After “congratulations” the thing most friends and family immediately do when you get engaged is ask “have you set a date?” Indeed for many couples, setting a wedding date is the first thing they think about once they agree to tie the knot and for good reason. Once you have a date in place, you can give guests as much notice as possible to book time off work (and save up) so your nearest and dearest. You can also plan the rest of your wedding prep timelines around it, so you can work out what needs to be done and when, without a sudden last-minute rush. There’s definitely a lot to consider when it comes to choosing your wedding date; not only do you need to think about your budget (summer and spring are notoriously more expensive seasons), but it’s also important to consider the need to take annual leave from work, public holidays and venue availability.
Most people would say venue availability is the biggest decider when it comes to choosing your date; if your dream venue is only available on certain days of the year, would you be willing to be flexible? Many popular places get booked up years in advance, so it’s definitely something to consider if you have your heart set on a dream location. But rather than pick any old month of the year – there are plenty of other factors to consider. Real brides told us about how they chose their wedding date and with their help, we’ve compiled the comprehensive guide to choosing the best wedding date for you (followed by our pick of the best months to get married in).
Sentimental wedding dates
Many couples choose dates that mean something to them for their wedding date; think anniversaries, a year on from their proposal, the date they met and so on.
Unfortunately many sentimental dates can prove to be inconvenient when it comes to actually booking the day, as bride RoseyGold from our wedding forum pointed out: “We originally wanted June 2019 year on our four year anniversary, but we found that it was just too expensive for our amount of guests.”
Which leads us on to the second thing that dictates wedding date choice…
Weddings on a budget
The summer months are most popular for weddings, but this can drive up the price of venues, so setting a budget will help you decide on a wedding date.
With a budget in place, dates that are out of your price range are eliminated, helping to narrow down the options.
Many couples are influenced by price when it comes to their wedding date, ruling out weekends in summer due to high season expenses.
Some couples work out how long they need to save up for their dream wedding, and this helps them settle on their wedding day, as forum bride Sadieee explains: “We knew we needed around 18 months to save and pay for what we wanted and that led us to December 2018.”
Photo by Photos by Lanty on Unsplash
Neatness in numbers
There’s something particularly satisfying about a date with repeating numbers – not least because it’s easy to remember for future anniversaries! Sandals Resorts has identified a particularly popular day for 2020 couples: 20th February 2020. Over 10% of the weddings booked at Sandals Resorts for 2020 are taking place during February 2020, and a further 15% of those will take place on 20th February – 20/02/20.
But it’s not just about the fact that it’s an easy date to remember in years to come. Sandals Resorts consulted professional astrologer Carolyne Faulkner, and she says this is a particularly auspicious day for a wedding. “On 20/2/20, Saturn Jupiter, Pluto, Mars and the Moon are all in the same sign, indicating ‘empowered commitments, emotional stability and the fulfilment of sacred contracts,’” she says.
Don’t worry if your 2020 wedding falls on a different date. “2020 is set to be a particularly fortuitous time to enter into lasting partnerships and official commitments such as marriage,” says Carolyne. “Saturn has been in its native sign of Capricorn since 2017 which put pressure on us all to review the aspects of our lives that required hard work, and to only continue putting energy into people and commitments that aligned with our deeper natures, or souls if you like. Saturn shifts into the idealistic and forward-thinking sign of Aquarius in 2020, joining Jupiter. This combination hasn’t been seen since the 1960s, which was the age of the freedom to love!”
If you’re getting married in the UK in 2020, check whether the bank holiday change will ruin your plans.
Photo by Andreas Rønningen on Unsplash
Guarantee wedding guests will turn up
While your day is all about you as a couple, you need to consider the people you 100% want to be there, and if your choice of date will work for them.
For example, if your maid of honour is a teacher, she’ll be unable to take time off during the week during term time, so you’ll either need to have a weekend wedding, or a wedding during the school holidays if you want a week day wedding.
In general, a weekend wedding is the best for guests, as it means less people will need to book time off work – don’t let this make the decision for you though. If a weekday wedding works out considerably cheaper and you’re happy with not getting married on a weekend, go with it.
Avoid wedding date clashes
It’s common sense to avoid family birthdays / holidays, but one thing it might be worth keeping in mind is if other friends are getting married around the time you want to.
“We didn’t want our date to be in the same month as our friends and family’s wedding anniversaries or too close to our birthdays or christmas,” said forum bride Kelllie.
Think about the weather
While summer weddings are the absolute dream for many couples, there are downsides to them. For example, if you’re planning on wearing a heavy wedding dress or a long sleeved wedding dress, you might be better off with a spring or autumn wedding to avoid you getting too hot – the same goes for grooms in three-piece woollen suits.
