You're engaged? Congratulations! When's the wedding? Kidding - we know this question makes you panic. BUT your wedding date is the first question that will be asked by your family, and friends - guaranteed! Picking a date goes hand-in-hand with booking a venue - once you have a signed contract with the venue, your date is officially set.
H O W S O O N S H O U L D I P I C K A W E D D I N G D A T E ?
The process as to how soon one should pick a wedding date varies couple to couple, but a good place to start is to consider how long you want to be engaged, and how much time you need to devote to planning (remember a wedding costs money). If you're looking to get married within two years we urge couples to book their venue/set their date ASAP, because venues book quick! Giving yourself at least a year to plan is idea and can be helpful for most couples. It gives you time to check everything off your list - from finding a dress (which can take 9-11 months), to booking your photographer, and much more.
Let's do it! Get your calendars ready, it's time to pick a wedding date!
1. B R A I N S T O R M A N Y D A T E S T H A T A R E S Y M B O L I C T O Y O U
How romantic would it be to marry on the anniversary of your first date? While you may not be able to marry on the date you want, because that date may fall on a Monday, or like we previously mentioned, the venue you love may already be booked, BUT you likely can get close. It's important to know, if you're married to a specific date (pun intended), you may be somewhat limited with venue options.
2. P I C K Y O U R D E S I R E D W E D D I N G S E A S O N
If you don't necessarily have a date(s) in mind, and have some flexibility we recommend choosing a season. We're based out of Kentucky, so for our couples who are set on getting married outside (ceremony, reception or both), we remind them the pros/cons of each season. Weather not only affects your wedding style and location, but it can also help set a mood. If you love freshness and pastels, a spring wedding might be for you. Maybe you like bold colors, and tropical inspired cocktails, stick with a summer wedding. Rich colors, nostalgia, and apple cider are perfect for a fall wedding. Dreaming of snowfall, holiday sparkle and romance? Consider a winter wedding. Fun fact, nationally fall is currently the most popular time of the year for weddings, and October specifically the most popular month.
3. C O N S I D E R P E A K V S. O F F - P E A K D A T E S
Your budget has a big say in your wedding date. Peak season is typically between April/May and runs through October, so inevitably you can expect to may more during those high demand months. Not to forget, you will have to compete with other couples for your venue, and your vendors. If you're looking to save on your wedding, choose a date in the off-season. Keep in mind though, while the low season for wedding is typically the winter months, December pending the venue can be in high demand due to holidays, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Days of the week also matter, Saturdays carry the heftiest price tag, for some couples a Friday/Sunday wedding makes sense.
4. I S A H O L I D A Y W E D D I N G F O R Y O U ?
If you've always wanted a Christmas tree at your wedding, December is the month for you. Have a Fourth of July celebration with flags, BBQ, and fireworks. Look at your calendar closely, because some holidays fall on a long weekend, making it easier for out-of-town guests to attend. On the flip slide, some guests may not want to give up their holiday weekend or family traditions. For us personally, we don't book weddings on a holiday weekend, for that exact reason (we use that time to spend it with our family).
5. C H E C K T H E C A L E N D A R F O R O T H E R L O C A L E V E N T S
Every city is different, and certain weekends may be busier than others. Be sure to check the calendar to learn when major sporting events, graduations, concerts, or festivals are happening. In Kentucky, in May good luck getting a hotel room because of the Kentucky Derby.
6. F I N D T H E P E R F E C T W E D D I N G V E N U E
Now that you have a few possible dates in mind, you can start reaching out to venues and schedule tours. Of course, before scheduling a tour, ask about their availability. If a venue is completely booked during your chosen season or dates, you won't want to move forward. However, if you have already fell in love with a venue online, you might consider taking another look at the calendar to see if you can make a date work. As discussed, flexibility can be the key here, so don't shrug off Friday/Sunday or off-season dates.