How to choose your wedding date

NIAMH WHITE

Wedding Coordinator, Horetown House

If you have always dreamed of a July wedding or getting married at Christmas time, then it will be easy to figure out which date you’re going to choose. However, if you never really gave wedding dates much thought, you may be  surprised that every person you meet seems to ask “so have you set a date yet?”.  Don’t worry, we are here to help narrow it down.  So let’s pick a date!
“So have you set a date yet?”

It’s easier to pick dates you don’t want

Choosing your date can be tricky and it really depends on how many things you need to work around. Such as … other peoples weddings, sports events, busy work periods, travel dates for important guests, monsoon season in your honeymoon destination… the list goes on.  Sometimes it’s easier to start with what you don’t want.

Other peoples weddings

If you have a sibling or very close friend who is getting married or is engaged, there is a little bit of tip toeing around required and it is best to have a quiet chat with them before you blurt out a date that is going to clash or jump ahead. Similarly if you have friends getting married in the same year, it’s worth checking out if there is a wedding in Tuscany that everyone will travel to or if  your school gang have all booked in for a Hen in Marbella around your favourite time of year. While you can’t work around everyone else’s plans, if there are obvious events which will make it difficult to have your favorite people present best to move early rather than asking them to choose.  We only host a small number of weddings each year, but we offer dates all year round and every day of the week so we can usually find a date that works.

While you can’t work around everyone else’s plans, if there are obvious events which will make it difficult to have your favorite people present best to move early

Avoid the Final

Sporting events may hold little interest with you or your partner, but your guests may be devastated to miss the Heiniken Cup Final or be part of a team making their way to league domination.  We have a strict one bar policy which means, when the bell rings for dinner, the bar opens in the Garden room and the Cellar bar closes (with the TV in it).   If you have a sporting crowd or have an interest yourself it’s best to avoid obvious major sporting dates, and most are advertised over a year in advance or follow a pattern so it’s easy to avoid.   If you are unlucky and a big sporting event falls on your day after your have booked, talk to your venue about the time line and either keep the TV off from the start, or move your timings to avoid total heartbreak when the bell rings.

On the other hand, major sporting events can be a great bit of banter for a chilled out day 2 particularly if Ireland are playing and there is a wide appeal so include it in your plans and start the party in time for kick off.

When do you have time?

Busy work schedules can be tough in the lead up to your wedding. While everyone focuses on saving up their annual leave for the honeymoon, most don’t realise that you need time before the big day too.   Dress and suit fittings, menu tastings, planning meetings, hair and makeup trials, registrar visits, these are all exciting, fun things to do, but depending on the location and your work schedule they could all need a days leave. If you have a busy period in work this might not be the easiest time to escape for a day of fittings or hair trials. If you have a stressful job or a physically demanding career make sure to take a couple of days off in advance of the big day to rest as you will want to be in top form to really enjoy every minute of your day. We do part of our planning online and while we love meeting couples at the house to go through all the details, this isn’t always possible for our busy (or international) couples. We offer Skype, Whatsapp and old fashioned phone calls to plan your event remotely until we can meet in person.

Choosing a season

The weather is always a factor in choosing your date. While some couples have their heart set on a warm summers day, some are hoping for a dusting of snow and more and more popular with our couples is the chance of leaves turning for Autumn. If there is a season that you really enjoy this is a great way to narrow down your date. But….and it’s a big one…chances are in Ireland the weather is not going to behave. You could just as easily be hiding under umbrellas in July as sweating in furs in November. Whatever plans you make, make a plan B. We love creating outdoor ceremonies and guests are often surprised to find our walled garden tucked around the back of the Garden room. However when the rain is coming down or a cool wind moves in they are very excited to see our beautiful White room, complete with heating and air con to make sure everyone is perfectly comfortable. The same goes for the drinks reception which can take place on the patio with seating for 80 guests and wildflower meadows to wander through, and alternatively our blazing fire in the large drawing rooms are a welcome sight on a winters afternoon in December or June!

Choosing Christmas

Travel arrangements can be a deal breaker for some couples and for others they aren’t really an issue. Lots of Irish people living abroad fly home to Ireland for Christmas so by holding your wedding over the holidays this will increase the chances of having all of your favourite people in the country on the right day. We have seen late December and early January becoming busier and busier. When it comes to dates, at the start of the month most people stick to weekends from Thursday to Sunday, but from the weekend before Christmas up to New years day, nobody knows what day it is anyway so Tuesdays and Wednesdays are just as popular as Saturdays.  We put up our Christmas decorations in the last week of November, ready for the 1st  and they are as natural and authentic to the house as possible (fairy lights were totally Georgian right?). The decorations come down around the 6th  so if you want a Winter wedding but not a Christmas one, November is the perfect month.

I don’t care when, I just want to get married

This may seem a bit odd, but venues will often have a date they would like to sell.  Maybe they are trying to hit their magic number for a season or maybe they thought that date was sold and then it wasn’t or maybe it’s just a quiet week and they would like to have something in. If you are trying squeeze the budget and don’t need a specific date ask your favourite venues if they have any flexibility on their prices if you are flexible on your date. You probably won’t be offered a Saturday in July, but you just might get the date that’s perfect for you.

 

 

 

Choosing your date:

  • Remove dates which conflict with family or friends weddings or other important events which are already booked
  • Avoid major sporting events or if they will be part of your day make sure to talk to your wedding coordinator and plan to include them in your timeline
  • Choose a time when you have time. Don’t try to squeeze your wedding in to your busy season at work, and if you are going at the end of a busy period make sure to allow a couple of spare days to recharge
  • Whatever time of year you go for, remember that this year we had snow on St Patricks weekend!!! It’s Ireland and anything could happen so choose a venue that can cope with anything the weather can throw at it
  • If Christmas works for you make sure you pick a date that works for international friends and family and check when everyone is home for the holidays
  • If you love Winter but don’t necessarily want Santa at the wedding, talk to your venue about décor changeover dates
  • Ask about availability and if there is any particular date that might just have a special offer attached!