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How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Date

Something funny happens the second you get engaged – the second anyone sees your new ring, instead of asking about the proposal, the ring, how you’re feeling, anything… everyone (even your mom’s random friends on Facebook) want to know when you’re getting married. With the holidays behind us, and the year ahead looking quite a bit more promising for weddings and large celebrations, many of you newly engaged couples are finally sitting down to plan for your perfect wedding date – but here are a few important things to consider before you set anything in stone!

 

DC film wedding photographer photographs an elegant and floral wedding designed by Pamela Barefoot Events at The Anderson House in Washington.

Set your wedding date in the season you most want to be married

It may seem simple, but the first thing to consider when planning your wedding date is which time of year you enjoy most. If you are both warm weather people, getting married in the winter or early spring wouldn’t make much sense. If you want a romantic winter wedding, then November – January would probably be the best date range for you. Beyond just the weather, however, the season will inform your wedding decor – your colors will likely be within a certain range for each season, so if you’re hoping for soft and romantic blush colors, spring will probably be the best season for your wedding. If bright florals are more your thing, consider a summer wedding. And finally, the season you select for your wedding will also inform the light on your wedding day, which will play a big role in your wedding photos. If you know that you don’t want a first look, consider a summer or early fall wedding so that you can make use of the later sunset time to have natural light during your wedding portraits and formal family photos. If you are having a church wedding with an early ceremony time, consider a wedding later in the winter, or earlier in the spring so that the early sunset time will match with your cocktail hour, and you won’t have to leave your reception for couple’s portraits.

 

A couple celebrates their small, intimate wedding despite having to downsize due to COVID-19. Intimate wedding inspiration at the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Be realistic about your finances

If it’s important to you to splash out on your celebration, then allow yourself more time to set aside money for your wedding day. If you get engaged in the spring, you may want to start planning for a fall wedding, but be realistic about what you’ll be able to afford by then. Keep in mind that many wedding vendors require up to a 50% deposit to secure your booking, which will help space out the payments slightly. Even still, you will want to have a clear understanding of what you can realistically spend on your wedding and how long you’ll need to ensure you have that.

If you’re planning your wedding on a slightly tighter budget than is ideal, or if you have a large guest count but still want high end vendors or luxurious decor, consider getting married during the wedding “off season.” If you’re planning a wedding from December through March, or in some places July or August, your vendors will likely be a little more willing to work with you to fit within your budget constraits.

 

 

Look at important events that surround your wedding date

This is a huge point when planning a wedding – if Christmas is a crazy time with your family, consider avoiding a wedding anywhere near the holidays. If your fiancé and your mother both have June birthdays, you’ll likely want to avoid a June wedding. Ideally, you’ll be able to plan your wedding date slightly removed from any major holidays or other significant annual events (unless it makes the date more special to have them coincide with one of these events!) so that your wedding anniversaries can always be properly celebrated. Beyond that, are you or your partner about to graduate from law school? Consider waiting until at least a few weeks after that, so that you can go on your dream honeymoon without the late night study sessions by the beach.

 

 

A Wilmington film wedding photographer captures a bi-racial couple at The Atrium on their wedding day.

Think about your vendors

Ultimately your vendors, particularly your venue, will play a crucial role in setting your wedding date. Quality vendors will be booked out quite far in advance, so be prepared to move dates if you have your heart set on a certain wedding supplier or venue. If you’re set on a venue and a time of year and they don’t have availability, consider shifting the date to a day other than Saturday. Friday weddings are fabulous and magical mid-week weddings may just end up saving you some money.

 

A DC film wedding photographer captures wedding reception photos at a Smith Mountain Lake wedding.

 

Consider the Wedding or Proposal Plans of Close Friends

Definitely not 0ne of the fun things to consider when planning your own special day, but it is important to at least keep in mind the proposal or wedding plans of your close friends and family. If you know that your younger sister is about to get engaged, consider having a talk with her future fiancé about timeline and planning. While there is no set etiquette rule on who gets married first in any situation, it’s always nice to be mindful of potential conflicts when asking groups of family or friends to fly across the country for your wedding day! Additionally, if your best friend is getting married in May and you plan on being each other’s Maid of Honor, do yourselves both a favor and plan your wedding for at least three or four months before or after hers.

 

 

A Virginia film wedding photographer captures the elegant country club wedding ceremony at a Smith Mountain Lake wedding.

 

Planning a wedding date involves a lot more thinking than most engaged couples probably initially realize, which is why it can sometimes take months after your engagement before you pick the perfect date. Ultimately, there is never really an “ideal” wedding date, but these are just a few things to consider when you sit down to brainstorm the answer to the question everyone’s been asking you!

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Lindley Battle is a fine art film wedding photographer, serving the East Coast and beyond with modern and timeless wedding photos to capture the moments that matter most.

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