When it comes to setting your wedding date, there are a number of factors to consider before sealing the deal. From your dress to the wedding decor, time of year to the cultural aspects of your day, here are a few pointers ahead of setting a date for your wedding.
You’re engaged! The prosecco and champagne corks are popping and there’s excitement in the air. In the same breath as “Can I see the ring?”, the next question on your loved ones’ lips is often, “When are you getting married?”.
For some couples, this maybe an easy question and you’ll have had your wedding date in mind for a while. However, many couples won’t have even thought about this yet. But fear not, as choosing a wedding date need not be a daunting process. Here are a couple of tips to help you set the date for your special day – while keeping your nearest and dearest on side.
Setting a Wedding Date: Things to Consider
Time of year
One of the first things you may want to consider when setting your date is the time of year you’d ideally like to get married. Do you want a winter wedding with a roaring open fire or a relaxed and casual beach wedding during the summer months? If you have one particular element in mind that you absolutely want for your wedding, for example a particular flower, the seasonality of that product may determine the time of year you will be able to source these at their best. The season will also help determine whether it can be an indoor or outdoor wedding which can influence the venue you pick for the ceremony and the reception if not together.
It’s also important to consider the likely temperatures and weather at the time of year when it comes to setting your wedding date. This is particularly important for things like flowers, catering and the cake.
“Ask any photographer who has shot a wedding during a heatwave and they will regale stories of cakes literally melting and falling over in the heat,” reveals Debbie Gellespie of Debbie Gellespie Cake Design.
“If you are having a summer wedding and especially if it is in an outdoor venue e.g. tipi or marquee, please reconsider the semi-naked or buttercream cake. A cake made with chocolate ganache and fondant is much more robust and will be able to withstand the extremes of temperature. And be mindful of where it is being displayed – keep it out of direct sunlight and ask your supplier to delay delivery until later in the day to limit the amount of time it is displayed.”
The wedding stationery aficionados at Ananya Cards explain it’s all about clear deadlines and a clear time-frame in the run up to your big day.
Firstly, ask your stationer what their recommended deadlines are for your save the dates, invitations, and on-the-day wedding stationery. Ask them to give you recommended dates for your RSVPs to be due, and a timescale for posting items out.At Ananya, they ask for three months’ notice for bespoke projects. So if you want a bespoke design, speak to your stationer to check their availability and timelines before you set your wedding date.
Next, send invites out somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks before the wedding date, depending on where and when the wedding is, what your guest list is like, and whether you want to have time to send out additional invites after having received back some of the RSVPs. So do consider this before setting your wedding date. If there is not sufficient time for a bespoke design, then you may want to consider an existing wedding design or a digital invitation.
Once you know the date of the wedding, you can start sending out save the date cards – best to give more notice if you’re getting married at popular times in the summer or at Christmas, or if you’re planning a destination wedding. Remember that at this stage you can give as much or as little information as you like: the key is to share date and location.
Choosing a date to suit everyone
This can be very tricky. On your special day you want to be surrounded by all your loved ones but finding a date that works for everyone can be the most challenging part of organising a wedding.
However there are some apps available, like Doodle, that can help with this problem. Simply set up a wedding date poll, add all your proposed dates and then send the invitation link to everyone in the bridal party – the people that you truly wouldn’t want to be without on your wedding day. Your bridal party simply selects the times they’re available and the clever tool works out the date everyone can do. You could even use this app to organise the date for your hen do as well.
Considering different cultures
“If you are looking to honour a particular culture, heritage, or religion in your wedding, or combine multiple backgrounds, do check that your wedding does not fall on an inauspicious day,” the wedding experts at Ananya Cards explain.
“For example, for a Hindu wedding, the priest would consult the Hindu astrological calendar for an auspicious day and time for the wedding ceremony. This would be particularly relevant to those couples for which such considerations are an important factor to give them the best chance for a happy marriage. You may also want to avoid a religious festival like Diwali or Eid for your wedding as your priest may not be available, your guests may be busy and, suppliers may also up their prices.”
Setting a date for a destination wedding
The prospect of a dream wedding abroad is a popular one among brides and grooms-to-be. However, sometimes planning a wedding in a foreign country can become quite difficult, especially if you don’t speak the local language. Hiring a local wedding planner can solve these headaches. Find out if they are able to help you with the legal paperwork. It’s also worth making sure your prospective planner will liaise with local suppliers to get you the best deals available, and help you set the best possible wedding date. Ask for references and photos of their work to make sure you and your wedding planner are suited. Many of the bigger hotels will have an events co-ordinator or wedding manager who will be able to help you too – so remember to enquire as much as you can.
Remember to think finishing touches
It may not have crossed your mind to think about things like your wedding hair and makeup yet, but these kind of finishing touches are worth taking into consideration when it comes to setting your wedding date.
According to Sally-Kate Duboux, Bridal Hair Stylist at Hair by Duboux, most suppliers within the hair and makeup sector will need to take a booking fee to secure your chosen date, so it’s worth having a budget and date in mind from the early planning stages.
“It is in your interests to send that email enquiry with your proposed date as soon as possible, a lot of sought after hairstylists get booked up quickly and you don’t want to miss out of having your dream stylist by your side on the morning of your wedding,” adds Sally-Kate.
“If you are unlucky and find yourself in this situation enquire with them regarding alternative dates should your wedding date be changeable, another option could be do they have any members of their team or a highly recommended stylist that would be available for your initial date.”
Flowers are also a big part of your wedding date, and it’s worth noting different flowers will be in season at different times of the year, so factor this into your decision.
“Look out for public holiday dates that could affect the prices of flowers – Valentine’s, Mother’s day, International Ladies Day etc. As flowers are highly sort out to give as gifts the prices increase and therefore will affect the cost of your wedding day,” adds Emma Soulsby from Emma Soulsby Flowers.
Don’t forget about you!
Most importantly, it’s your big day.
When it comes to setting your wedding date, one of the most important things to consider is what you want. Like many brides-to-be, you will have been planning your special day long before your partner even considered popping the question, so make sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important to you.
And don’t forget that organising your wedding should be enjoyable so make sure you have fun along the way too.