The first task in planning a wedding is picking an ideal wedding date. Before planning details, picking vendors or doing anything else — couples should take a moment to choose a specific date; even an “ideal” placeholder wedding date that may change later on. It streamlines conversations with vendors and eliminates a lot of back and forth. So, before reaching out to venues, or even getting quotes, it’s important to determine what your “ideal” wedding date might be.
Go ahead and sit down with your soon-to-be spouse. Talk through what is most important to you. It may also be smart to consult any family members who may be helping pay for the wedding. Ask for their opinions, especially ask for any other events that you may have to plan around. A few things to ask each other:
- What season do you imagine getting married in?
- What temperature would be ideal for you?
- How do you feel about getting married on a holiday?
- Do you want to avoid holidays?
- Are there any specific (e.g., work, birthday, travel) dates that need to avoided?
- Does cost determine when or what season to get married? Some couples get married in the off (usually winter) season to take advantage of off-season rates.
- Are you willing to get married on a Friday or Sunday? Strictly shopping around to Saturdays (especially summer months) will most likely inflate the budget.
After having this conversation, you should be able to narrow down at least a specific season, and a couple weekends within that season. Finalize on 3 or 4 “ideal” wedding dates. Once you have finalized on those dates you can now reach out to wedding venues or ask vendors for quotes. A few reasons why simply having an ideal wedding day is helpful during the planning process:
- Both you and your soon-to-be spouse are on the same page about potential wedding days. This understanding could avoid any potential disagreements.
- Wedding venues will be able to provide their availability promptly, instead of going back and forth. This will eliminate stress and anxiety, as well as make the search process a little easier. Actually, most wedding venues may even tell you in a roundabout way to just pick a day!
- You avoid any surprises down the road. For example, let’s say you are trying to avoid holidays, but the venue is available March 17th. In your excitement you don’t realize that you just booked your Wedding Date on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Avoid the Chicken or The Egg situation, Pick an ideal wedding date
The reality of the situation is — you need a preliminary wedding date. Even if it’s not “final” you do need a date to provide vendors and venue. Without that ideal wedding date, you’ll most likely find yourself in a which comes first, the chicken or the egg scenario. Just make a decision so you can at least get some pricing information back from venues, vendors and move forward with the other parts of planning. It’s important to finalize the date as much as you can, even narrowing it to a season. But at the very least use a temporary or ideal date if you can’t finalize one right away. It makes working with others much easier, and you might find that picking an “ideal” date pushes you to make a decision faster later on.
It’s always good practice to open a calendar and see the surrounding dates, both the weekend before and after your ideal wedding date. This may give you clues as to what the surrounding area may be up to. Remember, in urban areas especially, it’s common to celebrate holidays the weekend before and after; events like Halloween may be celebrated the entire month of October, and the mood / spirit of Christmas may loom over the whole month of December! Even with some of your friends, you probably know a few who like to celebrate their birthday the week before and after. Considering the surrounding context, or the days around your ideal wedding date, can have a big impact on the mood or event. Seasons, events, holidays — all of these are worth thinking about.
By looking ahead and deciding early on what your ideal wedding day is, you can easily avoid frustration or confusion. Just picking an ideal date, even if it ends up changing, will make for a smoother planning process. Vendors and the venue need to check their calendars to give you a price or information. Some wedding services may even alter their pricing based on demand for the day, similar to airlines. So it’s absolutely vital to pick an ideal wedding date. Even if it’s up for debate, a preliminary or ideal wedding date helps move conversation past those first few steps with vendors / venues. Which in turn gets you one step closer!