May 31, 2024

How To Pick a Wedding Date – A Helpful Guide

The Wedding Date Dilemma

After over a decade in the wedding industry, I have found that one of the most difficult choices many couples face is how to pick a wedding date for their wedding or elopement. You might be in that position right now, not knowing how to narrow down 365 days to choose the one BIG one that you will celebrate for the rest of your lives. It can feel like a lot of pressure, but I’m here to help!

Though I specialize in small intimate weddings or elopements with 25 people or less in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, this blog post will be helpful for anyone! Whether you’re having a large wedding or a solo adventure elopement, you could probably use some guidance. So let’s dive in to everything you need to know about picking your wedding date

A couple is walking and laughing in their wedding clothes at dusk in the mountains.

Table of Contents

01. Why Your Wedding Date is Important
02. 4 Steps To Picking Your Wedding Date
– Choose a General Location
– Decide if you want family or friends to join
– Note work schedules and requirements
– Schedule a fun date to decide
03. Wedding Date Considerations
04. 3 Extra Tips from a Wedding Pro
05. What If you Still Can’t Pick?
06. How to Pick a Wedding Date Summary

A couples wedding date is spring because the mountain laurels are blooming as they stand amidst them smiling at one another.

Why Your Wedding Date is Important

Though the real importance of a wedding is the experience, your chosen date can impact your experience greatly. From the type of weather you might experience, travel considerations, family availability, and more. There are a lot of factors that come in to play when you are trying to plan an event. You’re probably not a wedding planner. Therefore, knowing what things you need to consider will help a lot!

You usually have to have this decision made (or at least have a general idea of a timeframe) before hiring any other vendors who could help plan your day!

A coule stands sharing their vows on a mountain top when they elope in Asheville on their wedding date.

4 Steps To Picking Your Wedding date

Choosing the perfect wedding date can feel overwhelming, but having a step-by-step guide can simplify the process and make it more manageable. By breaking down the decision into clear, actionable steps, you can confidently navigate through the options and find the date that feels just right. Here are my suggestions to help you make this important choice come together smoothly:

01. Choose a general location

Choosing a general location for your wedding or elopement is one of the most crucial steps in the planning process. The location will significantly influence many aspects of your special day, including the date you choose. Here’s how knowing your location can help tremendously when it comes to picking the perfect date:

Weather and Seasons

  • Understanding the typical weather patterns and seasons of your chosen location is essential. Different locations have varying climates, and knowing what to expect can help you avoid unpleasant weather on your big day.

Local Events and Holidays

  • Researching local events and holidays is another critical aspect in how to pick your wedding date. Local festivals, public holidays, and major events can affect everything from venue availability to accommodation prices and guest travel plans.

Venue Availability

  • The location you choose will also determine the availability of wedding venues. Popular venues can be booked up well in advance, especially during peak wedding seasons. By knowing your location, you can start your search for the perfect venue early and secure a date that works for you.

Guest Convenience

  • Choosing a location also involves thinking about your guests. Consider how accessible the location is for most of your guests and the travel logistics involved.

Scenery and Ambiance

  • The time of year you choose for your wedding can dramatically affect the scenery and ambiance of your location. Different seasons bring different natural backdrops and atmospheres.

By choosing a general location first, you set a solid foundation for your wedding planning. This decision helps narrow down your date options by considering the weather, local events, venue availability, and guest convenience, ensuring your wedding day is as perfect as you’ve always envisioned.

02. Decide if you want family or friends to join

Making the decision about whether you want family or friends to join you is crucial before choosing a date. This choice will guide how far you might want to travel and will require knowing your loved ones’ availability.

You generally have 3 main options here:

Larger celebration

  • If you’re planning a larger celebration, you’ll likely follow a more traditional approach. This involves setting a date and sending out invitations to all your desired guests, allowing them to RSVP by a specific deadline. This way, you can accommodate a wider range of schedules and ensure that everyone has ample time to make arrangements.

Smaller, Intimate Gathering

  • For a smaller, more intimate event, you’ll want to coordinate closely with the few key people you want to be present. This might mean having in-depth conversations with them about their availability and preferences before setting the date. By ensuring that your closest loved ones can attend, you create a more personal and meaningful experience.

