Now that you’re engaged–congrats!–one question your most likely hear is, “have you set the wedding date?” Naming the day, as they call it, is an important part, and basically the first step of your wedding planning. Like most important decisions to come this one should begin with a conversation between you and your bride or groom.
The Length of Your Engagement
Generally, most couples are engaged for about one year. This may be based on “what feels right,” on financial status, or other family and traditional considerations. Your engagement period may also be determined by how much you would like to customize your wedding. Wonderful weddings can be pulled together in a surprisingly short period of time or they can evolve over months of elaborate planning. The important thing is that you allow yourselves enough time to plan for what is most important to you.
The length of your engagement will influence the selection of your wedding date for several reasons:
- Time of Year: Some couples have very strong feelings about being married during a particular season of the year. Related holidays, seasonal colours or temperature influence preferences. But each season also can present planning and execution challenges.
- Outdoor Weddings: If you have your hearts set on an outdoor wedding, remember that meteorology is an inexact science and choosing an outdoor venue is always a calculated risk. In spite of historical and current weather pattern indicators, there is no guarantee of what the weather will be on your wedding day.
- Indoor Weddings: These aren’t free from weather-wise risks either. Your winter wonderland wedding may find you and/or your guests affected by the closure of transportation hubs and shutdown of venues. Since Victoria, BC has a relatively moderate climate all year long, the biggest setback for a winter wedding may be getting guests from eastern provinces to fly over during their snow storms. They may be glad to do so, but you may plan around the possibility of some flights being delayed.
- Peak Wedding Season: The high-demand months are the most costly in terms of wedding expenses. You will be paying premium prices for just about everything related to your wedding. With the flowers in full bloom in the spring and the leaves changing colours in the fall, these are wonderful months for an outdoor wedding in Victoria–as long as you stay mindful of the potential for rain.
- Sub Peak Wedding Season: Being not as costly, service providers and venues are more likely to offer specially-priced wedding packages and discounts. NOTE: For couples planning an autumnal outdoor
wedding a little outside of the peak season, the latter half of September through the first two weeks of October are more optimal weather periods before it gets colder in Victoria.
- Off Peak Wedding Season: these months are the cooler months, though Victoria is usually manageable in terms of weather. They are also the months of the deepest wedding-related discounts.
Considerations for Your Wedding Date:
Nearly every couple will have to address special considerations when selecting their wedding date. These range from family or cultural traditions to health-related concerns to the availability of wedding attendants and treasured guests.
- Tradition Culture or Religion: Family tradition, religion, or cultural customs may include dates that are not considered appropriate for celebrations like weddings. Certain dates are viewed as lucky or auspicious in some cultures and particularly desirable for weddings. Aculturally auspicious date is likely to be highly sought-after by many wedding couples as well as you. Keep all relevant special considerations in mind when selecting your wedding date.
- Personally Symbolic Dates: These might range from your first date or first kiss to selecting a date in honor of a loved one, like a grandparent’s anniversary or birthday.
- Holidays: Weddings during the holidays can be tricky, not only for logistics and accommodations reasons, but also guests, venue, and services availability.
- Your VIPs: Most engaged couples have certain family members and friends so dear to them that it is nearly inconceivable to consider getting married without them in attendance. The availability or health of one or more of your VIPs may affect your scheduling efforts. You may not be able to accommodate all of your VIPs but for the sake of those who matter most to you, try to be flexible in your scheduling.
- “Say No” Dates: There is a busy season in nearly every engaged couple’s work or school life. Avoid booking your wedding during these busy periods if at all possible.
Create Your Wedding Date In Your Minds
What time of day, week, and month of the year come to mind for your wedding day? What dates are special to you and your beloved one? What is the setting? See it first in your minds, and then discuss your wedding visions (and dates) with each other. The final choice of wedding date is the one that works best for you and the majority of people most important to you.
- Get Perfect Out of the Way: Reality check: no matter how carefully you plan and schedule, your wedding date will not please or work for everyone and everything. You will most likely make some compromises and concessions to accommodate certain guests and attendants, and to secure the venue and services you desire.
This does not mean however that your wedding can’t be near-perfect. You will have planned carefully and thoughtfully and that’s about as close to perfect as any couple’s wedding day can get!