Setting the Wedding Date
There are inevitably a lot of engagements that happen around the holidays. Families are together, gift buying is already happening, and the spirit of the season tends to enhance the love that is already in the air. So it totally makes sense that there are a lot of guys (and girls) getting down on one knee this time of year.
But what is the protocol for setting a date once that question has been popped?
- Enjoy the Engagement: As soon as you announce you’re engaged, everyone you know will begin peppering you with questions about when the big date will be. You might as well just expect it now. But just because those questions are coming at your rapid-fire, doesn’t mean you have to have a solid answer in mind just yet. It’s perfectly acceptable (and in fact, even ideal) to enjoy your engagement for a bit. Rather than jumping straight into planning mode right away, embrace what it means to have that ring on your finger for a few weeks. Have fun being a fiancé. Unless you already have a set date in mind that you for sure want to get married on, there is plenty of time ahead for the planning.
- Have an “About” Date: When you do start that planning, go into it with a general idea of when you want to get married, without necessarily being too specific. Obviously, for some couples, there are reasons for wanting a very specific date—and that can’t always be helped. But if you are rigid on your date, you want to give yourself at least a year to plan. In some cases, more. This is because venues and vendors have a way of booking up, sometimes much farther in advance than you might have anticipated. When you can go into planning with a range of potential dates, though, you have a better chance of getting everything you want on your big day.
- Start with the Venue: In general, just about everything can fall into place besides the venue. There are always plenty of caterers to choose from, for instance, and going with a band or a DJ leaves you with a lot of options as well. Of course, if you have your heart set on a specific photographer (Who, me? So sweet!) getting in touch sooner rather than later is always the best way to ensure you can book her. But most of the time, the venue really is where you want to start—because without a venue, there is no wedding. So begin by taking your range of dates and touring a few potential venues in search of the one you want. Once you make a decision, they should be able to tell you which of your dates they can accommodate. And just like that, your date is often set for you.
- Save the Dates: Once your date is selected, it’s time to get your Save the Dates out. This is how you let your potential guests know what’s to come far enough in advance that they can begin making travel arrangements and blocking your date off on their calendar. It’s often a good idea to include your engagement photos in these. So if you haven’t yet, book your photographer next so that you can get some nice shots of you as a couple to use for those Save the Dates.
- Throw Yourself into Planning: Once your date is set, hopefully about a year in advance, the planning begins. Get ready for a whirlwind of things to do, decisions to make, and people to coordinate. This is when you’ll be glad you took that extra time to enjoy your engagement before diving right in!