I'm so passionate about events planning that I created a website and a thorough business plan for an events business I'm too busy to start!
Weddings Like To Be Dated First, Too
There are a surprising amount of things you cannot put in place for any event, much less a wonderfully magical wedding, without first setting the date.
How can you allocate catering in your budget without first being able to get an accurate quote?
How will you ensure availability of your venue?
There are things that can be done prior to setting the date such as choosing your theme or picking out your dream dress but the time immediately before setting the date needs some serious focus, let me explain:
The Beauty And The Budget
One of the first things to take into consideration when planning your wedding is your budget, you need to be realistic if you want to get married - that can mean setting out a timeline in which you would be able to afford the wedding comfortably.
Whether you plan to get married this year or next or even in a few more years to come, the date of the wedding day will substantially affect the grand total.
Weddings in July tend to be much more expensive than weddings in March and weddings in December much more expensive than weddings in January. This is a seasonal thing. Venues, service providers and for-hire agencies are all under a higher demand during summer and holidays so it's not just the venue price that inflates by the date but the price of everything from your flowers to your DJ.
Some couples have their heart set on a certain date for sentimental reasons or even superstitious ones and it can be a bitter pill to swallow upon discovering that your dream wedding date would set you back an awful lot more than settling on a date just a couple of weeks in difference.
The mistake here would be to settle on that less expensive date because it's "close enough" to the desired date. What you should actually do is one of these 3 things.
1. Commit to finding the funds to book the date you dreamed of.
2. Take a step back from that date and consider, together, another time of year that you would like to have your wedding, or even another relevent date that means something to the two of you.
3. Rethink the allocation of the funds. Can you cut back on travel or flowers to free up extra money to make your dream wedding date work well, maybe you could reconsider your chosen venue if you've chosen one already.
Unless you thoroughly enjoy window-shopping for things you're never going to buy then there will only be so many venues you can bare to view. It's fun at first, until you realise that not only are you dipping into a previously-unnaccounted-for portion of your budget every time you attend a viewing but also that you can only choose one and that one might have to be within a reasonable distance for your guests as well as within reasonable means for your budget.
So my top tip for avoiding unnecessary and potentially costly - in terms of both time and money is to find a pricing guide online for the venue's you are interested in and find the price range for your desired date or if you're unsure of your desired date then find a venue online that you're in love with, find the pricing guide and if you find that weddings are cheapest in April on a Monday then ask them if they have availability for a wedding on a Monday in April, you might not even have to choose the date yourself. You can leave it up to fate!
My wedding date was chosen based on a date that would be convenient for those in our family who had children and based on the fact that we had been engaged for two years and we wanted to get married that year, we didn't want to wait any longer. We set the date in June and we were married on 22 October 2018.
In the beginning stages of the planning, which started on 25 May 2018, I struggled to sleep at night all because I couldn't decide whether I'd rather have a wedding in the heat of summer or in a winter wonderland, if only I'd known those nights that I struggled to sleep that winter and summer weddings were way more expensive than autumn and spring weddings, I'd either have accepted it with my love of all seasons or I'd have accepted that we'd have to wait until the following year if we wanted to afford a summer soiree or a winter wonderland.
Useful tip: pricing guides for weddings venues are not always available on their website but can often be downloaded as a PDF, this is quick and easy and most smartphones guide you through downloading and opening them.
What Day Is The Date?
It's not only the seasons and the months that affect the price of venues, service providers and hire services but the days too.
That's right, getting wed on a Wednesday can be staggeringly kinder on the pocket than saying "I do" on a Saturday. It's not just the price to take into consideration when it comes to the day of the week and the date of the wedding.
You probably have a rough idea of who your most important guests are. Mum, Dad, your soon-to-be in-laws, siblings, family friends - I highly recommend writing them down because while you think you've got everybody, you probably haven't. It's important to you that these people attend the most magical day of your life so you want to make sure they can actually make it.
Save the dates might stop people from making commitments that will clash with your wedding but they don't have the power to cancel commitments made prior to the setting of your wedding day. This is why you should write down the names of the people you can't imagine not having at your wedding and call them to make sure they haven't got anything urgent happening on the day of your wedding, even if it's years away - it might be a traditional day or an anniversary for them that you didn't know about or had forgotten about.
You must also take children into consideration. Will children be allowed to attend your wedding reception? Children were at our wedding because we have children of our own and children in our family but this also meant we had to get married at either a weekend or during a half-term/school holiday which made the cost of the reception higher than it would have been had we chosen midweek during term-time.
Also, one last thing here. Bin day.
You don't want to take the bins out the night before or the morning of your wedding and you also don't want to leave them and be stuck with double the rubbish - triple if you received wrapped wedding gifts - in the days following your wedding day.
You can probably get someone to take care of that for you but, in case you can't, it's something to consider!
Traditionally, newlyweds will go on a honeymoon the night of or the night after the wedding.
My husband and I are yet to take ours but we fully intend to but probably not before we have a wedding again - to eachother (because it's so much fun, we rushed the first one and it's just magical - who wouldn't want to do it again? And yes, I count myself extremely lucky that my husband is happy to do it again).
You might want to also consider whether you'll take your honeymoon straight away and choose the date of the wedding with the honeymoon in high consideration. Not only for the sake of cost but for the sake of getting the most out of your experience.
For example, a honeymoon in Sweden would be best taken between December and February so as to see the Northern Lights looking their absolute best.
7 Things To Consider When Setting Your Wedding Date
- Consider your budget when choosing your date.
- If your desired date is really important to you then do what you can to make it work and decide whether you'd rather that meant cutting back on other costs or waiting for a different year in which that date would be easier to set.
- Remember to ask your VIP family and friends if they have any commitments before setting your date.
- Spend time on the decision. Like I said, I was kept awake at night by my own inability to choose between a winter wedding or a summer wedding.
- Your dress. Some bride's will work the dress around the weather and the climate. Others... Won't. I was one of the others. I was going to wear a dress with no jacket no matter how cold it got, luckily, it didn't! Would I have been able to make that kind of commitment in December or January? Probably not.
- Children. School.
- Does your date work well with your honeymoon?
© 2020 Karla Taylor