It is definitely overwhelming – there is so much to consider.
Couple all the details you have to juggle with venue availability (they often book at least a year out) and it can quickly become complicated. Consider the following to help you choose a wedding date.
If you are a visual person, buy a cheap calendar and cross out dates as you eliminate them, noting why in the space for each day. This will provide you with a quick visual as you go, and an easy way to keep track of why you made each decision.
Season is an easy one. Do you want your ceremony and reception to be outside or inside? Is your dream an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception? Do you love snow or hate snow? Do you just have to have golden aspen leaves in your photos? Most couples have an immediate and definite idea of this in their minds. If so, check this one off your list and read on.
If you two are one of those couples who don’t care which season it is (you just want to get married! And soon!) or you are motivated by cost, consider a winter wedding. Off-season rates at most venues are less expensive and guests have fewer commitments than in the summer, so a winter wedding may be easier on the budget and easier for your guests to attend.
Friends and family commitments
Note the most important friends and family members on your guest list and reach out to them to find out if they have any major prior commitments that would prohibit them from attending your wedding. If you are marrying in the summertime you will have to contend with summer vacations, and let’s be honest: other weddings. If you wish to marry in the late summer you will contend with kids going back to school.
This can be a large hinderance in your planning. A good piece of advice is to find the perfect venue first, then choose a date. Reason being, venues often book about a year out, sometimes more. It is instinctive to automatically eliminate a venue if they don’t have your perfect date available, but this method may cause you to settle for a less than perfect venue, because it has your date. Five, ten, 20 years from now your memories will consist of the events and impressions of your wedding day, not the perfection of the date itself. The perfect venue will contribute to these fabulous memories more so than a particular day in, say, June, compared to a day in June. Read more about how to choose the perfect venue.
Day of the week
Most couples start out with the “have to have a Saturday” mentality. And why not? It makes perfect sense – guests don’t have to take off work, children don’t have to miss school. If you make it easy for your guests, more are likely to attend. The potential issue, unless you’re planning about two years out, is venue availability. Those pesky venues! Again, most venues book about a year out, and Saturdays are the first to go. It is worth considering a weekday, or a Friday/Sunday wedding. Depending on what you are willing to consider, going with a day other than a Saturday is in your benefit. Venues often charge less and vendors have greater availability; their Saturdays book up first, too.
Consider a Monday wedding. Mondays usually aren’t even on a couple’s radar, but there are good reasons to include them in your decision-making process. One reason is that you will have more time to spend with your guests. If guests have to travel to your wedding, whether it is from out of state or a neighboring town, they will either make a weekend of it or drive up on the day of regardless of the day you marry. For those who make a weekend out of it, you will be able to spend more time with them marrying on a Monday than on a Saturday. You will have all day Saturday and Sunday to spend time with them, rather than being consumed with your wedding Saturday and missing them Sunday as they leave for home.
But what if there is a particular date that has great personal meaning to the two of you? Despite everything you just read, if none of the arguments were enough to sway you away from the perfect date you have in mind, then by all means find a way to make it work! Going through this process will help you decide what compromises you might have to make to get married on it. If you are okay with the consequences of your choices then go for it!
How to choose a wedding date: remember, you are the only one who has to be happy with what you choose. It is your day!
At the Basin
At Wild Basin Lodge, you can marry year-round, seven days a week. We have two outdoor ceremony sites to choose from, or you can marry indoors if that is your preference, and you will have our rocky-mountain-elegant lodge to yourself for your reception. No matter how you come to your perfect date, we have an option to meet your needs. Find out more about a wedding at Wild Basin Lodge or take a lookl at our gallery. Please reach out if you would like more information or to schedule a tour.