When you get engaged, one of the first questions family and friends will ask you is when the wedding will be. This can be a tricky question to answer because there are many factors to consider when choosing a wedding date, such as work or school schedules, venue availability and much more.
Decide How Long Your Engagement Should Be
You have spent hours online learning how to buy an engagement ring, gathering proposal ideas and reading relationship blogs, now it has all paid off, and you are engaged! So, when and how do you start planning the wedding? Your first step should be to grab a calendar for the next year and sit down with your significant other to brainstorm. An essential first criterion is how long you want to be engaged before tying the knot. This is a personal decision; some couples plan for engagement lengths in years while others count the months. Experts suggest you give yourself at least three months to plan the wedding, longer if you want a destination wedding or book a popular venue.
Cross-off Conflicting Days
Once you have skipped over your preferred engagement period, it is time to look at the conflicting days you and your partner may have. For instance, you may not want to get married on your birthdays or those of close friends and family. This is an excellent time to look at seasonal changes at work or school to judge how much time you can take off for the wedding and honeymoon. Many students will set the wedding date for soon after school ends in the summer so they can honeymoon and still have time to settle in before the next school year starts.
Discuss Significant Dates
In the opposite of the last step, now you will want to look at dates with significance to you and your partner. Some examples of this could be the anniversary of when you met, your first date or your proposal. Significant dates could also be March fourteenth if you are math lovers, days when the number of the month is the same as the day or the first day of the fall. If you are expecting, you will want to discuss whether you want the wedding before or after the birth.
Consider Location and Seasons
When and where you get married are a lot more important than just the date you put on the invitations, you will also need to reserve the venue for that date, decide on an indoor or outdoor ceremony and consider how far guests will be expected to travel. Destination weddings will need enough lead time for guests to make arrangements for travel and accommodations, outdoor weddings need to be planned for fair weather, and even a ceremony close to home will require some hotel availability for out-of-town family and friends. For example, if spring is convention season in your town, hotel availability will be scarcer the closer to a spring wedding date.
You will also need to factor in the venue, not just the city, because some are more popular. You may need to book a busy venue six or more months in advance, or your preferred location may only be available for weddings during specific times of the year.
Factor in the Honeymoon
Location and seasons will also play a role in when and where you plan your honeymoon, so you will want to decide on the best times to take that trip before you set the wedding date. For example, skiing honeymoons are best booked in the winter, and surfing ones should avoid stormy seasons. You do not have to leave for the honeymoon immediately after the ceremony, and many couples will even put the trip off for months or years.
Choosing a wedding date is a complicated and sometimes difficult task, but one you will be asked about every time someone learns that you are engaged. It is a good idea to sit down with your partner and discuss how long of an engagement you want, which days or seasons conflict with a wedding and when your preferred venue is typically booked.