Choosing a wedding date is one of the most important planning decisions that you’ll have to make as a couple — it will impact every other aspect of your big day. You may have an idea of where you envision yourself walking down the aisle or what you want your cake to look like, but until you decide when you’d like to get married, you can’t commit to anything. You might be asking yourself, “How do I pick a date that works for everyone and is still special to me?” or “Where do I even start?”
For every couple, the process is completely unique and that’s part of what makes your wedding date so special to you. I hope that by sharing some planner insight — as well as my experience as a real bride — I can help you find the perfect time to say “I do.”
Choosing your wedding month and date is a crucial first step in the wedding planning process, along with choosing your venue, photographer, and caterer. The time of year in which you decide to get married will dictate a lot of your subsequent planning, and will stick with you for the rest of your life.
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What is Best Month for a Wedding?
June, September, and October are considered the best months for a wedding. June, traditionally, is the most popular month to get married, simply because of the mild weather. With that being said, there’s no wrong time to get married to the love of your life (though it does help to have good weather).
In most parts of the country, the late spring through early fall months are typically thought of as “wedding season,” but there is so much more to it than that. Let’s walk through the year and look at the pros and cons of each potential wedding month.
March, April, May
March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. April showers bring May flowers. These are the traditional sayings that correlate with the spring months that we love so dearly. Emerging from the cold of winter, spring is such a welcoming time to host your special day. Without many calendar conflicts (St. Patrick’s Day, Passover, and Easter are the only holidays in the spring), your spring wedding should see good attendance. And after the drab, loneliness of winter, your friends will probably be busting at the seams to get out and celebrate with you.
A spring wedding is a gamble, though, simply because the weather is so unpredictable. Will it be sunny and warm, or is a cold snap going to hit? Even still, the gamble may pay off if you can land one of those quintessential warm, flowery days. In April and May especially, you might begin to encounter increased pricing and competition with other brides for vendors and venues as “the season” set in. We’re talking: wedding season.
June, July, August
Wedding season is in full swing by mid-May, with June being traditionally the most popular wedding month. These hot months offer long days and vacation time. Many of your wedding guests will be able to get away from their lives to attend your wedding thanks to more relaxed work schedules and school breaks. Far removed from the winter holidays, your guests are more likely to have a little extra room in their budgets for travel and wedding gifts. An abundance of flowers and fruits are in season in the summer, so you will have countless floral options and your pick of delicious produce.
However, these sunny wedding months are not quite that simple. Rising temps is definitely something to take into account. While it may look like a glorious day outside, if it is 100 degrees, you are going to be one sweaty bride with a bunch of hot and sticky guests. You can also just go ahead and count on venues and vendors being harder to book with steeper prices because of seasonal competition. Finally, vacation plans or other weddings may conflict with yours when it comes to your guests’ attendance.
September, October, November
Oh fall weddings, how loved you are! There is something so magical about the changing of the leaves and the cool, crisp air. A fall wedding month will make for cooler temperatures, happier party guests, and less bugs. And with a plethora of pumpkins, there are some very festive and unique wedding themes to embrace.
In these wedding months, possible conflicts include the beginning of a new school year, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. There are also fewer flowers in season, so you may have to be willing to re-imagine your ideal floral arrangements. And if you and your partner are football fanatics, a fall wedding month might prove difficult to schedule around big game days. What if you accidentally plan your wedding for the most important match-up of the season?
December, January, February
A winter wedding month can be a hidden gem. Gleaming fireplaces, evergreen trees, snowy winter landscapes, less wedding competition (and thus the ability to negotiate prices), and more vendor/venue availability make a winter wedding very appealing for couples. There is something so romantic about wrapping up in warm blankets in front of an early sunset and clinging to each other for warmth.
But for all of the pros, there are still some cons to a winter soirée. Depending on the location of your wedding, getting snowed in (or out) could be a factor. There is less green outside, making for less picturesque landscapes that might force your wedding photo session indoors. And… Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years. While these holidays are considered “the most wonderful time of the year,” they can create many conflicts for your special day. Traveling can be more expensive and difficult around the holidays, not to mention that money will most likely be a bit tighter for people, too.
