If you have enough friends of marrying age, your summers can get busy quickly. According to the wedding professions of The Knot, June, August and September are the most popular months to get married.
But there has been an increase in trendiness for off-season nuptials, especially those during the winter, says Virginia Edelson, a principal along with Chelsea VanVleet of Bluebird Productions, an event-planning group in Aspen, Colo. "They are very romantic."
Sites like The Knot and Pinterest, the popular photo-sharing website, show how romantic a winter wedding can be by highlighting brides bundled in gorgeous shawls and candlelit table settings with winter wonderland backgrounds. If you dream of fairy lights reflected in the snow, there are several things to keep in mind that wouldn't plague couples wedding in the summer months.
1) Use the Boy Scout motto: Always be prepared. Have plans B through Z because you never know what might happen, especially when weather becomes an issue. Travel plans can get complicated during winter months so communicate early and often with your guests. Suggest that they make their trip a bit longer than a usual get-in, get-out weekend trip. Remind your guests in your wedding packet or website that temperatures may vary and suggest appropriate attire.
Making alternative plans should also extend to your vendors. Make sure the food and the people serving it are kept warm. And if you're flying in a disk jockey for your special night, coordinate travel plans to add in a time cushion in case of weather delays.
2) Your guests' comfort is paramount. Just as you would add hand fans for a hot, balmy summer wedding, consider amenities you could include for your guests during the fall and winter. Umbrellas during monsoon season can keep grandma dry and a hot chocolate bar can provide a warm beverage to guests while they wait for the wedding to commence. Edelson suggests using blankets for chilly afternoon weddings and then giving those blankets as favors.
There's almost nothing better on a cold day than warm soup. Add in tomato bisque and grilled cheese to heighten the guests' experience.
3) Factor in natural lighting. While 6 p.m. in June provides a bright evening for the ceremony and pictures, the same time can't be said during January. "A lot of people don't think about that," says Edelson. Focus on the logistics of your event that you might not be able to control. What time does the sun set? Could there be a major swing in temperature, leading to cold afternoons?
4) Stay away from reds and greens. "We always like to work with our clients to keep their color palette in line, that way the wedding doesn't seem like an extension of the holiday," says Edelson. Blues, whites and silvers are appropriate for winter weddings, and your typical autumnal colors, like browns, burnt oranges and yellows, work perfectly for an October celebration. If your dreams always included hot pink bridesmaid dresses, maybe a summer wedding is more your style.
5) Be flexible. If you've envisioned your wedding outside in the crisp winter air, make sure you're comfortable with having it inside if a snowstorm decides to descend on the venue at the last minute. Being flexible also means embracing some non-typical wedding accessories, such as Ugg boots and fur muffs. Wedding dress giant, David's Bridal, offers faux fur wraps and capelets that can be added to ensure your bridesmaids stay warm.
Off-season nuptials might require a bit more planning, but in the end, they can be gorgeous celebrations.