Many brides mistakenly assume setting a date is the first step in the planning process. Even though it is one of the first, it really should not be THE first. Engaged couples should be thinking about when and where, generally speaking, they see their wedding in their heads, first. Then take the steps detailed in this post to figure out your ideal venue. Once you have a hazy vision and a solid venue option, it’s time to choose the date.
Deciding on the venue first is essential because it could play a huge role in setting that date. However, if there is definitely a date that trumps any other factors, you are way ahead of the game. For instance, I knew a woman who got engaged in October of 2013 and wanted to get married on 11-12-13. She got a gorgeous off the rack gown and got married in a local church. But if there aren’t any dates that are a must for you, definitely find out what your venue is going to be and when it is available before selecting a date.
The great thing about deciding on your venue first is that in order to so, you need to have envisioned your wedding at least a little. Do you see outside rustic or oceanside casual or banquet hall formal? These kinds of answers can help you choose your date by narrowing down a season. You may be able to narrow down the season by assessing some additional factors, as well, though.
‘Tis The Season
It may be less overwhelming to think about choosing a wedding date by simply choosing a wedding season, initially; I mean, there are only four options, here. For me, it came down to comfort, first, and schedule flexibility, second. I knew winter was out from the get-go because I hibernate every winter. Mid to late spring would have been my first choice, however, we got engaged in very late winter and knew we wanted to get married in less than a year but wouldn’t be able to afford to have the wedding of our dreams in less than four months! We decided to go with summer and pull in as many “spring-y” things as we could.
Perhaps you are not so concerned with the look and feel of the wedding as much as the cost. June, August, and September are the “wedding months” and will be more expensive in some areas. Though, in some cases it is not advantageous, to select a less desirable wedding date based on cost alone. While some things like venues, flowers, and photographers may charge less in the off-season, it may be difficult to find some more specific things that would be abundant in-season. You may need to briefly consider things like food, flowers, and formality to think about what may be in or out of season so that you can compare cost cuts and comfort.
What’s Best For The Guest
Once you have selected a season, you are really close to choosing your date! First, look at the four months within your chosen season and, with your SO, think about whether there are any dates that are significant to you as a couple or you individually. I once knew a woman who decided on getting married in the spring time and realized within her spring months was her great grandparents wedding anniversary. She and her husband decided to pay tribute to them and get married on the same day.
However, if there are zero sentimental dates, start talking to close family member and friends to find out what would work best for the most important people in your lives. My husband and I originally planned to get married on July 15th and even cleared it with our parents. However, our usher and really good friend whose mom was our day-of coordinator, would be at summer camp during that weekend. So we changed it to the following weekend but realized he was only going to be coming home that day for another camp! We ended up getting married two weeks after our original date.
If you are still having trouble zooming in on a date within a season, try ruling out some dates. You will, for the most part, want to steer clear of holidays. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having a themed holiday wedding. If that is your speed, you probably don’t need to read this article. There are pros and cons to celebrating your marriage close to or on a major holiday. Things like transportation, gas prices, rentals, and flowers could be more expensive depending on the holiday. Plus, think of your guests. Sure, your wedding is important, but will your guests want to spend their holiday celebrating your wedding rather than celebrating the holiday? On the other side of that coin, you may choose a holiday that provides an extended weekend that will be easier for some. But a less risky rule of thumb, is to stay away from holidays.
So if you decided on a summer wedding, but your fiance’s birthday is in June and you don’t want to throw a party any where near the fourth of July, you have already narrowed your date down to August or the end of July.
If you still are uncertain of a date for your wedding, look into honeymoon ideas. Start thinking, again very briefly, about where you may want to spend your honeymoon. Look into availability at hotels and other attractions you may want to visit as well as cost.
Once you have set a date, everything else will begin to fall into place. And while it can seem overwhelming, a simple process of elimination can get you to your goal quicker and get you a little closer to the really fun stuff!