After a while of being engaged, and a hundred people asking “SO when’s the big day?!?” which you may or may not have artfully dodged answering, you may start to wonder “Is something wrong with me? Why can’t I just pick a damn day?!”
Don’t worry. It’s okay.
And then after maybe even a little longer, you will think, “for real though, it’s time to pick. How do I pick??” Here’s my best advice. You know that scene from Miss Congeniality?
Stan Fields: Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.
While it’s worth a chuckle, this is kind of the thing you are going for.
Start off thinking about what time of year you enjoy most. Do you love the heat and bright colors of summer? Are you a fan of pastels and spring rain? Do you love the spicy smells of autumn, or are you a hibernator who dreams of the first snowfall and lives for the magical season of Christmas?
For myself, no month or day felt right just off the bat. But I have a deep connection to and love of spring. Everything from the warm rains, to the days getting longer, to the sunshine, to the buds coming out on the trees the flowers pushing up from the dirt the animals coming out of hibernation the greening that just bursts forth one day like magic… you get the idea. I’m in love with birth and renewal and life and living things. Mostly plants.
So, “sometime in the spring” was my starting point.
From there, take into account any holidays happening that time of year. Maybe the idea of sharing your big day with Christmas seems magical, or you like the idea of reusing red and silver decor. Maybe you want a big summer bash but don’t want it ruined by random all-day-long fireworks, so avoid July 4th weekend. Whatever the case, take into account whatever celebrations your country, faith, state, town, or family enjoys.
Consider options other than the stereotypical “Saturday afternoon” (even though that is exactly what I did, which I will explain later) if you want to pinch some pennies. Vendors know that Saturdays in June are the most in-demand. Demand and supply are a vicious spiral, so expect to pay more for just about everything if you plan for say Saturday at 4 pm on June 12th than on a random Wednesday in November at noon.
You could have an earlier wedding, which leads to a brunch rather than heavy dinner. This should save you some cash on both the food (breakfast foods are cheap yo!) and the booze (I’m sure we all have a few friends & relatives who have no qualms with allllllll the Bloody Mary’s, but most people will have more restraint in the AM). Also consider a later wedding post-dinner, and just have drinks and dancing afterwards with cake and cookies.
Okay, so now you should have a relatively small list of potential dates. Different websites recommend different amounts of time to give yourself, from 6 months to 2 years. It greatly depends upon you and your situation. Are you pressed for time, such as with a move or deployment or death in the family expected or birth on the way? You will have a shorter timeline. Are you a super anal OCD-planner with a list of lists you need to make and the perfect wedding day already outlined on Pinterest? Maybe you want to take some more time to go through all your options.
I personally found that 11 months was plenty enough time for me. I had the date and place nailed down within a month or so, and the rest of the details didn’t concern me too much. I could have had a wedding planned within 3 months that I would be happy with, so I had several months in between the initial 2-month flurry and the final month-of rush where I just chilled and enjoyed life. You may be a more anxious person and need more than a year to be sure all the Ts are crossed and Is dotted. That’s fine too, you do you.
Now what? Well, just as with saying “yes” and going through with a wedding, at some point, you just take the plunge and have faith it will all work out.
Pick a date from your list or calendar that meets your criteria, and go with it. Once chosen and told to people and vendors, it gets more and more difficult to change your mind, just remember that. The only other decision that really matters besides the when is the where. But we will talk about that next week…
So how about you guys? Do you have a date that mattered to you? How did you choose the “right time”?