If you’re recently engaged and kickstarting your wedding planning journey, one of the questions which frequently comes up is ‘how to choose your wedding date’. With a number of factors to take into consideration for choosing when to get married, we share our top tips below to help decide on your perfect wedding date.
1.Day of week
First and foremost, choosing a preferred day of the week is a key starting point for pinpointing your wedding date. For some, Saturdays are a must – if you or close family/friends are unable to get much time off during the week (for example, teachers). But whilst many couples still see Saturdays as a non-negotiable, more couples are increasingly opting for different days of the week (according to the latest Bridebook study, 47% of weddings this year are non-Saturday weddings). With more weddings taking place abroad, or even with extended UK wedding celebrations taking place over several days, we are seeing a real shift in when people are choosing to get married. If you can, try and keep your options open – especially if there are other important factors at play for you.
When thinking about when you want to get married, it’s important to think about the type of wedding style you’re looking to achieve. Do you envision enjoying long, laidback drinks and canapés in the summer sun with your friends and family, or perhaps a cosy, candlelit ceremony in the depths of winter? Naturally, a marquee is best suited to the fairer summer months, whilst the likes of country house weddings are inherently more flexible, and can offer suitable options year-round. Your style, tastes and visions for how you want your day to look and feel are all important to bear in mind when trying to choose your wedding date.
Beyond style, there may be other seasonality considerations. Whether you’re a severe hayfever sufferer seeking a winter wedding to avoid red nose and puffy eyes in your photos, or are concerned your remote venue may prove tricky or treacherous to reach during winter, make sure you consider any other seasonal factors which might impact your decision on choosing when to get married.
For some, cost can be an important consideration in determining when to get married. Saturday weddings are inherently more expensive, and of course the busier summer months come at a premium too. If budgets are tight (or you just feel that the additional budget would be better spent elsewhere), try and be flexible either in terms of day of week or month. The shoulder months in spring and autumn can provide better value, whilst still having a good chance of nice weather, if that’s important to you (though never base your decision solely on weather as it’s sadly the one thing that nobody can control, no matter how well planned every other element of your wedding is!). Similarly, even the most luxury wedding venues can offer some good prices for midweek weddings.
In a similar vein to the above, whilst some couples might not want a long engagement, the benefits of waiting are that you can of course use that time to save up more – unlocking the wedding you really want. After pulling together an idea of how much your ideal wedding would cost you can then work out whether that’s feasible right now, or if it’s best holding off until next year to achieve the wedding you’re after. Once you start wedding planning, it is pretty much inevitable that there will be ‘extras’ or upgrades you decide to opt for, so make sure you have some buffer!
6. Holidays & Work Clashes
Make sure you ask your immediate friends and family whether they have any planned holidays or existing commitments that you need to be aware of, so you can work around those. Similarly, it’s worth checking your work calendars to ensure neither of you have any big work commitments which might affect when you can get time off. Once your date is booked and locked in, get those save the dates out!
7. Venue and Supplier Availability
If you have your heart set on a dream venue or are longing after a particular supplier, you may need to be dictated to somewhat by their availability. Whilst the likes of marquee weddings at home can be rather more flexible, other options such as country house wedding venues or poolside villas can get booked out months or even years in advance – meaning you may need to be more flexible on the day of week or even the month you get married. Speak to your venue and see if they can hold your preferred date. Whilst many suppliers won’t hold your date without a deposit, it’s worth asking the question while you sort out the other details (such as ensuring the date works for your vicar if you’re planning a church wedding, for example). If you’re getting married in the ‘off-season’ (November – early December, January-February) you are likely to find more availability at shorter notice – great if you don’t want long engagement.
8. UK vs Destination Weddings
If you’re wanting to get married abroad and are planning a destination wedding, wedding etiquette would suggest giving your guests as much notice as possible (ideally a year) to factor in taking the time off from work from their annual leave allocation, as well as to save up for flights and accommodation. A similar approach applies to UK weddings, if you’re choosing a mid-week wedding and requiring people to take time off. Regardless of whether you’re planning a UK or destination wedding, the more notice you give, the more chance you have of your favourite people being able to attend!
9. Honeymoon Planning
As honeymoon planners, we work with a number of couples for whom the honeymoon is the main priority (after all, this is an excuse for the trip of a lifetime and some time to yourselves after the wedding madness!). If you’re planning a dream trip for straight after your wedding, then this may affect when you want to get married, in order to work around the best time of year to go away. Likewise, if you’re planning a mini-moon straight after with a longer-haul honeymoon further down the line, you might want to think how you space it out accordingly.
10. Cultural & Sporting Events
Lastly, once you have a wedding date in mind it’s always worth checking is seeing if there are any clashes with major cultural or sporting events. Whilst you may not always know when choosing your date, some events are in the diary well in advance, allowing you to plan ahead. Unless you love football, you may not want all of your guests checking the World Cup scores or live-streaming from their phones when they are sat during your ceremony or wedding breakfast! Likewise, you may not want your wedding to risk being overshadowed with a Royal Wedding, or other significant cultural event. Check online or with your wedding planner for anything that might be happening during around the time of your chosen wedding date!Day of week
If you’re still struggling to decide when to get married and would like to have a chat for advice on finding your wedding date, drop us a note here or book a time for a one-to-one consultation here. We’d love to help!