How To Pick The Perfect Wedding Date
Congratulations!! The moment you have been waiting for has finally happened - you're officially engaged. No matter how the proposal came about, this moment is a time of happiness and excitement and one you will never forget.
So, you've announced your engagement, and have already been asked 'So when is the big day?' by every friend and relative imaginable. As exciting as the engagement is, thinking about the perfect date, let alone planning the actual wedding, can seem more than a little daunting.
Choosing a wedding date is one of the most important planning decisions you will have to make as a couple as it will impact every other aspect of your big day. You may have an idea of where you would like to get married, or what you want your dress to look like however until you decide ‘when’ you would like to get married you can’t really commit to anything else.
Unless you have chosen to have your nuptials in your back yard, a venue must be chosen, and usually, often, it's the venue that will be the major factor in deciding on the actual date.
So where do you start? Here are 5 things to think about when choosing your big day:
1. YOUR CHOSEN VENUE’S AVAILABILTY
Deciding on where you want to get married can cause a high-level of concern and while you may think you have a lot of time the wedding venue and/or destination is something that really needs to be considered when you are deciding on your wedding date. Sure, you might really want to get married on New Year’s Day or on the Anniversary of your first date, but as you do have to find a venue that’s free that day, giving this solid consideration is important.
The truth is that venues, especially ones that are in high demand, (or those that have more affordable pricing) can book up way in advance. So, while it’s important to have a list of options to consider before you set your sights onto one ‘dream’ location.
And while we are talking venues, make sure that your chosen venue has a wet weather back up plan you and your partner will love. While rain on your special day is no longer considered bad luck, not planning an ideal wet weather back up is crucial and knowing the options you have from the outset and committing to them will allow you to focus on the two of you and not the weather.
2. THE ALL-IMPORTANT GUEST LIST
While this may be considered one of the last things to think about (and to be honest one of the toughest conversations especially if your parents are helping to fund your wedding and ‘just’ have to have cousins invited that you haven’t seen in years), having an idea of the number of people you will be inviting is integral in securing the right venue and date.
And don’t forget that your most important guests must be able to attend your wedding so call your parents, your grandparents, best man and maid of honour to check if they have any commitments and if they are free to take so time off over that period which is especially important when considering a destination wedding.
It is also important to have a list of A and B guests to invite. On the A-list are those guests that are absolute must have's. The B-list however can be reserved for those that if cannot make it, it's not going to be a deal breaker. In fact, 20% of all invitees will not be able to make that date, so it’s something to keep in mind when planning.
3. WEDDING SEASON
Are you set on a Summer or Spring wedding? As these are the most popular (and therefore generally the most difficult to secure the date you want) plus usually the most expensive times of year to say, ‘I do’, this really is a big decision. Each season (depending on the destination) has its pro's and con's depending on the type of wedding or the theme you are wanting so it’s important not to put all your eggs in one basket.
If you have your heart set on particular wedding flowers, not all flowers are in season and while access is more readily available globally it can be a costly experience. Check out this wedding flowers seasonality guide if you have your heart set on a particular bloom as this can be a big consideration when planning your date.
Weigh up what you feel would make you and your partner most happy, this day is all about you both remember? Remember, raining on your special day is not always bad luck – not planning an ideal wet weather backup is however so
One way to ensure that you enjoy your day is by being flexible. If you're not flexible on your dates, you need to be flexible on everything else. As difficult as it can be to secure your ideal dates at your idea venue, it can be even more so to also secure the Photographer you have heard of, the ‘right’ season, the caterer, ensuring guest availability, guest list, venue, catering ... the list goes on.
It is important for you both to decide what areas of your wedding are non-negotiable and what areas you can flex on. If you just ‘HAVE’ to have that special date or the wedding won’t be the same, ensure you have enough options for everything else and be open to the fact that you may need to negotiate on some areas of the big day.
5. LOCAL EVENTS
It is important to be aware of any events that are going on in your chosen wedding destination. If you are looking for a destination wedding and want most of your guests to stay at the venue, your availability can be hindered by school and public holidays.
Also keep in mind any special events that are happening around the dates you are considering. In addition to school holidays if there is something happening locally, it will affect the availability of vendors and accommodation and as pricing can also increase around this time including the cost of travel.
If you are considering the Yarra Valley keep in mind that weddings are normally booked 12 – 18 months in advance. This is especially true for the Yarra Valley Lodge which is one of the best and most romantic wedding destinations in the region.
When you really consider it and think about all the important elements of your special day, you wedding date can really choose itself. And once the date is locked away you can get started on planning your wedding, choosing your dress and leaving enough time to plan the honeymoon.