You guys, I’m engaged. ENGAGED. Even though it’s been three months since it happened, I still can’t get used to the fact that I have a fiancé and that we are in fact planning The Day that I’ve been dreaming of my whole life. That being said, someone better pinch me real quick because as it turns out, I don’t have time to daydream anymore. It’s go time.
Among the many questions that ran through my mind as we started planning, there was one thing Dave and I were certain of. We had always planned on a short engagement, so when he proposed, my first question was, “How fast can we make this happen?” It’s not that we wanted to wish this special time in our lives away, but we both realized we were just ready to start this new adventure. So I thought we could just pick a day and start planning. Boy, was I wrong.
There is so much more to consider when choosing the wedding date than simply finding an open spot on the calendar. Here are some of the things we had to think about before deciding on a date, especially since we’re short on time!
1. Location, location, location
Dave and I toyed around with a number of different locations and ultimately chose to get married close to home here in Minnesota where all of our friends and family could join. Once we narrowed that down, the real fun began.
2. Determine the season
For Dave and myself, this was a double-edged sword. First off, neither of us likes winter—especially a Minnesota winter. So if we wanted a warm(er) weather wedding, we knew we had to choose a late spring, summer, or early fall date. While that sounds easy enough to do, there was actually one other thing standing in our way; Dave is a wedding photographer and I second shoot for him. Don’t get me wrong, this is an incredibly awesome job, but it means we work most weekends in the late spring, summer, and fall photographing stunning weddings all over the place, many of which we are already committed to for this year. We would have to take our chances and find an open date in the schedule or succumb to old man winter. Well we chose to take a gamble and as it turns out lady luck was on our side: there were a few weeks open at the end of August! We decided to commit to those dates and went venue hunting. Hooray!
3. Set a budget
One thing I know for certain is that your wedding budget is key to finding a venue. Dave and I knew we had to come to consensus on our wedding budget so we understood how much we were willing to spend on the location. Venues and their offerings vary greatly so understanding where we were going to draw the line on our venue helped us narrow down our search. Setting a venue budget also helped us set the tone for how the rest of our budget shakes out.
4. Inquire about venue availability
There are so many beautiful places to get married at in Minnesota. Even though we didn’t have many weekends to pick from according to our schedule, we did have one thing in our favor: Sundays. We knew that many of the locations we loved had been solid booked on Fridays and Saturdays for months already. So we decided to get creative and start inquiring about Sundays. Sure enough, it worked and we found a venue we loved: Solar Arts by Chowgirls! Plus, we found that many places offered a lower rate for that day of the week and as you know, when it comes to a wedding budget, every penny matters. Lesson: don’t be afraid of the “off-days.”
So there you have it! I will admit, when we finally chose a date and a venue, I felt as though I had just conquered the Everest of wedding plans, but weeks later, I now realize that it was only the beginning. The good news is, we’re are absolutely stoked to be getting married at Solar Arts in August and no matter what, it will be the most imperfectly perfect day.