If you've got a date in mind, book early, many of my Facebook friends advised. The longer you wait, the more difficulty you may have in booking the church/pavilion/ceremony place you want AND the reception hall for the same day.
Others noted, too, that they were careful not to schedule their wedding too near holidays and birthdays, and one former colleague of mine noted it didn't hurt that her wedding date included her favorite number. There was one person who has what she calls a family date: the date her mother married and her mother's parents married. Pretty neat.
Others planned their date around their "dating anniversary." Remember to think about the weather, said one woman who did. Her groom had a sweaty time marrying her on their early August date. To that point, asking a venue about climate control (heat and air conditioning) is a must.
A sorority sister of mine gave this advice: "Our biggest lesson was flexibility so we could get the location and vendors we wanted. But it's all about your priorities -- if you want a specific date, you may have to sacrifice on some vendors who are already booked. Or, if you want a specific vendor(s), you'll need to be more flexible on the date."
I do the same: When asking a vendor about their services and/or interest in bartering, I almost always start with: Do you have our date available?
Other date-setting tips offered by the Facebook peanut gallery:
- Booking your date on a Friday or Sunday can save you money.
- Give thought to whether you passionately want a certain type of flower, and schedule your wedding when said flower is in season. I've learned through my conversations with our prospective florists that it can increase costs significantly if you're absolutely set on an off-season flower.
Speaking of wedding dates, our save-the-date proofs arrived today! My sister designed them for us, and we're printing them and our other wedding materials with a Groupon we bought for Vistaprint. The side with the picture is altered (for privacy's sake); at the bottom of the calendar on the ones we will send, we shared the location of our ceremony and reception and also wrote "formal invitation to follow."