So you (or your significant other) has popped the question, you’ve done the ring and the tears and the gushing to your friends. This begs the most basic question: when’s the big day? Will it be a traditional June wedding, or a January winter wonderland? Will you be wearing a hat and scarf or sandals? Here are the pros and cons of having a wedding in each season of the calendar year. Note: this list assumes you live in a locale that has all four seasons. If you’re one of the fortunate few who live in a state of perpetual spring and summer, you don’t need my help on this one.
Snow on the ground, Christmas in the air, the crackle of a fire–there is definitely romance and beauty to be found in a winter wedding. Your bridal party could dress in icy blues and silvers to complement the season, and the bridesmaids can accessorize with muffs and scarves. Since the groom and groomsmen are dressed for cold weather regardless of the season, what with an undershirt, dress shirt, vest, and jacket, they’ll certainly be more comfortable. You could even arrange a romantic sleigh ride as part of the ceremony, and cocoa and cookies make for a great snack in the latter hours of the reception.
The downside of the cold weather is, of course, that it’s cold outside. Those beautiful snow-covered pictures will take some braving the elements to procure, and a runny nose might wreck the most carefully-applied makeup. There’s also the chance that a winter storm might put the kibosh on guests’ travel plans.
- Pros: Romantic setting, fun holiday themes, less crowded venues.
- Cons: Cold, dangerous driving.
What better metaphor for love could there be than the season in which all things grow and bloom? You’ll have no shortage of fresh flowers for a spring wedding, and the vibrant nature all around is a great inspiration for a brightly-colored bridal party. You’ll avoid sweltering in the dog days of summer and freezing in the wintertime. Provided your locale has a temperate spring, it’s a great choice for the day.
With all those growing things, however, comes pollen, and with pollen comes allergies. Expect some degree of sniffling and sneezing during the ceremony. There’s also the risk of a late-season chill that might make your spring fantasia a little wintrier than you had planned.
- Pros: Bright colors, everything in bloom, moderate temperatures.
- Cons: Unpredictable weather, seasonal allergies.
There’s a reason that June is the traditional month for weddings. The days are getting longer; the temperature is warm but not July-hot; it’s the ideal season to go on a tropical honeymoon. Something about the warming temperatures tends to warm the blood, too; the beginning of summer is a naturally romantic time.
This also explains why it’s hard to book a wedding venue in those prime summer months. Expect to plan your ceremony over a year in advance to get a popular venue in June; otherwise, you might be stuck with the hotter, stickier days in July and August, which are murder for overdressed groomsmen and bridesmaids alike.
- Pros: Warm, temperate, romantic.
- Cons: Competing for venue space, sweaty wedding photos.
The slight chill in the air, apple cider and pumpkin spice, the crunch of falling leaves: autumn is a delight to the senses. Sure, plants are turning brown and the world is preparing for its winter nap, but the vivid oranges and reds of autumn can make for striking centerpieces and a well-dressed bridal party. Autumn is an unconventional choice for a wedding, so it might be easier to book that hard-to-get-into wedding venue for a late September or October date.
Autumn might be a trickier travel time for your guests, though, sandwiched between summer vacation and holiday travel. And autumn’s rustic aesthetic is definitely unconventional; it’s definitely not for every couple.
- Pros: beautiful foliage, comfortable temperatures, getting away with putting acorns in boutonnieres.
- Cons: Unconventional, may be tricky for traveling guests, rustic.
A wedding ceremony can be so many different things: a frozen fantasy, a spring fling, a sultry summer ceremony, or an autumnal affair. When planning your wedding, keep in mind the color palette you’d like to work with, how you want your bridal party to be dressed, and how you want those all-important pictures to look. If your season matches your wishes, you’ll end up with a magical day, no matter what time of year it is.