date. You may even have to keep a few dates in mind. Then you can work with their calendar and see how it all fits together.
So before you put that date down in ink, be sure to get your venue booked.
It’s also important to be sure that your dates are going to line up if you’re planning to be married at church (or another venue) and host a reception someplace else. That means that you’ll need to coordinate both places to be sure your dates are available.
Whether you have a long engagement or a short one, it’s going to determine some of these decisions. We’ve planned a wedding in a short 90 days and one that was well over a year out and they both turned out beautifully.
There are advantages and disadvantages to the short and the long engagement. You might like the pressure of getting all these decisions made in a hurry and not having time to second guess them.
You may want to have a wedding gown custom made and than can require 10-12 months. You’re going to need your engagement to be long enough to cover that time frame.
You’ve got a job and a life and you’ve got commitments. You want to enjoy your wedding and if you’re going on a honeymoon you’ll need to plan for that too. Be sure that your schedule works with the dates you’re looking at and that you’ve got the vacation time you need, or the coverage that you need, to be gone.
That seems like an easy thing to remember but don’t forget to consider it in the flurry of planning.
You will also need to consider other key schedules like your family’s, and your bridal party. If you have younger siblings you may need to consider the school calendar, vacations, etc. If your best friend is getting married around the same time it might be tough on everyone involved to attend or participate in two weddings close together, especially if travel is going to be involved.
We’re not saying plan your wedding around someone else’s, but you definitely want to consider what else is on the calendar.
You might not care about the Super Bowl or the NBA championships but your fiance might and your guests may also. The last thing you want is guests with their eyes glued to their phones during your ceremony because they’re watching the game or checking the score.
On the flip side of this, don’t ask everyone you know to weigh in on picking your wedding date. Stick to scheduling around your key people and then let everyone else know what you’ve decided. You’ll never be able to pick a wedding date that works for everyone so pick the best date for you and move forward with your planning.
And all of these decisions always come back to the budget right? Your budget is a key factor in determining all the things in wedding planning.
If you’re on a tight budget you can be flexible with your venue dates, or wait on a “special”. You may be able to find a special deal at a bridal fair or with a venue that’s offering a discount on an open date they’re trying to fill.
The most popular day to get married is Saturday, so keep in mind that it’s going to come with a higher price tag.
If you’ve always wanted to have a winter wonderland for your wedding then you’ll definitely want to consider a winter wedding. But don’t forget to factor in all the holidays!
If you’ve got your heart set on a garden wedding then you’re going to want to get married in the spring or summer.
Are you thinking of campfires and rustic colors? Maybe fall is the season for you.
The style and weather are paramount in setting the mood for your wedding, so be sure to take into account the weather and the style of your wedding when you’re choosing a date.
The most popular months to get married are June, September and October because they typically have the best weather.
The least popular month is January. We’re guessing that post holiday means everyone needs to recover!
Are you planning a destination wedding? You’ll need to take into account dates and schedules, seasons, etc. for travel for sure. Also the weather. If you’re planning that fantastic beach wedding, you don’t want to pick a wedding date during that one rainy month they have each year.
Even if you’re being married locally you want to keep in mind what’s going on around your venue. It’s not a deal breaker, but we sure didn’t want to host a wedding where our guests were required to drive across Austin during the ACL festival. It was also important to note that the flights were full and more expensive and may have prevented some of our guests from attending during those weekends.
You don’t have to remember everything but you should consult a couple of event calendars to be sure there’s not something crazy going on. And if there is, you can deal with it, but it helps to know about it in advance.
If you’ve already picked out someone that you want to do your photo’s, or you want to book your favorite local band you want to get on their calendars ASAP! This is especially true if you’re booking a destination wedding.
Be sure to check your favorite vendors availability. Also know that if you can’t get them, there are lots of other great vendors out there.
And lastly, don’t worry
We know that sometimes practical wins over romantic. Sometimes (or all the time) budget rules the day. Whatever venue you decide on is going to be the perfect one for your wedding.
When you set out to pick your wedding date you’ll find out that there are probably only a couple of days that are going to work well.
Somehow the calendar magically makes a date for you and then you can move on with all the next stages of planning.
And cake tasting!