The first step in any wedding is to firm up a wedding date. While it sounds easy, there are many factors that may force you to pick a different date, such as work, school, weather, holidays, area events, etc.
You will need to start by finding out availability of your church, synagogue and reception site. Many sites can be booked a year or two in advance of your date, so check as soon as possible to insure the date is open or look for alternative dates or times. Some churches will handle two to three weddings back to back and some reception sites may handle two or more receptions at a time. Find out all your options.
You will also want to consider how much time you will need for planning your wedding. Many weddings take a year or more of planning depending on how big the event.
Different times of year can also play a big part of your wedding date. Seasons, area events, major holidays, religious holidays, work or military service can hinder your plans. Guests may find it difficult also to attend around major holidays.
Check with your parents and attendants, your best man may have guard duty or parents may have a planned vacation over that date. Other anniversaries, birthdays and graduations may collide.
Many brides also consider their menstrual cycle when planning the wedding date. In some traditions, sexual consummation of the marriage takes place on the wedding night, so careful planning of the date is important. Planning a date around this six to twelve months in advance can be difficult.
Once you have your date nailed down, let all the key people know so they may start planning their schedules accordingly.