The Best Time of the Year to Get Married
For anyone about to get married, choosing the best date to tie the knot can be a daunting task and a complicated affair. You may already have a favorite time of year in mind, but combine important family member’s own personal schedules or venue availability and officially reserving your date can start to get tricky. Not to mention, how do you even define “best” when it comes to choosing the “Best Time of Year to Get Married?”
Some quick questions to consider that we’ll dig into a bit more:
- Is “best” the most convenient time of year for yourself or your guests?
- How about the month with the best weather?
- Is it the month when your favorite flowers are in bloom?
- What about the time of year where vendors might be offering specials?
Below, I’m breaking down the pros and cons of each season when considering these questions.
Spring: March, April, and May
If you are worried that people who absolutely must be there might not be able to come, consider thinking about a wedding date ahead of the bulk of annual travel. Scheduling your wedding during these months also takes into consideration family members’ summer vacations, sports schedules, graduations, and other similar activities. In other words, if your goal is to have as many people as possible be available to attend your wedding, it may be best to consider a time of year where loved ones have less commitments.
While Spring can make many couples nervous given the uncertainty of weather, if we are all being honest with ourselves (depending on where in the world you are getting married) the weather can always be uncertain. I have had March wedding days that were warmer than the following June and August weddings that were so hot the couple wished they would have chosen December. If weather is your primary concern, then I’d suggest getting married in Southern California 😉 But if that’s not in the cards, be sure you hire a photographer that’s confident in photographing indoors as well as outside. Ask to see a full gallery from a wedding day with bad weather to make sure you like how their work looks inside just as much as outside.
A huge perk of Spring: You can look forward to the most stunning blooms in spring, especially in the month of April. Sure, a florist may be able to bring in exotic flowers out of season, but not only will the blooms possibly not be as lush, the cost for flying peonies into Chicago in November, for example, would be much more than in April or May when they are naturally blooming. If you are dreaming of a super lush wedding, springtime is ideal.
Summer: June, July, and August
By now, most people know that, generally speaking, June to October is the busiest time of the year for weddings. If your friend group is currently going through the “everyone is getting married” phase, it may mean that you’re already flying as much as I am in those months! It can be really fun to celebrate over and over again, but it can also get hard to make it to every single wedding. If you might have to miss some of your friends’ weddings, they may, in turn, have to miss yours.
But of course, summer is popular for a reason. Travel is more reliable because the weather is typically more reliable. While it may get hot, many people prefer to be too warm than too cold (myself included!). If you are dreaming of being outdoors and don’t even want to have to utter the words “rain plan,” then you are most likely only considering summer. Additionally, if there are guests traveling from abroad, international summer holidays make this far more feasible. I’m guessing I don’t really need to point out to many reasons to get married during the summer.
The cons however: This is the heart of wedding season (along with September and October), so vying for vendor availability is going to be an issue. You’ll want to stay ahead of the curve of most couples planning their summer soiree if you want your top choices of vendors because dates will book quickly. For photography specifically, consider booking your photographer no less than 9 months prior to the big day.
Autumn: September, October, and November
If you are dreaming of rich, bold, warm colors, this is your time of year (because I thoroughly believe in choosing your color palette based upon the season).
Over the past few years, Fall has become equally as popular as summer. Reserving a September date with all of your favorite vendors is going to be just as tricky as reserving a June date nearly nationwide. Not only are these months popular in the Midwest for the hopeful changing leaves, but in the South and Southwest, you can find a welcome reprieve from the crushing heat of August.
September is obviously the time when everyone is gearing up for going back to school and back to work after vacation. But there’s a silver lining here: if you are worried that your guest count is ballooning out of control, there is always the option of intentionally choosing a time of year that makes it a tad more difficult for people to come… Just don’t tell your 2nd cousins I said that.
Winter: December, January, and February
When the cold sets in, the only option you’ll have is an indoor wedding. But a winter wedding can also be beautiful and magical if you plan on braving the cold in your Snow Queen-themed bridal gown. And since fewer couples choose to have a winter wedding, this means there’s a big chance all your friends and relatives can celebrate with you on your special day.
Considering dates outside of the “usual” wedding season often can offer some special off-season rates, particularly with venues. So if you are looking to help your budget go a bit farther, looking outside the usual time of year is a huge perk! Winter is that time of the year when wedding rates take a drop. Stay away from holidays, and you won’t have any difficulty booking a venue or church, as well as getting good deals from caterers and other suppliers.
But, of course, one downside to a winter wedding is the weather, which can get a little troublesome. Some of your guests who are supposed to be flying in may decide not to come at all. Be prepared for last-minute cancellations.
Avoid holidays and big event-related dates
Particularly for city weddings, be sure to think about other events happening in your area that you might want to either take advantage of or avoid. For example, in Chicago, the weekends of Lollapalooza, the Chicago Marathon, or large-scale conventions at McCormick Place Convention Center can make it quite difficult to book hotel room blocks for your loved ones.
Some couples think planning a wedding date near a major holiday makes it easier for family members to travel given employers might already be offering days off work, but this can also mean inflated travel costs. Not to mention many loved ones may have their own holiday traditions that they enjoy keeping every year. The ONE exception to this rule: New Year’s Eve. I love a NYE wedding.
Another Note about the Weather
When it comes to choosing a date based on the weather, it’s really more about what type of clothing you want everyone to wear. I always think floor length bridesmaid dresses look the most elegant, but on a 100-degree day in August, your best friends might not agree. And thanks to the amazing fashion inspiration from the current royal family, there are so many more options available for dresses with sleeves in the event of less than balmy weather.
Long story short: In my opinion, April is the savviest time to get married.
In many places around the country, April is warm but not too hot. The earth is springing back to life and the flowers look stunning. Because April is the very start of wedding season, vendors are rested, relaxed, and ready to dive into our most exciting time of year (rather than exhausted in October). Yet, it’s still considered “off-season” in some areas, so for those with careful budgets, you may just get a few lovely surprises!
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