The big day involves so many more people than just the bride and groom.
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When you finally find that perfect venue, your tendency will be to immediately put down a deposit and book the date. But unless you've predetermined which dates work for everyone on your VIP list, don't book it just yet. If you plan far enough in advance, most everyone's calendar will be free but do be aware that tax accountants will be busy through April 15 and teachers may not be able to attend a destination wedding during the school year. Brides and grooms who come from large families may already have crossed off June because of all the inevitable graduations that month. Here are the people you'll most likely consult about their availability before officially choosing your wedding date.

Your Parents

Whether or not they're helping to pay for the wedding, both sets of parents should be consulted, if you feel close to them. They may have travel plans in the works that they haven't told you about yet, like that Mediterranean cruise they've been thinking about for years. Could you really get married without Mom and Dad there?

Your Maid of Honor and Best Man

Neither of you could imagine tying the knot without your best friends standing by your sides. For that reason, it makes sense to find out if your maid of honor and best man will be available. But what about the rest of the bridal party? If you're thinking about checking with all your bridesmaids and groomsmen, too, ask yourself this first: Would you really not book the venue of your dreams because one of the groomsmen has a conflict with your chosen date?

Any Vendors You Absolutely Have to Work With

If you heard a certain band at another wedding and decided you want them to play at your wedding, or you fell in love with a photographer's work and can't imagine anyone else taking your photos, check their availability early on. Remember, the best bands, photographers, and other vendors are often booked far in advance. That means that if you have your heart set on a particular pro, don't wait to get a date nailed down.

The Officiant

From priests to celebrants for a day, who performs the wedding ceremony isn't usually a random decision for most brides and grooms. If you have someone in mind, checking their availability should be a top priority.


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