Here's How to Pick Your Wedding Date
You're engaged? Congratulations! When's the wedding? Just kidding—we know, we know, this question will likely make you panic for awhile. But it'll be the first one asked by your family and friends, guaranteed.
The decision is different for each couple, but according to our 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average engagement is about 14 months long. With a little over a year to , you have time to check everything off your list—from finding and ordering your wedding dress (which can take 9 to 11 months) to booking your wedding reception venue (some are booked a year in advance).
Speaking of which, we recommend finding your dream venue first and see what dates they have available before officially having your heart set on a specific day (or creating your save-the-dates), since they may be booked then. Other than that, we suggest considering the following to pick a day that's both practical and personal.
Brainstorm any dates that are symbolic to you.
How romantic would it be to marry on the date you first met, on the day you officially became a couple or on your grandparents' anniversary? Some cultures use traditional methods to choose a date—for example, Japanese families check out the koyomi, an ancient astrological calendar, to pick the most propitious day. You may not be able to marry on the exact day you want—that special date could fall on a Monday, or like we previously mentioned, the venue you love may be booked—but you can probably get pretty close. (Pro tip: You can tell your guests about any significance of the timing in your ceremony programs.)
Pick the season you want.
Weather not only affects your wedding's style and location, it can also help set a mood. Consider your wedding personality, then choose your season accordingly. Want free-spirited, fun, tropical-inspired cocktails and sun-dappled settings? Stick with a summer wedding. Dreaming of opulence, snowfall and holiday sparkle? Try a winter wedding. Rich colors, nostalgia and mulled apple cider are perfect for a fall wedding, and a spring wedding is probably your thing if freshness, pastels and a daffodil bouquet sounds like your vibe.
Consider your budget.
Budget may affect your choice. June, September and October were some of the most popular months to marry in 2018, so prices are inevitably higher. But if, for example, you're planning a wedding in January, March or November, it may cost less because 50 other couples aren't lined up behind you offering to pay top dollar. Days of the week also matter: Saturday nights carry the heftiest price tag, but marry during the week and the world is your oyster (venues may even bid against each other to get your business).
What about holidays?
If you've always wanted a Christmas tree at your wedding, or you'd love a heart-covered wedding cake, sounds like you're a holiday wedding couple. Want to celebrate your Irish heritage? Opt for March, when everyone is already in the St. Patty's Day spirit. Try a wedding party in pastels and an Easter egg hunt in March or April. Have a Fourth of July celebration with flags, barbecue fare and fireworks. A plus: Some holidays fall on long weekends, which might make it easier for out-of-town guests to attend. On the flip side, some guests may not want their holiday weekends upended by a wedding, so take that into consideration as well.
Ask for the preferences of your VIP guests.
Speaking of guests, but only of the top-tier, wouldn't-get-married-without-them variety: If you have limited preferences, you may want to ask your nearest and dearest about date conflicts and plan accordingly. Be forewarned that this is a slippery slope if you ask anyone outside your essential circle of parents, siblings and honor attendants. Keep it simple and don't budge once the date is set.
Skip certain dates.
There are definitely wedding dates you don't want to schedule. The weekend before tax day is not the best time to tie the knot—especially if one of you is an accountant or tax attorney. No matter what your career, you probably have your own crunch time at work, so don't marry then. You'll either be stressed or find it difficult to take off for your honeymoon. Also, your religion may dictate some times of year, or even days of the week, that are off-limits. For other dates to avoid in 2019, 2020 and 2021, find a comprehensive list right here.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.