How to Choose a Date for Your Wedding

A young married couple in their backyard wedding standing around candles and twinkle lights.

A date is a powerful thing. Since your wedding is something you will always look back upon fondly, you want to ensure the day was just perfect, and that starts with choosing a wedding date wisely. How do you make that a reality? To start, it’s important that you map out who you are as a couple and what you’re looking for out of your wedding. Here are some tips to narrowing down your choices for the perfect wedding date.

Consider How Long of an Engagement You Want

Think of the day you got engaged as a jumping off point to choosing a wedding date. What length of time do you want—or need—to have to plan for the big day? If your plans aren’t that big, then you can have your wedding sooner rather than later. If you’re having a large ballroom wedding with over 200 guests, then you may want to push the date back a bit to give yourself more time to make all the arrangements for such a large crowd.

What Seasons of the Year Do You Enjoy Most?

A bride and groom standing in the snow with friends surrounding them with sparklers.

Think about your likes and dislikes in terms of season and weather. What are your favorite times of the year? When do you feel happiest? Do you just love watching snow fall from a warm ski chalet? Then winter might be the right time of year for your wedding. (Now you’ve gotten your date down to a season, at least!) But what if you live in an area that basically has one climate all year round? This makes things a little tougher and easier all at once. You don’t have the weather to help narrow it down, but you don’t have to worry about the weather, either. You may also want to consider the practicality of certain times of the year for you and your partner. What time of year is least busy for your personal or work life? That might be a good time on the calendar to plan your wedding day.

Consider Future Wedding Anniversary Plans

Speaking of holiday wedding days, a holiday anniversary might not be ideal in the long run of your marriage. A lot of couples forget that their wedding date will dictate when they celebrate anniversaries every year. If you’re the kind of couple who wants to take vacations on their anniversary every year, you’ll watch the airline and hotel prices skyrocket right when you want to leave.

When considering potential wedding anniversary celebrations, it’s also important to pick a time of year that is convenient for both you and your partner. For instance, choosing a date in fall if one of you is a teacher might not be good in the long run; year after year you may be trying to celebrate your marriage while also getting a classroom going at the same time. That doesn’t leave much time (or energy!) for celebration.

Coordinate with Others Who Are Important to You

Hey, your wedding isn’t all about you. (Even though it kind of is.) The point is, there are tons of loved ones you will want there on your wedding day. It’s important to identify these key people and check dates with them. Maybe your parents are planning a vacation abroad during the summer, or your best friend is due with her first baby around the time you’re thinking of getting married. You may also want to compare potential wedding dates with other friends or family who are also engaged and planning a wedding so that there’s no overlap. Work with those important to you to figure out a date that works well for most.

Use the Potential Wedding Details as Inspiration

A bride and groom standing in a field with a bohemian floral bouquet.

If you’re still stumped on what date to choose, think of how you want your wedding to look and feel. The answer may come from the smallest of details, such as what colors you like. For instance, if you’re thinking of bright yellows and oranges and sunshine on your special day, you’ll probably be happy with a summer date. Spring works well if you imagine getting married surrounded by earth tones and delicate floral touches.

Then there’s the type of attire you’d like to see on yourself, your partner, and your party. If you’re picturing long gowns and dark suits, you might want a winter wedding. If you want to go with less formal attire for yourself or your bridal party, then summer or spring are more well suited for light-weight fabrics and short dresses.

Consider the Unknowns

When it comes to choosing a wedding date, you should keep in mind that no date will be absolutely perfect. For instance, if you have your wedding on a holiday weekend because it fits into your own personal work schedule, chances are some guests will have standing plans or otherwise won’t be able to come. And there are always a few unknowns. For instance, you may think that having a wedding in September is the perfect choice because it won’t be too hot or too cold. But tell that to my cousin, whose wedding was 90 degrees on September 15th in Michigan. It was a day that broke records and, well, let’s just say there wasn’t a dry pit in the crowd.

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