Picking The Big Day is not an easy one for most. It is a delicate balance between choosing a date that means something to you as a couple, choosing a date with good weather, choosing a date all your favorite people can attend and choosing a date that is affordable. We will take it one step as a time:
Step #1 – LOCATION – Decide where you are going to have your wedding (the town). This is also a huge decision – check out this blog to help you through that one. Where you will have your wedding will help decide the “when”. Discuss with you fiancé about your Wedding Day Vision. Would you rather be inside your home town church followed by a reception inside the local historic ballroom. Or do you see your yourselves getting married outside on a snow capped mountain or on a tropical beach. If you would like to have an outdoor wedding in Minnesota, you will want to think about Spring-Fall dates. If you are getting married on a tropical island then maybe winter is best. It all depends on the where and indoor vs outdoor. Also, consider your actual wedding and reception venues – Do you have a location you just love and NEED to have your wedding at that particular venue? Then you need to work around that venues availability. Contact them for a list of dates still available for the time frame you are thinking. If you are flexible with the venue, then you can pick your date first and then pick the venue based on who is available for your date.
Step #2 – Print out yearly calendars for the years you are thinking of getting married from Timeanddate.com (link). This will be helpful for the next few steps.
Step #3 – Make a Time Frame – If you are having a destination wedding, cross out all the dates for the next 8 months. Most destination weddings are planned no sooner than 8 months from the time of your Save the Dates (link to that blog) go out in order to ensure enough time to solidify the venue/vendors and give your guests time to plan. In general weddings get planned 8-18 months in the future, but it is also ok to plan your wedding 2 years from now.
Step #4 – Important Dates – Go through Important Dates and either cross them off or circle them – When going through these dates decide if you want to cross them out or if you want to circle them as possibilities.
- Mid-week verses Saturday – Venues usually give discounts for mid-week weddings. If you are having a destination wedding or many guests will be traveling then maybe a mid-week wedding is find since they will be traveling for the week anyway. Maybe have a conversation with your parents and wedding party to see if they are all ok with a mid-week wedding or even a Monday vs Friday wedding date.
- Birthdays – identify your immediate family and wedding party birthdays. Are there any birthdays that you don’t (or do) want to use as your wedding date?
- Anniversaries – The date you met or your 1st date might be a good date. Also, would you want to get married on your parents anniversary? Also check that no one else in your friends/family group is also getting married during the same time frame. You don’t want to compete with someone else’s wedding.
- Local Holidays – Did you want to try to use a 3 day holiday weekend so your guests don’t have to use more time off from their jobs? Most people cross off Christmas/New Years as a time to get married since many of their friends and families will have other plans as well the cost of travel and hotels are at a premium during that time.
- School Holidays – Do you have a lot of kids or teachers that you would like to come to your wedding. Maybe consider their school holidays: spring break, summer vacations, Teachers Weekend.
- Tax Day – April 15th
- Election Day – Unless you have your wedding next to a polling center J
- Your work schedules – Don’t forget to check your own work schedules and work around when is best for you both. Make sure the 2 months coming up to your wedding is not super busy for you so you can focus on your wedding and do all that last minute planning and prep stress-free.
- Cool Dates – Dates such as 2-22-22 or 2-4-24
- Full moon – Some believe that getting married on a full moon creates the strongest bond. It wouldn’t hurt.
- Numerology or Chinese Calendar – Some couples might want to consult a numerologist, astrologist or https://www.yourchineseastrology.com/calendar/how-to-choose-wedding-date.htm
Step #5 – Things to Consider regarding the location, especially if you are doing a destination wedding:
- Wedding Planner – If you are doing a destination wedding then you will want a wedding planner. They will save you probably the same amount of money in stress and costly mistakes than what their fee would be. Do your research and choose a reputable one with great reviews. Check out our post for tips on how to choose the right wedding planner for you (link to our Choosing a Wedding Planner post). You will want to check their availability so you can at least know when they can help you or then they are not available. They can also help you talk through all the dates below since they would be local experts.
- High season vs Slow Season – Check with local hotels to see if they have times of the year that the price of rooms are much higher than others. Usually destinations like Cancun, New Orleans, Costa Rico have a definite high season vs slow season price change dates. If you are trying to keep costs lowest for your guests, then choose a date just on the outskirts of the high season dates. Also, check if there are premium dates (super high rates) for your venue and preferred vendors. You will want to steer clear of these dates. On the flip side of this, high season is usually when the best weather is. Also, some things might close during slow season in certain destinations like attractions or activities. Do the research to make sure things aren’t shut down during your wedding festivities.
- Destination Holidays – If you are getting married out of the country, check their local holidays and festivals to see if any might affect your wedding date. For instance, if you are getting married in Mexico, you might not want to choose Semana Santa (2 weeks of Easter break) due to premium prices or you might want to choose Marti Gras to be included in the festivities. Also check if there are any other local big events happening like sporting events, concerts, festivals that would affect hotel availability or room rates.
- Weather – This goes back to your Wedding Day Vision. Did you see yourself walking down the aisle with your hair down flowing down your back – then try to choose a date that is not super-hot and humid. Of course, if you are having an outdoor wedding you will want to stay away from heavy rain months. Check Wunderground.com for your location to check history. Also, hurricane season is June 1st to November 30th. Keep this in mind if you are getting married on the coast or a tropical beach. However, the odds of a hurricane happening on your wedding day is very slim. Just make sure your venue has a Plan B indoors regardless just in case.
- Local Tours or Attractions – Depending on your location you might want to go during a time that the tours are open so your guests can get the best experience for your wedding week. For instance, swimming with whale sharks is only available off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico from May to September, Haunted House Tours in Charleston in October, lilacs in bloom in Mackinac Island in May, best ski conditions in Whistler in February/March.
Step #6 – Check in with your parents and potential wedding party – Although you can’t work around everyone’s schedule, it would be a good idea to send your favorite people your final list of potential dates to check if they foresee any issues. They might see something you don’t.
Step #7 –Once you pick a date – the next step is to make sure your wedding planner and preferred vendors are available for that date. If one of them is not available then you might be back to the drawing board. For this reason, you should have 2 or 3 dates that would work for you so you can be flexible just in case. Your preferred vendors are those that you can’t live without – that one photographer that that has the eye you want, the caterer that brings the delicious Crostini Bar you had at your cousins wedding, the DJ that was recommended to you by 10 of your friends, the stylist you can’t imagine NOT doing your hair for your wedding. If you don’t have any of that then don’t worry and talk to your wedding planner about options. If you are not using a wedding planner then contact the wedding venue and ensure you can get on their calender.
Step #8 – Pay your deposits – once you have your receipt and contracts signed, then you are good to go!!!
Step #9 – SAVE YOUR DATE! Time to make your wedding email address, wedding website and send out your Save the Dates. See, that was easy J
More blogs regarding – Wedding email, Wedding Website & Save the Dates
I also found some helpful info on this blog for those getting married locally.