Picking a date for your wedding can almost be as thorny as deciding whom to invite; expect your family members, in particular, to have strong opinions and preferences. To help you decide whether to have a summer or fall wedding, we’ve put together a list of factors to consider before you commit. Talk them through with your fiancé, and it will be clear which season is the better choice for your big day.
If you have a particular theme or visuals in mind that you want to recreate, picking the season that better compliments that concept will make decorating and planning easier and more affordable. For example, summer months are ideal for foraging wildflowers for a homemade bouquet and centerpieces.
Estimate the number of months you will realistically need to plan the wedding, and then add a bit of wiggle room to that number. For example, if you’re hoping to get a custom-made gown with lots of hand-embroidery or beading, that can be a time-consuming process unless you’re comfortable paying exorbitant rush fees.
If some of your friends and relatives will need to travel to the festivities, or if you’re hoping for a destination wedding, it is customary to give guests at least 6 months’ notice so that they can save up and book vacation days for travel. Studies have also shown that in North America, as a general rule, flights tend to be slightly more expensive during the summer months because of higher demand.
Depending on how particular you are about the locations for your reception and ceremony, there might be less flexibility with dates in the summer. Some popular churches and venues, for example, might be booked solid a year in advance for Saturdays between June and August! Also, certain locations will shine brighter in the fall—for example, a cottage-country wedding when the leaves change colour—whereas others will look their best during the summer months. Finally, keep in mind that if a big part of your wedding will be outdoors, later fall dates could be risky because of the threat of cold weather, or even snow.
Traditionally, summer is the most popular season for weddings, so be prepared to pay a little bit more for everything. The top florists, caterers and photographers get booked up early, and often price their services higher during these peak months in order to maximize profit. Alternatively, fall weddings tend to be more affordable for the same locations and services.
In some cultures, certain dates are considered more auspicious than others for a myriad of reasons, astrological and otherwise. If this is important to you, or your family, you might have limited options for the year of interest. As well, you’ll have to make sure that your wedding date doesn’t conflict with anyone else’s in your wider friend group or extended family, because that might cause strife and affect your RSVPs.
Generally speaking, depending on your line of work, if you’re getting married in the summertime, there might be more flexibility to take time off immediately after the wedding for an extended honeymoon.