If you’ve just got engaged, congratulations! Amidst all the celebrations and good wishes, friends and family will no doubt be asking if there’s a date set for the wedding. You may have a special date such as an anniversary and if so, that’s simple! If not, there can be a lot to consider when choosing what time of year and month is best to go for.
1. The Weather!
Irish weather, is a factor that’s out of your control when planning a wedding, especially in Donegal, (or anywhere in Ireland for that matter!) You can have every single aspect of your day planned to a tee, yet nothing can hold off that rain every bride fears waking up to! However, it should still be remembered when choosing your wedding date.
Couples planning an outdoor wedding ceremony typically choose a wedding in June, July or August as there’s the best chance of a dry day. However, it’s worth confirming that your chosen venue has the facility for an indoor wedding ceremony also, in case the weather isn’t on your side.
If you’ve always dreamt of a Winter wonderland wedding, late November and December are the perfect months. With Christmas being the pivotal time of the year for family members to return home to be with loved ones, it may be the most appropriate time for you to hold your wedding, particularly if you have many family and friends living far from home and wish for them to be a part of your wedding. (Check out Mrs2Be’s Winter Wedding Perks.)
Christmas decorations and lights coupled with a cheery atmosphere and good spirits can create the most romantic time of the year for your big day. You can also make the most of the crisp cold, blustery wind and dark skies to create magical, dramatic photos and memories.
Remember, however, that if you opt for a Winter wedding, you should be prepared for rain, frost or snow. You may get the winter wonderland of snow as your backdrop, but this requires some preparation too.
2. Guests’ Commitments
Although you and your partner are the stars of the show, your guests are what make your day truly special, so be sure that the majority of your family and friends will be able to book time off work, school, or college to attend.
It’s also worth remembering other key dates and events which may be occurring around the time of your preferred wedding date. Perhaps you have children, friends, nieces and nephews sitting important school or university exams that could affect their ability to attend. This, as well as First Holy Communions and Confirmations, is particularly relevant around May and June time.
3. Major Events
Although your wedding will be the most important event of the year for you, your guests may have planned to attend major events such as sports games and concerts months or even years in advance. For example, if a close family member is part of a sporting team, soccer, Gaelic etc., it’s crucial to ensure your big day doesn’t coincide with major championship matches, which tend to run throughout the summer and early autumn months. WeddingsOnline has compiled a detailed list of 2016 and 2017 Irish events that we highly recommend checking out.
4. Other Weddings
If you know of guests that have recently gotten engaged, check that they haven’t planned their weddings too close to your desired date. With the expense of attending weddings, it’s best not to (if possible) add extra financial pressure to your guests if you’re aware of another wedding they will be attending at the time. The longer it has been since the last ‘big day out’, the more your guests will savour the build-up and celebrations of yours.
5. Your Profession
Your profession and that of the bridal party and other important guests may determine the most suitable date to hold your wedding. For instance, if you or your partner are teachers, the summer months, midterms or Easter holidays mean you are guaranteed a week or more off work. This allows for more time to yourself in the sometimes stressful run up to your wedding and of course the essential unwinding period afterwards to enjoy your honeymoon. Members of the army or cruise ship workers will also have to take into consideration which times of the year allows for them to have time off due to their strict time schedules.
6. Off Peak Deals
When taking all factors into consideration before setting your wedding date, your budget has to be regarded in the early planning stages and it is crucial to lay out what spend you have to work with before pinning down any dates. Busy times of the year such as summer, Christmas / New Year and Easter can work out more expensive due to their popularity. If you have established that you are under a stricter budget, it’s worth checking if your preferred venue and suppliers offer any mid-week or off peak deals that may take some of the financial pressure off!
Once the date is set, you can breathe a sigh of relief, enjoy the engagement celebrations even more, and look forward to the wedding planning! Good luck!