There’s 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.
We spoke to real brides about how they chose their wedding date to compile the comprehensive guide to choosing the best wedding date for you.
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 forum bride RoseyGold 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…
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.”
Consider your guests
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Venue availability will also play a role in choosing your date; if your dream venue isn’t available on your chosen date but is available three weeks later, would you be willing to be flexible? Often venue availability is the final decider.
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.”