November 20, 2015 we will officially become Mr. and Mrs. Paul Roney!
While closing your eyes and pointing to a random day on the calendar seems great in theory, picking the date of your wedding is a methodical, time consuming process. From the time of year to the day of the week, the date of your wedding will determine a lot of the details that go into creating your personal fairy tale. Don’t fret, I’m here to help though. I’ve compiled a list of things to factor in when deciding your wedding date, plus a few things that weighed heavily in our own decision for our November nuptials:
Season: With 4 different seasons, you have a myriad of themes and color schemes to choose from. Sweet tea bourbon popsicles during the cocktail hour for those hot summer weddings or a hot chocolate bar with Bailey’s and Kahlua floaters to keep your guests warm and cozy during a winter wedding. How do you choose?! Obviously, the first thing to do is to think about your favorite seasons and come up with those corresponding 3 months. *I’m a sucker for all things Fall (pumpkin spice lattes, falling leaves, and leather boots), so we went with September, October, and November. It is important to know that the most popular wedding months are: June, August, and September with October becoming a newer favorite. The least popular (or what I refer to as the “dead months”) are: January, March, and December with February close on their heels. That being said, you might spend more on a wedding during the most popular months, while you could grab a venue for significantly less during an off season month. Also, take into consideration the temperatures in your area during these months. For instance, Georgia in the summer is all one big bug infested, frizzy-haired, sticky nightmare. Same thing goes for Boston in the winter, but we’re talking snow piles that go over my head there…
Day of the Week: It’s important to know that Saturdays are the most expensive wedding day. Period. Fridays and Sundays are a cheaper alternative, but don’t forget about the obscure Tuesday night wedding. When picking the day, the key component to consider is travel. We decided on a Friday, because venues that we were looking into were significantly less expensive. That being said, our battle will be with glorious Atlanta traffic. If you’ve ever driven through Atlanta at 3pm on a Friday, you will sufficiently know what it’s like to be in my own personal Hell. Be prepared to tell your guests to leave an hour to an hour and a half to make sure they make it in time for the ceremony.
Another hurdle you face when you schedule your wedding on a Friday is that everyone has to take off work. This can be a lot to ask of your guests and I fully understand that it’s not just asking someone to take off work, but it’s asking someone to take a precious PTO day or an entire day without pay. Letting your guests know ahead of time that they’ll need to take a day off gives them the opportunity to make the best decision based on their hectic work schedules. Make sure that you thank your guests and let them know how much you appreciate everything that they are doing to be there for you. Especially if it means sitting in THIS…
Time of Day: Evening weddings vs. morning weddings are the difference between mimosas and wine and church attire or black tie. The task you will have is deciding what kind of wedding you want and what time of day will coordinate with the overall experience you are looking to create. We decided upon 4 pm, solely based on the “golden hour”, which you will learn more about in my photography post. It’s basically that time of day where the natural light outside produces that golden, rustic glow that is perfect for pictures.
Holidays: I am a Christmas freak. I start playing Christmas music in my car (because Paul can’t handle it until after Thanksgiving). I live for decorating in plaid, white fairy lights, the bustle of a busy mall, wrapping presents, and hot chocolate. That being said…I will never get married on or near Christmas. Two big productions in one month is too much for my little heart. I would simply com-bust from excitement. There are, of course, pros and cons to having a wedding close to or on a holiday. Usually, the main pro being that it’s less expensive. Around Christmas time, you usually have a lot of free decorations that help give you more bang for the buck. I find the cons tend to out weigh the pros though when it comes to holiday weddings. It’s simply put; incredibly inconvenient for people. The only time that I’ve ever enjoyed a holiday wedding was for my friends Brittanie and Colin, who threw their nuptials on New Year’s Eve. They had plenty of champagne and let party goers free to roam the streets of Savannah with plenty of time to spare before the clock struck midnight! Other exceptions are Halloween themed costume weddings (make sure your event is kid friendly to make up for a lost chance at Trick or Treating) and Valentine’s Day (couples may opt to do their own thing). Our wedding happens to be the week before Thanksgiving, which will only really effect our projected honeymoon departure time.
Tax Weekend: Bet ya didn’t think about this one. Typically falling on April 15th, many people shy away from this weekend due to sheer stress.
Other important dates: I did extensive research on this one. With as many birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays out there, I scoured my calendars (yes, I have multiple) and made sure that my wedding didn’t fall on a significant birthday of a friend or family member. I also fact checked on anniversaries, graduations, school breaks, etc. No one wants to go to someone else’s wedding on their birthday. I don’t care what your friend says, she’s secretly going to be thinking that your cake should have candles on it… Just save yourself the trouble of a “how dare you get married on my birthday” moment and find another weekend.
Sport Seasons: If you are die hard college football fans like Paul and I, it is important that above all else, you look at your teams’ schedules. This is a little difficult if you both have different teams (Paul is a Florida Gator and I am a Georgia Southern Eagle…we’ll talk about why that’s funny later). That’s 24-28 different games and oftentimes 2-4 different bi weekends. I took a cue from my friends Brett and Meagan who got married on a Friday during GSU’s season just so that they could wake up and drive to the game the following day. Hail Southern! This goes for any sport. Opening day at Turner Field, the Falcons vs. the Jaguars, the Hawks vs. the Heat, the…oh wait, we don’t have a hockey team anymore…you get the picture. Also, make sure that if you know your families have a particular team that they watch, that you do them a courtesy and not let your wedding fall on a major rivalry game. And if it does, make sure that you understand when Uncle Randy goes to check the Buckeye score in the bathroom during the reception… Just in case you were wondering; Georgia Southern conveniently plays UGA the Saturday after our wedding…I know where we’ll be…
Just remember that no matter what day or time of the year you choose, there are no real “wrong” days. Your wedding date should be a day that means something to you and your spouse. Now that you’ve picked your date and set your budget, you are ready to get your hands dirty…you have officially begun the wedding planning process! Good luck and enjoy the ride! *Photo cred: Sonja Cooper of Cooper and Co Photography