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how we picked a date

I am, what you may call, a planner. While my sister and I share this trait, it is, for better or worse (wedding joke!), not something that we have in common with our parents. In fact, I can probably trace the roots of this obsession to early 90s, when I was, repeatedly, the last kid waiting to get picked up from after care. Hi Mom and Dad! I love you very much.

Anyway, parental tardiness and free-spiritedness only led to a lifelong interest in making lists, lovingly tending to my Google Calendar and having memorized the top 50 Zagat restaurants in every city we visit. It's a win-win, really.

So, as you can imagine, I've had the season I envisioned for my wedding planned out since, well, I learned about seasons. I've always wanted to be a summer bride, probably partially because I'm also a summer baby. I love the heat, I love how late it stays light outside and I love the general sense of relaxation that seems to waft even through Manhattan during these months.

Fast forward 20 years. At this point I'd like to point out that I am a planner but I am NOT anal. I did not have an exact date in mind or even an exact month. Was I maybe mentally calculating when Mike should propose to ensure that I had my pick of the best summer dates for a New York wedding? I plead the fifth. As it turned out, Mike popped the question in October, well ahead of my own secret timeline and of course, to my unbridled joy. Since planning a wedding in under a year was definitely out of the question for this girl (I don't really take rejection from vendors well), it was a simple choice to wait an extra year and have a nearly two-year engagement.

Since then, many, many people have asked why we're waiting so long. I think both of us, however, could not be happier to have a long engagement. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here a short list of the benefits of taking your time:

VENUE AVAILABILITY Not only did I have literally months to look for the perfect spot to tie the knot (more on that later), when we finally did make our decision, literally every date was available to us.

CHOOSING YOUR VENDORS I won't lie: I went through every single listing on New York Magazine's Weddings section for photographers and videographers. But hey, I enjoyed it and I had the time to peruse whatever I wanted. When we finally picked our team, I knew they were absolutely the best possible choice for us.

ALERTING OUT OF TOWN GUESTS I have a huge family and a lot of them happen to live halfway across the globe. Taking a vacation to the other side of the Earth is not cheap, but if you have a year and a half to plan, it certainly makes it easier to budget.

We got engaged in October and finally picked a date in February, still about a year and half before we tie the knot on July 13, 2013.

Insider tip: as weird as it sounds, not all of summer is high season for wedding venues. While June always has the highest pricing, July and August are often discounted. So, if you're like us and don't mind waiting an extra week or so, bump your wedding back to July (or August) and save that money for buying the fascinator you want for your bridal shower.

how we picked a place

how it happened