Monday, December 1, 2008

Choosing Your Wedding Date

In light of the fact that it is now DECEMBER (!!) and many young couples out there will soon become engaged over the holidays (aw!), I thought I'd make a list of pointers for choosing a wedding date. This is likely to be one of the first things you do together as an engaged couple, and it's important to do some research before you tell everyone on earth when you're getting married.

{Limited Edition 2009 Birdie Desk Calendar: Joom's Etsy Shop}

DISCLAIMER: These are only guidelines. If your heart is set on a particular date, go with that date! These are just some things to consider for you and your guests' sakes if you are worried about travel costs and/or lodging availability.

#1. How long do you want your engagement period to be? Some couples get engaged knowing they want to remain engaged for quite some time - say, when one person is finishing up school - while other couples want to get married within a few months. Hopefully, you and your fiance have talked about this prior to getting engaged, so deciding where to start your date-search is not a big deal.

#2. If you are having a short engagement (i.e. 6 months or less), try to avoid Saturdays in the months of May, June, July, August & October (the busiest wedding months). Given that many venues book events well before a year in advance, you might run into issues securing a location in these busy months. If you do decide to get married in a busy month, consider a Friday evening (what I did) or Sunday afternoon ceremony. If you are set on a Saturday evening wedding during a busy month, think about alternative locations for your ceremony & reception (i.e. a park or cool library or a relative's home).

#3. Holidays = Expensive! Some couples are dead-set on having a Valentine's Day wedding, but if your budget is at all a concern, you might want to reconsider! Holidays are not only more expensive in terms of venue rental, but also in terms of transportation & even flower costs (hello?? roses on Valentine's Day??)!

Here is a list of 2009 holidays and the day of the week each falls on:

New Years Day = 1/1/09 (Thursday)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day = 1/19/09 (Monday)
Valentine's Day = 2/14/09 (Saturday)
President's Day = 2/16/09 (Monday)
Ash Wednesday = 2/25/09 (Wednesday)
St. Patrick's Day = 3/17/09 (Tuesday)
Palm Sunday = 4/5/09 (Sunday)
Passover = 4/9/09 (Thursday)
Good Friday = 4/10/09 (Friday)
Easter = 4/12/09 (Sunday)
Mother's Day = 5/10/09 (Sunday)
Memorial Day = 5/25/09 (Monday)
Father's Day = 6/21/09 (Sunday)
Independence Day = 7/4/09 (Saturday)
Labor Day = 9/7/09 (Monday)
Rosh Hashanah = 9/19/09 (Saturday)
Yom Kippur = 9/28/09 (Monday)
Columbus Day = 10/12/09 (Monday)
Halloween = 10/31/09 (Saturday)
Veterans Day = 11/11/09 (Wednesday)
Thanksgiving = 11/26/09 (Thursday)
Hanukkah (1st day) = 12/12/09 (Saturday)
Christmas = 12/25/09 (Friday)
New Years Eve = 12/31/09 (Thursday)

#4. Even if you aren't a sports fan, your guests or members of your wedding party might be! You should check out major sporting event dates, and avoid having your wedding on those dates if you want these guests to show up! Hopefully, your guests think your wedding trumps any sporting event, but they would probably appreciate your consideration in avoiding the date if at all possible. If your city will be hosting any large sporting event, that could also cause lodging & transportation problems.

Here are some sporting dates to consider:

Superbowl XLIII = 2/1/09 (Sunday)
March Madness = 4/4/09 (Saturday)
Indianapolis 500 = 5/24/09 (Sunday)
World Series = 7/14/09 (Tuesday)

#5. Make sure to check your city's calendar of events to make sure conventions and other large events will not cause lodging availability or transporation issues.

#6. Will you be having a destination wedding? If so, consider college & high school spring break dates. The last thing you want is for drunken co-eds to be stumbling through your beach wedding ceremony in Cabo!

#7. Are you in school? Are you a teacher? Do you have kids' school schedules to plan around? It could be that the only convenient time to get married is during a school break (i.e. Christmas, Spring Break, Summer vacation).

Like I said, these are only guidelines. Choosing your wedding date is an exciting step in the planning process, so enjoy discussing it with your fiance!

One last tip: Try not to involve too many people in the decision. This is your day, and there most likely be at least one person who can't make it to your wedding for one reason or another. Trying to please everyone is a great way to burn yourself out on wedding planning!

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