I know there are a lot of 2010 brides out there that are just getting started on planning, so this week we will do a whole series on kick-starting your wedding planning! First up, picking your wedding date!

Picking a date can be very exciting. Often, couple’s find the perfect venue and immediately 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 during football season, 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. I’m definitely not saying to rule out those dates all together, just make sure you have all of the information before locking in that date with a hefty venue deposit!

Holiday Weekends
Since we work with so many couples planning destination weddings, I’m often asked about holiday weekends. Many couples consider a holiday weekend to give their guests a 3 day weekend to travel in for their wedding from out of town. While holiday weekends can sound great in theory, there are a few things to take into consideration:

  • Hotels will be more expensive. Along the lake shore, where hotels can already be pricey in the summer, room costs skyrocket on holiday weekends leaving your guests with a $190 hotel room (with a group discount). And hotels are not likely to let you block as many rooms at discouted rates, as well.
  • Guest count is likely to be lower on holiday weekends. Many people have yearly traditions planned well in advance, travel to visit family or will want to utilize their 3 day weekend.