For all of those couples that have just gotten engaged over the holidays, Huffpost has put out a pretty solid article on choosing your wedding date. Don't forget about us when you are ready to RELAX on your wedding day!
Step #1: Take the weather into account.
The most popular months to get married are June, September, and October and it's no surprise why -- the weather is absolutely beautiful in early summer and fall. In general, you can plan for weather based on past records and standards, but always remember to continue to track it throughout your planning process as well.
I've planned weddings where we've encountered some unseasonably strange weather -- those of you who live in California remember that December/January heat wave we had! -- and the best way to deal with it is to add some cushion in your wedding budget for items like throws or fans. Think about your guests and their comfort level.
Step #2: Consider all the factors of an off-season date.
Getting married in January or March might help cut your rental venue fee down but you have to be prepared to make sacrifices in other areas. For example, let's say that peonies are your absolute favorite flower and you can't imagine having a bouquet with anything else. Depending on the time of year, it may be hard (if not impossible) for your florist to find them at a price that fits your budget. (In general, off-season flowers are incredibly expensive.)
The same concept applies for Friday vs. Saturday weddings. Although a venue might be able to give you a break on their minimums for a Friday reception, be aware that the rest of your wedding vendors might not be able to.
Step #3: Lead the date selection process by creating a list of what you envision for your wedding day.
Imagine that your wedding day has finally arrived -- what do you see? A lush rose garden as the backdrop for your ceremony? Vineyards dripping with grapes ready for harvest? Snow-covered mountaintops? By narrowing down your potential wedding date to one season (or two), you can cut down your options in half.
Step #4: Think twice before getting married on a major holiday.
In addition to Christmas, Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, you may also want to reconsider tying the knot on religious holidays, event weekends (depending on your location), major sporting events, Father's Day and other holidays of this nature, and September 11th.
Although holiday weddings can be super fun and festive, your wedding date is something you want to celebrate for years to come because of the meaning behind it -- not because it was also New Year's Eve. Another thing to keep in mind is the significant costs that are associated with holidays weddings. For example, the price of roses during Valentine's Day is unbelievable, so having them at your big day could really put a dent in your overall budget.
But perhaps the biggest factor to consider is your guests. As much as they love you, do they really want to spend a major holiday celebrating you instead of being able to celebrate them? Yes, your wedding is about the two of you, but you also want to make it an event that your guests are excited about and can afford to attend. Hotels, flights and car rentals can all get very expensive, especially during a holiday weekend.
Step #5: Focus on what you want your wedding day to be and how to portray that in a date.
At this stage, you should have your potential dates narrowed down to a month or two and this is where it gets fun! Within the months that made it to the final round, are there any dates that are meaningful to you as a couple or as individuals? Do you want to honor a family member who is no longer alive by getting married on their birthday or anniversary? Are there any dates you want to avoid?
Step #6: Give yourself plenty of time and don't rush it!
I have planned full weddings in just a few months and we've all seen how weddings can be pulled together within weeks on TV. However, what you might not be aware of is the cost that it takes to ensure that a big celebration can be executed quickly.
When a bride reaches out to me and asks if we can plan her big day in a short amount of time, I always tell her that anything is possible, but there might be areas that she will have to sacrifice. For example, a custom wedding gown can take over a year to create, depending on what you want. Also, your custom logoed favors, centerpieces or invitations may not end up exactly how you had planned.
The moral of the story is to make sure you give yourself enough time to plan for the things that are truly important to you, whether it's incorporating lace from your mom's dress to use in your own gown or getting hand-crafted favors from your favorite travel destination.
Step #7: Be Flexible
Now, depending on what other aspects of your wedding are important, you might want to keep an open mind to a few dates. What if your dream venue is booked or your favorite photographer is out of town? Better yet, what about the important people in your family? You will want to make sure they can attend! Is your cousin getting married across the country, close to the date you want. Better re-think. You don't want to put family members in a pinch by asking them to travel twice in two months.