Once you’ve made the decision to get married, you’ll have another momentous decision to make: on what day should you tie the knot. While the decision is, of course, important for personal reasons, it will also have practical implications, as well. That means you should choose the date carefully and after considering several factors.
Decide What Type of Wedding You Want
First, you need to consider what type of wedding you want. Sure, your wedding may not be taking place for another year or two but you’ve probably already given a lot of thought to the type of wedding you’d like to have. For example, what dress style do you see yourself wearing? If you have your heart set on a strapless gown, you’ll probably want to avoid the winter months. Likewise, if you want long sleeves or a gown made of heavy material, you should rule out the blistering hot months of summer.
Do you want an outdoor wedding? If so, then you’ll need to pick the season in your area with the most desirable weather and the least chance of rain or snow.
Decide How Much You Want to Spend
Another factor to consider is cost. Many couples don’t know it but wedding vendors – photographers, venues, caterers, florists, etc. – charge a premium price for their services during the wedding season, which is usually from April or May to August or September. Having your wedding during those months means you’ll be forking over hundreds of dollars extra. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you have your heart set on a certain day, but if you’re on a tight budget and no day really stands out for you, then choosing a non-wedding season date might be a better alternative.
Decide When NOT to Have Your Wedding
After you narrow your options to a particular season, you might want to start ruling out some of the worst times to get married. Clearly, you should avoid holidays if possible. There are advantages, such as your family being off from work and in town visiting relatives, but those are outweighed by the added stress and diminished guest list you can expect. Also, you’ll have a harder time booking venues, especially churches, around religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
Other bad dates include the week right before the tax deadline. Many of your guests won’t be able to come because they’ll be doing their taxes. Some guests may not be able to attend in July (a big time for inventory) or September (the start of the new fiscal year). If you have guests who are attending college, you’d want to avoid the first few weeks of May and the last few weeks of December when most of them will be cramming for finals.
Of course, none of this means you have to rule those dates out completely, you just need to be prepared for the effect those dates will have on your guest turnout.
Choosing the Right Day for Your Big Day
After you narrowed down your choices by eliminating certain times, you’ll want to start thinking about whether you want to pick a significant date or not. Some couples want to choose a date that is already meaningful to them, such as the first day they met or their parents’ anniversary. Other couples prefer to choose a different day, so their special day really will be special. That choice is yours.
However, when you are trying to decide on dates – meaningful or not – it helps to have a calendar handy so you can check what day of the week the wedding will fall on. Most weddings take place on the weekends – Saturday, in fact, seems to be the most popular choice. Weekday weddings are another possibility, but you have to be prepared for guests who simply can’t come because of their other commitments, such as work, school, kids, etc. The benefit of choosing a weekday wedding is that you’ll probably end up paying your wedding vendors less and you should have an easier time of booking the venues and vendors you want since demand during the week is significantly less.
Finally, you should consider asking around about good dates for the wedding. Of course, the final choice is yours and yours alone, but if you want as many people to show up as possible, it’s a good idea to learn about possible schedule conflicts when you can take steps to avoid them. You don’t have to ask everybody, but it’s a good idea to talk to your parents and to the people who will be in your wedding party, especially the best man and maid/matron of honor. If important guests will be coming from out of town, such as the grandparents, you may want to ask them when a good time would be, too.
Regardless of which date you finally decide on, stick to it. For the first few weeks after you start telling people when the wedding will be held, you’ll probably have people asking you to change the date for their convenience. Don’t do it (unless they are the parents or someone else paying for the wedding, of course). Only make date changes if you can’t book the venues you want for your reception or ceremony. Otherwise, that date should pretty much be set in stone.