February 26, 2020
Often the first question you’ll get once you announce your engagement is “When is the wedding?” Your head’s probably still spinning from all the excitement, but planning is already beginning! I’ve got your back! Each week I share a new For Couples blog to help newly engaged couples find wedding planning advice and articles by vendors to help make the wedding planning process easier. This week is all about that first question – choosing your wedding date!
Choosing your wedding date and venue are the first two choices you need to make as you begin to plan your wedding day. Everybody picks their date for different reasons. For some it’s about the weather or work schedules, while others focus on the venue availability or special meaning. Whatever is most important to you, I’ve rounded up a few things you’ll want to consider before you mark your calendar!
To help narrow down when you want to get married start by thinking of the season. Do you imagine a May wedding or were you hoping for snow? Are you willing to brave chilly weather for portraits or would you rather it be warm outside? All seasons have both positives and negatives. Also consider not just your personal preference, but other things you may have going on. Are you in grad school? You might want to time your wedding during a break or over the summer so you don’t have to worry about school. Thinking about the time of year that will help you narrow down what venues you want to reach out to, which leads me to my next point…
Is there a venue that you’ve been dying to get married at? If it’s a must have, get yourself over to the venue to tour and chat with the managers or owners about their availability. Nowadays many venues book over a year out so if someplace is an essential part of your vision it’s important to have a conversation to see which dates are actually still available. If dates are limited this factor alone might select your wedding date for you.
Some couples have certain dates that mean a lot to you. Maybe you want to be married on same date you got engaged or on your dating anniversary. Perhaps you want to pay tribute to your parents or grandparents by exchanging vows on their anniversary. This may mean however that you’ll need to spend a little bit more time talking to venues to see if they have the date available, but selecting a date that is special to you two is a sweet way to create meaning in another detail of your day.
Considering how long you want your engagement to be is one factor that I feel always gets overlooked! Many brides feel pressured to get married within 6 months of getting engaged, but really the choice is yours! If you’re ready to tie the knot and get to work planning your wedding day than a short engagement might be perfect for you. However, if you’re easily stressed out by wedding planning details you may want to take more time. There’s no set rules so feel free to make your engagement 6 months or 14 months!
Similar to venues, take into account the top three most important vendors on your list. If you can’t imagine your wedding day without them reach out! Vendors (especially planners, photographers and videographers) can book 9-18 months out sometimes. As a vendor, it’s heart-breaking to turn couples away because I’m already booked on their wedding date. If you have someone you know you want to work with send them an email and run a few dates by them. Most likely, they’ll be happy to share their availability with you and make sure they can be there for your big day.
Local events is something that gets overlooked so often, but it is really important, because it impacts your guests and transportation greatly. If you’re getting married in a city or town with some huge local events consider another weekend. College town hotels are often booked up over a year in advance for when their graduations take place, so you’ll definitely want to avoid them so your guests have a place to stay! A D.C. native? Political events like yearly marchs or inaugurations will often cause a ton of traffic and make transportation difficult. Be sure to check out a calendar for your area before you select your wedding date.
Not all of these factors may actually affect your wedding date, but they’re great to consider as you get started. In the end it’s about you two getting married. The date will work itself out and you’ll soon be busy planning your wedding!
I'm a Virginia wedding photographer serving the DMV and worldwide. I strive to balance the composed with the candid and capture vibrant, timeless images for my couples.
Six years of wedding industry has taught me a lot! This quick guide is designed for you two to get your wedding experience started with just a few easy steps!