Photo: Kate Holstein Photography
Setting a date for your wedding is not only super exciting, it also gets the ball rolling on the rest of the planning process (basically you finally have free reign to make all your wedding dreams come true!). Before you put a deposit down and say "I do" to a summer soiree or a winter-wonderland affair, though, you'll want to put some serious thought and consideration into what wedding season truly is right for you. Naturally, we're here to help!
Use the process of elimination
Can't take the heat? Don't do well in the cold? If you see yourself falling into either one of these two categories (basically you'd die sweating in your wedding dress or can't envision rocking fur and freezing your booty off), then avoid choosing the winter or summer at all costs, advises Florida-based wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner. "Typically the fall and spring bring much milder temperatures, so if extreme weather conditions get you down, be realistic about your specific needs and comfort level and opt for one of those two seasons." However, that's not to say you always have to rule a specific season out. For example, in Florida, where SamueIs plans weddings, it tends to be summer year-round.
Think about when you're happiest
Is it at a bonfire in the fall, at a barbecue in the summer, or skiing in the winter? It's all about what you love and makes you happy, points out wedding planner and founder of Pretty Pear Bride Shafonne Myers. "If you're a snow bunny, then of course that should be when you choose to have your wedding. And if you dig warmer weather and being beside the water, then naturally you would go for a beach wedding in the summer."
Consider the weather
Highly sensitive to attendance and punctuality? Then having a winter wedding with the potential for inclement weather and late/MIA guests probably isn't a wise idea, warns wedding planner Jenny Orsini, owner and creative director of Jenny Orsini Events Inc. In many coastal towns and islands, the summer and fall tend to bring heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds. "So unless you're choosing a location that is outside of the hurricane belt, the summer and fall months run a higher risk of foul weather than the rest of the year," cautions Samuels. On the other hand, prices are often far more reasonable at this time and might be the perfect option for those on a tight budget, she adds.
Make sure your season fits your venue
For instance, a great outdoor location looks even better in spring and fall but may be too hot in the summers, while a gorgeous mountain resort will likely look the best in the winter, notes Ani Keshishian, creative director of Anoush Banquet Halls & Catering and L.A. Banquets. "Take all that you have envisioned into account and figure out which season will best capture your vision of what your wedding should look like. Is it outside and warm, or is it cold and cozy?" Also will the most important people in your life be able to make it on the chosen date? These are just a couple of questions you should consider first.
Ask yourself what colors, flowers and decor speak to you
The design lines are often blurred, but if you like a darker, moodier palette with neutrals, a fall or winter wedding might be for you, recommends event planner Kristine Cholakian Cooke, owner of Simply Charming Socials. "If your heart is set on bright pink peonies, you'll want to choose spring. Although our resources are wide ranging, we always suggest going with the season for the freshest and most affordable florals," she says.
Keep in mind the dress code
While dressing for the occasion is always key, this rule also works the other way around, according to Cooke. If you have a vision of what you, your wedding party, and even guests will wear, choose a time of year that is appropriate, she advises. "Black tie is seasonally universal, but we wouldn't recommend it for an outdoor July wedding in the Southeast. However, if you're in love with a lightweight strapless gown and you want your girls in short dresses, the warmer seasons are probably for you."