Once the joy of getting engaged starts to fade, the realities of planning your big day will inevitably set in. Organising a wedding and ensuring that it just right involves a whole host of important decisions, and one of the first you will have to make is that of when the big day will be.
Every happy couple will have individual considerations to keep in mind when setting the date, but generally speaking, the main choice is between a winter wedding and a summer wedding. We’ve put together this quick guide to the pros and cons of summer and winter weddings for those loving duos who are not sure which will suit them best.
Don’t Pin Your Hopes on the Perfect Weather
When a bride or groom-to-be pictures a winter wedding, they will most likely be thinking of a crisp, clear day with snow on the ground. In the same vein, an idealised summer wedding would be a bright, sunny affair followed by a beautifully warm evening.
At the end of the day, however, regardless of which season you choose for your big day, those kinds of conditions can never be guaranteed. You can’t, therefore, make your choice of wedding date based on those idealised notions of the weather. The following, though, are some of the most important things which you certainly should keep in mind.
If you’ve already got a particular venue in mind for your big day, you need to think about whether it would work best in the summer or winter. A venue with extensive grounds or particularly beautiful outdoor areas, for instance, would give you far more options for photographs and other activities during the summer. A grand indoor venue with ornate fireplaces, on the other hand, would likely best suit a winter wedding.
Even if you haven’t already settled on a venue, the season of your wedding will still have a notable impact on your choice. Certain types of venue, as we’ve already mentioned, work better at different times of the year. On top of that, too, many venues are also likely to have much better availability during the winter months, when weddings are typically less common.
Another important question to ask yourself when choosing whether to opt for a summer or a winter wedding is whether one will be easier for your guests to attend than the other. This is a very personal decision to make and will depend on your particular friends and family members.
What you need to consider is whether there will be a large number of your desired guests with pre-booked summer holidays or with set-in-stone Christmas and New Year plans, which might clash with your wedding. You can, of course, mitigate the risk of either of those scenarios by providing plenty of notice and sending out save the date cards nice and early
As a newly engaged couple looking forward to the happiest day of your lives, you obviously won’t want the price to be the primary factor in planning your wedding. In practice, however, it is clearly an important thing to keep in mind and there can be a big difference in cost between a summer and a winter wedding.
Unless you’re thinking of getting married at Christmas or perhaps on New Year’s Day, winter weddings are generally quite a bit cheaper than summer alternatives. This is because venues and vendors are typically less busy during the winter season and will, therefore, provide their services at a lower rate. This will obviously not be the case, however, for those venues specifically aimed at winter weddings.
Alongside those major areas of consideration, there are also a number of other matters of logistics to think about when choosing between a summer or a winter wedding. Firstly, is the fact that you simply have less daylight to work within the winter. This may seem obvious to say, but what is perhaps not immediately apparent is how much of an impact it can have.
Shorter days, after all, put greater time pressure on things like outdoor photographs. It would be less enjoyable for guests, too, to move from a ceremony venue to a reception venue in the dark. On a psychological level, what’s more, your friends and relatives are more likely to enjoy a reception that goes late into the night during the summer than the winter. A night that begins at four in the afternoon and which features sub-zero temperatures, after all, is not as conducive to a good time as a balmy summer’s evening.
Speaking of temperature, if you’re going to opt for a winter wedding, you will need to keep that in mind when it comes to your dress design. When the mercury falls, you need to think about keeping yourself warm as well as looking your best. In summer, meanwhile, you have a wider range of dress options as you need only think about aesthetics.
Food and floral arrangements are two final factors to take into consideration when choosing between a summer and a winter wedding. Different food options will work better in different seasons, with lighter, buffet-based alternatives being ideal for summer and more formal, sit-down meals working better during the winter. A greater range of floral arrangement options, meanwhile, are likely to be available during the summer as opposed to the winter.
It may seem like an unnecessarily onerous task to take all of those many factors into account when setting the date of your big day, but it really is worth doing. If you think about your preferences and needs when it comes to everything from the venue to flowers and guestlist to food, after all, you’re sure to come up with the perfect wedding season for you. That, therefore, will ensure that your big day is just perfect and that’s well worth a little extra effort.