Save the Date! (And how to choose it wisely.)

Close up of a white flower bouquet held by a bride.

I love that first phone call.  After initial contact by email, I have an excited bride or groom (or sometimes their parents) on the phone, to talk through how we at Field Gate can contribute to their wedding celebration with our floral arrangements, bouquets and buttonholes.  No matter how many weddings I work on, there is something very, very special about being asked to play a part in such a personal but often showstopping, big day.

If you’re planning your own wedding, do get in touch to talk through ideas for flowers.

Not yet set a date?  We have a bit of food for thought below. Read on…

Many of us will have been at a wedding reception (or even the ceremony itself) where members of the congregation are surreptitiously looking at their phones or asking catering staff for an update.  There’s a major sporting event that’s taking place on the same day and loyalties are being well and truly tested!

No-one wants their wedding celebration to be upstaged by a football/rugby/cricket/tennis match but in the excitement of setting a date and sending out invitations, the main consideration will be whether key family and friends can attend and whether the venue of choice is bookable on that date.  Finding out a few weeks before the event (when nerves are probably starting to kick in anyway), that some of your guests would rather be in the pub or in front of the telly, watching what they consider to be a highlight of the season, is a gut-wrenching moment that a wedding couple could really do without.

In June 2022, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Platinum Jubilee.  Across the UK, major celebrations took place, from street parties to a star-studded concert outside Buckingham Palace.  A four-day public holiday was announced in November 2020 – good news for most people but if you’d already set your wedding date for that weekend (which many people had, given that weddings had been on hold for much of 2020 and 2021), not so great.  There was the added complication that the traditional ‘end of May bank holiday’ was moved forward by a week to coincide with the Jubilee, meaning that those who had planned their wedding to fall on the long bank holiday weekend of 28-30 May were now left with a standard two-day weekend.

Some couples book their wedding date two or three years in advance.  The further away the date, the more likely that a curveball (such as the Jubilee bank holiday change) will come in. But let’s be realistic; if you took every eventuality into account, you’d probably never settle on a date and at some point you have to send out those invitations, so…. we’ve done a bit of homework for you.

If you’re currently narrowing down dates for a UK wedding, here’s a few you might want to avoid – or take advantage of:

2024 DATES

Friday 29 March – Monday 1 April: Good Friday, Easter Weekend, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (two bank holidays flanking the Saturday and Sunday).

Monday 1st April – April Fools Day (Fool for Love?  If you both have a VGSOH then this could be the day to choose. Bear in mind though that this will also always be your wedding anniversary date!)

Saturday 4th – Monday 6th May – May Day Bank Holiday Weekend

Saturday 12th May – Women’s FA Cup Final (football) – armchair pundits and budding footballers alike will want to tune into this one, so if 12th May 2024 is your date, plan around the 2.30pm match!

Saturday 25th – Monday 27th May – Spring Bank Holiday /Whitsun Weekend
– 25 May is also the Men’s FA Cup Final so give it a miss if you have avid football fans amongst your number
– 25th & 26th May are also the dates of Birmingham Pride for 2024

Saturday 1 June – UEFA Champions League Final (again, football….)

Friday 14th June to Sunday 14th July – Euros 2024 (football… taking place in Germany but on TVs around the globe, Sunday 14 July is the final so hold your wedding on the Saturday and your guests can nurse their hangovers in front of the final on Sunday).

Sunday 16th June – Father’s Day

Thursday 20th June – Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. (Time your wedding for on or around the Summer Solstice and you’ll have maximum daylight hours to continue the celebrations.)

Saturday 22nd June – Essex Pride (Chelmsford) and Edinburgh Pride – Pride events are high on the calendar for the LGBTQIA+ community so if you’re planning your wedding on a Pride date, make sure to check that your Best Man or Chief Bridesmaid hasn’t already planned to be part of a rainbow parade.

Saturday 29th June – London Pride 2024

Friday 12th July – Northern Ireland bank holiday (Battle of the Boyne)

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th July – scheduled dates for the Ladies and Men’s Singles Finals at Wimbledon.  (Of course, the weather throughout Wimbledon fortnight can sometimes be so bad that matches are moved forward but in all likelihood a large part of the population will be watching TV mid to late afternoon on these days.)
–  Sat 13th July is also the date of Bristol Pride.

Friday 26 July to Sunday 11 August – 2024 Summer Olympics, Paris. (The Opening Ceremony, which many people enjoy watching, takes place on the evening of Friday 26 July, with the Closing Ceremony on Sunday 11 August.  The middle weekend, 3 & 4 August, is often a highlight as the athletics events begin in earnest.  Hmmm… a mid-week wedding, anyone?)

Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th August, Sat-Mon – Bank holiday weekend in Scotland and Rep. of Ireland
– 3rd & 4th August are also the dates of Brighton & Hove Pride for 2024

Friday 23rd – Monday 26th August, Fri-Mon – Manchester Pride Festival

Saturday 24- Monday 26th August – Late August Bank holiday weekend (UK, except Scotland)

28 August – 8 September – 2024 Paralympic Games, Paris (The Opening Ceremony takes place on Wednesday 28 August, with competitive events beginning on Thursday 29th. The Closing Weekend is 7&8 September.)

Friday 13th September – Avoid or bag this date, depending on whether or not you’re superstitious….

