Though the sunny, steamy days of summer are when wedding fever reaches a boiling point, with many 20 and 30-somethings attending upwards of six celebrations in a few months, there are three other seasons to consider. With spring bringing the fresh blooms of the earth and fall offering a myriad of rich colors and ideal temperatures, the winter has a special gift of its own. With some locations sparkling with freshly-fallen snow and others banking on the allure of the holiday lights and splendor, the coldest season of ‘em all might just be the most magical.
Here, two winter brides share why you might want to get hitched this time of year:
You have less competition from other couples.
When Meghan Ely married Travis Ely in 2009 in Richmond, Virginia, they decided to settle on a winter-time wedding date so they could secure the vendors they wanted. Working in the wedding industry, Meghan knew the highest demand would fall in the summer, so getting hitched at the tail end of the calendar pages would ensure she could have the dream celebration she lusted after. They even decided to have a shorter engagement—around seven months—so they could secure the catering, the venue, the florist and the baker that fit the best with their relationship and goals.
You have more flexibility with time.
At most of the quintessential wedding venues around the country (and ahem, the world), you can expect to share the space with at least one other couple on a day that’s meant to be designed uniquely for you. This means time restrictions are put into place, and oftentimes, can’t be altered because your dad is having a great time and wants to extend for another hour. But in the winter when fewer twosomes put on that left-handed bling? Meghan says you have more leeway. “We found more flexibility with those we hired—we were able to host a daytime wedding at an area club and since it was the off season, we could play around with the end time and not worry about backing into other weddings,” she explains.
The ambiance is more romantic.
When Ariana Teachey happily accepted Kevin Teachey’s proposal, she knew she wanted her wedding to feature a specific color palette and have the right ambiance. The winter lended itself best to her scheme, and with her husband’s love for comfort food and dark beers, there was no better time than early December to wed. The romance of their wedding wouldn’t have been possible without nature’s artistic stroke. “The day of our wedding we had cool temperatures, a little bit of drizzle accompanied by fog which just fit with our day as a whole," she says. "Guests were greeted into a space filled with candlelight, dimmed chandeliers and offered shawls to take the chill away. If it had been sunny and warm outside everything would have felt very different."
You can save your out-of-town guests travel costs.
If you and your partner happened to fall in love in a city that’s far away from where you both used to roam, gathering your loved ones together becomes trickier. And if you’re getting married in the summer, plane tickets, hotel stays and other commuting-related expenses can add up, fast. When Meghan selected her date, she was mindful to avoid the hefty ticket prices around the holiday season, so her guests could attend her big day without going over budget. “From a weather standpoint, we picked the perfect time after hurricane season but before it got snowy. We had quite a few out of town guests on my side of the family so it was important to me that we didn't stress anyone out by selecting a time of year that normally saw an increase in travel delays,” she says.
You can be less traditional with the food.
Move aside traditional shrimp cocktail and salmon filets! As Meghan notes, the aromas, local produce, and spices of the winter season allow foodie couples to be a tad more playful with menu selections. “Winter wedding menus also gravitate toward comfort food, like soups and primal cuts of beef along with root vegetables,” she says. “You can also have fun with the bar by incorporating spiked hot chocolate stations and more savory specialty drinks.”
An intimate wedding is easier.
...or rather, more natural. For Meghan, who wanted an intimate, smaller celebration that made her guests feel like home, winter seemed like a seamless solution. “The season really lends itself to a warm sort of atmosphere. Our guests enjoyed a roaring fire and a menu that paid homage to the type of comfort foods you'd expect at any given family dinner around the holidays,” she shared. She also adds because none of her other friends were getting married at the time and months had passed since summer, her friends felt refreshed instead of overbooked when her day rolled around, making them more relaxed and happy.
As Arianna adds, “Wintertime evokes the feeling of warmth and togetherness with the holiday season. Everyone is in such a loving and happy spirit and we wanted that to be transferred into our wedding day.”