We look to the stars when we start a new relationship, so why wouldn't we check in with them before tying the knot? Using astrology to decode your wedding date is a specific form of "electional astrology," which focuses on the planets' positions at the time of important events and decisions in people's lives. In the same way that your birth chart shows where the planets were when you were born, your wedding has a chart of its own, too. And, like your birth chart, every piece of your wedding chart is important to consider. But, there are certain elements that offer more meaning right off the bat, says Leisa Schaim, an astrologer who offers electional consultations for weddings.
To begin, Schaim asks the couple for their wedding date (or date range, if they haven't set an official day yet), time, and location. This is the info she needs to determine where the planets will be when the couple gets married. The first celestial body she checks is, naturally, Venus, the planet of love — and, she explains, there are certain signs that channel Venus' warm-and-fuzzy energy particularly well.
"Venus in Taurus, Libra, or Pisces is nice... Venus is not as good in Scorpio or Aries," Schaim says, adding that Venus rules Taurus and Libra, and it's "exalted," or especially influential, in Pisces, so these signs make naturally good hosts.
Meanwhile, confrontational Aries and evasive Scorpio do not make good bedfellows for Venus. Love is supposed to be patient and grounded in honesty, but, at times, these two signs can struggle to express those attributes: Aries is more closely associated with rapid decisiveness than it is with measured, thoughtful actions. And, Scorpio energy can lead us to hold back our feelings, rather than share them openly. Simply put, having these placements could mean feeling rushed, closed off, or not really in your feelings, on a day you've been looking forward to.
Schaim adds that Mercury and Venus retrogrades aren't great to see in a wedding's chart, either. The former could be a sign of logistical issues or communicational slip-ups on the day of, while the latter may dredge up old feelings that are better off staying in the past. On your wedding day, you probably want to be focused on the future of your relationship and Venus retrograde might prove to be a distraction, she says.
Second only to Venus in a wedding chart is the moon, Schaim says, explaining that its placement sets the "emotional backdrop" for the day. Similar to Venus, it's generally reassuring if the moon is in the sign that it rules, Cancer, or the sign in which it's exalted, Taurus. Schaim explains that, ideally, the moon is in a sign that sets the desired mood for the day. Maybe you want your wedding to be a huge party and not a solemn event — in that case, having the moon in a gregarious sign like Leo would be perfect for your big day.
After giving these two heavenly bodies a thorough check, Schaim sets her sights on the rest of the chart, looking at which sign rules the first house of new beginnings, the aspects between the planets, and how the wedding's chart compares to the birth charts of each person in the couple. If this sounds complicated, that's because it is. As straightforward as it might be to check Venus and the moon, only an electional astrologer can explain the finer points of the chart and give you the full picture of your wedding's astrology.
Throughout the consultation process, one thing Schaim will not do is talk the couple out of their wedding date. "I don’t want to scare people," she says. Sure, the day might go more smoothly if Mercury is direct and the moon isn't in an unpredictable sign like Scorpio, but those details are not deal breakers, she explains. If anything, your wedding day's chart can give you a better idea of how the ceremony and reception will go (and it's a fun keepsake to revisit on your anniversary).
Don't let anything in that chart detract from what you previously thought about your marriage or relationship. Because, as you might already know, weddings are stressful enough. If your date is already set in stone when you get the idea to check out the planets' placements, it's not the end of the world. Just remember that your wedding day's chart is just one factor in the complex astrology of your love life. Or, as Schaim puts it, "don't freak out."