des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Sweet Beginnings: Choosing the Date

For Brides

When you get engaged, one of the first things everyone asks is “When is the big day?” Well, my lovely, today I’m sharing a few tips on how to decide on your wedding date.

First of all, why is it that important to have date selecting guidelines? Depending on where your families live, whether you will be traveling, sports schedules (yes, this matters even if you are not a sports fan), and holidays are just a few of those reasons why.


Determine where you will get married first. I do not mean venues, but cities at this stage. Location and proximity to family is always a big consideration. We wanted a November wedding, but moved it up to September so that my family from the Northeast wouldn’t run into travel issues in the winter months. That would have been the majority of my family. Maybe neither of your families live close and you need to find a time that works for all of your key guests to attend.  By the same token, maybe the two of you don’t live near your families and you’ll be the ones traveling. Deciding where could also influence the season you prefer or have different high seasons that could affect your budget as well.

Be sure to check in with your family on big events or thoughts they might have on that front before you set your heart on anything. If it’s anything like our family, my mom absolutely could not get away for the wedding during tax season. Maybe your parents are teachers or have another occupational busy seasons that just doesn’t bode well for smooth logistics and them committing full attention to your day.

Even if you and your fiancé do not intend on planning around a football schedule (or other sport), it is still very wise to take it into consideration. If you are going to get married in a college town or near a big stadium, you will have to deal with traffic, venues being booked for related gatherings and the possibility of rowdy fans being present around town while you are taking pictures or exiting the church. On the other side of the coin, if you know about those areas and plan on a nearby town where many people will be gone at the game, you might have a much more private “the town closed for us” feeling on your big day.

Holidays are something to think about as well. Some people might choose to avoid holidays, while others might have significant meaning on one and choose that specific holiday to wed. Neither choice is right or wrong, but again, travel and guest schedules should be given thought.


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Ok, so you know where and now you need to come up with a few options. How to narrow it down, you ask?

Most couples have meaningful dates in their relationship. This could be the day you met, first date, first kiss, first time you said “I Love You”, your engagement or another monumental moment for the two of you. Here’s the kicker- it might not be a Saturday. (gasp) First of all, maybe you don’t want to get married on a Saturday. Other days are often cheaper (though not always Sundays depending on your vendors) and might work well over a three day weekend or other holiday. If you are set on a weekend wedding, maybe consider finding a weekend in that month or on the particular day of the month that holds so much meaning. Maybe you go rogue and just choose something entirely new. Don’t forget, your wedding date will become your new anniversary and the one you really count for the next 80 years.

Another option might be that you know a particular venue or vendor that you absolutely must have. If that is the case, be flexible. Ask what they have available and then cross check it with the dates your family has open. Again, flexibility is helpful, but also the length of your engagement. If the date, not expedience, is most important to you, consider having a longer engagement. If you don’t want to wait or someone is being deployed, you might need to be more open minded to find a date that fits that timeline.

Next item, where and how quickly would you like to honeymoon? If you have your heart set on Europe during Oktoberfest, you can absolutely get married in April and wait to go, but is that what you intend to do? Or would you prefer to leave the day after the wedding to jet off into the sunset on an adventure? Also, depending on your budget (see, it’s everywhere), you might have a season or month that is more affordable to visit that location.

Lastly, what style you have in mind? We will dig into this next week and I am a firm believer that you can make any style work in any season, however, there are things to think about. For instance, if you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony and you live in a place with harsh winters, you likely will not want that in those frigid months. If you envision a snowy scene, you likely will want a January or February wedding. There is also the point of fashion styles. If you envision seersucker details, short dresses and strappy heels, again a warmer month might lend itself better to that vision.

One of the biggest style vs. season tips I can offer is for all of you bloom loving brides. If you know that you want Peonies in your wedding flowers, please plan a May or early June wedding. I cannot tell you how disappointed so many brides are for that consideration alone. If you love Lilacs or Magnolia, consider spring and summer respectively.  There are some substitutes for certain looks and textures, but if this is one of those top three budget priorities, don’t forget to look at a seasonal calendar for your favorite blooms.

When all is said and done, with any aspect of planning, the most important thing is that you are married to your best friend for the remainder of your wonderful days. This is your beginning, so whatever date you choose will be the first day of the rest of your life, all above noted advice aside.

Don’t forget to send in your questions, sweet lovelies. I LOVE to hear from you!

xoxo, Jenn

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