How Soon Should You Pick a Wedding Day
The process of how to pick a wedding date will be different for each couple, but a good place to start is to consider how much time you’ll need to plan your amazing day. According to Wedding Study, the average engagement is about 15 months long.
Giving yourself at least a year to plan your wedding can be helpful for most couples. A wedding date at least a year out will give you time to check everything off your list—from finding and ordering your wedding dress (which can take 9 to 11 months) to booking your wedding reception venue (some are booked a year in advance).
Speaking of which, we recommend finding your dream venue first and see what dates they have available before officially having your heart set on a specific day (or creating your save-the-dates), since they may be booked then.
Alternatively, if you are someone who stresses over big assignments, a wedding far into the future may hang like a cloud of anxiety over your head. In this case, you may want to consider shortening your engagement. There are no wrong answers here. If you plan a wedding date six months from your engagement, it’ll be a full-on sprint to the finish line, but you will find a way to get it done, and some people thrive under pressure.
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Brainstorm any dates that are symbolic to you
How romantic would it be to marry on the date you first met, on the day you officially became a couple or on your grandparents’ anniversary? Some cultures use traditional methods to choose a date—for example, Japanese families check out the koyomi, an ancient astrological calendar, to pick the most propitious day. You may not be able to marry on the exact day you want—that special date could fall on a Monday, or like we previously mentioned, the venue you love may be booked—but you can probably get pretty close. (Pro tip: You can tell your guests about any significance of the timing in your ceremony programs.)
Pick the season you want.
Weather not only affects your wedding’s style and location, it can also help set a mood. Consider your wedding personality, then choose your season accordingly. Want free-spirited, fun, tropical-inspired cocktails and sun-dappled settings? Stick with a summer wedding. Dreaming of opulence, snowfall and holiday sparkle? Try a winter wedding. Rich colors, nostalgia and mulled apple cider are perfect for a fall wedding, and a spring wedding is probably your thing if freshness, pastels and a daffodil bouquet sounds like your vibe.
What Is the Cheapest Month to Get Married?
Your budget may go a long way toward guiding you to the right wedding date. For instance, June, September and October are some of the most popular marriage months, so prices are inevitably higher. You’ll have to compete with a slew of other couples for your venue and all your vendors. The months of February and December are also wedding bonanzas due to the holidays of Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
If you’re looking to save on your wedding, choose an off-month, where you’re more likely to get discounted prices and a better selection of venues and vendors. The cheapest months to get married are typically March, April and November.
Days of the week also matter: Saturday nights carry the heftiest price tag, but marry during the week and the world is your oyster (venues may even bid against each other to get your business).
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What about holidays?
If you’ve always wanted a Christmas tree at your wedding, or you’d love a heart-covered wedding cake, sounds like you’re a holiday wedding couple. Want to celebrate your Irish heritage? Opt for March, when everyone is already in the St. Patty’s Day spirit. Try a wedding party in pastels and an Easter egg hunt in March or April. Have a Fourth of July celebration with flags, barbecue fare and fireworks. A plus: Some holidays fall on long weekends, which might make it easier for out-of-town guests to attend. On the flip side, some guests may not want their holiday weekends upended by a wedding, so take that into consideration as well.
What Are the Luckiest Days to Get Married?
Are you a little superstitious or do you want to honor your religious or cultural background by choosing a lucky date for your wedding? We get it. There’s nothing wrong with making sure the planets align on your special day.
Jewish tradition believes that Tuesdays are a lucky day to wed. In the Torah, God says that the third day of the week is good. Meaning Tuesday are the right day for those who want to honor their Jewish heritage.
Got a little Irish in you? Then pick December 31st, New Year’s Eve, for your wedding. This date is lucky for the Irish. Plus, what better way to start off a fresh year than with a new spouse at your side?
For those who want to honor Chinese tradition, dates with the number eight or nine are considered lucky. The word “eight” is close to the word for “wealth,” and the word “nine” rhymes with “long-lasting.” The Chinese New Year is also a highly auspicious day, though the date changes each year, depending on a complex calculation of lunar events.
Finally, history buffs should plan their wedding date for June. This month was named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. She is sure to look kindly on couples who honor her month.