“When’s the wedding date?”

…asks every. single. person after you’re engaged.

Can you relate?  

Picking the Wedding Date is the next step for a couple after saying, “YES.”

This is going to be the ULTIMATE GUIDE on choosing a Wedding Date in 2019, 2020, or 2021.

We’ll break this into 4 parts:

First Steps after Engagement before choosing The Wedding Date
Venue Considerations in choosing The Wedding Date
Your Personal Schedules & things you probably didn’t think about yet
•Budget Tips & our Top 20 Wedding Dates

(Quick Note:  If you’re looking for Wedding Dates in 2018 – visit our post about Wedding Dates in 2018.)

How to Pick a Wedding Date

Part 1 of 4:  Things to do before choosing a Wedding Date

First thing first – do a few things before you set up venue tour appointments (and even before discussing the date).

First Steps after Engagement

  1. Establish “Must Haves”.  What are the top 3 things you absolutely can’t go without for your wedding day?  What are 3 things you can pass on?
  2. Establish a Budget.  Who’s contributing and what’s the total number?
  3. Establish an Approximate Guest Count.  You’ll want the right-size venue for your guests to be comfortable.
  4. Establish a Way to Organize Yourself.  Set up a new wedding email to communicate with vendors.  Set up a Facebook Group to keep communication easily through planning.
  5. Establish your Top Venues & Make Appointments to Tour.  Research via Google, The Knot, or Wedding Wire to find local venues that fit your needs.  Make appointments. 

Now, consider Parts 2-4 of this post in choosing your Wedding Date:

2 | Venue Availability

3 | Couple + Guest Schedules

4 | Wedding Date + Budget (and… our top 20 wedding dates)

Choosing a Wedding Date 2019, 2020, 2021

Part 2 of 4: Venue Availability & Considerations | Choosing a Wedding Date

Advice:  Don’t lock yourself into ONE wedding date before you tour venues.

One set date: X/XX/XXXX, will limit your options.

Instead…

Shift the focus from specific to general:  Instead of a date, choose a range.

What year? + What season?

Spring?  Fall?  Summer?  Winter?

If you choose a time of year, rather than a calendar date, you’ll have more flexibility to say YES to the venue once you start touring.

If you do have an absolute, must-have, no-doubt-about-it date, then this is clearly important to you.  As one of your top 3 must-haves, do it!  Let’s find that date!

If so, make sure you find out the availability of that date before you tour venues.

The best strategy for finding your wedding date…

Give yourselves the opportunity to fall in love with a venue before announcing your wedding date.

Narrow down your favorite venues.

Tour the venues & get a “gut-feel”.

View all available dates during your tours.

Write down your top picks.

Confirm the dates with your non-negotiable, must-have people.
(bridal party, family, etc).

DOWNLOAD | 50 Questions to Ask on Venue Tours

Keep in mind P R O P O S A L trends & how it affects venue availability.

Most engagements happen from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.

Which dates are the most popular for engagements?
40% of proposals occur between Nov – Feb.

We call this time of year engagement season.

Every year at our venues, there’s a quiet lull leading up to Christmas Day… and we wonder if the phone will ever ring again (it’s eerie quiet!)

And then, like clockwork… BAM!

December 26th hits and it’s our busy season at the venues for tours and new reservations.

Therefore, if you’re touring venues during engagement season, keep in mind that many other couples are, too.

Venue reservations are first come, first serve and many venues will not hold dates for you.

To officially “book” a date, you’ll need a signed contract + an initial payment to complete your reservation.  Note that the initial payment is non-refundable at most venues and is sometimes called a deposit or retainer – it just means: money put down at a venue to secure the date.

What else happens during Engagement Season?

Engagement season and the subsequent months afterwards are when venues host Open Houses.

What’s an “Open House”?

It’s when a venue opens to the public for a wedding fair.

They invite trusted vendors to host booths.

It’s a “1-Stop-Shop” for couples planning their wedding.

