Post # 1
Ladies- today is the day I am confronted with making a decision as to the date of my wedding. And I would appreciate constructive feedback!
The day of event coordinator called saying there is another couple interested in the date I am interested in- ‘have you made a decision?’ (I’m thinking "No!" I haven’t even contacted the caterer/musicians to see what their pricing is for that location!)
Here is the dilemna: The location I chose (garden/winery) has an off-season rate ($3,500) & a peak season rate ($5,500 for weekdays, $6,500 for weekend w/ a $2,500 deposit, & $4,500 for a Sunday wedding) The ceremony & reception would be at the same place. & before you ask (b/c I know you will) there are four contingency plans depending on weather- so I am set there). Not only is the pricing the dilemna (I mean geeze- I could stretch the money out a little more with the off season rate! No complaints there!)- but there is this beautiful garden. And the flowers are not usually in bloom till the last two weeks of April!
So my FH and I have been considering late March. My Fiance says he doesn’t mind booking the location in March (40-~60 degrees) but given the fact there may not be flowers he doesn’t want me ‘going overboard’ with getting flowers (which I don’t think would be an issue seeing how I get so many other ideas from all you fabulous ladies) so he said he didn’t mind anytime in the peak season either (april= 50-68 degrees) so long as it isn’t summer time when it’s HOT. And I am worried it might be too cold in late March (Northern California- hello) but my Fiance thrives in cold weather. …but… the garden… all those… flowers!
My friends say "for some reason March feels right", or others say "something about March would be good". I don’t know if they are referring to pricing or convenience. Which is another element. I thought it might be better for OOT’s during March with it being the offseason for travel/accomodations.
So I am on the phone with the coordinator and with all these thoughts running through my mind I managed to squeek out "Can you please fax me the contract to look over & I will get back to you no later than Tuesday? Please?" <note desperation>
Has anyone faced this same dilemna? How did you choose your date given similar circumstances?
Post # 3
We picked the date we wanted, then when we picked the venue, the dates they had available changed (long story). So, we changed ours by two weeks. It was still the same rate and not so far off that we’ll have different weather or a change in rate.
In your case, I’d suggest picking what is most important to you about the wedding. Is it a lovely garden/beautiful setting? More wiggle room in the budget to spend on things other than the venue? Make your plans accordingly.
Best of luck and try not to stress too much!
Post # 4
Is there at least pretty greenery at that time? (Sorry, I’m not too familiar with Northern Califorian Spring time – where I am from at the end of March everything is still dead and brown or covered in snow) I think if the place doesn’t look like a barren wasteland, go for it! Then you won’t be worrying about dying of heat in a heavy dress and you can get some kind of cute shawl/jacket/sweater thing 🙂
Good luck deciding!
Post # 5
Sometimes you are at the mercy of the venue. That is what we are faced with right now. Its less expensive to do it at the hotel we want on a Saturday night in December then it is in April. So just know that no matter what date you pick, its going to be one of the best days of your life…
Post # 6
Maybe check the Farmer’s Almanac for March? If I recall, this year March in Northern CA was cool but not too gloomy – of course, I live on the east coast but just visit CA on occasion. Although, Fiance and I were in Napa in March, and it was absolutely gorgeous. While the flowers weren’t in full bloom, there were plenty of foliage and blossoms to be seen.
I agree with missm. Pick what feels right to you, whether that means saving money on the venue and having additional decorating costs, or having the extra wow factor with all the flowers.
Good luck deciding! I definitely feel your pain. 🙂
Post # 7
Sparkles….I would go with what date feels best to you, not what the availability of the venue is. I live in So. Cal and March can still be chilly, so I would think No. Cal would be even more so. I am getting married Aug. 8 (2 months!) at a winery here in So. Cal and it too will be in the garden, both ceremony and reception….we attended an event there earlier in the spring and it was very cool. I’d go with a warmer date. Is it cheaper to have it on a Friday? It is at our venue so we went that route.
Post # 8
was this at paradise ridge winery? sorry i was just looking at their rates earlier today and it sounds familiar… anyways, i wouldn’t do march in N. Cal cause of the rain issue… what other places are you looking at? anything more reasonably priced cause i’m looking in the bay area too.
