Love is air, everywhere you look around. Love is in the air, every sight and every sound. Ok, that’s enough JPY, let’s get down to the serious task of choosing your wedding date!
First of all, let me offer my own and everyone at Story Amour’s massive congratulations on getting engaged. The wedding planning starts here. A journey of excitement, more than likely a few stressful moments, but of course, a joy like you’ve never experienced before. And the first point on that wedding planning checklist, picking a date to get hitched. But how?
Well, as wedding planners, we often get asked how to pick a wedding date. After 15 years of experience, we think we have come up with the perfect step-by-step route to ensuring you pick the best wedding date for your nuptials.
Over the next few paragraphs, we will outline all the information you need to know to help you make a decision. We will cover important aspects such as understanding the different wedding seasons, knowing how different dates impact budget and also look into those unlucky dates that you should avoid at all cost!
Anyway, let’s look at how to pick a wedding date.
How to Choose a Marriage Date?
Let’s get straight into it. Below we have put together a step-by-step guide to choosing your date. It covers all the crucial information you need to tick off, plus a little bit of advice to ensure you pick the right date for your big day.
Know when wedding season is
Wedding season is different depending on where you get married. In the U.K for example, wedding season is typically July to September. Hong Kong, think October when the temperature starts to drop. Generally speaking, wedding season fits around weather and temperature.
A simple Google search “Your Location Wedding Season” should reveal the wedding season in your area. But why is it important to know when wedding season is?
Wedding vendors and venues during wedding season are often in high demand. Think about it logically. Most couples will opt for a weekend wedding so they can maximize the number of guests that can attend. If the wedding season in your area is quite short, this means there are a limited number of weekends available that are suitable. Back when we used to shoot weddings, we would often get more inquiries for a peak Saturday in August, than every other date combined.
It’s all about supply and demand.
If you have a particular venue in mind, or perhaps followed your dream photographer for the last 5 years, be sure to plan in advance if having a peak season wedding. Most popular suppliers will book up 1-2 years in advance.
Understand your budget
Step two requires understanding the budget you have available. Getting married in peak season, prepare to pay a premium. Fancying a Christmas or Thanksgiving big day, again, prepare to pay a premium.
In 2023, the average spend on a wedding day was between $20,000-$40,000 according to Zola.com . If your budget is significantly below this, we suggest considering out of season or weekday dates. Many vendors will offer off-season prices or are pretty negotiable on prices during these times of year.
While there are many aspects that will push your budget higher, peak season prices will definitely have a big impact on what you can expect to pay.
Understanding your budget will allow you to make a decision on the best time of year to get married and guide you some way to picking the perfect wedding date.
Mindmap a few dates
Once you have considered your budget and know a little more about wedding season, it’s time to start coming up with a few ideas for your own special day.
We recommend sitting down as a couple and simply jotting down a few dates that you both like the sound of. These could be dates special to yourselves, such as the day you met. Perhaps you want to get married on the same day as your parents or grandparents. Maybe you are just more practical and are researching peak seasons and weekends during that time.
No matter what type of date you are looking for, noting down several options, will allow the next stages to narrow down suitable options for your dream wedding.
Story Amour Tip: Be flexible! Once you start shooting off inquiries to your favorite vendors, you will likely find that many of them are already booked up. Having a few dates and being flexible will increase the possibility of curating your dream wedding team. Hiring a wedding planner will ensure all these dates are kept track of with the availability of the venues and vendors.
Related Reading: What does a wedding coordinator do?
Check against important dates such as birthdays, funerals, etc.
Ok, so you’ve got a few ideas for dates? Now it’s time to pull out the calendar and start ruling any out that don’t quite work. Below we have put together a guide on some potential problematic dates that you should look to avoid.
- Significant holiday dates – 4th July, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc
- Medical appointments and/or treatments
- Leap years
- Friday the 13th
- Religious dates
Above are just a few of the potentially hazardous dates to avoid, opening up your calendar should help a little further. However, it’s your wedding date. Regardless of the above, you should pick a wedding date that means something to you. Many couples opt to get married on Christmas or Thanksgiving for example. However, remember this may limit the number of guests wanting to attend your big day.
Once you have done this, you should be left with a more manageable list of options and you can move onto the next step of talking to close family and friends.
Ask the advice of close family and friends
It’s always important to get the opinions of close family and friends. With close family members, you can visit and discuss your options. This gives them an opportunity to notify you of any potential issues with your dates. This might be a date that is important for the family that you may have missed, or it could be something less sentimental that could impact their ability to attend. Prior commitments, medical reasons etc.
If you have a particularly large, close group of friends, why not create a WhatsApp chat and drop date ideas in there? This way, people can rule themselves out while also offering a platform to discuss and offer different opinions.
It’s important to reach out to the people close to you and check for any potential clashes with their schedule. You wouldn’t want anyone close to be unable to attend your wedding day. While ultimately you won’t be able to control every guest, it should give you a better understanding of who is available and who isn’t.