A “Just Us” Experience

  • If you’re opting for a true solo elopement experience, the date selection becomes entirely flexible. This is because it revolves solely around you and your partner. This intimate choice allows you to pick a date that holds personal significance without worrying about coordinating with others’ schedules. You can plan your day to focus solely on your love and connection, creating a uniquely personal and memorable experience.

Deciding on the type of celebration—whether a large gathering or an intimate affair—early on will streamline your planning process. It will also help you make informed decisions about the location, travel logistics, and overall scope of your wedding or elopement.

If you’re not sure on what type of celebration you want to have just yet, check out my blog post; Elopement vs. Traditional Wedding : Which Is For You?

03. Note your work schedules and requirements

Next, you will both want to clarify your availability around work. Begin by discussing your current work schedules and identifying any potential conflicts or flexible periods. Many companies have specific guidelines or benefits that can be utilized, such as wedding leave, personal days, or vacation time. Confirm the amount of time off you have accrued and how much notice you need to give to ensure your time off is approved.

Consider typical busy times in your professional lives. These might make it more challenging to focus on wedding preparations or to enjoy your wedding day fully. For instance, if you or your partner work in an industry with peak seasons (like retail during the holidays, accounting during tax season, or academia during exam periods), planning your wedding during a quieter time can help reduce stress and allow you to be more present during your special day.

Additionally, think about the time needed before and after the wedding. You may want a few days before the wedding for last-minute preparations and some time after for a honeymoon or just to relax and decompress. Discussing and aligning your work schedules early in the process can help you pick a date that allows you both to enjoy your wedding and honeymoon without the added pressure of work commitments. By taking these steps, you ensure that your wedding date is set during a period when you can both fully immerse yourselves in the joy and celebration.

04. Schedule a fun date to decide

One of the best ways to tackle a task that might not seem very fun, like picking a wedding date, is to turn it into an enjoyable experience. Transform the decision-making process into a memorable date night that inspires and motivates you both. By associating this important step with something pleasurable, you can create positive memories and make the process less stressful.

Put a date night on the calendar specifically for choosing your wedding date. This can be an opportunity to spend quality time together while also being productive. Here are a few ideas to make this date both fun and effective:

Coffee Shop or Restaurant

  • Visit your favorite coffee shop or restaurant, bring a calendar, and discuss potential dates over your favorite drinks and meals. The cozy atmosphere can help you relax and think clearly.

Outdoor Adventure

  • If you both enjoy the outdoors, go for a hike or a walk in a park. Bring a journal or notepad to jot down ideas as you discuss dates amidst nature’s beauty. The change of scenery can provide fresh perspectives and inspiration.

Stay-In Night

  • Plan a comfortable evening at home with your favorite snacks, drinks, and a calendar. Light some candles, play your favorite music, and make it a special occasion. This intimate setting can foster deeper conversations about your hopes and dreams for the wedding.

Treat Yourself

  • Once you’ve nailed down the date, plan a small celebration to reward yourselves. Whether it’s treating yourselves to a dessert, a mini shopping spree, or an activity you both love, celebrating this milestone can make the decision feel even more significant.

Personalized Date

  • Tailor the date to your unique interests and hobbies. If you love cooking, have a cook-off at home and discuss dates over the meal you prepare together. If you’re both movie buffs, make a themed movie night where you watch wedding-related films and discuss your plans during intermissions.

By turning this important decision into a fun and personalized date, you not only make the process enjoyable but also create a special memory in your wedding planning journey. It’s a wonderful way to remind yourselves that wedding planning, even the challenging parts, can be a delightful experience when approached with joy and creativity.

A couple is sitting snuggled up on a mountain with a lamp before their wedding. A headlamp is lighting up their faces and the moon glows in the background with a starry sky.

Wedding Date Considerations

There are a few things you will also want to consider when figuring out how to pick a wedding date. Here is a comprehensive list:

A couple in wedding clothes is walking around a big old growth tree during their wedding. The sun is shining through the trees onto them.

