Choosing the Wedding Date
Is there a day or date that has personal meaning to you/your fiancé?
- The day/date you met. This, of course, would be most romantic and meaningful as well.
- The day/date you became engaged/decided to get married? In some cultures, the couple marries a year or a year and a day from the day they become engaged.
- The anniversary date of a special moment or event in your relationship. Do you remember the day you first said, "I love you?" Or possibly there was a very specific event in which you realized you were in love and that you would be together always.
- A family anniversary/birthday, etc. Although not as common, you may want to honor an ancestor by marrying on their birthday or wedding date.
Do you/your fiancé have a favorite holiday or time of year?
- Having a wedding on a holiday used to be taboo, but now, it is becoming increasingly popular. Holiday weddings also lend themselves well to themes or at the least, are helpful when it comes to choosing decorations and possibly even attire.
- If not a particular holiday, maybe one or both of you loves a certain season or time of year. Have you ever considered wearing fur-trimmed capes and arriving to the ceremony in a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow? Are you both sun-worshippers and want to be married on the beach at sunset? What if you were married in a park, surrounded with the falling gold, orange, red and yellow leaves of Autumn? Or are you more traditional, and wish to marry in the Spring, with fresh flowers and sprigs of greenery and pastel fabrics all around?
Once you have narrowed down the day/date, there are some additional factors you may want/need to consider. Such as, is the day/date going to be convenient for you, your fiancé, any children, the wedding party, the family and guests? Possible conflicts to look at include:
- Work. Since most weddings are held on the weekend, this may not be a factor. However, if you are thinking of having your ceremony during the week, or if you have out-of-town guests coming to your wedding, this may be an issue. Also consider if you are going to need time off for a honeymoon.
- School. Same as for work.
- Previous commitments. Make sure you have not volunteered to work the fall festival at your son's school that weekend. Or possibly that is the weekend of your company's softball team finals (and you're the shortstop).
- Special family dates. Is that the weekend of your niece's high school graduation? Or maybe that's the anniversary of Uncle Harry's death. You may want to contact a few close family members to ask them to help you look at possible family conflicts.
- Is there enough time to plan the type of wedding you would like? The larger/more complicated the wedding, the more time you will need to plan and the further in advance you will need to book vendors.
- Is the time of year popular for weddings? If you are choosing a more popular time of year for your wedding, such as June, you will need to book vendors, halls, officiants, etc., as much as a year in advance.
- Is there enough time for out-of-town guests to make arrangements? If you are going to have quite a few out-of-town guests, realize they need to schedule time off from work, make travel and lodging arrangements, etc. If you expect them to attend, it is only polite to give them a fair amount of notice to plan. This becomes even more important if you are going to ask people to travel on a major holiday weekend.
- Have you considered the weather/climate for that time of year? Realizing that you may have chosen that time of year because of the weather, will it be inconvenient for people traveling? (e.g., winter and snow.) If you are planning a beautiful outdoor ceremony during the rainy season in your area, you probably should have a back-up plan to hold the ceremony indoors.
- If you live in a tourist area, have you considered the tourist season(s)? Again, this could interfere with travel and/or lodging arrangements for out-of-town guests, not to mention availability of facilities for the actual wedding or reception.
- Seriously consider scheduling the ceremony on a day other than Saturday. Most couples choose Saturday because of tradition more than any other reason. The "tradition" is that the churches had services on Sunday, so Saturday was the only time the minister and the church were available. If you are not going to use a church for the ceremony, and more and more couples are not, you can save quite a lot of money by scheduling the ceremony on a Sunday (or even during the week.) In some areas, the savings is substantial.
And finally, most, if not all of the above need to be considered for the honeymoon as well. Many couples nowadays are putting off their honeymoon for a short time to take advantage of price savings, availability of locations, or to best schedule time off from work. This may give you more leeway in planning your honeymoon.
(A brief note about postponing the honeymoon: If you are going to put off the honeymoon for a more convenient time, it is important to book it like all the other aspects of the wedding and schedule it not too long after the wedding. Otherwise, it is too easy to talk yourself out of it, thinking that the money could be used for better things, you'll have plenty of time next year, etc., and then never actually get around to taking one.)
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