There’s a lot to think about when planning a wedding, from who to invite to what food to serve, but one of the most important things to organise is the date.
When you tell people you’re engaged, after showing the ring and telling the proposal story, the next question is often when will the wedding be.
When trying to decide the best time of year to get married, you’ll want to consider where the wedding will be, what the weather will be like, how much it might cost, and if everyone will be able to make the date.
Here we look at how to pick the best month to get married.
The best month for you will be completely up to you as a couple. It’s easy to get carried away with wedding planning but in the end, it is your day and therefore the decision over the best month and day to get married will be down to you.
However, if you want your nearest and dearest to be there, you need to think carefully about how that will happen. If your best friend is a teacher, for example, and can only take school holidays or weekends off you’ll need to consider this.
You may have a month in mind for sentimental reasons too. The month you met, got engaged, or a month of the year you’ve always dreamed of getting married in.
You’ll just need to make sure whatever month you choose; you can organise your perfect day for.
You will also need to be flexible. Wedding venues can get booked up very quickly, often years in advance, so this may mean you need to look at other times of the year to get married.
If you’re getting married in the UK, the summer months are the most popular. That’s largely because the weather is so unpredictable.
While you can never guarantee sunshine, it’s a lot more likely in August than February.
As the summer months - that’s May to September in wedding terms - are so popular, this also means they get booked up quickly.
So, you may need to either shift the time of year you get married or think about postponing a year or two if you’re dead set on a particular month or venue.
You may be planning a very small wedding with just your closest family and friends, or it could be a big party with everyone you know.
Either way, when you draw up the guest list, think about the most important people coming.
This includes your immediate families and the wedding party, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, the maid of honour and best man if you’re having them.
Clashing dates, work schedules, or pre-planned holidays could all get in the way of your closest guests making the date, so check with them first.
Unless you’re planning a very short turnaround from getting engaged to the wedding, most things can be rearranged.
You will need to look at the diary closely when picking your wedding date. You don’t want to pick a date that someone close to you is already using for a big celebration.
There may be certain dates you want to avoid such as the following:
National holidays when things might not be running
Days some people (such as teachers or doctors) can’t get off work
Events, such as big sports games
Any dates which already have events, such as other weddings, planned for
You and your partner are arguably the most important people at the wedding so don’t forget to check your own schedules before you set a date.
If you have an especially big work project, for example, or an upcoming operation, this isn’t the time to be throwing a wedding into the mix as well.
If you go on a honeymoon, the dates also need to be planned. If you want to go away straight after the wedding, but you’re going away to a beach resort that has a rainy season, this will need to be factored into the wedding planning.
You could pick an alternative destination or go later in the year - or the following year - which would also give you more time to save up for it.
How long is a piece of string being a similarly tricky question to answer, and when it comes to the UK weather it’s far from predictable.
The summer months tend to be your best bet for a sunny day, although there really aren’t any guarantees. If you’re going abroad for your wedding, you are more likely to get a warm day and this means you can look at open-air venues too.
You may have your heart set on a winter wedding too, which is at an indoor venue with lots of log fires. If so, you won’t need to worry about the day being a wash out, or guests getting cold if it was an outdoor summer venue on a particularly chilly day.
Getting married in the UK isn’t always a washout though, it’s just wise to have a back-up plan if the weather does turn.
Make sure there are umbrellas and wellies on hand, and enough cover to protect guests from passing storms if you are having a wedding with outdoor space.
The wedding budget is crucial and there are lots of elements to consider, including the day and month you get married.
On average weddings can cost around £20,000 when everything is thrown in, from the flowers and food to the travel and honeymoon. Therefore, if you’re trying to cut back, you may be able to save money when it comes to the month and date you pick.
If you pick a popular month - anything from May to September - you’re going to pay more. Similarly, if you’re getting married on a Saturday you’ll also pay a premium, but Fridays are also seen as peak days now too.
Choosing an unpopular day, such as a Wednesday or Sunday, is going to be a lot cheaper. But just remember if you do go for a mid-week date, you (and your guests) may need to take extra time off work for travelling to and from the venue.