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Choosing the Right Wedding Date

Right_Wedding_DateOnce the wedding proposal has been made and accepted, one of the most important things to do is to select the right wedding date. This may not seem to be a big deal, but in fact it can be one of the most important factors to pulling off a successful wedding. There are many considerations that can go into this decision, since it is as, after all, going to be one of the most important events of your life: they don't call it "The Big Day" for nothing.

One of the things you should consider is the type of wedding you've got planned. If you want a big traditional wedding with reception hall, cake, and dozens of guests, it's going to take a while to plan and organize -- up to 250 hours or thereabouts. You may also need time to save up for a while, or to tap rich Uncle Delmar for a loan, or arrange alternate financing, since this type of wedding averages tens of thousands of dollars in total costs. Informal weddings may cost less and take less time, though that's unlikely to be the case if you decide on a Hawaiian beach wedding and have to fly everyone in. In any case, experts suggest you set the date nine months to a year in the future.

Another thing a long lead time does is give all your guests a chance to fit your wedding into their schedules. Most people are unlikely to be booked up nine to twelve months in advance, so they should be able to pencil your wedding in and make it the most important thing for that particular month -- and wouldn't you do the same for them? You also need time to send out the invitations and get back the RSVPs, buy your wedding rings, find the perfect dress and have the fitting done, and -- if you want to go this far, and it's an expensive option -- hire a wedding planner to take care of all the details while you handle the important stuff. They may cost a hideous amount, but by all accounts a good wedding planner can be worth every cent you pay them.

In choosing the right wedding date, you should also take into consideration the realities of the yearly round. Scheduling your wedding too near a major holiday can be a real pain, not just for you but for all your guests. If they've just spent ten hours -- each way -- driving somewhere for Thanksgiving, do you really think they want to do the same five days later? Not. There's a practical reason that most weddings are in June -- and it's simply because there are no major holidays in that month, and August (the other holiday-free month) is just too darn hot. It's a good idea to avoid holidays when you're planning your wedding. Big birthdays in the family tend to be a no-no too, especially Grandma's hundredth. On the other hand, everything's already decorated, so you could save a little money there.

Another consideration to keep in mind which selecting a wedding date is anniversaries. Nearly all couples, all the way back to Ugg and Uggina, have special days in their relationship that they celebrate: the day they met, the first date, the first kiss, all sorts of special events and moments that you cherish. Wouldn't it be romantic to get married on the first or second anniversary of your first kiss? Then there's the family angle to consider. Many couples prefer to bow to family tradition when setting a wedding date, or may do so to honor a loved one (like rich Uncle Delmar).

Then again, there are more practical things to consider. Should you set the date so that it falls on a weekday, or a weekend? Most people are better able to attend if it's a weekend. What time of day should you get married? It won't help if you thoughtfully set your wedding on a Friday afternoon at 5 PM, and all your guests (or, worst, your limousine!) get stuck in rush hour traffic. Another pointer: check to see if there are any large events taking place near your wedding location on the day of the wedding. If the Bulls are playing the Knicks two blocks away, or there's a celebrity walkathon going on, it would be a good idea to pick another day. Fortunately, events like these should be easy to avoid, as they're scheduled well in advance.

See? It can be more difficult to set a wedding date than you might have imagined, so you and your spouse-to-be need to put your heads together and give the issue some serious thought. You may not be able to account for all the variables involved, but with a little planning, you can set a date that can help everything go just that much more smoothly -- something every wedding needs.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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