Picking A Date: With 365 To Choose From, How Can You Go Wrong?
This isn’t just any date, this is your wedding day. The day you will remember for the rest of your life. The date your husband (or wife, whatever floats your boat!) better remember every year for the rest of his life if he doesn’t want to sleep on the couch.
No pressure or anything.
There are two ways to go about picking a date: 1) straight up choosing one and making your planning fit into it or 2) starting your planning and picking a date that fits with it. Which way you go depends on you and your style.
1) Straight up picking a date.
Maybe there’s a date that’s important to you two that you want to use. Perhaps you want to get married on the anniversary of when you met or when you started dating. Maybe you want to get married the same day your grandparents got married. Maybe you’re a stoner and think getting married on April 20th would be hilarious. Whatever the case is, if there’s a specific date you want, then go for it. Just be aware that you might have to compete with other couples for vendors (if it’s a so-called “trendy” date) or make choices based on what’s available.
2)Start planning, pick a date based on that.
If you’re the type of couple who doesn’t need a specific date and would rather put your emphasis on the sites or vendors you choose, then this is the way to go. Figure out a list of potential dates you would be okay with, and then decide which date-dependent aspect of your wedding is the most important to you. When you find something that fits in with your vision, check their available dates against the dates you’ve picked, and where they overlap is ultimately your date. If you’re lucky you still get a choice! Here you need to be aware that your plans will be very fluid until you make vendor choices and it will take longer for you to pick a final date.
Tim and I went with the second option because the date itself wasn’t a big deal to us. We made a list of every weekend from May through September (what we considered “summer months”), and started scratching them off based on any criteria we wanted. We kicked off weekends too close to our birthdays, holidays, all of July and August because “it’s way too hot out to be wearing 20 lbs of dress or a tux”, and ended up with 3 weekends to choose from: two in June and one in September. For us the two biggest date dependent details of the day were the reception site and the photographer, so we found one of each we liked, looked at their availability against our dates, and ultimately arrived at our June 9 date.
When you’re picking a date, be aware of what goes on around it, and keep in mind the group of people you’re inviting. If you pick a date that coincides with a massive festival in your area, it will be hard for your out-of-town guests to get a hotel. If you pick a date that overlaps a major religious holiday, some of your guests may not be able to make it.
On that note, be aware of holidays and “trendy” dates like 7/7/2007 or 8/9/2010 (yes I know we’re past those, but you get what I’m talking about). Trendy dates are popular, and vendors know it. They’re more likely to raise rates or tack on extra fees for the privilege of calling that your wedding day. Same goes for holidays. Choosing to host your wedding on/near a holiday provides its own set of challenges. While you may think you are doing your guests a favor by choosing a time when they may already be off of work, you could be dooming them to an entirely different set of troubles. Holidays are major travel weekends, and if you have out-of-town guests who will be driving or flying, they will have to deal with those raised prices for travel and lodging as well as the associated traffic. They may also have their own traditions for each of those holidays with their own families. By no means am I telling you to throw such dates out, but be aware of the extra concerns that accompany them.
Weddings are typically on Saturdays because that is usually the easiest time for it with regards to any traveling and time off, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be. A lot of places will offer lower rates for other days of the week, so if budget may be a concern, consider opting for a Friday or a Sunday. Be aware this may affect whether or not some of your guests can make it. Friday evening weddings or even Sunday brunch weddings are starting to become popular and are more budget friendly, though it does place some limitations on what you can do with other parts of your wedding (having a DJ come play “club” music for a 10AM reception doesn’t exactly go over well). Holding a middle of the week wedding is a pretty sure-fire way to end up with a lot of “decline with regrets” RSVPs, especially if you have a good number of out-of-town guests. Of course if you secretly want a small wedding and are inviting a lot of people out of necessity to keep the peace, this is a nice passive aggressive approach.
That last bit was supposed to be humorous and not necessarily advice.
So tell me, how are you going (or how did you go) about choosing your date?