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7 things to think about before you set the wedding date

As soon as you announce your engagement, people will ask you on a daily basis, “so, when’s the wedding?” Choosing your wedding date is one of the most important planning decisions that you will have to make - the date you choose will impact almost every aspect of your big day. To help, we have put together a list of seven things to keep in mind when setting your wedding date

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Photo: Brinton Studios

1)   The season

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Consider the type of wedding you want to have and the appropriate season to suit your vision when you start to think about your wedding date. Do you want your wedding to be indoors or outdoors? On a beach, in a hotel, or in a cosy lodge surrounded by snow-topped mountains? The weather will not only affect your wedding’s style and location, but may set a completely different mood.

If you are finding it hard to pick a wedding date, narrowing your options by picking a season is a good place to start. Think about the personality of your wedding and choose your season accordingly. Florals and pastels point to a spring wedding, but if rich colours, mulled apple ciders and nostalgia are more to your taste then go for winter.

2)   Your budget

The date you set for your wedding can affect the overall cost of your special day. For example, it is more expensive to marry in June than it is in November. If you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider an off-season wedding. June, July and August are popular months for couples to tie the knot because the weather is at its best, but during off-season months, venue prices may be lower and vendors are likely to charge less because the demand isn’t as great.

Alternatively, venues are also be cheaper to rent on weekdays. Marrying mid-week can be a tall order for your guests, but if you give them plenty of notice they may be able to arrange time off work. 

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Photo: Lauren Fair

3)   Destination

Are you dreaming of a destination wedding? Before planning a wedding overseas you will need to thoroughly research the local weather patterns of your desired location before you make any commitments. Unfortunately, the best weather seasons in popular vacation spots generally correlate with tourist season; so expect more crowds, less venue availability and higher rates all round. 

4)   Holidays

There are pros and cons to marrying on or near a holiday. Having your wedding around Christmas, for example, may mean that out-of-town family have already travelled back home so no extra travel costs are required. On the other hand, families are often very busy around Christmas, and venue and vendor prices shoot sky-high. 

5)   Availability

If you have your heart set on getting married at a particular venue, or you are desperate to work with a certain popular wedding photographer, you will need to check their availability early on. Many traditional wedding venues book months in advance (we’re talking 12-18 months) and popular photographers and suppliers are usually very busy. Prepare to be flexible, and know that there are plenty of great photographers out there if your first find is no longer an option!

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Photo: From Leoni with Love

6)   Schedules

When choosing your wedding date, you have to consider your own schedules and availability. If you plan to honeymoon immediately after your wedding, you need to make sure you can take time off work to accommodate your busy pre-wedding schedule and post-wedding holiday; consider the busiest times of year for your profession.

While you and your spouse-to-be are the most important people at the wedding, you may want to ensure you pick a date on which most of your VIP guests will be able to attend. If there are health issues affecting any members of your family, you may also need to take that into consideration. Do you need to marry sooner rather than later on account of an elderly grandparent? Try to accommodate those who matter most to you.

7)   Symbolism

Many couples choose to get married on days that are symbolic to their relationship. How romantic would it be to get married on the day your eyes first met, the day you first kissed or the day you two officially became a couple?

Many cultures have traditional methods of picking auspicious wedding dates. Chinese fortune-tellers consult the Tung Shing, a calendar crafted to the phases of the moon, to find lucky days for couples-to-be. In Japan, families check out the Koyomi, an ancient astrological calendar to pick the most propitious day.

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You may not be able to get married on the exact day you want, the venue could be booked, or that special date may fall on a Monday but you can get as close as possible. Tell your guests about the significance of your date in your ceremony programs.