Saving the Date…some thoughts on “wedding season”

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There’s a funny thing about summer. It’s the time of year that everyone looks forward to. Cookouts, the beach, vacations…weddings. It’s no wonder that spring and summer are the most popular times to get married – it can be easier to get away from work, everyone tends to be in a better mood (even those of us not diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder)  and, yes, the weather. Like so many others, Shaun and I are planning a (hopefully) outdoor ceremony in July, right smack dab in the middle of wedding season.

I am praying for a sky that looks like this for our wedding.

I never pictured myself as a summer bride. Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors (I’ll be the first to admit, the color palette that we chose for our wedding tends to be seen more in fall than summer). I love the cooler weather, the changing leaves, the excitement that comes with the start of school and the football season and everything else that’s associated with fall. But that’s just the problem. Because of my choice to return to law school this fall (which means another 3 years until I’m graduated for good), we would either a) have to wait until 2014 to get married or b) get married over summer or winter break. Obviously, we chose summer break. Neither of us really wanted to wait 3 years to call the other “husband” or “wife.”

I know that planning a wedding during any time is difficult and costly, but planning one during “wedding season” creates a few extra challenges that I never really thought about before we started. We booked our venues (the chapel, the reception hall) and even some of our vendors (the photographer, the baker) back in February…a year and a half in advance. The surprising part? We weren’t the first on their calendars for 2012! Since everyone is trying to have their wedding around the same time, the competition for those coveted spots becomes even more fierce.

I guess I kind of expected that. I also expected vendors to cost more during “wedding season.” Not that they hike their rates during that time, but many will discount their services during the off season (late fall through early spring) or on less traditional days like Friday. But we chose summer. And we chose Saturday. Luckily, we got the venues and the vendors we wanted, with just a few things left to choose (like a florist).

What’s surprised me most, though, and what caught me a little off guard is how much we have to compete for the attention of our family and friends during wedding season. Every couple wants to be the center of attention on their wedding day and, I’ll admit, I’m guilty of Facebook stalking basically every wedding photo album posted on the website since I’ve gotten engaged…maybe before. But during wedding season, there are just so many! Even within my relatively small circle of family and friends, there are several weddings that will happen to fall right around the same time as ours.

For instance, Shaun’s cousin is getting married in June 2012. My mom’s cousin (who is just a few years older than me) is getting married the weekend after us. And a very good marching band friend of mine is getting married…the same day! When looking at the options for wedding dates, we chose July 7, 2012 because of the sentimental value the number has for me, how easy it will be for Shaun to remember, the fact that it falls comfortably within my summer vacation. I honestly had no idea there would be so many other weddings surrounding ours.

Does that make our wedding any less special? Of course not. I know that no matter how many other couples we know are getting married that summer (or that day!), we’ll still have a fabulous time celebrating the love that we share and the commitment we’re making with our family and friends. And the best part is that we’ll be able to share that love with all of the other couples whose weddings we attend next year!

(P.S. I promise to talk about my latest dress shopping experience in an upcoming post…I just want to be sure I write this post perfectly because it’s an important one! I don’t want to give too much away but I still want it to be worth reading.)

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