(cover photo by NBARRETT PHOTOGRAPHY not me)
Congrats on being engaged! As soon as you start sharing the news you will get two questions: How did he propose? And when is the wedding?
I remember being like, let me enjoy this! I had no clue how to choose a date; honestly I didn’t care, I just wanted to marry my best friend <3 Funny story what ended up happening actually. We chose a random Saturday in June just so family could make it when school was out. But a couple weeks before leap day, I realized it was leap year and told Ben we HAD to get married on leap day. So we put together a small elopement of sorts and made it happen! Then we still had the reception in June so everyone could be with us to celebrate.
My husband proposed on a whim with no ring. I had to work the next day but we had planned on going to the hot springs after. He bought a cheap ring to give to me until he found a nice one so he proposed again while we were hiking. When we first started telling everyone about our engagement I didn’t know how to respond to tell them we didn’t have a date nor did I know how to pick a good one. I mean your wedding date is pretty important as you will celebrate it the rest of your life!
After being a bride myself and now working with so many brides as a wedding photographer-here are some things to consider when picking your wedding date-
How long do you want to be engaged?
My husband and I could only make it a few months! We could not wait to be married 🙂 But if you can handle a longer time then go for it! A longer engagement can give you time to save up for your dream wedding and/or honeymoon. Extra time is also nice to get your life all in order so you two can start fresh together. But, there is nothing better than marrying your best friend!
What time of year?
Will the weather be okay for your ceremony and how do you want your pictures to look? In Arizona, wedding season is backwards because it is absolutely unbearable to be outside from June-September (triple digit heat). Will it be snowing where you want to get married, raining, monsoon season, too hot, too cold? Along with that, will your honeymoon weather be ideal? If you are travelling to the other side of the world, they may be in the opposite season than where you are. You would be surprised how many couples don’t think about this since they are planning in nice weather, they don’t consider the weather on their date.
Will the important people be able to make it?
Most people can get time off if you ask in advance, just keep them in mind when setting the date. Also consider your wedding vendors-would your wedding photographer/videographer/coordinator or even venue be open that date? I would suggest contacting the vendors as well to see their availability before you set the date- if you MUST have them.
Is there anything else happening on that date?
Is it a holiday where the streets will be packed? Someone’s birthday? Or a local event happening at that time? Nothing is worse than the street to your wedding being blocked on your big day for a city parade.
Here are a few ways you could select your wedding date!
Is there a date that is special to you two, like when you first met, the first date, or first kiss? This will make your day even more romantic and meaningful!
How about a unique day like:
- Leap Day
- March 4th into Eternity
- 3.14 Pie Day
- May the 4th be with you
- Consecutive numbers or repeating numbers like my sister got married on 12-12-12 and I have another that got married on 10-11-12
- What about a holiday? It makes it easy to remember! My grandparents got married on Valentine’s Day. I know plenty of people that got married on Halloween and Christmas and their wedding was themed to match so it was super cool. But on the flip side, those can be busy days so it can be hard to get around or for guests to attend. Plus you may have a harder time getting the wedding vendors you want to work on a holiday.
This will be what you need to pick out first, perhaps even before you pick your date. I would suggest choose a month you would like to get married then make sure your venue and wedding photographer are available for your date. If you have a dream place in mind contact them ASAP; popular wedding venues can get completely booked 1-2 years in advance-crazy right?! Also, most venues offer discounts for weekday weddings if you can swing it! Saturdays are by far the most expensive because they are the most in demand.
Once you have the place and the date contact these services ASAP, they are usually 1 person businesses so they tend to get booked up fast.
DO: Work Around what is most important to you! If you don’t have a special date you want, contact your wedding photographer or venue first to see when they are available. Then go from there.
DON’T: Worry if everyone on your guest list cannot make it. You can’t please everyone. This is your day! As long as the people you want there can make it you are golden. Hey, you can always elope.
Lastly, this is one of the first decisions you get to make together. I believe very strongly in preparing for your marriage not just a wedding. Use this time to deepen your communication skills with your partner. Learn to compromise. In the grand scheme of things, the date is much less important than you two continuing to grow in love with a lasting marriage.