Setting the Date

It’s already June 2009 – only one year away from our wedding! We’ve made a lot of progress since we began planning a few months ago…we’ve picked the venue, chosen the date, picked the church, the photog, the DJ and found the dress (but have not actually bought it yet).

Out of these decisions, the one that gave me the most angst when making it was actually choosing the date. This made me wonder how other brides chose their dates, and whether this was or was not a priority for others. Is it planned or is it arbitrary? What influenced you to pick your date?

I trust that everyone has their own “formula” for choosing their date. Here is how we chose ours.

Dave and I got engaged in January 2009. Before I even got engaged, I had called around a couple of churches and inquired about availability for September or October or 2010 :). I wanted desperately at that point to get married in my 20s and this meant before April 20, 2010 (my 30th birthday). However, all of the September dates were already booked at the church I am getting married at. Of the ones in October, only a couple were available and they weren’t at optimal times.

Right after I got engaged, I continued to work and live in Africa and wasn’t expected to move back until May 2009. Dave was graduating from grad school in May and would begin training for his new job beginning in July 2009 for 3 months, finally settling in to his new position in October. Finally, two of my good friends announced their engagements and September wedding dates. Therefore, based on all this we concluded that it would be way to hectic to get married this summer.

We briefly toyed with the idea of having the winter in the winter of 2009, but both of us had always envisioned a warm weather wedding. I LOVE winter weddings, find them extremely romantic and love that your anniversary would fall in the cold months – a perfect time to celebrate each year somewhere warm and tropical. And although Chicago in the winter can be very beautiful, it can also be BITTER cold. Both Dave and I agreed we wanted our guests to spend a long weekend in Chicago to fall in love with our city as much as we are in love with it and it is easier to fall in love with Chicago in the spring or summer – take my word. Plus, it would make planning a lot less stressful since we didn’t have to compromise our first impressions at work because of all the wedding planning, we could save up money for a whole year to contribute to our wedding and we could enjoy our engagement.

Soon after this realization, I dropped my stubborn resistance to getting married in my 20s, because at that point, I just wanted to be married to Dave, and wanted us to it together, and pick a date that suits our lifestyles. I thought the Sunday of Memorial Day, May 31, 2010 would be a good date because it may be easy for our guests to arrive on the Friday for rehearsal dinner, tour the city or attend a Cubs game the next day, and party at our wedding Sunday. I incorrectly assumed, however, that all Sunday weddings are cheaper – not if it’s on a long weekend, I quickly learned!

After asking several venue coordinators for their advice on dates, most of them informed me that their outdoor gardens are in full bloom by mid June and if they were getting married in Chicago, they would choose June or September. So that’s how we came to June.

Now back in April 2009 when I chose the date, my wedding venue already had two separate Saturday night June weddings booked for 2010. Can you believe that? This made it easier for me, however, since I only had two choices – June 12th or June 19th 2010. Despite this, I spent a week agonizing over which one we should choose. After looking up other common June celebrations that may conflict (most graduations and communions will have already happened in late May and early June), the average temperature (they are only 1-3 degrees different), we concluded that our college cousins might begin traveling on summer vacations by June 19th, so we chose June 12th instead. Plus, it just sounded good to us, all even numbers 06/12/10. And so there it is, our wedding date formula.

How did you choose yours?

I leave you with a photo of us from our trip last week.