Choosing your wedding date, much like everything else in wedding planning, is a process—it involves multiple families' opinions and needs. Worry not! Follow these three easy steps for picking the perfect wedding date.
1. Look at Your Life
Starting with the vaguest of advice might sound like a horrible place to begin. But, if nothing else, it's an icebreaker for you as a couple, and with those people who are "decision-makers" in your personal process. If you got engaged on the same date as your first date, chances are, you might at least be considering getting married on that same date. If you're both teachers or in some kind of seasonal career, this could be a huge consideration. Not too many CPAs want to get married in the middle of tax season. Just like wedding pros often get married during their local offseason.
This will also help you look at where you, and often parents, currently live. Are you getting married where you live or going back to your hometown? Things like personal or family health issues can also play into the decision-making process, so it’s something you want to take time and talk out. Do you have grandparents who might not be able to travel? Does your hometown have the amenities you might be looking for or offer a better bang for your buck? However, don’t carve any wedding dates in stone until you at least check out these next two steps!
2. Narrow Your Wedding to a Season
Starting with a general season gives you a good starting point. Beginning with something super specific might keep you from looking at some much-needed details and great options you might not have considered. Picking a season helps you look at the pros and cons that fall into that time of year. If you choose summer, for example, things to look at might include: Does your fiancé sweat a lot? Do you really want to see them soaking wet in all of your photos? Not to mention feeling really self-conscious and uncomfortable on your wedding day? Do your immediate family and close friends typically have standing reservations for the beach, mountains, or lake for multiple weeks during the summer? Are Memorial Day, July 4th, or Labor day wedding dates really popular and booked well in advance or at a premium price? Or, just as importantly, are there major local events that happen that might limit your options? Will these events create travel and traffic headaches or increase costs for hotel rooms and travel.
Beyond that, do your favorite foods, favorite colors, and even your vision for your wedding work for a summer wedding? These examples can work for any season! For instance, a garden wedding might not be a good December wedding option, and popular venues decorated for Christmas might not be the best option for a traditional Jewish wedding.
3. Look at Wedding Venues, Not Wedding Dates
Once you've narrowed your options down to a general season, it might be time to look at some local wedding venues. You absolutely want to do an open search before limiting yourself to one specific date. Oftentimes, couples pass over a wedding venue that might be "the one" just because the venue didn’t have the exact date they thought they wanted. By just looking for a season and not a date, you can look at a wide range of venues to see what might fit your personality, style, and budget.
Couples are often surprised that they ended up choosing a Friday, Sunday, or weekday wedding over the more traditional Saturday night. Sometimes, the savings you can invest in other areas of your wedding or give you the ability to include more people and stay on budget is a win-win. Narrowing this down to three easy steps oversimplifies the process.
As you can see, there are lots of smaller steps to be had. But, they're essential steps to help you focus on what's most important to you. They also help you look at the budget and things you never considered to give you the wedding of your dreams!
Hero photo courtesy of Nikk Nguyen Photo