What season is best for a wedding?
When planning your wedding, choosing your date can be a really difficult decision to make. So what season is best for a wedding? There are many things to consider:
- the wedding venue‘s availability and price- some venues are booked years in advance in peak season and /or offer off peak discounts
- whether your guests will be free to travel at that point in the year- summer holidays mean that many people take time off already at that time
- the theme/ colours/ decors you want and what kind of event you want- this is a chicken and egg situation but if you like venues like tipis and barns, a warm season is advisable as they can be hard to heat, whereas if you want warm fires and fur..
- the light, of course, both the quality of light and its availability- more about that below.
This will have implications not only on what you and the bridesmaids are wearing- nobody wants to turn blue at a party, but also on the flower decorations- they’re much easier to find and cheaper if they’re in season, and on what kind of photos you’re having. For the wedding photographer, each season has its beauty. A spring wedding has the energy of new life and new beginnings about it. Your guests will be eager to get out and enjoy this but will need somewhere to retreat to in case it’s still chilly. Of course it can also get suddenly really hot in April/ May so you need an all weather venue. The weather changes even more rapidly than normally so even if it rains- it’s supposed to be lucky- there should be some dry patches too. The days are getting longer so you will have natural light outside until the meal usually or even later if in June.
In early spring you also get some golden hour and sunset shots without cutting into your evening. In terms of themes and colours, you have so much choice, greens, yellows, pinks, oranges, pale blues and mauves, anything vibrant or pastel will work and you can mix and match as you please.
Summer weddings have the longest days and allow endless socialising outdoors. It can still rain of course but shouldn’t be freezing. On the other hand, it can get too hot in marquees and conservatories so good airflow will stop your guests feeling sweaty and dizzy.
In terms of photography, many summer weddings start later and make the most of the golden hour and dusk shots without you getting cold. In hot countries it’s not unusual to start the wedding at 6pm to spare the guests the heat of the day, but then most of the partying is done at night.
In terms of themes, colours are usually stronger, deeper, just as the sun casts harsher shadows, and the leaves are of a deeper green. I had sunflowers for my July French wedding.
Autumn weddings can be stunning. Just make sure it’s early enough so the trees are still in their golden glory. Your outdoors photos should have plenty of colours and still enough light to shoot after the ceremony but also let you have sunset and night photography.
The temperature is fluctuating wildly, a bit like in spring, so be prepared for a really warm day and a cold night. In terms of themes, golds and pomegranate reds bring to mind oriental influences and Klimt pictures. But it’s also the time for pumpkins, poppies and fireworks.
A winter wedding is hard to predict. The Snow Queen’s white coat isn’t guaranteed, but striking silhouettes, and night photography are, if you can stand the temperature. Mind you, you can hire or buy a snow machine, like one of my couples did, and that was a real success with the kids: non cold, non- slippery snow, just as magic and not dangerous.
Timings must be carefully thought through as natural light will be disappearing fast. Don’t count on it after 3, or earlier depending how far North you are and how near the 21st December it is. If you want couple shots and are afraid of running out of time after the ceremony, you could plan a first look slot with your photographer.
In many countries the couple shots are done before the guests arrive so the couple can spend all their time with them. Of course, you can have some flash photos too, which can be very dramatic. For group shots too, have a chat with your photographer about lighting the guests and finding a suitable place indoors if the ceremony ends after 2.
In terms of themes, deep reds and greens are favoured, but you could also thing all white and sparkly, or golden.
Whatever the season:
- Plan for all weather making sure you and your guests are not too cold or too hot.
- Pack flat shoes, wellies and umbrellas- you never know
- Get inspired by the season for your colours- or go your own way, it’s your wedding, choose what you like
- Talk to the photographer about timings, light, indoors photos etc
- And on the day: enjoy, grab the moment, be spontaneous, it’s your day.