Without a doubt one of the first questions you will get asked as soon your engagement is known is ‘So when’s the big day?’
While it’s highly unlikely you’ll have thought this far ahead everyone else you know will have. Setting a date for your wedding unfortunately isn’t as simple as picking the number you like best and it is not something you should rush into. There are quite a few considerations you will need to make before you can contemplate locking in the wedding date.
Your Wedding Ceremony Vision
To begin narrowing down your date you will need to take a moment to think about how you envision your big day will progress. Have you been dreaming about tying the knot on a beautiful sun kissed summer day for as long as you can remember or does a cosy winter ambiance suit you best? Figuring out your season preference is the first step to picking your ideal wedding date.
Deciding upon the season can affect the types of locations you select and can determine whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding. Perhaps you are particularly fond of wedding photos taken in front of rich autumn foliage or you love the look of a bridal gown with long lace sleeves. Whatever the case may be that influences your decision you have to really consider your wedding vision and what your heart is set on in order to establish your perfect date.
When planning destination weddings be sure to check their climate and conditions to pick a date when the weather will be at its best. A part of your vision will also involve determining what time of the day you will be holding your ceremony and subsequent reception. Some couples stick with the common time slot of an afternoon ceremony followed by an evening reception while some couples prefer a morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception.
The Impact of Your Wedding Budget
Your wedding budget may also influence what time of year you decide to wed. This is because if you have your heart set on a grand affair or a particular venue but don’t have the budget to match you should instead enquire about whether that is a set rate all year round. You might just find that your dream venue actually fits within your budget during the winter months or what’s better known as off peak season.
Once you have decided upon what season you will tie the knot, you will need to consider the public holidays that are within that period.
Securing a venue and suppliers might be difficult on or near a public holiday and they may also charge higher rates so be mindful of this. On the plus side however guests are more likely to already have time off from work and will not need to request any more. If you are holding your wedding where travel will be required be mindful that travel times and costs will be heightened around public holidays.
If you wish to honeymoon straight after the wedding also consider if you will be able to take time off from work during that particular period. This can greatly affect the date you select.
Important Dates Surrounding Your Wedding
You should also consider whether there will be any major sporting events in that time. Even if you’re not a fan you’re bound to have family members and friends who are. You don’t want to have guests distracted or disgruntled on your big day so think ahead. Sports fans are passionate so don’t be surprised if you do decide to plan your wedding day for the same day as a major sporting event that you get a few guests declining your invitation.
Being aware of if there are any local or community events within the area you wish to wed is also important especially if you are getting married in a public garden or park. This can affect travel times, photos and the overall ambiance of your location
Aside from public dates you should also be marking dates off the calendar that are significant for you and your guests. Such dates will include work commitments, milestone birthdays, planned holidays, baby due dates and other family celebrations.
For instance other weddings in the family or your parents/grandparents wedding anniversaries should be prioritised. Friends normally follow similar paths in life and it is highly likely that you’ll be getting married in the same 1-2 year period as your closest friends. If this is the case it is important to ensure that you leave enough of a gap between weddings so that guests can accommodate both dates.
Another vital consideration that often affects weddings is that of the health of you, your fiancée and any significant relatives of friends. You may want to bring the date of your wedding forward to ensure someone close to you with ailing health is able to attend.
Wedding Venue and Vendors
The availability of your chosen wedding venue or certain vendors, in particular your photographer who can be booked 12 months out may impact the wedding date you select. You will need to coordinate your reception and ceremony by figuring out what time you will hold your wedding ceremony, if the location is available and if your marriage celebrant is available.
Your celebrant may be overseeing more than one wedding or your ceremony location especially if it is being held in a church may be having more than one wedding in the same day. Hence you should always have a backup date in case your original wedding date doesn’t work for your venue, suppliers or important guests.