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Setting the Wedding Date: What's the Hurry?

Updated: 4 days ago

The average engagement in the United States is 15 months, which allows plenty of time for wedding planning. Still, it's best to begin your planning sooner rather than later. In fact, if you intend to be married less than a year from your engagement, the current recommendation is to set your wedding date within one month of becoming engaged. Like everything else, this is a guideline, and flexible, but here's why experts suggest setting that date early:

In 2023, 61% of weddings were held in five key months, which means the most desirable dates book up fast. When it comes to wedding planning, the early bird gets the worm! Think you know which months are the most popular? You might be surprised!



According to research from The KnotOctober and September top the list as the most popular wedding months, with 17 percent each. As the weather transitions from summer to fall, the temperatures lend themselves to greater flexibility in wedding themes. Warm evenings and sunny days provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor ceremonies and tented receptions.


June is next with 11 percent. The summer season really kicks off here with longer days, warmer weather, and vibrant scenery. Seasonal flowers and ample sunlight for photos make it attractive for outdoor festivities. June weddings often see a larger attendance, as well, because they fall before the peak vacation season.


April and November weddings come next with 8 percent each. These months are referred to as "shoulder months" because they are on the edge of the next season. This often means couples may find more budget-friendly vendor options than in summer or fall.


July and August come next with 7 percent each, followed by March and May with 6 percent each. The remaining three months, December, January, and February, are considered the off-season and account for just 11 percent of weddings.


Get the date-setting quick reference page here:

Vista Blog Wedding Date What's the Hurry
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Before locking in your date, you may want to consider the following things:


Vendor Availability: Avoid scheduling conflicts by checking the availability of essential vendors, such as the venue, photographers, and caterers, before committing to a date. This allows you to build a reliable "dream team" to bring your wedding vision to life.


Tips:

  • Start researching and contacting potential vendors immediately to inquire about their availability for your wedding date.

  • Create a spreadsheet or use a wedding planning app to keep track of vendor availability, quotes, and contact information.

  • Be prepared to be flexible with your wedding date if it means securing the services of your preferred vendors. Consider weekday or off-peak dates that may offer more availability and potential cost savings.

  • Schedule consultations or meetings with vendors to discuss your vision, budget, and any specific requirements you may have for your wedding day.


Key Guests: Before finalizing your wedding date, confirm the schedules of your most important guests, such as close family members and friends. If you'll be heartbroken that certain people can't attend, you may want to consider which is more important, the date, or the attendees.


Tips:

  • Reach out to close family members and friends as soon as possible to inquire about their availability for your proposed wedding dates.

  • Consider creating a list of priority guests whose attendance is non-negotiable. This can include immediate family members, best friends, or individuals traveling from out of town.

  • Keep in mind any significant events or commitments in the lives of your key guests, such as work obligations, school schedules, or planned vacations.

  • Be open to adjusting your wedding date if it means ensuring the presence of important guests who play a significant role in your life.

Similar Events: If you're aware of other weddings within your social circle or family, try to ensure there is enough spacing between dates to prevent conflicts and allow shared guests to attend both celebrations if they wish.

Tips:

  • Communicate with family members and friends about their upcoming celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, or major life events. You don't have to plan around everyone else, but run it up the flagpole in your close circles if possible.

  • Be aware that close dates may be difficult for those with limited availability or travel constraints for events within a short timeframe.

Destination Weddings: If you're marrying outside your local area, research your destination's local weather patterns, peak travel times, and accommodations availability to get ahead of potential challenges.

Tips:

  • Consider visiting your chosen destination in advance to scout venues, accommodations, and local attractions.

  • Consult with a local wedding planner or coordinator who can provide insight into the logistics of planning a wedding in your chosen destination.

  • Provide guests with ample information and resources to help them plan their travel and accommodations, including recommendations for lodging, transportation options, and local activities.

  • Be prepared to accommodate guests with special requirements or accessibility needs when traveling to your destination wedding location.

Remember, in the grand scheme of wedding planning, setting your date early is just one smart move among many. You don't need to dive headfirst into all the details immediately; instead, think of it as a way to give yourself the advantage of a head start. Considering factors like venue availability, vendor schedules, and your guests' plans may seem like small steps now, but they can make a big difference later on!

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