PS i think they say that other people are considering the dates just to get you to put the deposit down… at least it feels that way.
Post # 9
i say go for april, the month when the venue is the most beautiful. you’ll save on decor/flowers at the very least. 😛
Post # 10
Thanks for all the input ladies! I really appreciate it!
Has anyone set a date just because they wanted it at a particular venue? Not because they wanted any date in particular?
Post # 11
I did! There was only 1 date all year available at our venue, so that became our wedding date. =) It just happened to be in September (we wanted to get married in the fall, but didn’t really care when). It wasn’t like your situation though, where it was different pricing depending on the time of year.
We didn’t really have a set date in mind — it was more about calling up a number of venues and seeing when they were available.
Post # 12
We knew we wanted to get married in the summer of 2008, and there are so many other things going on in the summer here that sometimes it’s really hard to get a hotel room. So we picked the dates that didn’t coincide with other events, and the venue we wanted was free on only one of those dates. So that’s the date we chose.
Post # 13
We picked our date because we had already planned a two-week trip to France that we decided to use as our honeymoon. That said, we are getting married at the end of August in Florida. Still, we have found some things that will make it managable – giving the guests little fans to keep them cook and holding it on the beach, which is usually windy.
You can’t predict when the flowers will be out and they could be early or late. Choose what feels right to you and don’t sweat the flowers or the weather. No matter what you choose, you might end up using a contingency plan.
Post # 14
I’m with Rebecca. We knew we wanted to get married in the Fall of ’08, but didn’t care which day. So we visited different places and when we decided on the place, we decided on the date because of what they had available. 🙂
Post # 15
I am also from N. Cal and after much consideration, we have decided on March 2009, but we were faced with the same dilemma as you. We considered cold weather, but it’s better than hot weather I think, though we are not having a garden wedding. The guest will only be exposed for about 5 min between the walk from the ceremony to the reception hall. It is off season and everything is so much less expensive, including travel for Out of Town guest because we have about 60% of our guest from out of town. NorCal is beautiful in the Spring beginning with March.
We originally wanted to do it in May because it would be a little warmer, but the church we wanted to get married at did not have the right date and time for us, so the church was what dictated or date decision. We worked around that date to find a reception site.
Good luck with your decision. As I came to find out after having made the decision, the date you choose is not really that important if it has everything else that you want. The guests will show up and will have a good time whatever date you choose.
Post # 16
So I was going to leave a follow up here- for those who are Northern Cali- and all you others I am sure you will get a good laugh at this.
So like many of you mentioned about the flowers in bloom- the weather (I looked at the historical weather trends for calistoga in March, May & June on http://www.wunderground.com) My FH went ahead and reserved for May 29 instead of the original March 21st date.
I sat and I thought, and I sat and I thought– geeze those numbers just don’t sound right… May 28th or May 30th would be great- but are taken… nice lil even numbers (yes I am crazy) so after my inner turmoil I switched the date to June 5th.
Now mind you we were initially hoping to avoid a "summer" wedding. We were sticking to our guns about not having a peak season wedding date. But since the venue we chose only has one event a day there are lots of dates already taken. So I call my uncle- who will be my photographer (funny story he has his phD in analytical chemistry but on the weekends his true passion is dedicated to photography and runs his own wedding photography buisiness). He had been out of town on a science related conference I couldn’t get ahold of him during the "negotiations". When he finally returns my phone call, he tells me the may date AND the june 5th date didn’t work because he was already booked for other weddings! <Gasp! My own uncle?! Too busy for my wedding?!>
<sigh> How to choose a wedding date was trickier than I anticipated. But the most important elements (like you all suggested) I stuck to: the flowers, the weather and lest I forget- the photographer of choice. Ok & the fact that I will be marrying my special *someone*.
Hence the wedding date came to be on June 26th, 2009. But at least my Fiance & I are saving some money by having a friday event… (and it is summer time technically- so people should be able to go to a weekday wedding… And I do feel bad about being engaged for one full year… Hmmm… No I am NOT changing the date again!) ;o)
Thanks again ladies!