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One of the first questions you’ll get asked when you tell someone you’re engaged is, ‘when is the wedding?’ Nailing down the date of the big event is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding because it will impact every other aspect of your big day. Figuring that out can be a bit tricky, but it doesn’t have to be.

Many couples decide their wedding date based on any number of sentimental reasons: a dating anniversary, when they first met, a romantic holiday, a parent or grandparent’s anniversary. This is a lovely thought, and one you should stick to if it’s important to you and your partner. However, it may restrict your venue selection.

For example, let’s pretend you had your heart set on a September wedding, but you love a venue that is not available until June of the following year. You will either have to compromise on your date or find a different venue. It all depends on your priorities.

It can be even more challenging if you’re trying to coordinate between a ceremony and reception venue. If you see yourself getting married in the church you grew up in, but the place you imagined for your reception isn’t available on the same dates as the church, you will have to find a compromise.

Before you start touring venues to nail down your wedding date, make sure you have put together your budget so you’ll have an idea of how much you can spend. You will also want to put together a rough guest list so you will know how much space you need to have. It is also important to remember that your wedding date isn’t officially reserved until you sign the venue contract, and, in most cases, not until you pay the deposit.

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