Congratulations on getting engaged, now the craziness begins! Just kidding, but now the planning begins
and the first thing on the agenda is selecting a date (and venue). In this post we are going to focus on
picking the date but it impossible not briefly discuss the impact that a venue has on the date. If you have
your heart set on a particular venue and that is your priority, then you will likely have to be flexible on
the date. So if you are trying to get married on an anniversary or specific date of significance this may
mean not selecting the perfect space.
We will break down the date selection process into two categories, seasonal and day of the week. It
goes without saying that depending on where you live plays an integral part in what the seasons look
like, and just to be clear, we will be writing from the perspective of couples getting married in Western
Spring in Washington is generally cool at wet in late March, but by Memorial Day
weekend it is warm and beautiful. This is probably the season best suited for couples that plan on
getting married and having their reception indoors. In fact, many outdoor venues, like farms or gardens,
do not take weddings before May because the weather is so unpredictable. A main advantage to getting
married in the spring is flower plants are exploding which provides great color without having to buy
extra flowers and travel costs for guests (and the honeymoon) are lower than around the holidays or the
This is the choice for most couples in the Pacific Northwest, in an effort to have
optimal weather. Here is the thing lots of people don’t consider though. The summer, particularly
August, is notorious for thunderstorms with heavy rain. We have had more weddings get rained on in
August than fall for this exact reason. Luckily the rain doesn’t last long, but these storms tend to come
thru in the mid afternoon when the temperature is at its height which is right when you want to take
portraits or have your ceremony. Speaking of heat, another factor some fail to consider is how hot it can
get when sitting out in the sun for an hour. From the time your guests arrive to the time the ceremony is
over, an hour is a good guess for how long they will be exposed to the sun. Make sure that you have an
option for them to get shade or have air conditioning to keep them comfortable.
This is arguable many people’s favorite time of year. The leaves are
changing, the weather is cool but generally sunny, and rich colors abound. This is the time of year we
recommend to our couples to get married because of the previously mentioned reasons and some
venues count October and November as off season and give discounts. It can be challenging for your
guests to travel during this time because school is starting up and the upcoming holiday season may
have already claimed their vacation days. But that is what save the dates are for, right?
Winter is typically the slowest time of year for weddings which could work
to your advantage. There is a much higher chance that your guests may be invited to another wedding
on the same day in August, but in January there isn’t usually too much on people’s social calendars.
Another pro to getting married in winter is many people plan on traveling to see their family during the
holidays and already have time off from work. By getting married on the same weekend as Thanksgiving,
the weekend before/after Christmas, or New Years Eve is a great way to celebrate the holidays with
your friends and family. The con is the weather, plain and simple. So make sure that you have a venue
that has plenty of opportunity for pictures indoors and possibly covered areas outside.
Days of the Week
There seems to be two common threads that run through all week day weddings we
have shot, the couple wanted a specific date which fell midweek and/or they were on a tight budget.
Wedding venues will often give discounts for midweek weddings because they space was going to be
used anyway. This may or may not be the case for other vendors. The main challenge you face is guests
being able to attend. If they are coming from work you should be conscious of that and schedule your
ceremony time later so they are able to make it in time. This options may work to your advantage if the
majority of your guests are coming from out of town because no matter what they were going to miss
Like weekday weddings, Fridays often have a discounted rate at venues. If you provide a full
dinner and alcohol, guests tend to stay late into the night to celebrate with you. The challenge some will
face is fighting Friday afternoon traffic but again, if most of your guests are traveling to attend this won’t
really be an issue.
This is the most popular choice because guests don’t need to miss work and can commit the
day to being with you. The downside is that Saturday will be the most expensive day of the week to get
married and dates get booked much earlier than other days of the week. So if you have a specific
Saturday in the summer that you want to get married, you may need to find an alternate venue if they
Many people don’t consider Sunday as a day for weddings but there are cultures out there that
only allow weddings on Sunday. Sundays are great for weddings that smaller, and is not providing/only
providing a small amount of food and alcohol. These events tend to be shorter and end earlier since
guests need to go home to prepare for school and work the next day.
A final note on selecting a date. It always strikes us as odd when someone tells us they found the perfect
venue but didn’t have their date available so they booked elsewhere. If you have a specific date in mind
and there is no flexibility, we highly suggest that you are up front with venues about it so you and they
don’t waste time.
So, the questions is, when will your wedding be?