What Time of Year Should You Get Married?
If you’re newly-engaged, congratulations! Of the many wedding planning tasks that lie ahead of you, one of the first things to do is to choose when to get married.
Don’t be tempted to pick a date at random: the time of year during which you tie the knot can have a huge impact on how your wedding day pans out.
Of course, you should take into account the weather and temperature, especially if you plan to get married outside. But the time of year may also affect:
• Which venues you can choose (busier dates may be unavailable)
• How much your wedding will cost (rates vary throughout the year)
• How many guests will be able to attend
• Which wedding suppliers are available, and how much they’ll charge for their services
Today, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of getting married in spring, summer, autumn and winter. We’ll also disclose the most and least popular months for weddings in the UK. Finally, we’ll share a few tips on choosing the time of year that would suit you best.
When is the Best Season to Get Married?
The time of year during which you choose to get married is a highly personal choice. No one season is objectively better than another – it all comes down to your priorities.
For example, you may be perfectly willing to brave the cold in order to have a Winter Wonderland themed December wedding. Your heart might sing at the idea of a beautiful poinsettia bouquet and wearing a glamorous faux-fur wrap over your wedding dress.
On the other hand, if you’ve always wanted to get married outdoors, you might prefer to sacrifice the extra cash to get married in “peak wedding season”, when the weather is warm and there’s less chance of rain spoiling your photos.
Let’s take a look at each season in-depth, starting with summer.
Getting Married in Summer
Getting married in June, July or August will give you the best chance of sunshine and warmth on your big day. You can choose an outdoor venue with beautiful gardens, or even get married on the beach.
Late sunsets mean you’ll be able to stay outside as long as you like. And as the school holidays run from late July to early September, guests that live far away won’t have to take their kids out of school to attend your wedding.
Unfortunately, getting married in summer also comes with some serious downsides.
• Everyone from your venue to your suppliers will charge higher prices in the summer. You may end up spending thousands more than you would if you got married in a different season.
• You’ll have to book your venue and suppliers extremely early – in some cases, 2+ years in advance. Summer is peak wedding season, and dates fill up fast.
• Due to the heat, you’re limited to short and lightweight wedding dresses – a full-length ball gown would be very uncomfortable, unless your venue has air conditioning.
If you choose a summer wedding, send out your save the dates well in advance. Otherwise, you may find that your wedding clashes with your invitees’ summer vacations.
Getting Married in Autumn
Early autumn is the next most popular time of year to get married, with September weddings being almost as popular as August ones. But as temperatures start to drop, the number of weddings fall sharply.
Most venues tend to consider either September or October to be the start of the off-season. This is when you’ll find that both venues and suppliers start to offer cheaper rates for weddings. You might be able to get a good deal!
Autumn weddings can be extremely beautiful. It’s the perfect time of year for a rustic-themed wedding with lots of natural décor. Getting married somewhere with lots of deciduous trees can make for stunning wedding photographs.
While the climate in autumn isn’t as warm as summer, it isn’t as cold as winter. However, the big downside is that October and November are some of the rainiest months of the year. Most brides and grooms don’t want to get their clothes – and it doesn’t do much for the hair, either.
Children go back to school in September, so bear this in mind, too. If you get married on a weekday, don’t count on families with children attending your wedding.
Getting Married in Winter
Most married couples-to-be either love or hate the idea of having a winter wedding. It has to be said that getting married in winter comes with a whole host of amazing stylistic and theme opportunities. For example:
• Christmas-themed wedding – decorate with holly, mistletoe and glittering Christmas trees, and dance to festive music
• New Years’ Eve wedding – encourage your guests to dress up in glamorous sparkly outfits, serve champagne and petits fours, and stay up to ring in the new year!
• Icy ‘winter wonderland’ wedding with fake snow, ice sculptures, and blue and white themed décor
Along with the unique themes available to you during the winter, winter weddings are also right in the middle of the off-season. This means that weddings held during December, January and February are bound to be cheaper than at any other time of year.
There are two main downsides to winter weddings, however. Firstly, winter is the coldest time of year. You’re pretty much forced to get married indoors, and you’ll have to dress up warm.
Secondly, you’re likely to have more people politely decline your invitation. After having spent so much money at Christmas, they may not be able to afford to attend a wedding.
Getting Married in Spring
Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons of all, with flowers blooming, greenery returning, birds returning and wildlife coming out of hibernation. Spring weddings can look beautiful with pastel bridesmaids’ dresses and beautiful floral decorations.
Many venues start to up their prices again in May, but March and April are still extremely affordable months to get married in.
The later in spring that you get married, the better the weather is likely to be. March weddings tend to be quite chilly, while May can sometimes be just as warm as June. The weather in spring can vary wildly from year to year, and also from place to place, so it’s often a matter of luck.
One small risk associated with getting married in the springtime is the chance of rain. An average of 1 in every 3 spring days is a rainy day – so you’d best invest in a few ‘bridal umbrellas’, and perhaps a poncho to protect your dress!
What Are the Most Popular Months to Get Married?
As you now know, there are pros and cons to every season of the year. So, you may wonder: when are the most (and least) popular months for weddings?
It seems that most couples value the climate over any other factor. The most popular month for marriages in the UK is August, with 17% of all weddings taking place this month. This is followed closely by September (16%) and July (15%).
July and August are statistically the warmest months of the year. Everybody wishes for blue skies and sunshine on their wedding day, so this makes sense. The summer months also have the longest days, meaning you and your guests will get to spend longer enjoying the sunshine.
September still has generally good weather, but it’s often cheaper to get married in September than July or August, which explains its popularity.
Only 2% of UK weddings are held during January, making it the least popular month. November, December and February fare only slightly better, with 3% of weddings held in each of these months. This is most likely due to the colder temperatures, and significantly higher chance of rain.
How to Decide When to Get Married
Now that you know the pros and cons of every season, and you’re familiar with the most and least popular months, it’s time to decide when you want to get married.
Still unsure which time of year is right for you? Here are some tips to help you decide.
• Consult your budget. Weddings in “peak season” (May to September) will be the most expensive. If you’re on a tighter financial leash, consider early spring or late autumn.
• Figure out how much your wedding will cost, and how long it’ll take you to save up. Then you’ll have an approximate idea of what time of year it’ll be when you’re ready to tie the knot!
• Consider the kind of venue you’d like. For example, if you have your heart set on an outdoors wedding, avoid the cold and rainy months.
• If you’re employed, choose a quiet time of year, so that you’re more likely to have a holiday approved. For example, if you work in hospitality, you’ll struggle to book time off during December.
• If you’re inviting any guests with children that live far away, choose a date that’s not in term-time, so they won’t have to miss school.
• Familiarise yourself with close friends’ and immediate family’s birthdays and anniversaries, and avoid these dates.
Once you’ve chosen a venue, work around their calendar to find a date that suits you. Do this as soon as possible, especially if you’ve picked a popular time of year.