Set the Date!
One of the first things a newly engaged couple needs to do is to set the wedding date. You can’t really book anything for your wedding until you know when you want to get married, right? Some couples know before they even get engaged what date they want to be married. Perhaps it’s a family tradition – I had a couple that was married on the bride’s parents’ and grandparents’ anniversaries. Or maybe the date has a nice ring to it – 10.10.10 was very popular, as is 12.13.14. Maybe you want to be married on the anniversary of your first date, or the first time you said “I love you”…if you remember that date. But what if it isn’t that easy for you?
Determine the type of wedding you want to have. Have you always envisioned a garden wedding and reception? If so, please do everyone a favor and steer clear of the months May – September (if you are in Texas anyway). Sure it is a visually lovely time of year, but it is also hot as Hades. Opting for a cooler month will increase your chances of your guests being comfortable and attending. Yes, rain may be a factor but that can happen any time (I once had an August wedding go to plan B due to rain).
Consider popularity. If your chosen venue is a popular wedding destination, find out the off-season (if there is one). Not only will it increase your chance of finding it available, but you may save money in the process.
Consider budget. It is no secret that the most popular day of the week to be married is Saturday. It makes it easier for guests to attend because they probably don’t have to miss work. But it is also the MOST POPULAR DAY OF THE WEEK TO BE MARRIED. That means you pay a premium – not only with venues, but some other wedding professionals may charge more for a Saturday as well. Consider having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday…and if you really want to save some money choose a day in the middle of the week. Now you aren’t just saving money on your location and other wedding professionals, but you’ve also probably kept your guest count down as well.
Consider travel. Are you planning to invite a lot of guests that will need to travel? Make sure you give them plenty of time to make arrangements, or to save up for your big day. Or perhaps you have always dreamed of a Tahitian honeymoon. Make sure your wedding (and therefore honeymoon) doesn’t fall in the middle of typhoon season.
Don’t forget ToM. Not to be indelicate, but many bride’s neglect to plot their monthly cycle – and are surprised to realize they have to deal with that on their wedding day (and the honeymoon!). Do yourself a favor and figure out when your time of month will be and plan accordingly.