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 a while. But your wedding date is the first question that will be asked by your family and friends, guaranteed.
How Soon Should You Pick a Wedding Day
The process of how to pick a wedding date will be different for each couple, but a good place to start is to consider how much time you'll need to plan your amazing day. According to our 2019 Read Wedding Study, the average engagement is about 15 months long.
Giving yourself at least a year to plan your wedding can be helpful for most couples. A wedding date at least a year out will give you 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.
Alternatively, if you are someone who stresses over big assignments, a wedding far into the future may hang like a cloud of anxiety over your head. In this case, you may want to consider shortening your engagement. There are no wrong answers here. If you plan a wedding date six months from your engagement, it'll be a full-on sprint to the finish line, but you will find a way to get it done, and some people thrive under pressure.
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.
What Is the Cheapest Month to Get Married?
Your budget may go a long way toward guiding you to the right wedding date. For instance, June, September and October are some of the most popular marriage months, so prices are inevitably higher. You'll have to compete with a slew of other couples for your venue and all your vendors. The months of February and December are also wedding bonanzas due to the holidays of Valentine's Day and Christmas.
If you're looking to save on your wedding, choose an off-month, where you're more likely to get discounted prices and a better selection of venues and vendors. The cheapest months to get married are typically March, April and November.
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.
What Are the Luckiest Days to Get Married?
Are you a little superstitious or do you want to honor your religious or cultural background by choosing a lucky date for your wedding? We get it. There's nothing wrong with making sure the planets align on your special day.
Jewish tradition believes that Tuesdays are a lucky day to wed. In the Torah, God says that the third day of the week is good. Meaning Tuesday are the right day for those who want to honor their Jewish heritage.
Got a little Irish in you? Then pick December 31st, New Year's Eve, for your wedding. This date is lucky for the Irish. Plus, what better way to start off a fresh year than with a new spouse at your side?
For those who want to honor Chinese tradition, dates with the number eight or nine are considered lucky. The word "eight" is close to the word for "wealth," and the word "nine" rhymes with "long-lasting." The Chinese New Year is also a highly auspicious day, though the date changes each year, depending on a complex calculation of lunar events.
Finally, history buffs should plan their wedding date for June. This month was named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. She is sure to look kindly on couples who honor her month. Learn more about all the luckiest days to get married.