Choosing a wedding date will likely be one of the first things you cross off your wedding planning to do list. But before you nail down your future anniversary, there are some factors you should think about. From local sport teams’ schedules to school calendars to your overall wedding budget, here are a few things to consider when selecting a wedding date.
For many couples, the numbers of their wedding date hold special meaning to them. It could be the anniversary of a significant milestone in your relationship, such as your first date, or perhaps you have a lucky number together. Choosing a wedding date that contains those important numbers can make the day even more special, if you can imagine that.
The Desired Length of Your Engagement
On average, most couples are engaged for 12 – 18 months. However, there is no “one size fits all” engagement length and there are pros and cons to short and long engagements. You and your partner should determine just how long you would like to be engaged before looking at potential wedding dates, as the length of your engagement will let you know what future dates should even be considered.
Your Wedding Budget
Generally speaking, the Pittsburgh wedding season (yes, it’s a real thing) runs from May to October. April and November are considered shoulder seasons, while December through March is the off season. While not always the case, getting married in the off season can sometimes be less expensive than doing so in the more popular months. A potentially lower price tag is just one of the benefits of a winter wedding!
Numerically Unique Dates
Every so often, the calendar produces a date that is so unique and memorable that it becomes a very coveted choice for engaged couples. For example, October 10, 2020 (10/10/20) was one of the most popular wedding dates in recent years. Any day with a repetitive or memorable sequence of numbers tends to be a very busy day for weddings.
National & Religious Holidays
Hosting your wedding on a holiday weekend may seem like a good idea but it can also present some challenges. Guests may already have travel plans or religious obligations, and airfare, accommodations, and transportation expenses, such as the price of gas, tend to cost more on holiday weekends over others. Even flowers can be more expensive around holidays when floral gifts are common, like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
School & Work Schedules
Planning a wedding is a lot of work and can be extremely stressful. You may not want to deal with those responsibilities while finishing up a degree or during your job’s peak busy season. Adding more to your plate during a time when you are already being stretched thin could make the wedding planning experience even less enjoyable. You may want to consider getting married after you finish school or at a time of the year when your career isn’t so demanding.
The Day of The Week
Much like the time of the year, the day of the week can greatly impact the overall cost of your wedding. Friday and Sunday celebrations tend to be less expensive than those that take place on a Saturday, while mid-week weddings can be even lower in cost. If you are working with a strict budget, consider choosing a day of the week that goes against the status quo. Other than cost, there plenty of perks to a Friday or Sunday wedding.
Availability of Immediate Family Members
Before you have a date set in stone, you should confer with your parents, grandparents, siblings, and those you consider must-have guests. You obviously want to avoid any major, unavoidable conflicts, such as a sibling’s graduation ceremony. If there is someone you absolutely must have by your side on the big day, run your proposed wedding day by them just to make sure they don’t have another huge event happening on the same day.
Your Desired Type of Wedding
Your wedding date could greatly be determined – or at least narrowed down – by the type of wedding that you want. If you’ve always dreamed of an outdoor fete with a garden like feel, the colder months obviously wouldn’t be viable options. Likewise, if you find snowy wedding portraits to be magical, you should look at potential wedding dates in December, January, or February.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Before you choose a wedding date, take a look at your personal calendar. Consider if you would mind sharing the day with a family member or close friend who may also be celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Some couples choose the same wedding date as their parents or grandparents as a way to honor or celebrate their long-lasting union. Others prefer to have a date that is all their own.
Local Events & Sports Schedules
In a sport-centric city like Pittsburgh, professional and collegiate athletic schedules can impact everything from hotel rates to shuttle availability to road closures. Likewise, large scale and/or city-wide events such as the Pittsburgh Marathon and concerts at Heinz Field can also affect your guests’ experience. Before nailing down your wedding date, check the local event calendar to see if you’ll need to work around any major concurrent events, and consider if that’s a challenge you’ll be up for.
If you have always dreamed of getting married at a particular venue, check their availability before making your final wedding date selection. Likewise, if there is a photographer, wedding planner, or other major player that you are dying to work with, inquire about their schedule prior to choosing your day. Vendor availability will help you determine which dates to consider if you have your heart set on working with certain people.
Purchasing a new home, moving across the country, having or adopting a child, and other similar major life events require a lot of time and attention. Adding planning a wedding on top of an already stressful life situation could be a recipe for disaster. You may want to factor life changes into your wedding date decision if you are easily overwhelmed or like to focus on one thing at a time.