Thursday 31st October – Hallowe’en. Perfect if you want a spooky theme but probably best avoided otherwise (although your anniversary date will be hard to forget).

Tuesday 5th November – Guy Fawkes/Bonfire Night (Like it or not, you’ll always have fireworks on your anniversary if you choose this date!)

Sunday 10th November – Remembrance Sunday (If you have friends or family in the forces, they may need to travel to be at a specific location by Sunday morning.)

Monday 2nd December – Bank Holiday in Scotland (for St Andrew’s Day)

Friday 13th December – See Friday 13 September above!

Saturday 21st December – If you fancy getting married on the longest night, this is the date for you.

Tuesday 24th, Friday 25th, Saturday 26th December – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it can be hard to find venues, catering, stylists and florists who are willing or able to work over the Christmas break. On the other hand, if you’re planning a very low-key wedding with few guests, why not?)

Tuesday 31st December – New Year’s Eve (Many couples have used this as double-whammy party excuse in the past, although you’ll probably have to get in super-early to secure a venue.)

2025 DATES

Wednesday 1st January – New Year’s Day

Thursday 2nd January – Public Holiday (Scotland)

31st January to 15th March – Rugby Men’s Six Nations (hosted in the UK, Ireland, France and Italy). If rugby is important to members of your party, you will definitely want to check key match dates before booking yours.

Saturday 1st March – St David’s Day (Wales)

Monday 17th March – St Patrick’s Day

Sunday 30th March – Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day)

Monday 1st April – April Fools Day (yes, again!)

Friday 18th April – Monday 21st April – Good Friday, Easter Weekend, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday

Saturday 3rd – Monday 5th May – May Day Bank Holiday weekend

May – FA Cup Finals (dates TBC but the Men’s final is usually a Saturday towards the end of May, with the Women’s two weeks before)

Also May (and start of June but dates TBC) – UEFA Men’s Champion’s League

Saturday 24th – Monday 26th May – Spring Bank Holiday /Whitsun Weekend

Sunday 15th June – Father’s Day

June to July (TBC) – Wimbledon fortnight is usually scheduled for the beginning of July, sometimes taking in the very end of June, so it’s likely – but not yet confirmed – that the dates will be 30th June to 13th July with the Women’s and Men’s Finals taking place on the weekend of 12th and 13th July 2025.

Monday 14th July – Northern Ireland bank holiday (Battle of the Boyne)

Saturday 2nd – Monday 4th August – Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland

Saturday 23rd – Monday 25th August – Late Bank Holiday Weekend (rest of UK)

Friday 31st October – Halloween (as above!)

Wednesday 5th November – Guy Fawkes Night (ditto)

Tuesday 11th November – Remembrance Day

Sunday 9th November – Remembrance Sunday (services and parades across the UK)

Monday 1st December – St Andrew’s Day (Scottish bank holiday date to be announced)

Wednesday 24th, Thursday 25th, Friday 26th December – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day

Wednesday 31st December – New Year’s Eve

2026 DATES

Thursday 1st January – New Year’s Day

Friday 2nd January – Public Holiday (Scotland)

Friday 6th to Sunday 6th  February – Winter Olympics (taking place in Italy)

February to March (Dates TBC) – Men’s Rugby Six Nations

Sunday 1st March – St David’s Day (Wales)

Friday 6th to Sunday 15th March – Winter Paralympic Games (taking place in Italy)

Tuesday 17th March – St Patrick’s Day

Sunday 15th March  – Mothering Sunday (Mother’s Day)

Wednesday 1st April – April Fools Day (what, again?!)

Friday 3rd April – Monday 6th April – Good Friday, Easter Weekend, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday

Saturday 2nd – Monday 4th May – May Day Bank Holiday Weekend

May – FA Cup Finals (dates TBC but the Men’s final is usually a Saturday towards the end of May, with the Women’s two weeks before)

Saturday 23rd – Monday 25th May – Spring Bank Holiday /Whitsun Weekend

June 11th – July 19th – FIFA Men’s World Cup (taking place in North America, with the final scheduled for Sunday 19th July)

Sunday 21st June – Father’s Day

June to July (TBC) – Wimbledon fortnight is usually scheduled for the beginning of July, sometimes taking in the very end of June, so it’s likely – but not yet confirmed – that the dates will be 29th June to 12th July with the Women’s and Men’s Finals taking place on the weekend of 11th and 12th and July 2025.

Monday 13th July – Northern Ireland bank holiday (Battle of the Boyne)

Saturday 1st – Monday 5th August – Bank Holiday Weekend (Scotland)

Saturday 29th – Monday 31st August – Late Bank Holiday Weekend (rest of UK)

Saturday 31st October – Halloween (spooky how it’s always on the same date)

Thursday 5th November – Guy Fawkes Night

Wednesday 11th November – Remembrance Day

Sunday 8th November – Remembrance Sunday (services and parades across the UK)

Monday 30th November – St Andrew’s Day (Scottish bank holiday date to be announced)

Thursday 24th, Friday 25th, Saturday 26th December – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day

Thursday 31st December – New Year’s Eve

Do remember too to check out local events in the area where you’re planning to hold your wedding.  A nearby steam roller festival for example could seriously delay your wedding guests or even your own arrival.

And finally, do take into account the personal anniversaries of close family and friends if possible.

Now, that’s the date sorted… onto the flowers!

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