Planning a wedding is no small undertaking. A wedding is more than just a party, it's a celebration of a couple's love and a chance for the bride and groom to make some incredible memories. There's a lot of pressure on couples, and on the bride in particular, to ensure that weddings are "picture perfect", and the to-do list is so long it can be hard to figure out where to start, and what to prioritize. We're here with some wedding planning tips to help you organize your big day.
How soon should you pick a wedding day?
Picking a wedding date is something that can be fraught with difficulty. Some couples choose a date that already means something to them, such as the anniversary of their first date. For others, choosing a wedding date comes down to finding a day when everyone who is important to them is going to be able to attend the wedding.
If you're on a budget, you might want to avoid the most popular wedding dates, which tend to be weekends in September and October, in favor of weekends where there is less competition for bookings. If you're not sure how to choose your wedding date, try not to worry about it for now. Start looking at venues then figure out when the ones you like most are available. In the absence of other competing factors, the perfect wedding date is the one where you can get married at a place you love!
Which season do you want to get married in?
Just as there's no one perfect wedding date, there's no clear 'best month for marriage'. That all depends on the couple and their own preferences. If you're someone who likes to plan parties, then a good month for marriage is one where nobody in your immediate family has a birthday. That way, there's another month where you have an excuse for a big night out (or a nice night in).
If you have a specific kind of wedding in mind, you may want to plan around that. The best time of year for an outdoor wedding is one where the weather will be warm and dry, but not so hot that your guests will get a sunburn. Financial considerations may be important too. The best time to have a wedding is "when you can afford it", so weddings around other major holiday seasons may not be a great idea. The most popular time of year to get married varies across the United States so it's a good idea to call around prospective venues, talk to caterers and entertainers, and make your decisions based on that.
When is the off-season for weddings?
Most weddings take place in the summer and early autumn. Getting married during the off-peak wedding season could save you a lot of money. The cheapest time to get married is during the off-season wedding months of January, March, April or November. If you are planning on getting married during the wedding off-season, think carefully about what that means for your photographs and party plans. One of the main reasons so many people choose to get married in the peak wedding season is that the weather is good, which makes outdoor photos easier, and means their day won't be spoiled by dreary weather.
If a little rain, wind or snow doesn't bother you, or you have a dream indoor venue, by all means, pick some off-season wedding dates and enjoy the savings!
Are there special wedding dates that are important to you as a couple?
Picking a wedding date that means a lot to you as a couple is a nice way to start your marriage, and it can save you from panicked "When's my anniversary" searches through your calendar in the future. Some couples pick the bride-to-be's birthday so that the wedding day is extra-special. Other couples use marriage date numerology to select a day that has a positive "destiny" associated with it.
If you believe in star signs, picking a wedding date with astrology is another interesting option, and can help you head in to the wedding with some positive vibes. It also gives you some nice talking points for the day, too. There are online tools that will help you calculate your wedding date based on the birthday of yourself and your soon-to-be spouse.
The Chinese lunar calendar can be used to find lucky wedding dates for 2020 based on the Chinese Zodiac. Those days are said to be auspicious for anyone, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.
How long do you want to be engaged?
Some people wonder how long they should be engaged before getting married. There is no right or wrong answer. The average time to plan a wedding is between 13 and 18 months. There's nothing wrong with a longer engagement, although you may find that you lose momentum trying to plan a wedding over a much longer period. The minimum recommended time to plan a wedding is three months, especially if you plan on having a large guest list because you should aim to send out invitations about eight weeks before the event. However, if you are looking to have a wedding in less than three months, some venues are able to accommodate this short-notice or spontaneous wedding.
Don't worry about how long people are engaged for, or how soon to start planning a wedding. Do what works for you. Give yourself enough time to plan everything and to find the perfect venue. It's your wedding and you deserve to be happy.
Consider wedding travel plans for friends and family
If you are planning a destination wedding or will be inviting a lot of out of town wedding guests, it's polite to give them lots of notice and to help them arrange travel and accommodation. If you are expecting your guests to travel out of town, you should do your best to make it easy for them.
Consider your travel wedding invitation wording carefully. Make it clear that you would like them to be there, and send out the invitation early so that they have time to save or plan. Not everyone will be able to afford the cost of travel or the time off work, so if you're having a destination wedding you might want to host a small get-together for locals who can't make it.
Provide your would-be guests with lots of tips and information about the local area. It's good out of state wedding etiquette to offer to pick up guests at the airport and help them to get to their hotel or the venue, especially if they can't drive. Some people suggest that wedding etiquette for out of town families includes providing welcome bags in the hotel room as a thank-you for them taking the time to come and celebrate your marriage.
Exactly what you provide to your guests will depend on your budget. Consider running a smaller guest list and making the event extra-special for those closest to you.
Consider your desired wedding venue's availability
You will most likely end up viewing a lot of wedding event venues. Remember that wedding venue availability varies depending on the time of year. If you're hoping to book a quality venue during peak wedding season then you'll need to book early. If your wedding date is already rapidly approaching, then you'll have to look at last minute availability wedding venues. It's often possible to rent a venue for a wedding at the last minute for a relatively low price because venues don't like being empty. You'll find fewer choices available to you with a short deadline, though.
If your wedding is several months away (or even a year away), you can start your search for the perfect venue and have some flexibility to be selective. Just Google wedding venues and start viewing them. Are you looking for a venue location near you or do you want a waterfront wedding? A rustic wedding? Is your dream day one held somewhere exotic?
It's possible to book a wedding venue online but you should view the venue first. Remember that the wedding ceremony location can make or break that special moment. The "perfect" venue is subjective, but if you dream of getting married on the water or in idyllic woodland, then that's what you should be looking for. The sooner you start looking, the more likely you are to find the perfect venue with availability on a day that you want and a price that you can afford.
Set a budget, shop around, browse our list of wedding and reception venues, take your time and find your dream place. Don't feel pressured to go beyond your budget. Remember that you have your whole life ahead of you, and while your wedding is a special moment, it's just one moment. There is no need to start your future as husband and wife with a burden of huge debt. The most important thing is that you have each other.