by Blake Kritberg, editor FavorIdeas
He (or she!) asked the question you probably longed for, and fortunately for everyone, you answered 'yes'! Now's the time to bask in the romance, and enjoy the first phase of your new life together. But soon, you'll need a response for that timeless question: "when's the wedding?"
For some couples, it's easy – they know just when they want to tie the knot. For others, it's less clear. After all, you have a lot of options. Even more than you might think, since it's really not necessary to get married on a Saturday. Friday and Sunday afternoons are good choices too, and less expensive.
So if you're looking at the calendar ahead and seeing a hundred alternatives, all about equally attractive, here's how to narrow them down.
No matter how flexible you are, there's bound to be things you won't compromise on. Maybe it's a particular church, and officiant for your ceremony. Maybe it's a special venue for your reception. And there are certain indispensable guests, like your parents.
Luckily for you, putting just these three things together is bound to reduce your choices. Once you call on the church, ceremony venue or reception hall, you'll probably find many dates already filled, especially if you call less than nine months in advance. Good. That makes things easier!
But maybe you don't have a must-have venue. Maybe you just have an image in your mind of the perfect wedding. Maybe it involves a horse-drawn carriage, and red carpet. Maybe it involves a scattering of rose petals and the scent of cranberry-apple cider. Or delicate pastels, gossamer for the bridesmaids, and a dove release. In this case your time of year is set: all that's needed it to work out the logistics of venue, climate and the availability of your most important guests.
If you have your heart set on a certain destination, you'll probably find the honeymoon helps set the date for you. Chances are, some dates are good for travel but others involve the risk of lengthy rains.
For now, winter is the slow wedding season. So it's often (though not always) true that you can get a break on expenses by having your ceremony during the holidays. Brides often find that by marrying near Christmas, they benefit from already-decorated churches and don't need to add much themselves.
Plus, if they shop the year before, they can stock up on decorations at incredibly discounted post-holiday sales. The trick is to avoid competing with office parties for reception venues and limousines (New Year's Eve is particularly competitive).
You might find your own life gives more guidance than you think. Are you a teacher, with set vacation times? Are you graduating from university? If you're working, is your vacation time limited to a certain time of year?
Is there a date that has special significance to you as a couple, such as the date you first met or first dated?
Many people find little extra dash of comfort in picking auspicious days for their wedding. In India and China, this is standard practice. But even in the West, people often find it reassuring to pick numbers or dates with personal meaning. A Chinese custom is to select a date with as many even numbers as possible (such as 2-18-2006). The Irish believed that New Year's Eve is luckiest for weddings. The Romans (and consequently, modern westerners) favored the month of June. For Victorians, it was lucky to marry on the groom's birthday.