Wedding Planning Wednesdays: Picking a Wedding Date and Timelines

So it’s official, Sunny and I have started planning our wedding! We’ve decided to bring our readers an eight part series that discusses our wedding planning experience, in hopes that we can bring you fresh ideas, tips and fun wedding planning stories! Our Wedding planning posts will be up on the blog every Wednesday for the next eight weeks! Please leave us your thoughts, questions and comments along the way!

One of the first decisions we and most couples must make is choosing the time of year that you want your wedding to take place. Perhaps you like the Spring time when the flowers are blooming and the weather is warm. Or maybe you’ve always wanted a real life winter wonderland theme and therefore plan a December or January wedding. Whichever season you pick it’s important to consider a few key things.

It is important to decide how long of an engagement you want to have and how long it will take for you to be able to plan the wedding and/or reception.

Some vendors/services you may need to book for your wedding:

  1. Venue
  2. Caterer
  3. Photographer!
  4. DJ
  5. Florist
  6. Wedding Planner
  7. Videographer
  8. Lighting
  9. Makeup Artist
  10. Priest
  11. Clothing

You will have a general idea of what month you will be able to schedule your wedding, quickly narrowing things down from 365 days to chose from to just a few months time to select your wedding date.  Sunny and I knew we wanted an autumn wedding, once we had that figured out we were able to drill the wedding date down further by taking the following into consideration:

Holidays. Holidays work for some couples and not at all for others. Sometimes for large weddings a three day weekend is ideal, especially if several guests are coming from out of town. Other times planning a wedding on or around a holiday can be difficult as guests may find it hard to attend because of prior family and social obligations. Travel may be more difficult if the wedding is near a big travel holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. In addition, it may be difficult to find an officiant to perform the service if you are not having your ceremony in a church. Finally, rental and other service’s prices are often higher on holidays because the staff would not typically be working. Also you may want to avoid April Fool’s Day or the day of a major sporting event such as the Super Bowl.

Additionally, if you have the type of job that gets hectic during certain times of the year (for example, accountants during tax season or florists around Mother’s Day), you will probably want to avoid picking those times too. You may also want to consult the Farmer’s Almanac for weather, since it’s about 75% accurate even if you check it a year in advance.

Family. What would a wedding be without family and friends?
Consult Key Participants! If your sister will be in the midst of college finals, or your parents will be on the other side of the globe vacationing, that’s not a good wedding date. Don’t worry about too many people, only those who absolutely must be there. It’s good to consider your guests and take point of any noticeable conflicts such as final exams for school. June is usually a good month. A summer wedding can be beautiful, kids aren’t in school and there is no major holiday in June.

Dream Location. If you have your heart set on having your wedding at your church, synagogue, or temple, the availability will probably play a large part in the date you select. Popular venues can book years in advance, so if you’ve already got a location and style in mind, immediately check in with them to find out which dates are available.  This is also true for your wedding reception location. If you have always dreamed of having an outdoor reception in a local garden, book as soon as possible! Venues like this are generally best at certain times of the year and they tend to book quickly.

Once you know the available dates for your ceremony and reception locations, you can find the dates that both are available and go from there.

Special Dates.  Auspicious dates are favored in many cultures. For example, one Chinese custom involves choosing a wedding date with only even numbers (or as many as possible); another custom finds that Irish people favor New Year’s Eve as a lucky wedding date.  Astrological dates are another option for those who are fervent believers in this practice. This involves visiting an astrologer and providing him or her with each party’s personal details (including date of birth, time of birth, and place of birth). The astrologer then chooses a date and time that will best benefit the couple from an astrological standpoint.

You and your fiancé can sit down together and do the same things we did, and take all the factors included above into consideration and not only is it fun and exciting to talk about your wedding and the wedding date, but you should be able to really narrow down your perfect wedding date pretty quickly!

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