As a wedding photographer, you’d be surprised how many couples reach out to me before they’re ready to book because they all have the same question: how to pick your perfect wedding date? I talk to couples every day who are so overwhelmed by the number of options and choices available to them. You have one shot to make it perfect and I’m of the opinion that it all starts with when you get married. It sets the tone, the seasonality and overall feel of your day. And as much as everyone and their mother would like to get married in the universally golden month of October, it’s just not feasible.
I teamed up with Alex Moreau, the planner extraordinaire behind xo moreau weddings to dig into how to pick your perfect wedding date – check it out below!
How to Pick Your Perfect Wedding Date
Three hundred and sixty-five. You have three hundred and sixty-five choices for your wedding date. You may have three hundred and sixty-six if you’re coming up on a leap year. NBD. You just made the easiest decision of your life by saying “yes”, and now you are suddenly faced with the most difficult decision: selecting your wedding date. As a seasoned wedding planner, I’m here to make your life a tad bit easier by offering suggestions of narrowing down the options!
Dolla dolla bills, y’all
If you haven’t had ~that~ budget conversation with your partner and families yet, now is the time. Knowing what you can spend on a wedding venue is going to significantly narrow down your options. You also want to keep in mind the cost of your other wedding vendors. You don’t want to spend all of your money on the venue and realize you don’t have the budget for a delicious dinner, beautiful florals, organized planner, and timeless wedding photos. Some venues offer discounted rates for weekdays and off-season events. If you’re limited on wedding finances, I suggest consider giving up that peak season wedding date for a different day of the week or different time of year.
Wedding day must-haves
Trust me, I have been there and done that- not only as a wedding planner, but as a bride myself. There are some things that are non-negotiable when it comes to your wedding day. I get it! Sit down with your partner and list those items out. Maybe you’re set on that beautiful long sleeve ballgown and fur shawl, or that candlelit reception under the stars. Some things just will not work in certain times of year, so that should help narrow down the season for your potential wedding date.
What’s the biggest day of your life if your favorite people aren’t there to celebrate with you? Your wedding day is SO important to them, but they do have other obligations in their lives, such as school, work, and family. Be willing to work around their schedule and keep them involved during this process.
Your vendor dream team
Is there a certain vendor that you absolutely must have? Maybe it’s that incredible photographer who captures all the candid moments you love, or a super chill, laid back wedding planner. 😉 Reach out and have the conversation with that vendor and discuss their availability. Nothing is worse than that heart wrenching moment when you lock your date in and find that your favorite vendors you’ve been stalking on Instagram are already booked. Chat with them in advance- they will be so excited. And hello, brownie points!
Holidays & special events
Check your calendar for major holidays that may interfere with your wedding day. I also recommend checking the city calendar in the town you plan to wed for special events occurring on your wedding weekend as well. Increased foot traffic in your city around your wedding day can lead to limited hotel selections, increased roadway traffic, and more expensive travel for out of town guests- ouch!
Cost of travel for the out of towners
Consider the cost for out of town travel for you guests not only for different times of the year, but also days of the week. For example, Friday and Sunday are the two most expensive days for airline travel, so a Saturday wedding may not be feasible if you have a lot of guests on a tight travel budget. Yet, with a Friday wedding, guests would be flying on a Thursday = savings. Some holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day, may seem ideal, but can also come with a higher price tag for travel as well.
Dates with meaning
Consider selecting a day that has significant meaning to you and your partner. It could be the day when your first said “I love you”, or maybe the day that you officially became a couple. Also consider dates with a negative connotation. You don’t want to hold your wedding on a day that brings back sad or negative memories, like 9/11. Or maybe it’s someone else’s significant date – like if Grandma Helen’s birthday is on May 6 and she’s planning an extravagant 90th birthday party, don’t select May 6 for your wedding day!
If you live in a state like Texas, you know how blistering hot the summer is. Or if you’re getting married in the Bay Area, you know Karl the Fog is very real in the summer. If you’re set on an outdoor ceremony, aim for a season with cooler weather. Not only would an outdoor summer ceremony make your guests extremely uncomfortable, but it could also be dangerous, especially for older guests. Do some research of the weather history over the past few years to see what time of year would best work for you, your boo, and your dream day.
Overall, the list above should help guide you in the direction of strategically selecting your wedding date. The most effective way to make sure you made the best decision possible is by hiring a wedding planner. A great wedding planner has a lot of helpful insight on the industry in their community. Their knowledge and expertise can help guide you to make the best decision based on your preferences for your wedding date. Every wedding is different, and every couple is different. You may have specific needs or very detailed requests for your wedding day. An experienced wedding planner will guide you down the path to success by taking all important factors into consideration a being an invaluable resource throughout the process.
About xo moreau weddings: Alex Moreau is the owner and lead wedding planner behind XO Moreau Weddings & Events, based in Austin, Texas. If you’re looking for a laid back wedding planning experience and an extraordinary wedding day… look no further. Alex is the best woman for the job! Backed with extensive industry education and experience, XO Moreau Weddings & Events has created a proven track record of excellence in planning weddings all over the world.
Now that you know how to pick your perfect wedding date, I bet you’re interested in getting more wedding advice! Check out the whole PVP advice blog HERE.