Seasonal Changes

  • Weather: Depending on the location you’ve chosen, the weather could shift drastically or mildly throughout the seasons. Make sure you do some research on what to expect throughout the year, weather wise, as a starting point for choosing a wedding date.
  • Venue & Vendor Availability: If you are opting for a wedding venue, they can be booked up quickly during peak seasons in your chosen location. Same is true for specific vendors. Choosing an off-season date might give more options, unless you are planning for a date a year or more out!
  • Scenery: The natural landscape will likely change with the seasons, influencing outdoor photography and the overall ambiance of your experience. Consider what you’d like to see and the type of scenery you want to be immersed in during your wedding. This will help you prepare for an experience fitting for your preferences and personal needs.

Significant Dates

  • Anniversaries and Special Dates: Consider dates that are personally significant, such as the anniversary of your first date, engagement, or another meaningful event.
  • Holidays and Long Weekends: Choosing dates around holidays or long weekends, have their pros and cons. There might be a convenience for your guests, but there might also be higher costs. If you’re having and outdoor elopement, public land spaces will be more congested with visitors, but you might have more time off from work.
  • Religious Connections: Maybe you have some religious events or celebrations that you’d like to either avoid or embrace for your wedding celebration.
  • Summer/Winter Solstice: You might want to plan a wedding around natural phenomenons that have been celebrated for generations. This is a great way to connect with & honor the natural world.
A couple is standing during their wedding ceremony while they celebrate a jewish tradition.
A couple is standing side by side at a rock overlook in a gorge in the mountains on their wedding date. There are flowers in the foreground and a beautiful view in the background.

Wedding Budget Needs

  • Peak vs. Off-Peak Pricing: Consider the financial implications of choosing a peak versus off-peak wedding date. Venue and vendor pricing can vary significantly depending on the time of year and day of the week. Peak seasons, typically during the warmer months or around popular holidays, often come with higher prices due to increased demand. In contrast, off-peak times, such as weekdays or the shoulder seasons, can offer substantial savings while still providing an excellent experience for you and your guests.
  • Advance Booking: Securing your wedding date well in advance can offer several financial benefits. Not only does it give you more time to research and negotiate with vendors, but it can also lock in current rates and provide better financial predictability. By booking early, you may be able to take advantage of special promotions or discounts offered by venues and vendors. Additionally, advanced booking ensures that you have your pick of dates, especially if you have a specific venue or vendor in mind that tends to book up quickly.

Symbolic and Cultural Factors

  • Cultural Significance: Some cultures have special dates or certain celebrations for weddings. Therefore you might want to include all or some of those in your own celebration. Explore your options and choose things that feel like a good fit, exploring how the date might incorporate these factors.
  • Astrological or Numerological Considerations: You might be interested in choosing a date based on astrological or numerological significance.
  • Moon Phases: You might want to plan your celebration around a full moon, strawberry moon, or any other specific phase of that magical, celestial icon! Plus, this gives you a chance for some really powerful night photos!
  • Historical Events: Maybe you choose a date that aligns with a historical event that you find meaningful or inspiring as a couple. Is there any moment in time particularly interesting to you?
A couple is standing on a beach in traditional wedding garb for western and Easter celebrations. The bride is in a red and gold dress and the groom a blue suit with a white scarf. They are looking into the sunset.
A bride is looking toward the sunrise on her wedding date as she hikes up a mountain to get married.

3 Date Picking Tips From A Wedding Pro

After over 10 years in the wedding industry, I’ve experienced some important things around specific dates. I’ve also seen how picking a wedding date greatly impacts couples, so here is my advice:

01. Weekdays & Backup Plans

  • Weekday Weddings: I HIGHLY recommend picking a weekday for your wedding no matter what. You are going to be more likely to get the rentals and venues you want. But, specifically in my outdoor elopement niche, you are going to have a change of a more private experience in nature. Public land and hiking trails can be much busier Friday-Sunday compared to Monday-Thursday. As long as the people you want to be there can be there on a weekday, it’s worth it!
  • Backup Plan: It’s always good to have backup plans! You never know what the weather is going to be like, or if any road closure or natural disaster could impact what you have planned. Always have a backup plan for unexpected scenarios, especially for outdoor weddings, to give you the best change of your day going smoothly. The last thing you want is to be making these big decisions the day of!

