Wedding Planning: Choosing Your Date
“When’s the wedding?!” – the most asked question after your engagement announcement. I think I was even asked this question the night of the proposal! Your friends and family want to reserve your spot on their calendar as soon as possible, so be prepared to give them an answer in a timely manner. However, choosing a wedding date takes quite a bit of consideration.
The first and most important step is to set a budget. If your parents are helping you pay, take them out to dinner one night and discuss what they’re comfortable gifting to you. If you and your fiancé are financially responsible for the wedding, treat yourself to a night out and set a limit for what you want to spend. Make sure you and your partner are both on the same page, as money is one of the biggest stressors of a wedding. It’s important to start off on the right foot!
Setting a budget will help guide you when creating your guest list and choosing a venue, catering, etc. Creating your guest list is an entirely different story, so we’ll discuss that in our next post, along with ways to cut costs.
Once you have a budget you’re comfortable with, it’s time to choose your perfect day to say “I do.” Here are just a few things to consider when you’re making the decision:
Seasons: Think about it. If your ideal location is the beach, you’re not going to want to host your wedding during hurricane season or the dead of winter. You’ll need to consider your wedding style and what season would complement it best. Also think about how holidays will impact your wedding. For example, choosing a Christmas wedding could highly affect your guest count and vendor availability.
Symbolism: It might be super romantic to choose a date that’s significant to the two of you, such as the day you went out on your first date or your parents’ wedding anniversary. It wasn’t the determining factor, but Corey and I got married on the day after his birthday, so at least he has no excuse to forget our anniversary! – I hope!
Pricing: Your budget may be the #1 determinant of your date. Going back to seasons, you can actually cut costs by choosing to get married in the off-season (December thru March). Most venues and vendors will discount their services in these months since they’re in lower demand. Still set on being a summer bride? Days of the week also matter! Again, you can easily find venues and vendors who will discount non-Saturday weddings. Don’t immediately cross those days off your list – send out your invitations early enough so that guests can ask off of work and make travel plans.
Vendor Availability: Finally, if a certain venue or photographer is vital for you to have as part of your wedding day, check their availability! Don’t choose a date, then reach out to them and expect to be open. This is where you have to be very careful about short engagements. Venues are usually booked at least a year in advance. Dresses take, on average, 4-5 months just to come in, which doesn’t include the time for alterations. These are all things to keep in mind! There’s almost nothing worse than having your heart set on something, during the planning process, just to have it fall through. But have no fear – I promise it all works out in the end.
As for me, Corey and I chose our wedding date based off of a few things. First of all, Corey proposed in May and chose to have a short engagement, so we knew it would be within the same year. Then I considered our personalities. My friends will tell you that being cozy is mine and Corey’s ideal “state of mind,” so I wanted our wedding to feel warm and homey. It helps that our absolute favorite season is autumn because of the colorful, changing leaves, so it was never a question that we would get married in October.
Think of who you are as a couple and what would reflect your personalities best! That’s how you’ll end up with the perfect wedding date.