Did you hear the one about the newly-engaged couple who got engaged at Christmas and immediately decided to pick a wedding date, choosing the final Saturday of the following August?

Ali and Jon learned quickly that picking a wedding date often comes down to the simple issue of supply and demand.  

After checking out venues online, they drew up a shortlist of three places to host their wedding, and duly started making phone calls.  The one thing they were’t expecting in response to their request for an August wedding was . . . laughter.  

But as it turned out, it was the best thing that could possibly have happened.  

Four Thousand Reasons NOT To Get Married On A Saturday In August

For the past twenty years, August has been the most popular month to get married.  After all, who doesn’t love a wedding where great weather is almost guaranteed?  

Bride and groom sit on grass, crestfallen, because they failed to pick a wedding date that would have saved them money
If we’d only waited another month to get married we’d have saved ourselves £4000

In fact, on a typical Saturday in August, over 1,400 couples tie the knot in the UK. And those ‘slots’ could be sold out several times over, because there simply aren’t enough venues to go round. 

 As for 30th August . . . pick that and you’ll also find yourself sharing the most popular wedding anniversary date of the year, every year! According to UK jewellers Beaverbrooks, almost 34,000 couples have married on that date over the past twenty years

Which means that if you’re determined to get married in Peak Wedding Season:

  • Your engagement’s going to last for at least a year, and more likely eighteen months
  • You’ll have to pay top dollar for the most coveted dates

Ali and Jon found out the slightly embarrasing way that there’s more to picking a wedding date than they’d imagined.  And that not all wedding dates are of equal value in terms of cold hard cash.

Because while it might seem logical to start your wedding planning with a firm date in mind, you can squeeze a huge amount of extra value from your wedding budget by giving yourself some wriggle room.  

How To Pick A Wedding Date That Makes Your Budget Go Further

If you’re willing to go against the crowd, it can pay you – handsomely – to get married on a Tuesday or Wednesday.  

According to a recent Bridebook survey a midweek wedding can save you a whopping £4,000, compared to one that takes place on a Saturday.

But it’s possible to save even more.

bride and groom in horse-drawn carriage after picking a January wedding date to save money
A snowy wedding day can save you serious money

If you want maximum bang for your budget, consider getting married in January rather than June.  On average, a summer wedding costs £18,500, but that figure shrinks to just over £11,000 in January.  

So a winter wedding can save you over £7,000 – or 40% of your total spend. And that’s serious money by anybody’s standards.

Will Your Wedding Date Pick Itself?

But what if the thought of getting married on a grey day when you’re still recovering from that magnificent New Year’s hangover simply doesn’t appeal?

With three-hundred-and-sixty-five days available (yes, a handful of couples every year actually do find someone willing to skip the turkey and marry them on 25th December), you’re spoiled for choice.  But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer an agony of indecision, because wedding dates often more or less choose themselves.

Take Jessica. “We visited my parents soon after the engagement to start talking wedding ideas,” she says. “My dad is the organised kind. So when we arrived he had champagne on ice and a notebook on the table.  

“My brother is a teacher in Australia, so Dad had already written down the dates of their school holidays.  Which basically meant we were going to get married in April, July, or October.  So that was nine months of the year ruled out straight away. It didn’t take long to decide that a Spring wedding would suit us best as a family!”

In fact, picking a time of year to get married rather than a fixed date will probably work to your advantage.  If you approach a venue saying, “We want to get married on a Thursday or Friday in May. What have you got available?” you’re much more likely to discover they can accommodate you than if you have only one date, already set in stone.

Can You Be Flexible When You Pick Your Wedding Date?

Mind you, some couples know from the outset they absolutely do want to get married on a particular date.  

  1. A popular choice is the anniversary of the date you first met.  It’s part of your unique love story. A date that’s already written on your heart. So why not make it the date of all your wedding anniversaries to come, as well?  
  • Or if you’re the pragmatic type, you could do worse than get married on the first day of the month, on the basis that it’ll be an easy date to remember for future anniversaries!
  • If you value tradition, you might want to honour your grandparents, by picking the date of their anniversary – I was reading last week about a couple who married on the ruby wedding anniversary of the groom’s grandparents – with an appropriately colour-themed wedding to match.
bride, groom and grandmother at wedding reception
Passing down a wedding anniversary tradition through the generations
  • It’s also worth consulting your calendars, to choose a wedding date that fits into the overall year of family birthdays, holidays and other family anniversaries and milestone dates.  That way, you can keep the celebrations chugging along nicely at regular intervals across the year.