The bonus of reserving your venue during engagement season is that you can knock out a lot of wedding planning at the same time or just after reserving your wedding date.

Plus, save some money on special offers from vendors!

For Open House dates + information, go to this page.

Do you want a winter, spring, summer, or fall wedding date?

which wedding dates are peak and off season for venues

Consider peak and off-season dates in your area. 

In Texas & Oklahoma, where our SPRINGS venues are, the most popular months are April, May in the spring & September, October and November in the fall.

Peak season is priced higher and off-season is less expensive.
(More on budgets in the final section of this blog.)

“The #1 way to save on your wedding budget is to choose a wedding date that is both:
Off-Season & a Non-Saturday.”

If you’re looking for a peak date, you’ll want to book it farther in advance than if you are looking for an off-season date.

For example – here’s a peek at our weddings in October 2017.

The calendars really do fill up; we hosted just under 250 weddings in October.
Under some of these dates, it says:  13 more, for example.

October Wedding Dates
This is why October is called wedding season in TX & OK.

Next for consideration… the weather.

Without a doubt, the weather plays a big part in couples’ choices.

Most want a date that is mild in temperature.

(a.k.a. = peak season)

We all know weather can be unpredictable  –
so, be mindful in choosing a wedding date based solely on weather.

January doesn’t mean snow and August doesn’t mean extreme heat.

Choosing a peak date doesn’t guarantee perfect weather.
And choosing an off-season date doesn’t mean bad weather.

After years of hosting thousands of weddings, we’re often surprised with the amazing weather during our off-season months.

They’re “off season” because of the market perception to expect lesser weather and therefore, the demand for them is less, driving the price down.

To be clear –
we have GORGEOUS weddings in our off-season.

It’s a very savvy way to save on budget + get the venue you want because the dates are more available.

wedding with Mexican traditions
A portion of my vows read: “I knew that whether it rained today or not, whether our ceremony took place inside or out, at the end of the day, you would be my husband and I would be your wife, and for that, I could not ask for more.”

From our SPRINGS Facebook Group Admin, Rylee –

I got married at THE SPRINGS in Denton in August + I LOVED our date because it totally matched the feel of our wedding — fun, summer-y, vibrant… it was perfect for us! That being said, August in TX can be toasty so we had to get a little creative in our planning (just in case)!

 

We had iced down water bottles at the outdoor ceremony site. We printed our programs on thick cardstock so our guests could use them as fans during the ceremony. We served FROZEN margaritas and snowcones and lots of them to keep out guests cool + happy throughout the evening.

See more of Rylee’s summer wedding.

Off Season Wedding Date
Discussions in our SPRINGS Facebook Group

Pro tip:  Make sure your venue has an excellent inclement weather option.

During venue tours, ask, “What can we expect if the weather turns sour?”

Do they have an indoor wedding plan that satisfies your needs?

Indoor Wedding for a rainy wedding date
Read more about this indoor ceremony at THE SPRINGS. Hannah & David had terrible rain on their wedding day – no problem! <3

So, which month books up the quickest?

No contest.

October is the #1 month of the year to get married in Texas and Oklahoma.

The most popular month to get married

Are you considering an outdoor wedding ceremony?

Don’t forget – the S U N S E T.

During winter months (November – early March), it gets darker sooner.

This is important for those sun-dripped wedding pictures.

What time does the sun set on my wedding day?
Especially if you pick a winter wedding date, look for outdoor lighting.

For November – March weddings, you might also consider a “First Look” so you can squeeze in more couple portraits.

What time does the sun set on my wedding date?
SAVE this to your Phone or PIN IT to your Pinterest Board!

Sunset Calculator for your Wedding Date (enter your location)
2019 | 2020 | 2021

Part 3 of 4: Personal Schedules | Choosing a Wedding Date

Consider the ESSENTIAL people of your wedding:

The COUPLE.

The FAMILY.
Not your twice-removed cousin… just those who are MUST-HAVE attendees.

The BRIDAL PARTY.

