Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun. Part of the fun is deciding when to get married! Spring and Summer have become popular wedding seasons, and for many great reasons, but Autumn and Winter have advantages as well. Depending on where you live, you may have a beautiful scenic backdrop to your wedding, regardless of the season. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, and ultimately your decision should be based on what you prioritise. In order to make this process a little easier, and to perhaps open your mind if you have only considered one option, I have put together a list of Pros and Cons.
Spring/Summer Weddings: The Pros
The weather: This is the most obvious advantage of a Summer wedding. The beautiful clear skies, the strappy dresses and stiletto heels, lovely tanned skin and all the pretty colours that Spring and Summer have in the form of gorgeous flowers.
The outdoor opportunities: Because the weather is generally amazing, there are many outdoor opportunities. You may want to have your ceremony and reception outside in a garden. You may want to incorporate lawn games and other outdoor activities that require great weather. Of course, this makes the transport between venues a lot easier as well, without having to worry about dangerous Wintery weather to battle with.
The photos: All your photos will have a clear blue sky in the background along with happy, tanned smiling faces. You are more likely to pick a beach for your bridal party photos and include the crystal blue waters.
The wedding dress: Because Spring and Summer are the most popular wedding seasons, you will find it quite easy to find a wedding dress that is both comfortable and beautiful. Most wedding dresses are designed for warm weather, so strapless gowns, knee length dresses and strappy shoes are all an option.
The holiday factor: This is exciting for out of town guests. If they were already planning a holiday, they could extend their trip to your wedding and spend their Summer holiday in the city you are getting married in.
The honeymoon: Along with your wedding, your honeymoon could also include the beach. The good news is that in Summer, most people don’t have to drive too far to get to a beach. Depending on where you live, you may need to venture out a little bit, but beaches are generally accessible and don’t always require booking flights. All outdoor activities are possible. Think putt-putt, hiking, long walks in the forest, and lazy days in the pool.
Spring/Summer Weddings: The Cons
The heat: Although the weather is considered a Pro, in the middle of Summer, it can be so hot that your groom will be uncomfortable in his suit. Of course, you can play around with attire, but keep this in mind when picking out your outfits.
Tan lines: As a bride, the last thing you want to be worrying about in the weeks leading up to your wedding, is awkward tan lines. These are often a result of one walk or run around the block, and not specifically an entire day on the beach. This is particularly stressful for brides with strapless dresses.
The expense: When a lot of weddings happen at around the same time, service providers get busy and are more likely to charge higher prices for their services. This is most notable with wedding venues which increase their prices by almost 100% in busy seasons.
The busyness: Spring and Summer service providers are in demand so there is a good chance you won’t be able to book your desired venue or service provider unless you book at least a year in advance. This is also a problem for your guests who may have to choose between your wedding and another wedding or even holiday plans.
Wedding fatigue: Because a lot of people go to a lot of weddings in Spring and Summer, your guests may have what is called Wedding Fatigue. If your wedding is at the end of a busy wedding season, you may have tired guests who bring cheaper presents. Although the presents aren’t the reason you invite guests, their presence is. And if they are ridiculously tired, they can’t enjoy the wedding the way you want them to.
The tourists: Going on honeymoon during the middle of Summer means having to deal with tourists at the beach or staying at your hotel. This might mean fully booked restaurants, long queues, traffic and lack of privacy.
Autumn/Winter Weddings: The Pros
The cool weather: Although some may say this is a Con, I believe that the cool weather is a lot easier to dress for. Men can wear their suits, ladies can put on a long dress and a pretty coat. The bridesmaids can go all out with faux fur, cute jackets, long coats, ear muffs, elbow gloves and anything else you can think of to embrace the cool weather. You can even incorporate golden Autumn leaves or snow into the backdrop of your wedding or photos, depending on the exact time and location of your wedding.
The ambience: Imagine having your guests walk in to your reception to a candlelit hall, with a cozy fire and blankets and be welcomed with hot drinks such as coffee, hot chocolate or gluhwein. Not only are candles cheaper than flowers, but they are best utilised in Winter, where the days are shorter and it gets darker quicker.
The food: A little comfort food in the form of hot soup or stew, is the perfect way to celebrate! These meals are also cheaper than fancy plated meals and canapes.
Availability: Your desired service providers will most likely be available for your wedding and so will your guests! With little competition, you can have a dream wedding with everyone you know and love. This also means that you will probably get to set up your reception venue the night before, without having to worry about another wedding taking place at that time.
Discounts: The biggest advantage of the offpeak season is the incredible discounts you will get. Not only will you probably not have to pay any venue hire fee over and above food and service, you can ask other service providers for discounts. You may be surprised at what you can save! Every 15% discount you receive adds up.
The cozy honeymoon: Not only will you not have to wade your way through crowds of tourists, but you will also have a cozy, intimate honeymoon with fireplaces, blankets and warm drinks to share together.
Autumn/Winter Weddings: The Cons
The weather: Although cool weather is a big advantage, freezing cold stormy weather could be a disaster. Your guests may have to travel through a storm, and the weather makes it difficult to move from the car into the venue without ruining your hair, make-up and dress. Of course, in Winter you can’t wear the strappy dress that is better suited to Summer weddings, so a little thinking outside the box is required.
Indoor activities: The rainy weather could make great photos, but if you are wanting to take your photos between the ceremony and reception, you won’t want to ruin your dress or get it wet. This means that you may need to take your photos indoors. This also means that you can’t have an outdoor wedding or any outdoor activities for guests, such as lawn games.
The flowers: Your flowers of choice may not be available. Depending on where you live, your flowers may need to be imported, regardless of the season. If you are the type of bride who would prefer to pick lovely flowers out of the garden, this may not be an option for a Winter wedding.
Shorter days: Because Winter days are shorter than Summer days, you may feel rushed to cram your festivities into the day before the sun goes down.
I love that Winter and Summer weddings each have different things to offer. At the end of the day, each of the Cons can be turned into Pros with the right attitude and a little bit of planning and creativity.