What’s the first question you’ll be asked after you announce your engagement? Once the congratulations are over, a lot of people are going to want to know: have you set a date?
Setting a date for your wedding is important for several reasons. Not only does it give you time to emotionally prepare, but you’ll be able to start contacting vendors as well. While some couples may have a general season in mind, having a potential 365 different days to choose from can feel overwhelming at first.
Luckily, there are ways to pare down the list. Here are five tips for choosing your perfect wedding date.
1. Choose Your Wedding Season
It’s no secret that summer is a popular time to get married. June through October are typically the most popular months for marriage nationwide. However, this is by no means what you have to do. Some couples may prefer the holiday season, which lends itself to a festive atmosphere and family and friends already conveniently gathered in many cases. Others may prefer early spring as a way to save money without sacrificing quality.
Here’s our quick guide to choosing the right wedding season you should take a look at.
2. Know Which Days to Avoid
While a Valentine’s Day wedding might sound like the height of romance, take a minute to consider: will all your friends and family be willing to forgo their own celebrations that day? There are costs and benefits to having your wedding on holidays or around the same time as other popular celebrations.
The Knot’s list of wedding dates to avoid recommends consulting not only a calendar, but also taking the time to double check on important life events. Will your beloved high school be having a reunion that weekend? Does your best friend already have a family reunion scheduled? Informing yourself beforehand can help bypass schedule conflicts.
3. Pick a Date That Allows You Enough Time to Plan
As we’ve written before, you need time to plan a wedding successfully. If you’re getting engaged in the winter of 2015, then the winter of 2016 - or autumn, at earliest - is going to be the limit if you want to budget successfully while still having your pick of venues, caterers and time to find the dress, et cetera. Assume that you likely need a year of planning before the date, if not more (especially if you have your heart set on a particular venue!).
4. Look Over Your Special Dates
At this point you likely have an idea of the general time of year you want to get married, but you still want an exact date. One romantic idea for figuring this out is to consider the dates that are special for the two of you. For some people, it may be an obvious one - the day they met, the day they became engaged, or even just the day things became “Facebook official.” But there may be less obvious yet still touching dates (especially if you’re trying to match it to a weekend day!) worth considering.
If possible, see if you can track down the day of your first kiss, your first “I love you,” the first time you took a trip together - the possibilities are as endless as your memory can allow.
5. Don’t Forget Life After the Wedding
According to Honeymoons.about.com, approximately 1.4 million couples will go on a honeymoon after their wedding this year. Though it’s always an option to have your honeymoon a few months later, it’s not surprising that a lot of couples would prefer to stick to tradition on this one.
For this reason, you need to consult your calendar and look ahead not just for the wedding, but your travels afterward as well. Will you both have sufficient vacation time off from work? Will you have enough time to save money for the trip? Keep in mind as well that if your dream honeymoon has always been Venice, Italy, you may not want to go in December, when you’re likely to experience cold temperatures and a flooded city.
Picking a date isn’t always easy, but with these 5 tips, you’ll hopefully be able to settle on a date that you’re (hopefully!) going to have no trouble remembering for the rest of your life.