The BESTIES.
Your ride-or-die friends, who may or may not already be in your Bridal Party.

Bad Wedding Dates for Work and Personal Reasons

Now, in context of those essential people, are there any “BLACK-OUT” dates or seasons you should cross off your list?

W O R K  Considerations –
do these apply for times of the year to avoid in choosing your wedding date?

Accountants:  Obviously, anything from January – April is going to be a stretch.

Students:  Avoid Finals and Graduations – this would be really stressful to accommodate with a wedding date.

Teachers:  State Testing season, Staff Development leading into August or September are “no-no’s” for principals.

Testing Schedules:  Texas Education Agency | Oklahoma State Department of Education

Also, consider if many of your essential people work together, are there days of the week that would leave your business in a bind?
For example, restaurant industry folks tend to choose weekdays for their weddings so more industry friends can attend when business is slower.

P E R S O N A L  Considerations –
do any of these apply in seasons to avoid for your wedding date?

Religions:

Are any of your essential people devout (name the religion)?  If so, you might consider major religious holidays in your planning:

Religious holiday calendars:  2019 | 2020 | 2021

Military:

Be mindful of blackout dates, training, deployments, etc.  If any of your irreplaceable wedding members are active duty, make sure to consider wedding insurance and find out what the terms of each vendor contract are for transferring your date should something come up.  The most important thing is to communicate and know all the facts before you decide on a date.

Hunting:

If your essentials are avid hunters, you can look up hunting season information here:

Texas | Oklahoma

Sports:

  • Superbowl:  2/3/19, 2/2/20, 2/7/21
  • NFL Regular Season Games:  2019 Schedule (we’ll update 2020 & 2021 when they’re available)
  • Final Four:  Apr 6 & 8 in 2019; Apr 4 & 6 in 2020; Apr 3 & 5 in 2021.  For more about the NCAA tournament dates:   Final Four Schedules
  • World Series:  These dates aren’t usually scheduled until closer, but they tend to be late October.  For more information, check the MLB site:  MLB Events
  • NBA Finals:  These dates haven’t been announced yet, but tend to be mid-June.  For more information, check the NBA important dates here:  NBA Schedule

BCS & Bowl Games:  Late December through Early January.  More: College Football Schedule

How to pick a wedding date?
Your personal schedule & preference for length of engagement will help you pick a wedding date.

Now, think about the length of your engagement.

And the people committing to be there on your wedding date.

How long is comfortable?

Remember, you’ll give guests plenty of time to make arrangements with Save the Date cards.

These can be sent out up to a year in advance for people to “hold” or “save” the date to be at your wedding.

(Shameless plug:  THE SPRINGS has a print store for Save The Dates.)

Are guests local or out of town?

You may need more time if guests will be travelling from far away to be with you.

Or consider a holiday, or a long weekend when they can come for the wedding date.

How much time do you want to plan?

The average reservation length is about a year at our SPRINGS venues.

We have some reservations made that are less than 6 months, while others are 2 years in advance.

PRO Tip:  A longer engagement will give you more time to spread payments out for venue + vendors.

Also, it allows you more time to plan and enjoy your engagement time together.

Download our wedding checklist to keep all of your appointments & “to-do’s” organized.
Or use our free Trello board for a mobile-friendly app.

Part 4 of 4:  Budgets | Choosing a Wedding Date

The top 3 factors that affect your overall budget are:

#1 WEDDING DATE
see below.

#2 GUEST COUNT
Obviously, a smaller guest count means less food, fewer tables, less alcohol… less budget required.

#3 VENUE GUIDELINES on VENDORS
Does your venue allow for outside vendors?  DIY weddings?
These venue policies will affect your budget.

Final Shameless Plug:
THE SPRINGS does not charge based on guest count.
Our average guest count is 187, though we can serve anywhere between 50 – 320 guests at our venues.
And we are DIY-friendly + flexible on vendors = savings.

cheapest wedding dates

1.  Off Season = (cheaper) Wedding Dates at Venues

Peak Season depends on location.

