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Picking a date can be very exciting. Often, couple’s pick a date without too much consideration, which can lead to trouble down the road. Before you pick your date, consider the people and places around you—do any of the “key players”—you know, the important people like your parents, bridal party, and siblings—have prior engagements? You don’t have to completely rule out a date because one potential bridesmaid won’t be able to stand up, but if she’s really important to you (or 3 or 4 of your bridesmaids will be MIA) then you may want to consider another date. Will you have relatives unable to come because you’ve chosen a date that correlates with high school or college graduation, or because their kids are finishing up school?

Secondly, consider the places around you. Do you live near a major university, sport facility, or festival location? Here in St. Joseph we are roughly 40 minutes from Notre Dame—however, many couples are surprised to find that on home game Saturdays, a hotel room in the greater St. Joseph area is extra expensive, if not elusive all together. The same goes for the annual Venetian Festival in July, which brings in more than 100,000 tourists to the town and hotels. So if the venue you love is booked for the entire year, and has ONE hot date available….take a closer look, and make sure that you’re not missing an important event or activity that will throw a wrench in your plans. On the other hand, if you’re willing to battle crowds, and subject your guests to limited or pricey accommodations, you may be able to negotiate some great deals on these weekends!