Choosing a Wedding Date – When Youre Feeling Indecisive
He – or she – asked, and you answered. Nows the time to bask in the romance, and enjoy the first phase of your new life together. But soon, youll need a response for that timeless question: "whens the wedding"
For some couples, its easy – they know just when they want to tie the knot. For others, its less clear. After all, you have a lot of options. Even more than you might think, since its really not necessary to get married on a Saturday. Friday and Sunday afternoons are good choices too, and less expensive.
So if youre looking at the calendar ahead and seeing a hundred alternatives, all about equally attractive, heres how to narrow them down.
No matter how flexible you are, theres bound to be things you wont compromise on. Maybe its a particular church, temple and officiant for your ceremony. Maybe its a special venue for your reception. And there are certain indispensable guests, like your parents.
Luckily for you, putting just these three things together is bound to reduce your choices. Once you call on the church/temple, ceremony venue or reception hall, youll probably find many dates already filled, especially if you call less than nine months in advance. Good. That makes things easier!
But maybe you dont have a must-have venue. Maybe you just have an image in your mind of the perfect wedding. Maybe it involves falling snow, ermine mantles, a horse-drawn carriage, and a crackling fireplace. Maybe it involves stacks of shiny apples, heaped pumpkins, a scattering of leaves and the scent of cranberry-apple cider. Or delicate pastels, gossamer pashminas for the bridesmaids, and a dove release. In this case your time of year is set: all thats needed it to work out the logistics of venue, local climate and the availability of your most important guests.
Some people know exactly what floral arrangements they want at their wedding. Flowers are such an enormous part of the wedding budget, if particular ones are important to you, you might want to arrange your date around them. Unless youre an heiress, for example, youll want to avoid buying roses for your Valentines Day wedding. On the other hand, December and January are great months to buy calla lilies. To study flower availability charts, Google for "flower availability by month."
If you have your heart set on a certain destination, youll probably find the honeymoon helps set the date for you. Chances are, some dates are good for travel but others involve the risk of hurricanes or lengthy rains.
For now, winter is the slow wedding season. So its often though not always true that you can get a break on expenses by having your ceremony during the holidays. Brides often find that by marrying near Christmas, they benefit from already-decorated churches and dont need to add much themselves. Plus, if they shop the year before, they can stock up on decorations at incredibly discounted post-holiday sales. The trick is to avoid competing with office parties for reception venues and limousines New Years Eve is particularly competitive.
Another factor to consider, besides the possibility of dismal weather, is how many guests are due from out-of-town. Flying in for a holiday wedding can strain any familys Christmas budget, plus airlines often charge extra during the season.
If you need to keep expenses in check but want to avoid winter, make sure you steer clear of proms, graduation, "parents day" at colleges, major sporting events and other local events.
You might find your own life gives more guidance than you think. Are you a teacher, with set vacation times Are you graduating from college or ending an internship Are many of your relations students, available only during the holidays or the summer If youre working, is your vacation time limited to a certain time of year If many guests are flying in, will Labor Day weekend or Memorial Day weekend give them time to get acclimated and enjoy your big day If none of these apply, is there a date that has special significance to you as a couple, such as the date you first met or first dated
Many people find little extra jolt of comfort in picking auspicious days for their wedding. In India and China, this is standard practice. But even in the West, people often find it reassuring to pick numbers or dates with personal meaning. A Chinese custom is to select a date with as many even numbers as possible such as 2-18-2006. The Irish believed that New Years Eve is luckiest for weddings. The Romans and consequently, modern westerners favored the month of June. For Victorians, it was lucky to marry on the grooms birthday.
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There’s no doubt about it, weddings can be expensive. The average cost of a wedding today is $20,000 – $25,000, and weddings are estimated to be a $25.3 billion industry. But don’t worry if your budget cannot stretch for the most expensive custom-made gown, elegant invitation cards, or the top photographer, it doesn’t mean that your wedding will be any less unique or special than anyone else’s.
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