Considering a winter wedding? Kudos! You’re bucking the trends, but there’s a lot to be said for planning a wedding in the off-season. Here’s a quick primer on a few things you might want to think through — the good, the not as good, and the very chilly.
"78% of weddings take place from May through October." - theknot.com
That’s a serious peak season — and that statistic is for the whole country. We’re guessing weddings are even more heavily weighted toward the peak season in places like the upper Midwest, where winters are particularly cold.
September is the most popular month, with June and October close behind. You’ll note that July and August don’t hit the top three even though they’re technically part of peak season, and that’s for the same reason that winter months are low on the list: Weather. People don’t want to have a 110-degree wedding day any more than they want to have a 10-degree wedding day.
But if a cold day isn’t a deal-breaker for you, here are several reasons why you might want to consider an off-season* wedding:
First Choice at Vendors — and Possible Discounts.
The best photographers, bands, DJs and florists book up quickly during peak season. By reaching out to them for an off-season date, you have a much better chance of snagging a spot, especially if you’re planning with a tight timeframe. And while you shouldn’t expect a discount, some vendors have lower rates for off-season.
Better Venue Availability
If you have your heart set on a particular venue, you’ll be much more likely to have your choice of dates if you’ll consider the off season.
Easier Hotel Booking
Hotels associated with wedding venues are also going to be easier to book in the off-season, which is convenient if you’re planning on booking a block of rooms for your guests.
Fewer Scheduling Conflicts
If you’re in a phase of life where it feels like all your friends are getting married, peak wedding season is often filled with engagement parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and showers — not to mention all the weddings. By scheduling your wedding during a slower time of year, you stand out from the crowd and may be more likely to have available guests.
A Unique Experience
When you plan a winter wedding, there are so many elements that will distinguish your event from the traditional summer wedding. Faux fur, cashmere, mulled wine, apple cider or spiced bourbon cocktails — you get the idea. If you’re looking for a memorable event, going off-season is one surefire way to make a difference.
Potential caveats to a winter wedding? It could be too chilly to take photos outdoors, and unexpected snowstorms could snarl travel plans if you have a lot of out-of-town guests. Every wedding has its surprises and you can’t anticipate everything, but a great wedding planner can help you prepare for potential hiccups.
*Note that “off-season” assumes you’re planning a wedding in the upper Midwest; if you’re planning a destination wedding somewhere warm, the off-season will be the complete opposite part of the year.
There’s no right or wrong time of year to get married. What matters most is that you find the right time and the right place for you. You’ve already found the right person!