Beware Of A Wedding Date That’s Picked By Others!

About fitting in with your families . . . it’s possible to take this too far.  

Many a bride-to-be has put her foot in it big time by consulting her loved ones about the date. But as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.  

The feedback you receive is likely to throw up as many different dates as the people you asked.  Even worse, asking the question can quickly open the door to bigger problems than just fixing the date.

Typical responses are along the lines of, ‘We think 3rd August would be best, at 2pm. And don’t forget to include Aunt Milly and your three cousins.’  

Chances are you haven’t seen those three cousins since you used to fight them at birthday parties. Which means you now have bigger problems than just choosing a wedding date.

BOSS BRIDE TOP TIP

ELEVEN WORDS TO STOP OTHER PEOPLE CONTROLLING YOUR WEDDING DATE

Make a list of your VIP wedding guests – the people you absolutely, definitely can’t-do-it-without-them-being-there – and ask them this question:  Which dates are you NOT available to come to our wedding?

By asking when people are unavailable, you know which dates to avoid – perhaps because of important exams, holidays that have been booked many months in advance, and even special ‘big’ birthdays – and can easily work around them.  

It’s also a bad idea to ask your wider circle of friends for advice about the date, although with one important exception.  

If someone you’re close to is also engaged – and especially if you have mutual friends – you could have a chat about coordinating the dates to avoid a clash.

Three Other Points To Mull Over Before You Pick Your Wedding Date

What else do you need to think about before you start choosing your Save The Date cards?  Here are four suggestions:

  1. The Two of You.  Have you already discussed how long you want to be engaged for, or is this the first time you’ve thought it through?  As discussed earlier, a longer engagement is on the cards if you want to marry during Peak Wedding Season, due to limited availability and long lead times.  

Another reason in favour of a leisurely engagement is that you’ll have more time to save up for your wedding. It also means – at least in theory – that planning will be less stressful because you won’t feel compelled to rush.  Don’t want to wait any longer than you have to?  Better stop reading this article, and try this one instead . . . there’s work to be done!

2. Bad Dates.  Are some times of the year better than others when it comes to taking time off work?  Most couples want to go on honeymoon straight after the wedding.  But that can be easier said than done if you need to fit in with your colleagues’ holiday plans.  Or if one of you is going to be busy at a particular time of year – for example, accountants rarely take time off in the run-up to the end of the tax year, which is often quite close to Easter.  And if you work in education, you probably won’t want to be getting married during term time.

Be A Good Sport!

Bridegroom celebrates wedding day by playing with a football
Our wedding? Almost as good as England winning the World Cup!

Regardless of the date you choose, you’d be forgiven for thinking your wedding’s going to be the only show in town, and yet . . . what if it clashes with a Wimbledon decider, or a World Cup Final, or some other major sporting event?  For sure, your guests will bravely tell you it doesn’t matter.  

There’s many a groom (plus more than a few brides) who will only get married when the Premiership football season is over.  I even know of one wedding where one of the VIP guests drunkenly confessed he’d been listening to an FA Cup Final via a well-disguised wireless earbud – and had to summon every ounce of strength not to chooer when his team scored just as his sister was solemnly making her vows! 

The moral of the story?  Take a look at the sporting calendar before you make a final decision about the date.  

And the alternative moral of the story?  You could embrace a  wedding that coincides with a major sporting event by way of your own unique Match-of-the-Day-themed wedding.   Or if you’re certain your key guests really won’t care, you could be in a great negotiating position with venues and other wedding vendors who would otherwise be staring at a blank day’s earnings. 

Can You Pick A Wedding Date That Saves Your Guests Money?

One final point about bad dates.  If any of your guests love you so much they’re willing to splash out on long-haul air tickets, you might be able to say “thank you” by avoiding getting married during school holidays, half terms and other times of year when fares are sky high.  If that’s not possible, try to give your overseas guests as much notice as you can, so they can bag a cheaper flight by booking early.

