Choosing your wedding date isn’t trivial when you consider that “hindsight is 20/20.” While as cliché as dry wedding cake, this phrase has potential to bring a smile to your face. See, when it comes to keeping drama to a minimum at your wedding, taking a step back to consider what could happen and why is king. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, sure, but let’s get real here for a minute.
The day your fiancé proposed was one of those moments you’ll both remember for the rest of your lives, leading to a swirl of emotions and excitement. Suddenly you’ve gone from somebody’s sweetie to fiancé. That change in status includes a grand celebration—packed with a million details. Your wedding attire is likely at the tippy top of your priorities. After that, what matters will dramatically change. My daughter’s boyfriend is lead singer in a band. Music is critical at their parties. For me it’s all about the food and location, location, location. One bride wanted everything baby pink. Dresses, cumberbunds, flowers, food–even the sugar was pink. You get the picture.
Interestingly, one matter of extreme importance is often overlooked: choosing a wedding date. In hindsight, carefully choosing the wedding date selection sets a course for smooth sailing or nightmarish struggle. Here are some tips on how to choose a wedding date for your big day.
It’s a numbers game
In 2010, two of our wedding clients chose wedding dates specifically around the synchronicity of numbers. One couple was so passionate about sticking to a specific date that their wedding happened on a Monday afternoon. They met on 04/05/06, he proposed on 06/07/08, they wed on 08/09/10, and yes, they’re crossing their fingers for a child on 10/11/12.
Matt and Michaela married on 12/11/10 and had the date etched into a massive ice sculpture gracing the center of an elaborate buffet. Other couples wed on significant dates, regardless of inconveniences because the date was pivotal. My catering team is bracing for an onslaught of 11/11/11 wedding requests.
A new bride was preparing dinner while her hubby watched, dazzled to be so pampered. While she bustled around the kitchen he asked interested questions. “Why do you cut off the end of the roast?” She shrugged, explaining that her mom had always done so. At Sunday dinner, she asked her mother the same question. She shrugged in similar fashion, and said the same thing, turning to her mother for an explanation. The new bride’s grandmother laughed. “I cut the end the roast because my pan was too small!”
So it is with many traditions. If you want to keep an endearing tradition alive, that’s reason enough. If you don’t know why you do what you do, maybe a little advanced hindsight could be helpful. Just because it’s the most popular wedding month doesn’t mean you need to hassle with the month of June. Weather, packed venue schedules, and competing for stretched services lead to drama. Would you rather hire a caterer who is refreshed and able to give you undivided attention, or one who has three weddings to juggle? Florists, DJs, photographers and clergy are in the same boat.
Rain on your parade
Does your perfect wedding involve a certain season? If weather matters, survey the scene to choose a wedding date that matches. The Pacific coastline is fraught with heavy fog from Malibu to Seattle spring to early summer. We call it “June Gloom.” And…even though the song says “it never rains in California,” winter floods are a dangerous deal throughout this popular wedding state, disrupting travel and muddying shoes.
Other balmy destinations have their share of drama. Think bugs, tourists, and let’s not church it up here– even the most flattering bridesmaid dresses won’t hide perspiration at an outdoor summer wedding in the desert or a humid climate. The flip side is bitter cold winter weddings. A winter wonderland is stunning, so if you must indulge in this popular wedding fantasy, be sure to accommodate your guests. Budget outdoor heaters, hot drinks and food; add accommodations for indoor creature comforts like chairs, umbrellas, shoe receptacles and slippers. Heather and Graham changed positions from saying “I do” on the sand to the beach house deck, because an aging grandmother made the journey from Seattle to California. They knew she couldn’t navigate sand to witness the ceremony. In the end, drama was averted and the ceremony was amazing.
Certain venue dates book quickly; usually in June, August, and December. Graduations, reunions, fundraisers, conferences and concerts compete with your date at local churches, halls, community centers, entertainment venues and parks. If you’ve got at least a year to plan, you’ll likely find a vacancy, but then again, do you really want to be sandwiched between a concert and a family reunion? The venue manager will be more lenient with the keys and clean up deadline if you choose a quiet date. You might even be able to negotiate a discounted off season rate. Watching couples squeeze into a twelve hour window at an amazing but popular venue added so much stress that they could hardly enjoy themselves. It was a race from start to finish, and the ripple effect left guests nervous as well.
Looking to minimize the drama during your wedding planning? Let a seemingly minor detail, the date, set the tone. Carefully choosing your wedding date, and enjoy a blissful celebration of your union. I just know you’ll be glad you did.