Have you set a date yet? I feel like this is easily one of the top questions asked after you get engaged, perhaps right after being asked about how the proposal went down. Getting engaged is an exciting thing, so family and friends asking (tons of) questions and being curious about all the fun details is a normal reaction.
I’ve been chatting with some excited newly engaged couples who haven’t quite landed on a date yet. If you’re like them, recently engaged and don’t have a date nailed down yet, don’t panic! Enjoy the excitement a little and when you’re ready to pick a date, here are some tips to consider:
What’s Already on Tap: This may be an obvious place to start, but look at your schedules – work, school, and current obligations already on the calendar. My husband worked in NASCAR when we got engaged, so we were pretty bound by the (long) race schedule. (Seriously, it’s one of the longest professional sports seasons. We used to joke it runs from Valentine’s Day to Thanksgiving!) That left us the options of getting married on the rare off-weekend, or waiting for the off season. We opted for the off season.
Take stock of what commitments and obligations you both might have, and consider what might work best for the people that you both feel are crucial to being there with you on your wedding day. NOTE: You will NOT please everyone with your wedding date and will drive yourself crazy trying to do so. Go with what works for YOU and what makes YOU happy, what works for those that you couldn’t imagine not being there, and set the date.
Budget + Don’t Rule Out Winter: It’s important to talk about the financial aspect early, too. A lot of couples don’t necessarily have a solid idea of what costs are associated with weddings, which is fine (and something we can help you with, too!). But it’s important to have this discussion between the two of you, consider what you might be contributing, and then have that conversation with who else might be contributing as well.
And how does this fit into picking a wedding date? There are definitely peak times of the year to get married – like May, June, September, October. Don’t rule out the winter. If you are open to it, some venues offer “off-season” rates for months like December, January and even February. This may vary by market, and of course, will vary by venue. But it’s worth keeping in mind while you weigh when to get married.
Be Open Minded: So maybe you don’t have a date picked, but you have your heart set on a certain venue. You reach out only to discover it’s booked solid every Saturday already. Have to have that venue? Be open minded. Ask if they are open to Friday or Sunday weddings. (I really, really, really think a brunch wedding would be fun. Any takers?!)
Mother Nature: She sure can be unpredictable. But let’s be honest. We all know it’s hot in the summer in the south. I never, ever want to crush anyone’s dreams of an outdoor wedding in July. I just always encourage clients to really think through what they – and their guests! – might experience. (Like…lots of sweating.) Consider what kind of experience is important to you and your guests, and how the weather might impact that.
And speaking of weather, we always come up with inclement weather plans especially with any wedding or event with a portion of it outdoors. Because…rain. If tenting isn’t your jam or in your budget, then focus on finding a venue with plenty of space to move things indoors should the need arise.
We know there are so many factors that can go into picking your wedding date. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, let us help you. That’s what we are here for!