You can’t continue planning your wedding and booking suppliers if your wedding venue isn’t available on that date, and so on.
Grab your calendar and let’s get started!
23 Tips for picking your wedding date
Before we dive right in, I want to remind you of the other most important thing you need to have in place when planning your wedding – and it will influence your wedding date as well…
The wedding budget…
Let’s jump into the list of tips for choosing your own wedding date!
1. Talk to your boss
Before you get started with planning your big day, you will have to find out if you can get leave for your wedding date (and honeymoon if you plan on going right after your wedding). Similarly, your fiance also needs to get leave from work for your wedding and honeymoon.
2. Are there other family events happening?
Take into account immediate family events and dates, especially if it is someone who you really want present on your wedding day.
3. Take your anniversary into account
Your anniversary will be celebrated every year, on this date, for the rest of the foreseeable future. Take this into account, especially if the date is around other significant events and holidays.
4. Plan a backup wedding date
At least in the beginning when planning your wedding. As you start to phone around to book a venue and wedding suppliers, the other date(s) might be more available to them, and thus more appealing to you as well.
5. Saturday is the most expensive wedding day
If your date falls on a Saturday, take into account that this is the most expensive day when it comes to booking venues and suppliers, followed by Friday. Take this into account when you have a tiny wedding budget.
If you haven’t planned out your wedding budget yet, drop everything and do this first! Your wedding budget will determine which venues and suppliers you can afford, nevermind their availability on your wedding date. I have created a comprehensive wedding budget, which you can find over here. (Editable version over here.)
6. Avoid popular holidays and times of the year
Such as Superbowl Sunday, Christmas Day, 4th of July, and others like it. Guests will have likely already made plans for those special days and holidays. Again, take your anniversary into account: Do you want your anniversary to be on Easter, or Mother’s Day, etc?
7. Plan with your fiance
It’s important to sit with your fiance when planning wedding dates. This way, he can check his calendar for unavoidable commitments he might also have.
8. Time of season
When considering a season, such as spring or winter, determine the wedding date by asking yourself if you want to get married at the beginning, middle or end of the season. This will also make it easier to pick a date.
9. Dates that are set in stone
If you already have prior commitments, events and occasions, eliminate those dates immediately from the start – do the same for your fiance and his prior commitments and dates.
10. Indoor or outdoor wedding?
Indoor and outdoor wedding costs also need to be considered when it comes to the season. If you decide on an outdoor wedding in winter, you might have to budget extra for heating lamps, fire wood and blankets for guests.
11. The length of your engagement
It might be easier to choose a date, when you take into account how long you want to be engaged for. If you want to get married immediately, start planning. If you feel you need to be engaged for at least two years, you still have plenty of time to decide on a date.
12. What if your venue isn't available?
Checking availability of wedding venues is one of the main reasons why you need a wedding date as soon as possible. If your ideal wedding venue is not available on the date you want, you need to decide which is more important to you: your date, or the venue?
13. Your honeymoon dates
When planning for your honeymoon, take into account the tourist season, especially if you plan on going right after your wedding. Planning dates this way might help you to avoid the crowds in the busy season, as well as travel expenses. Research is key!
14. Travel and accommodation costs
Travel and accommodation costs for your wedding, especially if the venue is far, will be determined by the season and time of year. When working with a small wedding budget, take note of this.
15. How much time before your wedding date?
Be mindful of how close or how far away your ideal wedding date is. Will there be enough time to organize and plan everything for the big day? Also, if you still need to save up money for your wedding, take this into account.
16. Be considerate towards your fiance
Your fiance needs to be taken into account in all your decisions, as the wedding is about the both of you! That’s why it’s important to choose a date together, among other things that need to be planned.
17. Consider a compromise
If one of you is set on a wedding date or a season, consider compromising. For example, if he wants a winter wedding, then you decide where the honeymoon location is, or something like that.
18. No date will suit everyone
No wedding date is perfect for everyone who will attend. There will always be a birthday, anniversary, divorce, commemoration, or another important or significant event in everyone’s lives. In the end, it is your wedding, so you decide on the date.
19. On this day in history...
Similarly, there will always be something bad that happened on that date in history somewhere in the world. Try not to mind too much about it.
20. Superstitious dates
If you’re superstitious, you can easily eliminate a few dates by researching unlucky days.
21. Is your date a lucky day?
On the other end, you can consider all the lucky days to get married on – if that is your thing!
22. Consider religions and holy days
If your family consists of other religions, be mindful of this when deciding. For instance, some religions have fasting times, such as Ramadan for Muslims. It can be awkward when you invite those guests and they have to watch everyone else eat at your breakfast wedding…
23. In the end, it is YOUR day...
Finally, don’t work yourself up too much about accommodating every single guest that you want to attend your wedding. You simply can’t keep everyone happy. Focus on what’s more important to you and your fiance.
by Tanya Viljoen
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tanya Viljoen has been an active contributor and planner in the wedding industry since 2016. When not writing educational content for brides and wedding professionals, she can be found designing printables for her Etsy shop, TWCprintables. Keep up with her on Instagram.