Wedding Planning: Picking a Date

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I thought picking a date for our wedding would be easy, but it turns out it isn’t. Especially when you’re a super indecisive person like me. I wrote all about this in a newsletter (that was recent when I wrote this post…last year – I just found it in my drafts!) but I am a stereotypical Libra who can’t make up her mind! I just like too many things – all the seasons had plenty that I loved about them! So here’s a few ways we made our decision in the end.

For us, we actually narrowed it down to two – I know! We decided on two specific months based on the following questions: May and September, then narrowed it down further from there. Here are the questions we asked:

Does it need to be a weekend?

If you’re having a small wedding or are going abroad, consider whether it really needs to be a weekend. Weekends can really limit your choice of date because most of these get booked up really early in advance whereas week day weddings can leave you with much more choice.

What budget are you looking at?

Certain months are more expensive than others. In fact, there are weekends that can be double the price of less popular dates! If you have a certain month or date in mind and are flexible with your budget, you’re more likely to have lots more options for a venue. Popular dates at popular venues are always going to be more expensive.

What kind of weather would you like?

The big question! Do you want sunshine and warm weather? Or would you prefer autumn leaves? Maybe you want to be cozy and warm in faux fur over your wedding dress? Are you worried about your guests shivering in an old church venue?
This will really help you narrow down the months, if you’re not as indecisive as I am! We picked May and September mostly because they’re usually mild weather and usually sunny, which I’d ideally like, but it’s not the end of the world if it’s not.

What colours do you want?

Are you a pastels kind of person, or do you want deep jewel tones? This didn’t really make my decision any easier because I love different things at different times of the year! I’ve always envisioned my wedding as spring time, sunshine and pastels, so I stuck with my gut when we chose May, but it just as easily could have been September!

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Wedding planning - how to choose your wedding date

What kind of flowers do you like?

Flowers didn’t really make all that much of an impact on my choice of date because I don’t know that much about flowers – only that I know what kind of style I like (a little bit wildflower, lots of green). But for those of you that have a specific flower you really want to use in your wedding, definitely check out what time of year is best for that flower because not all of them are available year round.

What dates are available at your venues of choice?

And how important is that venue to you? If your venue is very important but is super busy, you might have to compromise. If you’re not all that bothered by the questions above and are happy to go either way with certain colours or flower choices, that’s not a problem.

There were a few venues we looked at that had us considering Christmas and winter weddings because those were the only dates they had left until 2019 (crazy!), but in the end, those venues weren’t quite right for us.

When I approached venues, I simply asked in my initial email “What is your weekend availability for 2018?” to make sure to leave our options open. If they had none in May or September, we didn’t rule them out completely, but it meant they weren’t necessarily as high up our list.

This can also help to narrow down that month to a specific date: we had a couple of options for May so went for the later one with the hopes of there being warmer weather then, but you might only have one option in a certain month at your choice of venue.

How long do you want to be engaged and have to plan?

I’d never really considered whether I wanted a long or short engagement before we got engaged – I just knew that May or September would be my months of choice. We got engaged in December 2016 so started planning in January. By that time, September 2017 seemed too soon, so May won it for me. That’s given us around 18 months of planning which seems ideal as we got all the suppliers we’d liked due to the time we booked them in advance, although it does seem like a really long time to wait now it’s got to it – I’m wishing it was now already!

Think about the honeymoon and anniversary

When thinking about our wedding, I’d always ruled out July and August because I didn’t want it during the school holidays. This was for one reason and one reason only: I didn’t want to have to pay higher prices for honeymoon or anniversary trips! My parents have always taken anniversary trips, so this was always on my mind.

In the end, we accidentally booked our wedding over late May bank holiday. We didn’t realise until someone pointed it out! This means that it falls around half term for most schools. Fear not though, with it being half term, it’s only ever a week at most, so we’ll take trips for the week up to it or the week following depending on when it falls.

For honeymoon though, we actually decided to take ours later in the year anyway for two reasons, both related to our choice of destination: 1. the quietest time in Disney is during September; 2. we wanted to be in New England during the changing of the leaves in Fall.

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