Hooray! You found yourself a real keeper, and now it’s time to choose your wedding date. While it may be tempting to rush down the aisle with your Prince (or Princess) Charming, you might want to pump the breaks and consider all of your options first. It turns out, couples choose their wedding date for a variety of reasons. Some reasons are more compelling than others, but there are no rules that apply to everyone. So, how do you choose the best date for you? Here are a few tips to help guide you…

Tip #1: Eliminate the Dates That Don’t Work for You

You and your soon-to-be spouse likely have a few days, or even weeks, in the upcoming 12 to 18 months (the typical engagement length) you can easily write off. Perhaps one of you has a business trip you’re aware of or a family vacation to attend. Whatever the case, see what days absolutely won’t work for the two of you. Do the same thing with your wedding party. Your parents, siblings, and grandparents may be the core members of your guest list that you want to attend, but it’s entirely possible that not everyone you’d like to attend is available on the same day. Therefore, some sacrifices might have to be made. However, asking around is a surefire way to make sure you set a date that works with most of your wedding party.

Tip #2: Give Yourself At Least 6 Months

You may have jumped on your significant other and uttered “yes!” before they even had the chance to get on one knee and present an engagement ring, but don’t be so quick to put a bow on it. There are two major factors that make a longer engagement highly preferred. Firstly, wedding planning requires a lot of work. I repeat: A. LOT. Of work. From calling vendors and entertainers to scheduling fitting and alteration appointments, there is so much to be done. The last thing you want to do is only give yourself six or fewer months to do it. The second factor is the hefty cost of the wedding. To live comfortably, you should be setting aside ten percent of every paycheck into a separate wedding savings fund. You can do this manually, or automatically via an easy-to-use online banking app. Every penny you save now will make your post-wedding life so much easier!

Tip #3: Pick Your Ideal Season

There are a number of pros and cons for having a wedding during each season, and some don’t jump out as quickly as others. You may have been imagining an early summer wedding with optimal sunlight and moderate temperatures. Well, chances are, so is every other couple! That, in turn, can catapult prices and reduce the availability of your favorite venue. Therefore, a late spring or late summer wedding may be a better option. You’ll likely save hundreds and compete against fewer couples for the dates that work best with you. Want to save even more? Consider setting your wedding date during the early spring, fall, or winter months. Venues like 128 South and Bakery 105 are ready to accommodate you whenever you need! You might also find that your ideal season lines up with a particular holiday, giving you the perfect opportunity to have that Valentine’s Day or Christmas-themed wedding you always wanted.

Tip #4: Be Flexible

When you’re ready to call about prices and availability, pick a few dates you and your significant other feel comfortable with. It’s only then that a wedding venue and planner can accommodate you properly and provide you with accurate quotes, as well as information about availability. Your first choice might be ideal, but it may already be booked, or not within your price point. By selecting a few dates, you can compare prices more easily, and decide on a date that works best for you and your wedding party.

Tip #5: Pull The Trigger

In a perfect world, everyone will be happy with the date and be able to attend. But let’s be real—it’s very unlikely that you’ll have 100 percent attendance at your wedding, no matter how much feedback you received before you set your date. That’s because unexpected things happen. Perhaps a sibling decides to study abroad, a cousin takes a new job in another state or a relative’s health status changes; life happens and it’s normal. So, you shouldn’t feel guilty if you can’t predict it all, or if someone is unable to attend. After all, it’s your big day…Enjoy it!

Photos courtesy of Erin L Taylor Photography