How to Choose a Wedding Date

Making the right decision can be easy if you take the time to think about it

By Yu Qing

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Your wedding date not only affects the amount of time you have to plan, but also influences the type, size and location of your wedding. Take a number of factors into consideration before you settle on a date, and then work quickly to get it.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Address personal concerns, such as religious holidays and symbolic days, to set a wedding date that's thoughtfully chosen for you and your guests.
  • Consider using a wedding planner if you haven't already: they can very useful for figuring out what dates to avoid.
  • Venues and caterers are the biggest concerns when it comes to having a wedding.

Step 1:

Narrow down your options by first considering a symbolic date. This has the advantage of adding a sentimental touch to this important occasion. Consider the anniversary of your first date or your parents' wedding anniversary. Explore your cultural backgrounds. The Japanese, for example, select an auspicious date with a koyomi, or ancient astrological calendar. You can mention the symbolic value of the date on your wedding invitations to inform guests of its meaning. Plan well in advance to book the venue for a particular date.

Step 2:

Select the right season. Along with the actual date, the season you select greatly influences the mood and style of a wedding. Consider the personality you want to portray: a December wedding evokes the excitement of the holiday season, while a June wedding enjoys the sunny cheer of summer days. The weather also dictates whether the wedding can be held indoors or outdoors.

Step 3:

Ask close friends and family. There are important guests for every couple, such as immediate family and best friends, who must be there to witness your most important day. Ask for their schedules to make sure they are available. But ask people only within your close circle. It's difficult to accommodate people beyond that. When you ask other people, guests will think that the date is flexible and encourage you to set the wedding date to suit their schedules. Consider holding a separate family-only wedding if an important relative can't attend the ceremony on the confirmed date; then, just have the wedding reception on the original date.

Step 4:

Consider your budget. If expenses are an important concern, select a date in a less costly season. It is more costly to book a date during popular wedding seasons, such as summer and fall. Likewise, weekend dates are more expensive than weekdays. If you're not attached to a specific date, less-popular seasons and days can open up many possibilities. Venues that are usually difficult to book are more likely to have openings during these times.

Step 5:

Consider holidays to add a festive spirit to your wedding day. Valentine's Day -- a day a love -- is a timely occasion to celebrate the union of two people. Or, select a date near Christmas to take advantage of the holiday cheer. A benefit of holding your wedding on a holiday is that guests have time off to attend your wedding. Conversely, some guests may already have plans for a holiday weekend. Another consideration is the fact the other couples will also have the same idea, especially in the case of days like Valentine's Day.

Step 6:

Avoid bad wedding dates. For example, the weekend before tax day is a terrible time to get married. It is stressful for everyone, and you might be too busy to see to the final wedding logistics. Moreover, consider religious occasions that guests will observe. You don't want your wedding to be a schedule conflict for many guests and prevent them from attending.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Try to avoid popular holidays or seasons as much as possible. You'll have to compete with other couples for venues and resources otherwise.
  • Don't change your mind after you set the date and waste time.
  • Be flexible to a degree: If you really want a Valentine's Day wedding be open to the idea of having it further down the line than you anticipated such as one year ahead, instead of the year that you got engaged.

About the Author

Yu Qing is a freelance writer and has worked in the bridal jewelry and event planning industries.

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