Category: Planning & Etiquette
Once there’s a ring on the finger, the first question newly engaged couples get asked repeatedly is, “Have you picked a wedding date?” For some, this is a simple task to check off the to-do list, but for others, it’s a tedious process with many things to consider while narrowing down the perfect day to walk down the aisle. If you fall into the latter camp, here are a few tips to help you circle a date on the calendar.
Think of your no-no days.
Are there any days in particular you want to avoid—close friends’ and relatives’ birthdays and anniversaries, major holidays or busy periods at work? Perhaps you’re attending a few other weddings throughout the year, so be sure to mark those off on your calendar so that you don’t accidentally double-book weddings (and possibly also divide your friends between your ceremony and someone else’s). Or maybe there are days, weeks or months you know will be action-packed with work, vacation, traveling or something. Get with your new spouse-to-be and figure out what, exactly, your no-no dates are and go from there.
Pick a season.
Are you a fall bride or groom? Do you picture yourself surrounded by spring flowers under clear blue skies? Or have you always envisioned a white winter wonderland of a wedding, with snowcapped mountains and crackling fireplaces in a stone cabin? Once you’ve narrowed down which dates to avoid, think about the season you love most (and even the one you love least). This will help shape your vision of your big day and make picking one day out of the entire year an easier task to bear.
Check your venue’s availability.
Once you’ve eliminated out-of-the-question options and explored the season that best suits your style, you still have one more important step to take before finalizing your wedding date—choosing your venue. Identify a place—or two or three—and check their availability to get a better idea of when you can start planning the ceremony. If the calendar is wide open, fantastic! But if the chapel, barn, vineyard, ranch or golf course is booked solid for the foreseeable future, it helps to be flexible with your date (or pick a new location entirely if you want to get married sooner rather than much, much later).
Consider what’s symbolic to you.
If there’s a day that’s significant to you as a couple, how romantic would it be to wed on that date? Maybe you want to commemorate the anniversary of your first date with your nuptials, or you want to honor a close relative (like your grandparents) by getting married on their anniversary. This could also symbolize something that’s intrinsically you—whether it’s silly, like the release date of your favorite movie, or sweet, like exchanging vows five years from the day of your very first kiss. Whatever it is, be sure to tell your guests the story behind your date if there’s a reason for it.
Stay in budget.
Most brides and grooms know that the most popular wedding months are in the summer and early fall—June, August, September and October—which means that getting married then will be a bit pricier. If the budget is a non-issue, you needn’t worry about spending a bit more during the wedding season. But if you’re counting every dollar and striving to stay within budget, consider getting married in the off-season—that is, the winter months of December, January and March. The same goes for days of the week. Since Saturday is the most popular day for a wedding, Friday and Sunday festivities are often more affordable. It may cost less to say “I do” when there aren’t countless couples vying for the same venue in the same timeframe. Or maybe you’re dead set on a vibrant spring wedding, even if it’s more than you wish to pay. Know this ahead of time and make a plan to start saving for your perfect day.