02. Logistics & Planning Time

  • Preparation Time: The amount of time needed to plan a wedding or elopement can vary greatly. This will depend on the size and type of event. I have pulled together really simple, last minute elopements with just the couple in as short as 2 weeks. But ideally, especially if you have guests, the more time you give yourself to plan the better. It will be less stressful (hopefully) and allow you to enjoy your engagement period a bit more fully.
  • Vendor Coordination: You will also want to note the importance of aligning the availability of key vendors, such as photographers, caterers, and officiants. If you have some people in mind that feel like a good fit for your wedding, you should reach out to check their availability before choosing a date.

03. Embrace Mindful Intentions

  • Emotional and Practical Balance: Strive for a balance between practical considerations (like weather and budget) and emotional factors (like significant dates and personal preferences). This approach can help ensure you feel both excited and comfortable with your chosen date.
  • Visualization Exercise: Visualize your wedding day in different seasons and on different dates. Picture the details, from the flowers to the attire, to see which scenario feels the most right and meaningful for you.
  • Flexibility & Attitude: The reality is, we can’t control everything. Anything could happen on the date you’ve chosen to celebrate your wedding and we have to accept that potential. I encourage you to prepare yourself to remain flexible and positive to make the best out of the experience the universe provides. Love is the center of it all, and even if things don’t turn out how we imagine, your love is right there with you.
A couple is standing in front of a sunrise for their elopement in the mountains. They have a small ceremony of their closest friends around them.

What If You Still Can’t Pick A Wedding Date?

If you’re still struggling with how to pick a wedding date, don’t fret! This can be a really tough decision. If overwhelm prevails and are more interested in just being open, leave it to the universe! Here are some fun ideas to try out if you’re still having trouble choosing:

Lucky Draw

  • Jar of Dates: Write down all the potential dates on slips of paper. Put them in a jar, and draw one out randomly.
  • Calendar Spin: Spin a calendar and blindly point to a date, letting fate decide.
  • Dice Roll: Assign months and days to numbers on dice, and roll to see which combination comes up.
  • Random Date Generator: Use an online random date generator or Artificial intelligence like ChatGPT to suggest a date within a specified range.

Numerology and Astrology

  • Numerology: Use numerology to find a date that has a special significance based on the couple’s names or birth dates.
  • Astrology: Consult an astrologer to pick an auspicious date based on the couple’s astrological charts.
  • Enneagram: Maybe you combine your Enneagram type numbers (if you’re into that) to help you pick a date!

Significant Numbers

  • Lucky Numbers: Choose a date that includes your lucky numbers.
  • Special Combinations: Look for fun combinations, like 02/02/2022 or 12/12/2024, which are easy to remember.
  • Milestone Countdown: Choose a date based on a countdown from a significant milestone, such as exactly 100 days from their engagement date.

Let Someone Else Choose Your Wedding Date

  • Friend or Family Choice: Maybe there is a friend or family member who would have good insight on the date you should pick. They might have a totally different perspective and enjoy being a part of the decision making in your wedding experience.
  • Vendor Insight: You could also ask your vendor to pick your date based on their professional knowledge after learning about what experience you want to have. You could give them a few parameters to work around, or just be open to anything!
A groom is putting on his brides wedding ring after they shared vows in a foggy forest and they are both smiling and laughing.

How to Pick A Wedding Date Summary

Choosing a wedding or elopement date can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.

This blog post is here to encourage and guide you through the process, showing you that with a little thought and creativity, you can pick a date that feels just right. Remember, there’s no perfect date. This all boils down to simply choosing a time to celebrate your love.

Whether you decide based on personal significance, seasonal preferences, or even a fun random method, the most important thing is that the date you choose becomes meaningful to you.

Trust your instincts, stay flexible, and know that no matter what date you select, your special day will be amazing because it’s a celebration of your unique journey together




I believe everyone deserves a wedding experience that feels genuine to them.
That’s why I help those who value intimate, unique, & adventurous memories
have a celebration they cherish for a lifetime.
If you’re dreaming of an elopement immersed in the natural beauty of Western NC,
get in touch and I’ll help you bring everything to life!




Let's Start The Journey