Friends… today’s post is brought to you by the Texan turned East Coast gal that just recently drove in snow for the first time! (True story, y’all!) While I don’t think that winter will ever be my favorite season, I’m slowly learning to appreciate peaceful snow days and have finally figured out how to layer my clothes in a way that actually keeps me warm when I go outside! Little victories are the best! Now… you may or may not be catching my drift on where all this is going, but I wanted to let you in on a few little secrets today, specifically when it comes to winter weddings!
I have a lot of friends that ask for my opinion about setting wedding dates… when should I get married? Are there any months you would recommend? Not recommend? And while I can’t answer any of these questions FOR you because everyone’s hopes and visions and budgets are different, I thought that it would be fun fun to break down a few of the truths associated with having a wedding in each season throughout the year! Now… I’m not here to be a negative Nancy (I really DO love winter weddings!), but I am going to be pointing out a few things that you may not think to consider when setting your date! I definitely want you to keep these things in mind while you dive into date planning!
What can you expect from a winter wedding? We’re starting there today! Throughout the year, you can expect to find a post for each season! (Which means… if you have a question about hosting a wedding during a specific season, ask away, friend!)
To keep things clear, today’s post is focused on what I classify as winter in my head: Mid-November-Mid-to-late March (For my DC friends, at least! This may be slightly different, depending on where you live!)
This may seem obvious, but it will be cold!
I know you’re probably thinking: Yes, duh Caity… Winter. Cold. Snow. Ice. We KNOW! BUT, I think a lot of people forget how they really feel about the cold. I know I forget what 22 degree temperatures feel like when it is 85 or 90 degrees outside! If I offer any advice to you here, it is this: Consider how you feel in all different types of outdoor temperatures. When are you happiest? Are there any seasons that leave you feeling irritated? When do you want to spend the most time outside?
If you are one of those people that can tolerate the cold for a certain length of time, and then immediately feel miserable, keep that in mind! If you cannot stand the cold at all, maybe consider hosting your wedding during a different time of year! Maybe you are one of those people that LOVE cold, stalk the forecast looking for the next blizzard, and find yourself wearing a light jacket, even on the coldest of mornings… a winter wedding may be for you! Keep in mind, you WILL be outside in your wedding formal wear… meaning NO coat! (AHH I know… I always feel SO thankful to have amazing couples that are willing to do pretty much anything to get the shot!)
Consider your family, guests and wedding party here too! If you have anyone close to you that will be heavily involved in your wedding and may be particularly sensitive to frigid winter temperatures, consider this as you select your date!
The sun sets quickly AND the sun sets early.
During winter, I always count down to Daylight Savings time because that means we get SO much more flexibility when it comes to LIGHT! Unfortunately, that isn’t the case during winter months! The thing that I want EVERYONE to know about winter? The sun sets really early, and when it starts to set, it goes down quickly! Meaning? We have to use our time together on your wedding day SO efficiently! (Because a lot of your day will be dark!)
I know that all of my couples love and look forward to their outdoor portraits. I know that these will be the images that are framed and displayed for years to come. These are photos that you will pull out to show your grandchildren in 50 years, and they are often the very reason that clients hire me! Also… this is one of the only times that you’ll have a little alone time on your wedding day!
It is always challenging to break it to my couples that are dead set on having a winter wedding day without a first look: if you are having a winter wedding, unless your ceremony is VERY early in the day— think starting around 1PM for a 30 minute ceremony or EARLIER— a first look is pretty much your only option to have the gorgeous outdoor portraits of your dreams. Otherwise, we’ll be crunched against sunset and may lose our light!
I recommend first looks to all of my couples, but I really emphasize it for couples that are having winter weddings for this reason.
Be mindful of your favorite floral seasons
OK… I have to give a shoutout to Kait and her florist because I think the bouquet at the top of this post may be one of my FAVORITE winter bouquet inspirations ever! (Those minty greens and gorgeous anemones 😍Yes please!)
If you are someone that has a very specific vision when it comes to your florals, keep in mind that everything you want may not be in season in the winter. Pinterest doesn’t always share when and where a certain bouquet was created!
Yes, this point comes into play during every other season of the year, but it is especially true during the winter months because so many plants are in a dormant stage. Importing certain blooms from around the world is an option, yes, but it is an expensive and oftentimes unreliable option for certain types of flowers.
HERE is a chart that details when some of the most common wedding blooms are in season! When in doubt, a quick Google search or send an email to your florist! This is a really easy way to see if a flower that you want is available during any specific season!
Bonus: consider road conditions and travel delays for out of town guests.
My parents had a winter wedding, and my mom said they had over a FOOT of snow in PA before their wedding 31 years ago! Most everyone that was involved in their day was local, fortunately, and my mom doesn’t remember anything crazy happening to guests that were driving to and from their wedding. Still… keep this in mind, friends! Think about your family: if you have many guests, family members, and members of your wedding party that will be traveling in from out of town, “hoping for the best” when it comes to ice and snow just isn’t going to cut it. If it bothers you or breaks your heart to think that some people may not be able to attend last minute because of the travel delays and dangerous road conditions, I would say that it is safe to stick with having a wedding in a season other than winter!
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