According to Kerestic, 80% of Americans have their weddings on Saturday nights, and anyone hoping for the same with only a month's worth of planning should keep in mind that most couples book their venue an average of nine months in advance, according to the Real Weddings survey. Amy Eisinger, editor of WeddingChannel.com, says picking a less favorable night or even moving that Saturday ceremony up a few hours can save cash and heartache.
"Planning a wedding during an off time of the week is definitely going to save you a little bit of money and give you a wider choice for venue options," Eisinger says. "If you look into booking a venue on a Wednesday night, a friday night or a Saturday afternoon, it's really going to help you."
That's not the only area in which short-timers will have to compromise. Photographers tend to book up just as quickly as venues. Many are booked a solid seven to 12 months before the ceremony, considering they work an average of 77 events a year, or 1.5 a week, according to wedding market research group The Wedding Report."For a photographer, if you're looking to book on a Saturday night, you may not get the first photographer you pick," Eisinger says. "Consider talking to three or four different photographers at once to find the one who's right for you." A custom wedding dress is also out of the picture, considering the the design process can be tedious, the dress will usually be made overseas and it can be nine months until your dress arrives for its first fitting. This, however, is the kind of environment in which stores such as David's Bridal thrive. "In a month, you're probably going to have to buy your dress off the rack," Naylor says. "Wedding dresses take weeks to come in, and you want to give yourself time for alterations, which are important because the dress is your feel-good element."