So, you recently got engaged. Congratulations! Now that you have the ring, you need a date for your wedding. But what date to pick? There are many things that can guide you in picking a date for your wedding. You may want to get married during a particular season or during a specific month. Perhaps you want your wedding to coincide with or avoid conflicts with other obligations or circumstances. You may (or may not) want to plan your wedding on a holiday weekend. Sometimes there may be religious constraints to consider.
We have some ideas for how you can pick dates that are meaningful for reasons that go beyond just “because it’s my wedding.” Picking a date that has meaning in and of itself is a way to add extra significance to one of the most important days of your life.
NOVELTY DATES: PALINDROMES, MATH AND LUCKY NUMBERS
A palindrome is a number (or word) that is the same forwards and backwards. Some fun date palindromes that are coming up in the next few years are 8/18/18 and 9/19/19.
If you love math (and even if you don’t), a fun way to pick a date is where the numbers that represent the month, day and year add up. Examples include April 14, 2018 (4+14 =18), August 10, 2018 (8+10=18), September 9, 2018 (9+9=18), November 8, 2019 (11+8=19), and October 10, 2020 (10+10=20), to name a few.
Of course, we can’t forget “lucky numbers.” Many cultures consider different numbers “lucky.” For example, the number 8 is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture because it means “wealth,” “fortune,” and “prosper.” The number 13 may be unlucky in the United States, but it’s considered quite the opposite in Italy. The most popular lucky number by far is the number seven. It is referenced throughout literature, the bible, and in everyday life. For example, there are seven days in a week, seven notes on a musical scale, Seven Wonders of the World, seven colors in a rainbow, seventh heaven, seven seas and seven continents. Snow White lived with the Seven Dwarfs, there were Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and James Bond’s code is 007. The number seven is everywhere! Why not make it part of your wedding by picking a date with some sevens in it?
The best thing about picking a “novelty” date is that it’s easy to remember. Plus they’re just a lot of fun.
A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY
Some couples like to get married on a special anniversary such as the anniversary of their first date, their first kiss, or the day of the proposal. Since venues often book dates up to 12 – 18 months in advance, if you’re set on a specific date because it commemorates the anniversary of a special event, be sure to plan ahead.
If you and your beloved, and even if many of your guests all share an interest, a fun way to memorialize your wedding day is to pick a date that coincides with that shared interest. For example, if you and your spouse are avid sports fans, consider planning your wedding on the day of a major sporting event such as Superbowl Sunday, the Final Four basketball tournament, World Cup Soccer Finals, or the World Series. Did you and your husband go to college together? Consider a date during a Bowl Game or National Championship game. Are you an avid hunter? Schedule your wedding on the opening day of deer hunting season. These can be fun ways to acknowledge how much the shared interest means to the bride, groom and guests.
When choosing a date, it is important to be mindful of circumstances which may make it difficult for guests to attend. For example, if you’re still in college, you may want to plan your wedding when you know your college friends will be on break, such as during spring, winter or summer vacation. Most colleges and universities post their academic calendars online several years in advance. Be sure to check the calendar when planning your date.
If any of your bridesmaids, groomsmen or other important guests are active military, it’s a good idea to check their deployment schedules to make sure they’ll be able to attend your wedding. If someone has to be there, don’t plan your wedding when they’re scheduled to be away.
Holiday weekends are a double edged sword and can be tricky. Because of the extra time off work, some guests who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend may actually be able to. But some guests plan vacations far in advance during certain holiday weekends and may not be in town for your wedding. If you’re considering getting married on a holiday weekend, before committing to a date, gauge your guests to see who can and cannot attend.
Also, some holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mothers Day are more difficult than others because of a higher demand for flowers. The higher demand makes flowers for those dates more expensive. As long as you and your florist know this ahead of time, you can budget and plan for it.
OFF-PEAK DAYS AND OFF-PEAK SEASONS
One of the best ways to save on your wedding costs is to pick a non-Saturday date. Because Saturdays are the most common wedding day for most brides and grooms, they tend to cost more. Choosing a weekday or even another day of the weekend (Friday or Sunday) can often save up to 30-40 percent (or more) off the venue cost. Many vendors also charge more for Saturday events, sometimes up to double what they may charge during the week.
When you add up all the savings, it may be worthwhile to consider a date that’s not on a weekend. This is exactly what we did for my son and his fiancé. We chose a Thursday evening and are saving thousands of dollars, not just on the venue, but on the DJ, rentals, and catering. If you send save the dates to your guests far enough in advance, they will make plans to attend your wedding just like they would if the date were on a weekend.
Many venues also offer discounted rates for weddings booked during slower times of the year. Every venue is different, so be sure to ask if a venue offers discounts for off-peak season weddings.
Many religions have dates that have special significance. For example, in Judaism, the beginning of a new month (rosh chodesh) has special meaning. Certain months and days of the week also have more significance than others. Many religions also have days or extended periods of time where weddings may be prohibited, such as on Shabbat in Judaism, and on Good Friday and during Lent in Catholicism. Check with your clergy before picking a date if this is a concern to you.
Whatever date you choose, have some fun with the process. Pick a date that is meaningful to you and your fiancé. Your guests love you and most will make the effort to attend.