3. Good Dates.  A popular choice is to pick a date that turns your wedding into a three-day event.  By planning around a bank holiday Monday, you can turn your wedding into a leisurely affair – always good if you have lots of guests who are travelling any distance, because they won’t need to take time off work.  Some brides report their venue actually charged less on an Easter Sunday than if they booked for the Saturday.  Minimum spends can be lower, too.

 What If There’s No Obvious Date For You To Get Married? 

 Try talking yourself through the seasons and discover which of these choices speaks to you most clearly?

Winter Wedding 

Imagine the venue, cosy and romantic.  You’re likely to pay less and have a wider selection of caterers, photographers and other vendors competing for  your business at what’s a quiet time of year for them. Can you picture your guests sipping mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire?  Or gazing at a fireworks display at a 5th November wedding?  And just think how fabulous your photos will look if there’s snow on the ground!

Spring Wedding

 A great choice if you love that time of year when the world comes back to life, evenings grow longer and days become milder.  What’s more, spring brides have the best selection of seasonal flowers to choose from:  peonies, tulips, sweet peas, lily of the valley, lavender, dasies . . . the list is long and fragrant!  On the downside, it’s not the best choice if you or your partner suffer from hayfever.

Summer Wedding 

If you’ve always imagined an outdoor celebration that continues long into the balmy night and the early hours of the following day, this is the obvious choice.  If you’ve come to terms with the extra cost of getting married during Peak Wedding Season, I say go for it!

Autumn Wedding 

Your colour palette could incorporate rich shades of purple, warm jewel tones. Or the timeless elegance of silver and dove grey.  And if recent years are anything to go by, your guests will still be able to enjoy your venue’s outdoors facilities well into October.  Cheaper prices, too.  

Pick A Wedding Date. Any Date. Except THIS Date!

As you might expect, Friday the Thirteenth is one of the year’s most unpopular  wedding dates. So if you’re not superstitious, you can probably drive an extremely good bargain.   

And it’s an excellent choice, compared to the one day of the year I recommend you reject, no matter what.   Dear reader, I beg you, do NOT get married on Valentine’s Day.  Avoid at all costs!  

spiked heart showing that February 14th is not a good wedding date to pick
You had 364 other days to choose from!

But why on earth wouldn’t you want to pick on the most romantic day of them all?  It’s a favoured choice all around the world, and it guarantees you an extra special wedding anniversary date to celebrate for all the years to come.  

So what’s not to like?  

Well according to a research study of over one million couples, carried out by the University of Melbourne, ‘gimmick’ day weddings are much more likely to end in divorce.

In particular, couples who married on 14th February were 45% less likely to be make it to their third wedding anniversary than those who chose other dates, with the list of those who married on Valentine’s Day and subsequently divorced including Elton John, Liam Gallagher, Prince, Meg Ryan, and Sharon Stone.

On a more optimistic note, actor Benedict Cumberbatch was also a 14th February groom, marrying on the Isle of Wight in 2015, and so far, so good . . . 

Fancy A Bit Of Fun?

Still not quite ready to start searching for a venue with a date – or dates – in mind?  Then you can always give fate a shove by trying out one of these ways to choose:

1. Numerology  

Wedding date numerology involves a bit of mental arithmetic, based on the birthdates of both bride and groom.  Want to discover your Magic Wedding Number?  Find out here.

2. Astrology  

If you’re a fan of horoscopes, this could be the perfect solution! Professional astrologers seem convinced Prince Harry and Megan Markle consulted the charts before they named the date.  And if you want to know why you should never throw rice at a Pisces bride, your next read is right here!

Picked The Wedding Date And Ready To Start Looking For Your Venue?

You’re in great company, because apparently over 40% of couples decide on their venue within three months of starting to plan their wedding.  

Ready to join them?  

Or is it a case of more haste less speed?

Before you commit a big chunk of your budget to the venue, perhaps it’s a better idea to take a look at the bigger picture.

If you’re brave enough to find out how many hours it’s really going to take to plan your wedding from start to finish, click here now!