Wedding

Etiquette

How to Pick a Wedding Date

Last Updated: Jun 22, 2018

Some brides choose their wedding date when they’re young and spend their lives planning the big day. Others haven’t given it a thought until the moment a ring went on their finger. No matter which you are, you know it’s important to pick the right date for you. This will be the date you say “I Do” on and celebrate each year for the rest of your life. So what date should you mark on your wedding calendar?

Jump To:

  1. When Should You Pick a Wedding Date?
  2. Things to Remember When Picking Your Wedding Date
  3. Is There a Best Month to Get Married?
  4. Additional Resources for Planning Your Wedding Date

When Should You Pick a Wedding Date?

Picking a wedding date happens on average about a year before the wedding. This timeline is largely dependent on available venues, holidays, seasons, the schedules of loved ones. The length of the engagement also factors into the chosen wedding date.

simple and traditional photo o newly married couple laughing on their wedding date

Things to Remember When Picking Your Wedding Date

With the excitement of the engagement, your life suddenly became very, very busy. It’s easy to lose track of all the different things you need to factor in when choosing a wedding date. That’s why we’ve broken it all down for you below.

Venues Affect Wedding Date Choices

Venues are one of the main factors that affect your wedding date. Popular venues can be booked months to years in advance and even smaller venues sometimes have a waiting list. If you’re set on a particular venue, make sure to call them as soon as possible to determine possible dates.  Along with venue, if you have a favorite band or catering company, make sure to check with them for available dates, as well. Remember, once the contract is signed, you’ll have a timeline for things like wedding invitations and save-the-dates.

Choose Your Wedding Date to Reflect Weather and Seasons

Some brides find rain on their wedding day romantic and lucky. Others would prefer a warm day without a cloud in the sky. When you’re looking at days for your wedding make sure that date doesn’t have a history of bad weather. No bride wants to melt or freeze on her wedding day.

Picking the right season for your wedding can help you carry out a unforgettable theme. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of winter wonderland decor, or autumn inspired main dishes. The seasonal setting around your wedding can help carry your theme from start to finish. Be sure to check out these additional resources on possible themes for each season:

Significant Holidays to Steer Clear From When Picking a Wedding Date

Keep track of planned holidays while planning your wedding date. Staying clear of these dates will help ensure that most of your guests will be in town and able to attend your big day. It will also keep you from stepping on anyone’s toes by planning over a cultural or religious holiday.

  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Third Monday in January
  • Washington’s Birthday: Third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day: Last Monday in May
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • Labor Day: First Monday in September
  • Columbus Day Second Monday in October
  • Veterans Day: November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: Fourth Thursday in November
  • Christmas Day: December 25

Remember, this list is just the official Federal holiday list, and there are many religious and cultural holidays that your guests may observe. Make sure to check with your VIP guests in case they observe any other major holidays. Once everyone gives the all clear, you can set a date knowing your loved ones will be there.

Family & Friends Life Events Affect Date Options

Has your family been planning your Grandmother’s 75th birthday for the last year? Is your sister expecting a baby in June? Will your best friend be abroad in Japan in September? If so, you’re probably going to want to plan around those dates.

Ask your closest family members and friends what dates they will be unavailable and try to work around that as best as possible. You might still not be able to find a date that accommodates everyone, but at least you can better prioritize. In the end, this will help you establish a clear wedding date. Then you can start planning your wedding party invites and wedding gifts for these VIP guests.

bridal party in pink bridal dresses and bouquets on brides wedding date

How Long is the Engagement?

Long engagements completely change the average wedding timeline. Couples with long engagements won’t have to pick their venue and and date until they are ready to start planning the details of their wedding day. They therefore have a lot more freedom with their wedding date choices.

Couples with shorter engagements will be time pressured to pick a wedding date. They will often have to do so quickly after becoming engaged. Some couples even pick a wedding date or venue before the engagement is official. This is to ensure that they can be married within their chosen season, venue, or with VIP guests with difficult schedules. For couples with an expedited timeline, check out our wedding timeline guide.

Symbolism in Certain Dates

Some couples like to plan their wedding date around events or days that mean something special to them. For instance, some might want to be married on the anniversary of their first date. Others might want to be married on Valentines Day. If symbolism around a certain date is going to factor into your choice be prepared that finding an available venue that works with guests’ schedule might be more difficult.

Is There a Best Month to Get Married?

The best month to get married is the one in which all your most important needs (guest availability, venue choice, etc.) are met. However, many couples choose to get married sometime between May and October. This is called peak wedding season, and varies depending on where the location of the venue is.

Benefits of a Peak Season Wedding Date

Peak season wedding dates are popular for a reason. The weather is often ideal in these seasons, making outdoor ceremonies and receptions with plenty of bright flowers possible. Peak seasons differ from place to place, so check when that might be for your venue. For instance, East Coast weddings are often in the spring or fall because of the humidity of summer. However, summer weddings are very common in the West Coast.

Benefits of an Off-Season Wedding Date

Off-season is usually between November and March. One of the main benefits of an off-season wedding is cost. Venues and catering companies often have lower prices in these off-seasons. For this reason off-season weddings are popular for couples who want a less expensive wedding. However, off-season is also popular with couples for other reasons.

For couples who’ve dreamed of a winter wedding hosted in a ski resort, off-season can be ideal. Maybe you’ve always wanted your wedding reception in a winter wonderland as white as your dress. In that case make sure to check out these elegant winter wedding invites after you’ve picked your wedding date.

wedding flowers and hanging lights

Additional Resources for Planning Your Wedding Date

There are plenty of plans left to make after you’ve decided on your wedding date. Check out our comprehensive planning guide of dates and duties before your wedding. And once you’ve picked your wedding date, share it with your loved ones. Start picking out your wedding invitations with a finalized date and theme.