Updated: Aug 13, 2019
So, you just got engaged - congrats! Now prepare yourself for the question everyone will immediately be asking (including that girl from high school you haven't seen since 6th period English) - "When's the big day?"
Choosing your wedding date will likely be one of the very first things you do as a newly engaged couple. There might be a lot of factors that come into play when making this decision such as weather, expenses, number of guests, or maybe there are certain dates that are special to you, such as a parent or grandparent's anniversary. Whatever the case may be, there are pros and cons to each season when it comes to planning a wedding that are important to consider.
Photo via The Knot
Who doesn't love the beautiful colors that emerge with the first chill of the season? These colors will help to make a beautiful, natural, backdrop for your wedding day.
Fall is sure to bring cooler temperatures, relieving your guests from the the grueling temps they experienced from the earlier summer weddings. This also allows more versatility between indoor and outdoor ceremonies, as you can can likely get away with either one.
If you're the type of person that enjoys a more moody and bold color palette, then you were made for a fall wedding. Deep reds, purples and oranges are perfect for any fall wedding and will blend flawlessly with your photos, which brings me to the next pro of a fall wedding:
Not only will the colors look amazing in your wedding photos, but fall typically brings cloudier skies, which make for stunning photos. No harsh sunlight or difficult shadows to deal with!
THE SUN GOES DOWN EARLIER
While some might view this as a con, if you're the kind of couple that wants the get the party started early, earlier sunsets make for earlier dance floors, since most people want to wait to hit the dance floor until it's dark outside.
During the fall, flights tend to be a bit cheaper than during the summer when everyone is planning their summer vacations, and they are easier to come by. Earlier fall dates beat the surge prices that come around the Thanksgiving holiday as well.
FIRE SEASON IS OVER
If you want to have a cozy fire for your guests to enjoy, or a sparkler exit at the end of the night, a fall wedding is what you need. During the summer, it is so hot and dry, that fires are typically outlawed at wedding venues due to the potential of a wildfire.
WEATHER IS UNPREDICTABLE
During the fall, weather is highly unpredictable, especially in Montana. A late September wedding could bring you a beautiful 75 degree day, or you could be saying your vows, shivering in a snow storm. It is hard to determine what the weather will do once fall rolls around, making it difficult to plan for any celebration outdoors.
SHORTER WINDOW FOR PHOTOS
Since the sun goes down earlier, the window of time for daylight photos is shorter than in the summer. If you plan to take the majority of your photos after your ceremony, you will likely be crunched for time to capture daylight.
GUESTS MIGHT HAVE DIFFICULTY TAKING TIME OFF
If you have a large amount of friends and family traveling from out of state to be at your wedding, they might struggle to get time off during the fall. Many of your guests likely took time off for family and friend vacations during the summer and might have to save for time off during the holidays following your wedding.
GUESTS MIGHT BE STRAPPED FOR CASH
Fall tends to be a time where your guests might be a little less financially stable as they might have traveled a lot during the summer, or attended a handful of other weddings, which tend to be expensive. Also with the holidays right around the corner, your guests might be in a position where they want to save money.
Few things are more romantic and dreamy than snowy wedding photographs. Not only will you look an angel in a winter wonderland, but your photographs will be unique in comparison to the many summer wedding photographs you've likely seen of your friends and family
YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE FOOD
Few things are better than some good comfort food on a chilly winter day. Your wedding reception can consist of all the great food and dessert we love to consume this time of year (and your guests are more likely to indulge because who needs a bikini bod in the winter?). Not to mention, you can have hot cocoa and cider for your guests which just oozes cozy.
OFF SEASON PRICING
Winter is typically the slowest season when it comes to the wedding industry, so most venues and vendors will have off-season pricing, which can save you a lot of money. You will likely have more of a selection for your vendors as well, since the likelihood of them being booked is much less than in the summer.
If you're the kind of person that loves a little mood lighting, winter wedding is right up your alley. Candles, string lights and lanterns are the perfect accessories to a winter wedding.
If you want to incorporate rich colors into your wedding, winter is the time to do it! Whether it's in your bouquet, your decor or your bridesmaids dresses, those deep maroons, blues and even greens work flawlessly in the winter.
FLORALS ARE MORE DIFFICULT
Many flowers aren't in bloom during the winter, so acquiring florals for your decor and bouquets will likely be more expensive since it will be difficult to find them locally.
DIFFICULT TIME TO PLAN TRAVEL
Depending on the timing of your wedding, it might be difficult for your guests to plan another trip in addition to their holiday travel plans. If a smaller guest count is on your wish list, a winter wedding might be a good choice for you.
TRAVEL COSTS ARE HIGH
Travel costs tend to spike around the holidays which could cause difficulty for your guests that will be traveling from out of state to make your wedding.
