Choosing Your Wedding Date
Choosing a wedding date is one of the most important planning decisions that you’ll have to make as a couple — it will impact every other aspect of your big day. Approach the decision methodically and you will come out the other side with a date that works for you both logistically and emotionally.
THINGS TO CONSIDER AS YOU TRY TO FIND “THE DATE”
Consider the style of wedding you’d like to have and the right season for it as you begin to think about your wedding date. Likewise, weddings planned on Holidays such as Christmas or the 4th of July Weekend can work wonderfully well in terms of having loved ones at home. Do consider though that venue fees may be higher.
Peak season is always going to be more expensive than the end of the off-season. If you’re on a tight budget, consider marrying in the off-season. Also remember that most venues offer an “any day of the week except Saturday” discount. Friday or Sunday weddings can be ideal.
Has your fantasy always been a destination wedding? You will need to research the weather in your target locations before making any commitments. Also, keep in mind the flexibility of your wedding guests. Age or illness may keep many at home.
Consider the time off you will need for the pre-wedding activities as well as the honeymoon well ahead of time and in consideration of peak times within your profession.
You may choose to marry on a day that’s significant for you – perhaps the anniversary of the first time you met, or your first date, or on a date that’s special to your family, like your grandparents’ wedding anniversary, for example. You can explain the significance of your chosen date in your program, on you wedding website, or somewhere else at your wedding.
Guest and Family Schedules
Although the date must suit both of you first and foremost, you also need to consider other significant family and friend events within the year. The weekend after Dad’s Surprise 60th Birthday Party may put too much strain on everybody involved. Likewise, you also may need to take into account the health of elderly grandparents and others that you desperately want involved.
Many traditional wedding venues book weddings 12 to 18 months in advance, though non-traditional venues may be more flexible. If you have your heart set on a particular venue, make sure you enquire with enough lead time.
On occasions, there may be a particular photographer, band or makeup artist you are determined to work with. Do nail their availability early on.
Planning Time Required
Planning a wedding is hard work, and you’ll want to give yourself enough time to do the job right. If you’re planning an intimate, laid-back soiree, you can probably be a little more relaxed, but if you’re hoping for a luxurious event with hundreds of guests, you’ll want to get a running start months in advance.
ANNOUNCING YOUR WEDDING DATE
Generally the first people you should tell will be your parents, preferably in person but over the phone is fine, if they live far away.
After your parents, the next people to inform of your wedding date are your maid of honour, the best man, and your siblings.
Your other guests will probably hear the news on the grapevine, and you can tell them when you happen to see or speak to them, but it’s not necessary to inform them officially until you send your save the date cards or your invitations.
DO WE NEED TO SEND SAVE THE DATE CARDS?
Sending a card to announce your wedding date around six months in advance is becoming more common for several reasons. With an increase in destination weddings, guests may need more time to make travel arrangements and to request time off work.
As your guests have busier schedules, it’s a good idea to let them know your wedding date as soon as possible; especially if you are getting married in high wedding or holiday season.
Remember, if you send someone a save the date card, you are obliged to invite them to the wedding so finalise your guest list before you send out save the date cards and don’t send them to your reserve list.
Also be clear about who will be invited on your save the date cards to avoid confusion (ie children).