How to choose a wedding date

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Congrats on getting engaged! We’re just going to assume that you’re already making a plan… to plan your wedding! Because most couples are engaged for as long as 14 months and up to 2 years before saying their “I do’s”.

And one of the very first steps that you need to take to plan your wedding, is to decide on a wedding date.

Having a wedding date in place will make it easier to work with suppliers, and to prepare for the big day – because there is a lot that needs to be planned.

In this post, we look at the steps you can take to choose a date, some tips and advice and, finally, some creative ways in which you can pick a wedding date!

How to choose a wedding date

9 Steps to choose your wedding date

  1. Grab a calendar of the year you wish to get married in – Google Calendar is fine, since it will also show holidays and events – and also grab a paper + pen
  1. Make a list of possible wedding dates
  1. Start eliminating dates when taking into account: is it a holiday? What season does it fall into? Is another important family, friend or work event happening on that day? And so on…
  1. Try to end up with no more than 3 possible wedding dates which you can work with
  1. Start comparing your final 3 dates to each other, by writing down each date and creating columns – you can do this in Google Sheets, too
  1. Name each column something to compare each date to, such as season, sentimental/special meaning, close to a public holiday (is a long weekend possible?), venue availability (if you already have a venue), wedding supplier availability, important events happening close to each date (family, friends, work), and so on, because those events can possibly move to your weekend if something happens…
  1. Now you can work to fill in those columns and determine your final date.
  1. Keep updating it throughout the week, as you phone around to find out about supplier availability, etc. Choose a final date within a week, by looking at all the reasons for that wedding date.
  1. Note: don’t scratch those other two dates – when something falls in the way of your final wedding date, you have those other dates to choose from, as a backup plan.

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Things to consider when choosing your wedding date

  • Your wedding date availability with venues, suppliers, etc. If you have your heart set on a very specific wedding date, phone around to wedding venues and suppliers you want to work with, so that they can check if they’re available. Many suppliers can get booked out a year in advance, or longer!
  • If you’re still stuck when trying to set a wedding date after you’ve done the steps above, find some creative ways to choose a date, see the last section of this post for some ideas.
  • When you’re not too picky, but want a certain season, try to aim for any of the three months that fall into that season. After that, you can start narrowing it down to the month, and then the date. Also think about whether you’ll have an indoor or outdoor wedding, as the season will affect this.
  • If you’re pregnant and need to decide on a date before or after the baby is born, take into consideration the massive requirements there will be when having a tiny baby around, on top of all your wedding planning tasks. Rather choose a date before the baby is born, to save yourself from stressing too much!
  • Also try to plan around your menstrual cycle, if possible, as this will affect your wedding and honeymoon.
  • Consider that many dates will be cheaper than others, to get married on. This can be determined by the season, which day of the week the date falls on, and what time of year it is – holidays, etc.
  • You also need to take into account that the season or time of year can affect the availability of flowers, and more indirectly, your wedding colors and theme, and even the menu you want served. For example, you might want to serve a delicious pea soup starter, but it will be in the middle of summer…
  • Also take into account what time of year it is at the location you want to get married – is it the rainy season? Will there be more drastic weather such as monsoons, hurricanes or even tornadoes? These can be researched by looking at various weather websites that log weather history, such as the Farmer’s Almanac. Take note that weather forecasts are only accurate to a point, and the weather is simply a prediction – however, it’s still a good guideline to go by.
  • If you’re planning on going on a honeymoon that is season specific, try and plan for a wedding date right before that time.
  • If you’re aiming for a weekend wedding, then you should take the Sunday date into consideration as well.
  • If you plan on having your wedding during the week, take into consideration that your guests might be busy with their work commitments, kids, etc. Not many guests will be able to attend.
  • Finally, consider your wedding budget. Summer is in general more expensive than any other season. Also, most wedding venues will need a deposit to secure your booking, for example – if you don’t have that at the moment, and your wedding date is available, you might need to wait a year longer to save up money, or choose another wedding date to give yourself more time.

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23 Tips for picking your wedding date

  1. Talk to your boss. You will have to find out if you can get leave for your wedding date, and so does your fiance. 
  1. Take into account immediate family events and dates, especially if it is someone who you really want present at your wedding.
  1. Be sure to choose a date that you want your anniversary to fall on each year.
  1. Plan a backup wedding date, at least in the beginning. As you start to phone around to book a venue and wedding suppliers, the other date might be more available to them.
  1. A Saturday is the most expensive wedding day to get married on, followed by Friday. Take this into account when you have a tiny wedding budget.
  1. Avoid popular holidays and times of the year, such as Superbowl Sunday, Christmas Day and others like it. Guests will have likely already made plans for those special days and holidays. Also, take your anniversary into account: Do you want your anniversary to be on Easter, or Mother’s Day, etc?
  1. 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.
  1. When considering a season, 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. When planning for your honeymoon, take into account the tourist season, too. Planning dates in this way might help you to avoid the crowds in the busy season, as well as travel expenses. Research is key!
  1. 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.
  1. 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?
  1. Your fiance needs to be considered 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 date in everyone’s lives. In the end, it is your wedding, so you decide on the date.
  1. Similarly, there will always be something bad that happened on that date in history somewhere. Try not to mind too much about it.
  1. If you’re superstitious, you can easily eliminate a few dates by researching unlucky days.
  1. On the other end, you can consider all the lucky days to get married on – if that is your thing! 
  1. 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 wedding…
  1. 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.

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Creative ways to pick a wedding date

  • A special day on which something happened – this could be your birthday, your fiance’s birthday, your first date, your first kiss, etc.
  • His likes vs. yours – if he loves Summer, but you’re more into the colder weather, meet somewhere in between, such as Spring or Autumn
  • There’s nothing like a good game – use plastic darts to throw at a calendar month, or blindfold each other and pinpoint a date with your finger or a marker!
  • If you’re really stuck, let someone else take the lead on choosing a date – such as your parents!

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When should you pick a wedding date?

Choosing your wedding date is one of the most important things you need to do when planning your own wedding. Your wedding date will determine many things, such as wedding costs and availability.

The top three things to plan right away, is the wedding budget, your wedding date, and a timeline to work with until your big day arrives. From here, you can start planning all other aspects.

What is the most popular wedding date?

According to The Knot, the most popular wedding date is on October 19, 2019. Moved on from the previous year, which was on August 18. It’s safe to say that fall weddings are the most popular at the moment.

Which is the best month to get married?

June, September and October are good months, weather wise. Early summer and fall weddings are not too hot and humid, so it is great for outdoor weddings, too!

What is the cheapest month to get married?

Between January and April, and also November – simply because it’s an unpopular month. You’ll find that many wedding suppliers are available during these times, and also cheaper, in most cases. Be on the lookout for those Black Friday deals in November!

What is the least popular day to get married?

The least popular day to get married on is on 25 December – Christmas Day! Though we love the enchantment of a winter snow wedding, best to save this special day for family and friends.

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