Winter weather can also be a decider, as forum bride Garyisapenguin shares: “I cannot cope with the cold which narrowed us down to June, July, August or September.”
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash
Choose a wedding theme
If you’ve always had a theme in mind (deep red and gold, for example) think about the season it would work best in. Pastel palettes look amazing at spring weddings, whereas opulent gold and reds lend themselves better to winter weddings.
Flower availability could also come into play; if you’ve always known you want a peony bouquet, and won’t budge on this you’ll need to choose a date when these blooms are in season.
Similarly, if you have your heart set on a certain wedding band, you’ll need to check if they’re free on your date.
Decide on a wedding venue
Your venue choice plays a big part in choosing a wedding date. If you’ve always dreamt of a tipi wedding, summer is best as even with heating, it can get very chilly in tipis as the night draws on.
If your venue has an amazing outdoor space that you imagine your guests sipping champagne in, choose a date that will allow for this.
Taking time off work for your wedding
As boring as it is, you need to consider your job when selecting a wedding date.
If you’re a teacher and want to go on your honeymoon immediately after, the school holidays are your best option.
“Our wedding date was completely dictated by work,” says forum user Anxiousbride2.
“November is the quietest month for my job meaning I can take most of it off as leave without feeling stressed about how much is piling up in my absence.”
Struggling to decide which month to get married in? We’re here to help…
Whether your wedding date decision is based on availability, budget or you’re hoping to hold your wedding on a sentimental date that, below is our pick of the best months to get married.
Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash
Reasons to get married in January – you’ll get the best bang for your buck
Only 1% of couples choose to get married in January, so it’s great month to pick if you want a wedding with a difference that will lighten everyone’s January blues – you’ll definitely have plenty of choice when it comes to dates!
January weddings are often cheaper, so you’ll get more for your money. You could even bag a last-minute deal. The downside? Your guests might be pinching the pennies post-Christmas, so may be less keen to travel for weddings / book accommodation. Plus, lots of people could be on new year health kicks, or doing dry January. At least your bar bill would be cheaper!
Reasons to get married in March – the warmest month at the smallest cost
Spring weddings are popular for a reason; March is the month that sees the first sprinkling of daffodils and crocuses.
Only 4% of weddings take place in March, so venues could be persuaded into offering a discounted deal – a wedding in the quiet season is an incredibly clever way to save money on your wedding.
The weather in March is fresh but sunny – and it still counts as low season for many venues, making it a more purse-friendly option. The downside? March clashes with lent, so many of your guests may have given up some little luxuries, such as cake or alcohol.
READ MORE: How to style a spring wedding
Reasons to get married in May – make the most of those bank holidays
The month of fresh flowers and sunny spells, 13% of UK weddings take place in May, making it one of the most popular choices in the calendar – if it’s good enough for Harry and Meghan, it’s good enough for us!
May is blessed with two bank holidays meaning you’ll need to take less holiday from work. The only issue is, your guests might also be making the most of them and have booked a holiday, thus not being able to make it.
READ MORE: 29 pretty summer bouquet ideas
Reasons to get married in July and August – you’ll have the best weather
The height of summer, July and August are very popular with UK brides: a huge 14% and 18% of weddings take place in July and August respectively, making them the most popular months to get married in.
Beautiful July deserves a dreamy outdoor venue, and with new laws regarding weddings being proposed, it could end up being cost effective too!
And with school holidays and balmy weather, it isn’t hard to see why August is a no-brainer. And it goes without saying, you can bank on perfect weather.
The downside? July and August is peak season for venues, so you’ll be paying their highest price.
Reasons to get married in September – you’re more likely to get a venue (and still have sunshine)
September is often blessed with good weather, and has better availability than the summer months, which is why it’s one of the most popular months for a wedding.
13% of UK weddings take place in September. September isn’t in such hot demand as the May to August period, so your venue will probably have more flexibility.
The downside? September will forever be associated with the gloomy feeling of going back to school, but your wedding will perk up anyone’s month!
Reasons for a November wedding – make the most of the wintery atmosphere
Crispy cold and atmospheric, November is the perfect month for a winter wedding. It’s a great option for brides on a budget, with 27% of November brides citing the price as their reason for choosing the month.
With frost underfoot and maybe even a few icicles, November can be seriously photogenic. The only problem is, It’s a rather cold and dark month, so you’ll need to spend a lot of your budget on making your venue cosy and warm.
Check out our gallery of wedding lighting ideas to light up your reception.
Reasons to get married in December – capitalise on the party season
There’s more than one way to have a white Christmas! A festive big day is truly magical, and a real way to make a style statement.
Be sure to give guests a good year’s notice as it’s the busiest party season of all. Working around Christmas weather can be tricky, and a snowfall can throw transport plans into chaos.
READ MORE: Unusual Christmas tree ideas for your winter wedding