DAYLIGHT IS LIMITED
During the winter months, there is far less daylight than other seasons, limiting the amount of time you have for photographs.
WEATHER CAN BE DANGEROUS
Not only can the temperatures make for a frigid wedding day, but snow storms could cause road closures and dangerous travel for your guests. Delayed and canceled flights are possible, causing them to miss the wedding festivities entirely.
INFLUENCE THE STYLE OF YOUR WEDDING DRESS
Winter weddings have the potential to dictate the style of wedding dress you should wear (or not wear). If you're the kind of bride that wants your dress to match the aesthetic and style of your wedding, you likely won't be able to wear those backless mermaids you saw on Pinterest.
EVERYTHING FEELS FRESH AND BRIGHT
Who doesn't love spring? Flowers are blooming, fresh dew sits atop the vividly green grass and everything just feels fresh. What better time to start on a new beginning, during mother nature's new beginning?
Spring is one of the best times for flowers, especially if you're a "big bloom" lover like myself! Local florists will have access to fresh flowers and the costs will be lower than in the off-season.
EASIER FOR GUESTS TO TRAVEL
Spring weddings tend to be easier for guests to travel because they won't have to plan around their holiday plans or summer vacations they plan to take with their families.
Although the wedding season is steadily growing, the early spring months are still considered off-season in most areas. This means vendor pricing won't be as high as during those peak-season summer months.
As if the fresh green grass and flowers isn't enough for some fabulous natural backdrops, the spring often brings less-than-sunny skies. Some cloud coverage is actually ideal for your wedding photographs because you won't have to battle the harsh sun.
SOFT COLOR PALETTE
Spring brings soft, light and pastel color palettes that are so romantic for weddings. Light pink, champagne and dusty blues are dream details for any spring wedding.
If you live anywhere like Montana, you understand that spring isn't always bird chirping, sunshine and fresh flowers. In fact, spring often brings snow showers, gloomy days and icy roads more often than not. The unpredictable weather can make it difficult to plan a wedding outdoors where you would truly be able to enjoy the spring.
While the first blooms of the season are beautiful and exciting, they come accompanied by pesky allergies. Your guests might be brutally affected by an outdoor ceremony, or worse, you or your partner might fall victim to watery eyes and a red nose for your photographs.
NOT ALL OFF-SEASON
As previously mentioned, the wedding season continues to grow, bringing much more of spring under its wing. While most of June is technically considered spring, it is part of peak-season when it comes to the wedding industry. If you're wanting to plan a spring wedding to avoid surge pricing in the summer, you will likely have to plan for a very early spring date, which could bring even more unpredictability when it comes to weather and florals.
The weather is typically something you can count on during the summer months. You can plan for an outdoor wedding with little risk attached. Warm summer evenings are likely to keep your guests around to celebrate late into the night.
Since it doesn't get dark until much later during the summer, receptions typically start later, which means you're likely to party with your guests until closing time.
FLOWERS ARE ACCESSIBLE
Florals are easily acquired during the summer. You can often even find fresh beautiful flowers at your local Farmers Market to disperse throughout your venue.
SUNLIGHT IS ABUNDANT
Your wedding day timeline will not be a slave to the sun, as there are many more hours of daylight to work with during the summer months, which means you can sleep in a little later and start getting ready later in the morning so as not to rush for those early pre-ceremony photographs
VARIETY OF FOOD
There are so many great fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer which makes your catered menu easy to assemble and abundant in fresh food.
While the weather is predictable, it can also be unbearably hot during the summer, making it uncomfortable for you guests to sit through an outdoor ceremony. Hot weather also has a tendency to decrease one's appetite, risking a lot of the food you spent good money on going to waste.
VERY POPULAR TIME OF YEAR
Summer is easily the most popular time of year to plan a wedding. This creates difficulty when not only booking your vendors, but also for your guests. Vendors book out very far in advance for summer weddings, so your favorite photographer might not be available on your wedding day. Your guests might also be invited to multiple weddings on the same date as your own.
PRICING IS MUCH HIGHER
Due to the popularity and high demand for wedding vendors, prices are the absolute highest during the summer. If you're trying to plan a wedding on a tight budget, you might want to consider an off-season date.
Towards the end of the summer, at least in Montana, fires become a pretty big issue around the state. Planning a wedding in August could run you the risk of hazy skies and smoky air for you and your guests on your wedding day, making it difficult to see the beautiful scenery, not to mention breathe.
Whatever season you choose for your wedding day, prepare yourself for what could come your way, and you're sure to have a beautiful celebration for you and your guests!
Hopefully that gives you a little something to take into consideration when trying to figure out when the heck the get married! After you nail down a date, choose your venue and your dress and make sure to check out my blog 15 Tips to Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress for more tips!