How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Date
You know that things have got real when it comes time to choose your wedding date. You’re no longer discussing hypotheticals: once the venue is booked and the date is settled, wedding planning gets serious. It’s both an exciting and slightly daunting moment.
But how do you actually decide when to get married? It’s such an important decision. After all, the time of year can have a huge impact on what your wedding is like. It will also be the date of your wedding anniversary, every year from now until the end of time. You’d better make it a good one!
Here are 10 tips which will help you decide on the perfect wedding date.
1. Consult Your Budget
Did you know that weddings can actually cost more or less money depending on when they take place? The same wedding, held at the same venue, with the same number of guests, can cost thousands of pounds more if it’s held during ‘peak wedding season’.
So, consult your budget. Figure out how much money you have available to spend on your wedding, and this will help you decide on a rough time of year.
Summer weddings, or weddings on holidays (e.g. Christmas Day) tend to be the most expensive. Weddings held in the colder, darker and rainier months (January, for example) are cheapest. Likewise, weddings on Saturdays and Sundays are more expensive than weekdays, as they are highest in demand.
3. Choose Your Ideal Season
Now it’s time to think about the season you’d like to get married in. For example: what would you like to wear? If you picture yourself spending your wedding day in a light, floaty, sleeveless frock, you should probably avoid getting married in the winter (otherwise you’ll freeze). But if you’d love to wear a luxurious faux-fur wrap, tying the knot in the heat of summer may be a mistake.
Do you plan to get married outdoors? If so, research which month has the lowest level of rainfall in your area. Also, consider your colour scheme, and how it will work in each season. Bright, neon colours ‘pop’ best in bright summer sunshine, whereas autumnal coppers and greens would look out of place.
4. Be Mindful of Family Commitments
Next, do some research into the birthdays and wedding anniversaries of your close friends and family (particularly those who will be involved in the wedding, such as your bridesmaids and ushers). Try to avoid choosing a wedding date that is too close to any of these important events – especially not the same day. At the same time, be mindful of:
• Anyone in your circle that’s currently expecting a baby. When are they due? Don’t get married too close to the due date (either side) or they may not be able to attend.
• Any guests who are currently engaged. You don’t want to accidentally book your venue on the same day as another family member’s wedding! (And if they got engaged first, it’s polite to let them get married first, too – unless they’re planning on a very long engagement).
5. Research Local Events
Now think about what may be happening in the city or town where your wedding will take place. Are there any local events that happen on the same time each year, which may interfere with your wedding?
For example, does your town have an annual carnival, funfair or summer fete that the whole town likes to get involved in? If so, it’s best to avoid getting married on that date. Are you getting married in a city that’s home to a top tier football team? You may wish to avoid getting married on a Saturday during the football season, otherwise traffic may be unbearable.
6. Plan Around Work Schedules
Next think about what time of year, and day of the week, would work best for your work schedules. Not only yours and your future spouse’s, but your guests’, too. For people that work Monday to Friday, getting married on a Saturday makes the most sense – it’s not a workday, and you won’t have to get up early the next morning.
However, if one of your wedding party VIPs has a job with an unconventional schedule, it’s best to liaise with them first. People who work in hospitality often have to work Saturdays and Sundays, as they’re the busiest shifts.
Consider whether you (and your guests) will be able to have time off around your wedding, especially if you/they need to travel. For example, you may struggle to get time off in December if you work in retail.
Also, be mindful of any school-aged children that might be invited to your wedding. They probably won’t be able to attend if the wedding is on a school day in term-time.
7. Decide on the Length of Your Engagement
How long do you want to be engaged for? This may not be of much importance to you, but some people have big opinions on the length of their engagement. Around 1 year is average, with anything longer than 2 years classified as a “long engagement”.
If you have a rigid idea of how long you want your engagement to be, you may be forced into getting married at a certain time of year, depending on when the proposal was. If you’re more flexible and don’t mind how long you’re engaged for, you’ll have more options for your wedding date.
Bear in mind, also, how long it will take you to save up the money needed. Figure out when you’ll be financially ready to get married, and this will give you a rough idea of when you can tie the knot. (If in doubt, give yourself more time.)
8. Choose a Memorable or Meaningful Date
Your wedding doesn’t have to take place on a day that’s already meaningful or memorable. After all, once you get married on that date, it will become meaningful to you! However, lots of couples like to get married on a date which holds some special significance for them. You could, for example, get married on the anniversary of your first date, your first kiss, or the date that you moved in together.
Another thing to consider: are you (or is your future spouse) the kind of person who easily forgets important dates, such as birthdays? If so, to avoid any future “I forgot our anniversary” drama, you may wish choose an easy-to-remember date. For example, the 6th of the 6th – or a date that is the same forwards and backwards, like 5/2/25.
9. Consider Lucky and Unlucky Numbers
If you’re not a superstitious person, the concept of ‘lucky’ and ‘unlucky’ dates probably won’t matter much to you. But if you come from a culture that places importance on certain numbers, it may be something to consider when deciding on your wedding date. For example:
• In several East Asian countries, the number 4 is seen as unlucky, because it’s pronounced similarly to the word for ‘death’. Number 7 is also unlucky in China, as is the entire month of July, which is known as ‘ghost month’.
• Many people in the Western world believe that the number 13 is unlucky, and avoid getting married on the 13th (especially Friday the 13th).
• Astrology teaches that some numbers are lucky and unlucky depending on your star sign. This can also vary from year to year – for example, an Aquarius’s lucky numbers in 2020 will be different in 2021.
10. Liaise with Your Venue and Suppliers
Once you have a good idea of roughly when you’d like to get married, the last thing to do is to discuss it with your potential wedding venue(s) and suppliers. If you get lucky, your favourite venue will be available on your chosen date!
If not, you’re going to have to decide what’s more important to you: the venue or the date. If you are 100% strict on your date, you may have to go with your second or third choice venue. If you are set on a particular venue, you’ll have to choose a different date. The wedding suppliers come next, such as the caterer, florist, and band or DJ. It may take some time, but you’ll eventually find the perfect date that works for everyone.