No, no! Not “when you’re totally tanked up with booze”!
What I’m actually referring to is the most advantageous time, day and type of ceremony for you.
Of course, depending on the type of ceremony you have in mind and the venue, there are major decisions to be made.
If you choose to marry at a Register Office, you need to make an appointment and go down (with two witnesses) on a working day.
At the time of writing, most (if not all) registrars conduct the ceremony from their base, rather than attending a licensed venue. (If they come out, they require certain criteria to be met, such as venue specifics and timings. They also charge quite a lot for this service.)
A bill is going through Parliament (slowly!) to allow certain celebrants to conduct legally-binding weddings, which may obviate the need to involve the registrars.
Which brings me on to your next possible choice.
Less Conventional Ceremonies
If you want a unique, tailor-made service, then, once your marriage has been made legal by the Registrars, you can use an independent celebrant. Such a ceremony can take place at the venue of your choice, be it a hotel, an iron age fort, a canalside, or wherever (subject to permission). It can also take the form you choose (eg personalised), which is where the celebrant comes in.
When to Marry
As a rule of thumb, you may be able to make savings, if you avoid high season. That may also suit your guests better. If you choose New Year’s Day, for example, there might be problems for those travelling by public transport or indeed for those nursing hangovers!
Valentine’s Day makes sense at one level, but suppliers often raise their prices for a day like this. You often need to book such a date very far in advance.
Summer is popular, but is not always the best bet. Prices are usually higher. Moreover, weather (as we are seeing this year!) is not guaranteed, and you may be safer booking Spring or Autumn. If you leave it too late to book for the Summer, you may find that many of your potential guests have already reserved their holidays and can’t attend your wedding.
Destination weddings also need considerable notice for most guests.
It’s often worth investigating possible discounts with your supplier. The worst that can happen is that they refuse!
Possible bargaining levers are holding the wedding out of season (as mentioned), holding it in the morning or afternoon, and choosing a Monday through Thursday.
There’s plenty to think about, then, but I hope that these remarks shed some useful light, at least. You may need to be flexible and should certainly do some research, but the results can be so worthwhile.
Never forget that it is your big day, and you deserve to get it right.
Do speak to me, if I can help you further.