How to Choose Your Wedding Date
You’re engaged! And now, as you calm down from sharing your blissed-out, high-on-love news, everyone wants to know the practical stuff: “Have you set a date yet?”
Here’s how to choose the ideal wedding date for you and your guests.
Is one of you in grad school? Do you both have the same amount of vacation days available? Are your families coming from far-flung locations? These are things to think about when choosing a wedding date. You want to have a stress-free wedding planning experience, so try to choose a date that will cause the least disruption of your schedules.
However, be aware that you can’t please every single person on your guest list. Prioritize: You probably don’t want to make your wedding date the same week as your pregnant sister’s due date, but you can’t be expected schedule around grandma’s weekly bridge game.
Ceremony and reception venue availability
You probably have a dream location in mind, or at least a small list of possible venues. Problem is, some other couples may have the same idea. You’ll need to call your wedding venues and check for availability. Some venues may ask for a deposit to reserve the date for you.
If you have your officiant in mind, call to see if he or she is available on the dates you’re considering.
If you dream of an outdoor ceremony or beach wedding, be sure to check the weather and have a back-up plan in case of rain. If you’re planning a destination wedding, the same holds true – check the average temperatures in your getaway location.
If you love fall colors or dream of romantic, snowy wedding photos, let your theme dictate the wedding date. Weigh the pros and cons of having your wedding over a holiday weekend, incorporating the holiday into your wedding theme.
June, July and August are the most popular months to get married, and some venues hike up prices at the height of wedding season. Saturday evening is the most common time for a wedding, so consider an alternative time or day if you’d like to save some cash.
This is another area where you may need to prioritize: if you choose the ritzy venue, you may need to cut back on costs elsewhere, such as flowers or décor and favors. If you choose a more affordable venue, you’ll have more to spend on other fun stuff, like your dress!
A meaningful date
Consider getting married on the anniversary of the date you met, or one year from proposal date. Maybe you want an easy-to-remember date, such as 11-11-11, or you dream of saying your vows as the ball drops on New Year’s Eve? The sky’s the limit. Just remember that if you want to get married on say, Christmas Day, you may see your guest numbers dwindle.
It’s no longer the norm for couples to duck out of their reception early and head straight to the airport for their honeymoon. Many couples choose to do a post-wedding day brunch with their visiting out-of-town guests and leave several days after the wedding. Other couples postpone their honeymoon for several months after the wedding when schedules permit, or choose to do a series of “honeyweekends”. Check hotel availability and flight prices of your honeymoon destination several months in advance. And, don’t forget to check the weather forecast in your honeymoon destination too; you don’t want to visit a tropical island locale during monsoon season!
Once you’ve chosen the date
While save-the-date cards are not a mandatory part of wedding etiquette, they have become hugely popular, and can help people plan and get excited about your big day.
If you have a lot of out-of-towners coming to your wedding, consider sending save-the-date announcements 6-9 months before the wedding. If most guests are local, 4 months in advance is plenty of time. Wedding invitations are traditionally sent 8 weeks before the wedding.