Marriage and Lisa Marie: What Date Is Right for the Big Day?

So we’ve found the perfect venue for our reception, albeit 40 minutes away from the church, but now we’ve got to pick the perfect date. Andrew proposed in the middle of May, and I knew that a long engagement was an absolute must for planning the wedding of our dreams. So we began to look at spring 2009 as a great time to get married. I assumed we could just choose a date, let the church and the reception site know, and we’d be on our way to planning. Boy, was I wrong!

When choosing a popular reception site like Meadowlark, you come to realize that there are very limited options for when you can use its facilities. Rumor has it that dozens of brides-to-be wait outside the facility on the day it allows booking for the following year, trying to snag the perfect date. It was long past that day, so I was severely limited in the dates still available. I worked with Bernadette, the event coordinator, and got a list of every weekend date available in 2009 and took the list home to Andrew. Spring is the most popular time at Meadowlark, so the only spring weekend date still available was Easter weekend—which doesn’t exactly work when you’re having a Catholic ceremony. So we looked at summer, fall, and winter dates and discussed the pros and cons of each.

Summer—well, summer is hot. Do we really want photos where we’re dripping with sweat because of the humidity? Winter is cold, and with so many out-of-town guests, we didn’t want inclement weather stopping them from celebrating our big day. Fall would be fine weather-wise but would clash with the flowers and colors I had dreamed of my entire life.

So what is the best option for our wedding? To aid in the decision, we decided to touch base with our priest to see if there were limitations on the dates available at the church. Turns out that our church is just as popular as Meadowlark! So I followed the same procedure and got a list of weekend dates available for the church and brought that back to Andrew.

We compared the two lists and saw that only two dates worked for both venues: October 31 and July 3, a Friday. I wasn’t even going to consider Halloween, so we talked about July 3. It would most likely be very hot that day, and it is a Friday evening. However, July 3 is a national holiday because the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday. Coming to Washington on Independence Day weekend? What a great way to turn our wedding into a weekend celebration for all our guests! Many of the folks we’re inviting have never been to the Washington area, so this could become a destination weekend on top of a celebration of our love. We were both a little hesitant because we knew the weather was going to be hot, but we also agreed that a little heat was a fair price to pay for having the perfect venue and reception site. So we secured July 3 as our big day and made a note to budget for lots of cold drinks.


Lisa Marie, a local bride-to-be, writes every Friday about planning her wedding, which will be in Washington in July. To follow her adventures from the beginning, click here.

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here.