Wedding Planning 101: How to Choose a Wedding Date

Wedding Wednesday

April 14, 2020

“When’s the wedding date?”

…asks every single person you know after you’re engaged.

Surprise Dallas Proposal Session by Dallas Wedding Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

Who relates? 

Your wedding date is as big or little of a deal as you make it. Whether you have a specific month, time of year, or aren’t quite sure where to start, here’s what you should consider before touring venues and finding the perfect wedding date for you.

Pro Tip: Don’t lock yourself into one wedding date before venue tours. Instead of a date, choose a range such as “what year + what season”.

If you have an absolute, non-negotiable date, then broaden your venue search and start your search ASAP.

Pro Tip: Start by envisioning your wedding day. Go on Pinterest and look at your inspiration board. What does it look like? Are you imagining a winter wedding or a Fall wedding with rich, warm, colors?

7 TIPS TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT WEDDING DATE

Consider Your Schedule

First, consider your personal and work schedule.

When my husband and I got married, I was in graduate school and he was starting his undergrad. As much as I wanted a Fall wedding, we decided to get married in August because it ultimately fit our schedules best. Looking back I am so glad our wedding anniversary is not in the Fall since that time is already so hectic for us.

Also, consider the schedules of your V-VIP guests of your wedding: must-have family, close family friends, bridal party, and any close friends who may not already be in your bridal party.

Budget

If you’re on a budget, choose an off-peak wedding date. Most venues don’t do as many events during the winter, so most have off-season discounts/incentives. More popular months for weddings get booked faster and are more in-demand. Therefore, many venues will charge a premium for those most desirable dates.

In Texas, the most popular months are April and May in the Spring. Then, October and November in the Fall.

If you’re looking for a peak date, you’ll want to book it farther in advance than if you’re looking for an off-season date.

7 tips to choose the perfect wedding date by Dallas Wedding Photographer

Season

A good way to narrow down your perfect wedding date is decide what season you want to get married. Temperature and weather patterns are so important when choosing your wedding date.

Think about your bride and groom portraits. During winter months (November – Early March), it gets dark early af. This is so important especially if you are dead set against a first look.

Pro Tip: Make sure your venue has an inclement weather option that you like. Do they have an indoor wedding plan that satisfies your vision?

Meaningful Dates

One of the best places to start when narrowing down potential wedding dates is to consider dates that are meaningful. A few dates to consider: the date you met, one that is connected to late relative, anniversary of your first date, or anniversary of a loved one.

Pro Tip: Think about meaningful dates to avoid, also.

Enough Time to Plan

It’s no secret that wedding planning is time consuming. Typically wedding vendors book 8 to 18 months in advanced. So, your top wedding vendors may not be available on short notice.

This answer will vary greatly couple to couple. I’ve had couples have a 2 month engagement and others close to 18 months. On average, based on my experience, 10-14 months gives you enough “time”. But, honestly, what does that even mean?

Pro Tip: The longer the engagement the more time to spread payments out for your venue and other wedding vendors. Plus, it gives you more time to plan and enjoy this season!

Consider Holidays & Sporting Events

This may sound ridiculous, but believe me, you don’t want your wedding to fall on a day of a big game.

Choose Two or Three Possible Dates

Once you’ve considered the above, try to come up with a couple of possible dates that will work for you and your VIPs. This will make it must easier to find a venue.

However, if you already have your heart set on a venue, you’ll have to work around their schedule. I recommend asking what dates are available within your desired season or meaningful date and choose a date that works best for you.

Stuck between potential wedding dates:

Don’t worry, as an enneagram 1, I got you!

  1. Grab a calendar of the year you wish to get married in. (google calendar or paper + pen)
  2. Decide on the season you ultimately want to get married (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall)
  3. Eliminate dates that you & key wedding guests absolutely aren’t available during those three months
  4. Highlight any meaningful dates.
  5. Cross check your available dates with your ideal venues availability. (Pro Tip: assign each venue their own color to color coordinate your calendar to clearly see what venue is available on your most desired date.)
  6. If there is another non-negotiable vendor (photographer, florist, caterer, ect), cross check their availability with the above dates.

Whatever the day you select, the most important thing to remember is that this is your day. This is the day you will celebrate forever for the rest of your lives. It will not be a day you’ll forget.

I’d love to hear about your wedding date. What date do you have in mind or select? What factors led you to select that date? I’d love to hear about it!

7 tips to choose the perfect wedding date by Dallas Wedding Photographer

Kyrsten Ashlay Photography is a Dallas Wedding Photographer specializing in romantic, genuine, raw imagery for wildly in love couples.  I hope you found this information incredibly helpful as you choose your wedding date for your upcoming Dallas wedding. To help you get started wedding planning – here are my top 40 Dallas Wedding Venues!  If you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your special day in Dallas or  the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, I’d love to hear from you! Or have you seen enough and want to book this Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Wedding Photographer for your upcoming wedding or event?! Send me a note and let me treat you to coffee (or a gin&tonic) – can’t wait to connect!

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