You’ve just announced you’re engaged and the very next question you’re asked is “when’s the wedding?” Seriously, how much excitement can these people handle?? You’ve just told them you’re engaged for goodness sake!
That aside, you do have to choose your wedding day and trimming down from the possible 365 on offer can be a little tricky. So where do you start?
I think the best place is in your head. Close your eyes and see yourself on your wedding day. Is it a crisp winter’s day and you’re in a beautiful chateau’s drawing room or private chapel? Your photographs are being taken outside in a frosty winter-land scene and to keep warm you don your luxurious faux fur over your stunning satin wedding dress? Or is it a spring day and your dressed in a wonderfully stylish three piece suite that makes you feel like James Bond?
Photo by Lynnie Lenon
Or, are you outside on a bright and balmy summer’s day, with your guests enjoying the sunshine whilst waiting for you to arrive. Then your music plays as you walk up the aisle and your silk dress shimmers and your veil floats on a light summer breeze? So that’s the season chosen! And now, back to reality!
Photo by Anneli Marinovich
From the chosen season, it’s time to ask yourself if there are any specific dates you’d like your wedding day to be on: maybe the anniversary of your first date; the day you shared your first kiss; a birthday; or maybe you’d like to be married on the same day as your parents or grandparents.
We all know that 14th February is Valentine’s day and supposedly the most romantic day of the year but in fact Melbourne University researchers analysed over 1 million couples married on Valentine’s Day, only to find they had the highest divorce rate! And according to some astrologists next year it’s actually February 20th that’s the best day to be married. For those nerdy types (I’m with you there) you may have noticed that it’s a palindromic date, 02022020!
There are also some other factors that you might want to take into account:
Schedules: your personal and professional schedules. If there’s a big birthday party quickly followed by the arrival of a new baby, then maybe that month would best be avoided. There are certain times of the year when professionally you’re mad busy and to take time off would be frowned upon by your boss or team. You may also have to think about the schedules of your absolutely, must-have guests: if you’re grandparents have a cruise booked or your brother is working away, then those are times to avoid too.
Holidays: Every year I have specific dates that I could book four or five times over and these are often bank holidays. Having a wedding abroad on a bank holiday weekend is a fabulous idea. Guests can take a day or two off work and enjoy the best part of a week’s holiday to celebrate your wedding! BUT, I hate to break it you. You’re not the only couple to have that thought and so these dates are very, very popular. You have to book them a year or even two in advance.
You also have to consider the bank holidays of the country you’re getting married in. Here in France lots of businesses shut on bank holidays or at least have reduced hours. This could leave you and your guests with limited activities to enjoy. Conversely if there’s a large festival near your venue you may find everything is booked up and the whole area is super, super busy.
Weather: If you’re travelling abroad you should always consider the weather. Of course this is the one thing nobody can guarantee: this year we had two heatwaves in France in July! But hot, as well as cold and wet days all bring special considerations and require specific planning. Here the couple provided seating under some beautiful trees as well as fans and water for each guest.
Photo by Cecile Potier
Availability: Once you’ve got a general idea of the month, maybe you’d prefer to keep several dates in mind. That way when you visit your chosen venue you have a degree of flexibility. Or if you have a specific celebrant, photographer, musician, caterer you’d like to book, again you can be flexible.
Budget: The date you choose may well affect your budget. Some venues charge less for an out-of-season or mid-week booking. Some will give a discount if it’s a day others shy away from e.g. Friday 13th!
Like schedules, I extend budgets to include your guests. If you’re asking them to travel abroad maybe they’ll need time to save for the trip. Here’s where a save-the-date notice is a great idea. It also allows your guests to decide whether they’ll use the opportunity for an extended holiday or not.
There are so many factors to think about but at the end of the day it’s unlikely that one date will suit everyone. Even if your planning is absolutely meticulous, there’s always those little unplanned twists and turns; the totally foreseen.
Photo by Amy O’Boyle
At the end of the day you just have to make your choice: the important people will move heaven and earth to be there. This year I conducted weddings were guests flew in from all over the world, some just for one night!; the weather will be what it is and fans and or umbrellas will come to your aid; hopefully all your suppliers will do what it takes to make your special day even better than you ever dreamed of; and your wedding day will be the most fantastic day when you declare your love and commitment to the one you love. You’ll create amazing memories for you and your family and friends to revisit again and again. So whatever date you choose, have a fantastic day and I wish you many years of fun and laughter together. xx