Research unlucky dates
Everyone has heard the saying “auspicious wedding dates”, which basically means a date that is considered lucky. However, there are also inauspicious dates. Unlucky dates that you should go out of your way to avoid.
In reality, this is often culture dependent and many unlucky dates will be based around tradition and symbolism. That being said, we’ve all heard of “Friday the 13th” haven’t we?!?!
For many people, unlucky wedding dates may not feature high on their list of requirements when picking a date for their big day, however, for those with their pre match rituals and a long list of situations, you should definitely research the unlucky dates for your year. Later on in the article we have put together a list of dates to avoid in 2023.
Reach out to venues and vendors
This is where dates really start to get narrowed down, the time when you start reaching out to vendors and hearing back whether they are available for your wedding date.
As with the dates, we recommend making a list of suppliers, each with various options in each. You should then zap a message across to each as a preliminarily enquiry. Giving you an opportunity to see how busy they are all.
We would recommend a simple message like the below:
Hi INSERT NAME HERE,
We absolutely love your work and have been following you on social media admiring the weddings you share.
I have put together a list of dates below that we are planning for our day. Could you let me know your availability?
1st August 2025
2nd August 2025
3rd August 2025
4th August 2025
If you could also send a rough price guide, that would be brilliant.
Really looking forward to hearing back from you.
INSERT YOUR NAME
One quick point, many wedding vendors are so popular that they are often picky about the couples they take on. Always try to provide a personal message on why you love their work. This will go a long way seeing if you gel well as a partnership.
Asking for a rough guide on price will give you the opportunity to remove any suppliers way out of budget. This, in turn, should allow you to also narrow down your prospective wedding dates.
FAQs about Picking Wedding Dates
While ultimately, choosing your wedding date will be up to you, that doesn’t mean you shouldnt consider all possibilities. The last thing you want is to be picking a date where an important family member can’t attend or leaving it too late and picking a date where all your favorite suppliers are already booked.
With that in mind, we hope the above goes a long way to helping you choose your big day date. In addition, we’ve also gone one step further and answered some of the most commonly asked questions by our previous brides and grooms.
What is the most popular wedding date of 2023?
Hmmm, that’s almost an unanswerable question as it depends entirely on where you are planning on hosting the day. As we mentioned before, getting married in Hong Kong and December the 2nd is where it’s at. Based in the UK? September 2nd is looking rather popular.
In terms of specific dates, one of the most popular dates is 2023, regardless of location, will be the first weekend after the peak season ends. As we just mentioned, in the UK this falls on the Saturday 2nd September, just after that July/August rush (cheaper prices), while the weather is hopefully still sunny.
According to various sources, in the US, the most popular wedding date in 2023 is September 23rd. However, this again is very dependent on your local climate.
How soon should you pick a wedding date?
This is a much easier question to answer. As soon as possible!
In all seriousness, when it comes to weddings, do everything early. Many couples start wedding planning up to 2 years before the big day. We recommend choosing the wedding date as one of the very first tasks on your wedding planning checklist. Once done, you can start building your epic wedding creation.
One further stat for understanding how soon you should pick your wedding date, the average time between engagement and wedding day is around 12-14 months. Make of that what you will.
How long does it take to pick a wedding date?
This can vary dramatically based on many different aspects from cultures to couples. Realistically, from step one you could spend anywhere between one week and several months to decide on a date for your big day. Remember, you may have to wait to hear back from your vendors and venues in order to confirm the big day and begin choosing your wedding invites.
What is a lucky wedding date for 2023?
Similar to the first question in this section, it’s quite hard to pin down lucky wedding dates for 2023 as it is very dependent on religions, cultures and traditions. We recommend either searching online for lucky wedding dates in your religion or culture, or, you could also visit with a professional in that area.
Without wanting to insult a wide variety of cultures, a date can be lucky for many reasons, it’s just a date. It can mean something very personal to yourself, meaning you can create your own luck.
Is there a wedding date generator?
If you are really that stuck on choosing a specific date for your big day, there are alternatives. Many online tools are available to help suggest suitable dates for your big day. They tend to filter dates based on your inputs including information provided such as personalities, style of wedding, general likes and dislikes.
Below we have listed a couple of sites that could help you make a decision.
- Rum & Money – Based on personality and life experiences
- Phuture Me – Based on numbers and astrology
- Giga Calculator – Randomly generated
Just a heads up, we wouldn’t really recommend using one of these tools. Try to choose a date that has meaning to you. It will be a story you can tell for years to come.
Hopefully this guide on how to pick a wedding date has made the entire process easier to understand and digest. If not, put a few in a hat and draw out the lucky number. Joking!
If you are planning your wedding, choosing an ideal wedding date is just one of the many challenges you face. That being said, it’s something to be enjoyed, not fretted upon. While it will hold a dear significance in your future life together, no matter what date you choose, it will forever be special to you regardless of superstitions and traditions.
Time to get thinking!