Traditionally it was thought that any Saturday in June was the perfect time to get married. The Pandemic changed this. Adjustments have had to be made. What was believed to be settled is now open for discussion again.
The Greco-Roman goddess Juno was believed to be the guardian of women in all aspects of life but especially in marriage and childbearing. Juno was known for being a faithful wife; therefore, a wedding in Juno’s month—June—was considered most appropriate.
The idea of a June wedding also comes from the Celtic calendar. On the Cross-Quarter Day of Beltaine (which we know as May Day, May 1) young couples would pair off to court for three months. On the next Cross-Quarter Day (Lammas Day, August 1), they would get married. However, young people grew impatient with the long waiting or courtship period. It was soon shortened to mid-June, and that’s when the popularity of June weddings was cemented.
In the Victorian era, June marked the practical end of Lent and Easter; also the arrival of warmer weather meant it was time to remove winter clothing and for many to partake in one’s annual bath. The month of May was considered unlucky according to the old saying, “Marry in May and Rue the Day.” On the practical side, the June weather made it easier for guests to travel to the wedding whether by carriage or airplane. A wedding in June meant a child in the spring!
Currently June is still very popular, but it comes in second to October. For many wedding professionals, October fills up first, followed by June, September, August, May and then all the rest.
Atone time Sunday was a popular wedding day simply because it was the one day most people were free from work. However, in the American 17th century, Puritans discouraged this believing it was wrong to have celebrations on the Christian Sabbath. Friday was seen as bad luck and was known as “hangman’s day”, but Friday the 13th was considered the worst. Wednesday was the luckiest day for weddings, maybe because Wednesday and Wedding Day sounded so similar.
There was an old rhyme: Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all; Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all. (So does this mean that for all of you planning a Saturday wedding, you are out of luck?)
By recent, I mean 2019 and before. The most popular day to get married is Saturday, luck or not. Rehearsals are typically on Friday evening, the ceremony sits in the middle of Saturday afternoon, and the reception is Saturday evening. Sometimes a brunch is held on Sunday morning to say goodbye to immediate family. This schedule is tried and true, neat and tidy, used by many.
Nevertheless, the great majority of venues and/or venders have Saturdays already booked through 2024. (That is probably an exaggeration, but not by much.) In all reality, whether it is scheduling, finances, special dates or whatever, Saturday is not the only day for the ceremony.
There are other options; after all there are seven days from which to choose. Try Friday or Sunday. It is still the weekend, guests can travel, and many venues welcome the chance to work a different day. An added bonus is that sometimes the cost for services on these days is slightly lower.
Look for long weekends and then consider a ceremony on the Sunday or Monday of a long weekend. Memorial Day, President's Day, Columbus Day or Labor Day weekend.
Another option to consider is a weekday. Having a wedding on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday. With enough planning, your wedding could play a part of the family’s summer vacation plans. If you are a teacher, the summer has plenty of days that might work for you. The main rule of thumb is to tell people well ahead of time so they too can plan. Actually every season has its benefits: September/October, slightly cooler temperature and changing leaves; Christmas, decorations easily handled; January, winter wonderland; February, valentines; spring, the season of hope.
For some couples, it is the date that is important. We were engaged on this date or met on this date. And wherever that date falls, they plan the wedding. I have done a wedding on all the dates that stood out. 01-01-2001, 02-02-2002, etc. Explain to guests that it is the day that is special to us, and most people will understand that.
In certain parts of the country, there is a defined season for weddings. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the wedding world slows down significantly between New Year’s Day and April. Those are great times to approach a venue and vendors, they might be more than excited to book a wedding in the off season.
Your wedding day (and month) can be magical no matter when it is. It just takes a little thinking and planning.