They say your wedding day is the best day of your life, and so finding a date that works for you, your budget and your guests is important.
And when it comes to finding that perfect date, there’s lots to consider – is your chosen theme suited to a particular time of the year? Can you afford to get married in peak (and expensive) wedding season? Is everyone in your bridal party available that month?
Here are some factors to bear in mind when setting the date:
- Friends and family
Of course you want your family, best friends and other loved ones with you to share your wedding day – so it doesn’t hurt to check people’s availability before you choose a date. This doesn’t mean calling everyone on your guest list – but it’s wise to make sure your parents, close family members, bridesmaids, groomsmen and other important people have no conflicting commitments around your wedding. Remember, it’s not just the day itself – there are preparations and potential stag and hen parties in the month leading up to the big day that they’ll need to be around for.
Peak wedding season – typically May to August – is when wedding venues, caterers, florists and other suppliers will be busiest and therefore charge more for their services. You may have your heart set on a sunny June wedding, but can you afford it? Dates in winter, early spring (March and April) and autumn (September-November) are often cheaper due to less demand (although prices may jump up again around Christmas and New Year). It’s worth seeing how far your money will go at different times of the year – your dream venue may break the bank in July, but be within budget in October.
- Days of the week
Another way to save money can be to hold your wedding mid-week or on a Sunday. Saturday is the traditional day for weddings, but more and more couples are choosing Sundays or even Thursday or Fridays to keep costs down. If you’re getting married on a Sunday, you need to accept the fact that your guests may have work or childcare commitments on Monday morning that mean they can’t dance the night away. And midweek dates require guests to take time off work. But if you give people good notice, you’ll probably find your friends are happy to book time off to celebrate with you.
It’s not just about money – you need to consider time, too. Planning a wedding is a lot of work – does your wedding date give you long enough to book your wedding flowers, shop for bridesmaids dresses, find your own gown and send out invitations in good time? Excitement might tempt you into booking a date six months away – but you might find yourself grateful for the extra time if you aim for a year.