Moments after you are engaged you are bombarded with questions about your wedding plans. Good for you and your fiance if you are prepared (or even mildly prepared) to answer these questions, but if you’re not ready– don’t worry. We’ve all been there.
Theo and I got engaged the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving Day (2 days later) my grandmother was already asking me if we had set a date. Surprisingly, we had it narrowed down to 3 possible dates–none of which are going to be our actual wedding day. (Although we are getting married the same weekend as one of those dates!)
I didn’t realize how quickly people (not just family members) would ask this after finding out we were engaged until we went to dinner with my friends in early December after we had been engaged for about three weeks. She was finishing optometry school final exams so she hadn’t been on social media in a few weeks. She didn’t see us post pictures of the ring on my hand and change our relationship status to “Engaged”. She found out in person that we were engaged when she saw my ring which was a really great surprise to share with her. Since she was married about 4 months earlier she hesitated and prefaced her question with “I know you probably don’t have an answer to this and are probably overwhelmed with how many people ask you immediately after saying Congratulations— but, have you set a date?” She was surprised to hear it was narrowed down to three options and was so excited that we too would be a married couple.
Now, I want to give you a quick breakdown on how I came to decide what these 3 possible dates were:
1. First, we needed a general idea of the location we were getting married in. We knew we wanted to get married somewhere in our home state of Ohio. Based on the location we had chosen, we had a pretty good idea of what the weather would be like during certain months/seasons. We chose accordingly based on theme ideas, attire ideas etc.
2. Second, we knew we wanted to get married in the summer because for a long time we had discussed getting married outside. We had also been to enough summer weddings together that we knew we preferred late May through early July as the weather was more likely to be warm and comfortable versus sweltering like it can be in late July and August. In this step, we also considered what year we want to get married–since we got engaged late in 2014 that would have left us with an approximately 6-month planning window for a summer 2015 wedding and about an 18-month planning window for a summer 2016 wedding. We decided more time to save up for the costs involved was better and that planning in only 6 months might be overly stressful and take the fun out of the process.
3. Third, I made an Excel spreadsheet with Friday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from May 1 through Labor Day weekend for the year 2016.
From there, I blocked out days I knew we didn’t want to get married, these included:
- Major holidays (although we were open to dates within holiday weekends, we did not want to compete with the holidays themselves) including: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Fathers Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day *we actually blocked off the entire weekend of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day since it fluctuates and we decided we didn’t want our wedding anniversary to coincide with parental holidays in the future
- Birthdays and Anniversaries (our own birthdays as well as birthdays and anniversaries of close friends/family who would be in our wedding party)
- Wedding (getting married in 2016) days of friends/family (we included some we were likely not invited to but knew people we really wanted to attend would be attending)
4. Fourth, I blocked off Sundays because after talking with Theo we knew it was really important to us to dance at our wedding and get our guests dancing. We didn’t think that was as likely to happen on a Sunday. *At the time, Theo also asked me to block off Fridays for concern of lower guest attendance.
Based on the factors above, we narrowed it down to three Saturdays that met our requirements.
June 4th, July 9th, and July 25th of 2016
Ultimately, when contacting venues and vendors we were very interested in, none of those dates were in the cards for us. Places we were interested in were already booked (about 16 months ahead!) and vendors I had fawned over for years were also already booked. After getting incredibly discouraged, and thinking I needed to start over, I decided to ask about Fridays in June— which turned out to be just the ticket. Venues had the rooms we wanted available, our choice of vendors increased exponentially and some options we were considering had better prices for Fridays.
If I have any advice about picking a date, it’s to be open to options and don’t feel the pressure to pick a date right away just to satisfy others. Do some research to figure out what is a deal breaker for you and your fiance as well as for any venues/vendors you’re interested in.