In Texas & Oklahoma:

Peak Season = March, April, May, June, September, October and November

Off Season = January, February, July, August, and December

Off Season wedding dates can save you up to $2000 at our venues.

Best and cheapest wedding dates
Pin this to your Pinterest Board to SAVE it!

2. Choose a non-Saturday.

By choosing a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, you’ll save the MOST money.

It’s our #1 tip for saving money on your wedding – choose any day except a Saturday.

Wait.

Is that normal?  YEP!

67% of our couples do not get married on a Saturday.

non-Saturday wedding dates in 2019, 2020, and 2021
Read our couples’ comments | Why I chose a Non-Saturday Wedding Date

We wrote another blog on non-Saturday wedding dates –
we interviewed real SPRINGS couples, who explained why they didn’t choose a Saturday wedding date and the benefits here.

Non-Saturday Wedding Date

Finally, you might consider holidays in deciding on a wedding date in 2019, 2020, or 2021.

Holidays can swing both ways (cheaper or more expensive) for wedding dates in 2019, 2020, or 2021.
It depends, so ask your venue if there’s an additional fee for holidays.

At THE SPRINGS for example, the only holiday rate we have is for New Year’s Eve.
We also have a longer rental time to allow for the midnight send off on New Year’s Eve wedding dates.

All other holidays are the same cost as all other dates in that season (peak or off-season).

PRO TIP:  You might consider a wedding date just before, on, or just after a holiday.

The benefit of a wedding date on a holiday, or near a holiday is that sometimes, it means:

•Guests are already in town.
•Longer weekends.
•Getting a “Saturday feel” on a non-Saturday since people are off work.

Holiday Wedding Dates in 2019, 2020, 2021
PIN this to save it for later!

Top 20 Wedding Dates in 2019

Factoring in:

•Cost
•Days off Work
•Non-Saturdays
•Guest availability to attend
•Unique, Novelty wedding dates

Wedding Date | Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Most people will have Monday off for NYE + Tuesday for New Year’s Day.  Since it’s a Tuesday, the cost will likely be much lower.

Wedding Date | Sunday, January 20, 2019
The following day is Monday, and since it’s MLK day, many will have off from work.

Wedding Date | Thursday, February 14, 2019
Since it’s a Thursday, it’ll be lower cost for your venue.  A romantic day to get married for sure!

Wedding Date | Sunday, February 17, 2019
The following day is Monday, but since it’s Presidents’ Day, many schools and businesses will be closed, so it’ll be a holiday weekend with closures on Monday.  Bonus, it’s 2/17/19… nice to have a little addition to make the date easy to remember:  2+17=19.

Wedding Date | Sunday, March 10, 2019
It’s Daylight Savings, so you’ll get an “extra” hour into the evening of sunlight.  Plus, it’s likely the first weekend of Spring Break, so many more can attend + stay later.

Wedding Date | Friday, April 19, 2019
It’s Good Friday and likely a holiday weekend for families.  Many will be off work and by choosing the Friday, you’ll avoid “interfering” with Easter festivities on Sunday.

Wedding Date | Sunday, May, 26, 2019
You’ll get the Saturday “feel” on a Sunday since most are off work on Memorial Day, the 27th.  It’ll cost less by choosing a non-Saturday wedding date and your guests will likely stay a little later since they don’t have to work on Monday.

Wedding Date | Friday, July 5, 2019
It’s the beginning of a 3-day weekend, most guests will have this day off work.  It’ll cost less at your venue since it’s not only a non-Saturday, but also in off-season.

Wedding Date | Monday, July 8, 2019
Hear me out on a Monday date.  First, it’s budget-friendly.  Second, it’s coming off a long, holiday weekend, so it could be great for destination if people are coming in from afar so they can celebrate and fly back on a cheaper weekday (Tuesday).  And finally, how cool is 7-8-19… if you’re a “numbers” person, it’s kinda neat!  7-8-9.

