There really are no major rules on what exactly you need to do to set your wedding date. The biggest rule or piece of advice is that you really should not change the date once it is set. So pick your date once you're sure you will be happy with that decision and stick with it. I know it seems a little obvious but sometimes people pick wedding dates and then realize that it would not be a great idea to get married on your brother's girlfriends birthday or the weekend of your cousins graduation and then they have to start all over again and hopefully the second time around they spend more time thinking about any other events happening in that time or conflicts for that day or weekend. So how do you avoid this from happening to you? How do you set the wedding date? It is true that picking the date can be different for everyone; here are some suggestions to get the ball rolling.
Method One: Narrowing it down to season and year. Many people will decide their wedding date in several steps, the first of which is narrowing down when you want to be married by season and year. For instance you may decide you want to be married in the fall of 2010. Once you have this information you can continue to narrow down to you have a date. You might want to consider people who have weddings, showers, birthdays or other special occasions during the same time period and make sure that yours does not clash with any other competing event.
Once you know what days or weekends to avoid you would then need to decide where you want the ceremony and reception to be. Once you narrow down the choices you need to confirm eligibility of the locations for the same date. This is a simple way to make a hard decision rather easy. Just keep in mind that when you do pick a date, that if there is any service you must have, such as a certain DJ or musical act for your wedding or your cake must be from a certain bakery, to make sure you also confirm that they are available for the same date.
Method Two: Picking a Date based on the services you want. You may decide to set the wedding date around the availability of a certain venue, such as when a certain church is available for the ceremony. Just remember making decisions based upon availability of venue could shorten or lengthen your engagement time considerably. It is up to you to decide what is most important to you. There are some locations for ceremonies that are very popular.
If you really must get married in a certain location you could be adding a year or more onto your engagement. Worse you may have to choose between a very, very long engagement or a very, very short one. Sometimes when you are on a waiting list to be married at a particular place and you are booked a ways in the future, say 2 - 4 years away they may also call you to see if you want to move up the ceremony if they have any cancellations. If you do decide to set the date based upon location and it is this popular you may want to decide now whether or not you would be okay with moving the ceremony up in order to get married sooner rather than later.
Method Three: Based upon traditions, family or other. Setting the date may become simple if you are particularly close to someone like a grandmother and you want to get married on the day she was. Perhaps all the women in your family get married in June, and so all you need to do is narrow it down by date. Whether or not these types of traditions exist in the bride or groom's family is only something you can know and only you can decide if you are going to follow them.
No matter what method, one listed above or your own, remember this is your special day and you should be happy with the day that you choose to get married. Do not let other people influence this decision and do not let anyone pressure you into a date which you will be unhappy with later. When you are planning your wedding you should ensure that there will be nothing that you later regret.
Pam Kazmierczak is the owner of Wedding Planning 101, a website dedicated to assisting engaged couples with all their wedding planning needs. Wedding Planning can seem difficult or daunting but it does not need to be with this free resource of information at your disposal.