Wedding Date | Friday, July 12, 2019
With the holiday weekend before it, it’ll give your bridal party a perfect weekend to do some pre-wedding-celebrating.  The Friday option is less expensive than a Saturday and it’s got a “novelty number date” to it because 7+12 = 19.  

Wedding Date | Sunday, August 11, 2019
All dates in August are less expensive because it’s “off season”.  This particular date is still during the summer, so more people are likely to stay later on a Sunday night since school hasn’t started, yet.  “8” is a lucky number.  And, 8+11 = 19.

Wedding Date | Sunday, Sept 1, 2019
This is Labor Day weekend, so you get the “Saturday feel” on a Sunday.  Plus, 9-1-19 is a palindrome (same forwards and backwards).

Wedding Date | Thursday, Sept 19, 2019
This date!  See it – 9-19-19… this is a FUN numbers date.  Yes, please!  Plus, a Thursday is a great choice for local guests (they have over a year to make arrangements to be there) and for destination because it means they can take the rest of the weekend to enjoy themselves.

Wedding Date | Sunday, October 13, 2019
The next day is Columbus Day and many school districts and businesses close this day.  A Sunday would give you a lesser cost + a “Saturday feel” in the #1 wedding month of the year.

Wedding Date | Thursday, October 31, 2019
Calling all offbeat couples!  Have you ever said, “Halloween is my favorite holiday?”  Then, this would be a perfect date to save money on a Thursday and incorporate some spooky-awesome features from your favorite holiday.  It’s also the week before Daylight Saving Time ends, so you’ll get the most daylight in the #1 month of the year.

Wedding Date | Friday, November 1, 2019
See this date – 11-1-19… kinda cool to have 11/1 as your date and so easy to remember.  It’ll be lesser in cost than a Saturday, plus it’s right before daylight savings time for more sunlight + picture time before your reception.

Wedding Date | Monday, November 11, 2019
This would be a great way to honor your military loved ones (it’s Veterans Day).  Our venues have military discounts, too, (for any day you choose). Plus, it’s during a 3-day weekend and weddings are more affordable on a Monday.

Wedding Dates | Mon, Tues, or Wednesday, November 25, 26, 27, 2019
Great choices to celebrate inexpensively (weekday rates), while everyone is in town already (for the Thanksgiving holiday) and to have a mini-honeymoon or long-honeymoon into the already-set days off of work due to Thanksgiving.  This is really popular for our teacher couples who have the weekend before to prep + the week off from school already.

Wedding Date | Friday, November 29, 2019
This is a great date for couples who have moved away and are going back to their hometown for the wedding.  Why?  All of your “old” friends and family will already be in town for the holiday weekend and there’s not much happening on this Friday… except your less-expensive-than-a-Saturday, super-savvy wedding day, of course!

Wedding Date | Thursday, December 19, 2019
This wedding date fits the sweet spot – it’s less expensive since it’s on a Thursday.  It’s after universities release students for the holidays.  It’s the Thursday before the holidays, so more people are in town (but it’s not the coveted
weekend before when most people have family get-togethers or work parties).  And it’s got a novelty factor there – 12/19/19 with the duplicate day and year.  

In conclusion, here’s your road map –

1.  Pick your top 3 venues.
2.  Pick your top 3 dates.
3.  Discuss dates that fall in your budget.
Your perfect venue will be the place where all three align.

Which wedding date in 2019, 2020, or 2021 will you pick?

We’d love to hear from you!

Most of all, we welcome you for a tour at any of our SPRINGS venues –
even if you don’t choose us, we’re big on education and tools that you can take to any venue tour.

Happy Wedding!
xoxo – THE SPRINGS

how to know your wedding venue is the one

We are text-friendly, too!

wedding venue tours

Written by THE SPRINGS

THE SPRINGS

•THE WEDDING VENUE EXPERTS• The team at THE SPRINGS provides education, tips, and inspiration for planning your wedding.