Written by Martin Neeves
I once heard a wedding supplier (who shall remain nameless) say that a wedding is a wedding is a wedding, never mind the time of year. I do not agree with this sentiment as it is people who a wedding what it is. Everyone is different and that's what makes every wedding different. Having said that, the time of year, the venue and the weather play a big part too.
After all the inside of a drab church in early January, with rain or snow or fog outside may not be quite the same as that same church in mid-July when the sun is streaming through the stained glass windows. And you know, however good the heating blowers, a wedding in a marquee in January with the rain lashing down definitely does not compare with the same venue in June.
Each season has its own attraction and each present different things to think about.
It is not all about the weather, there are other elements that are seasonal, so let’s look at how weddings can be different throughout the seasons.
Traditionally, Spring is seen as the season of rebirth and renewal. The trees and flowers start to come back to life after the cold of winter. In Spring the gardens are starting to bloom with daffodils and crocuses, however, the weather is less predictable. It does rain more often and can be a little cool
With flowers being imported from abroad and greenhouse cultivation choice can be quite wide. However, Spring is the natural time for the ealry Spring Blooms.
A variety of blooms can be found ranging from the African Lily, Anemone, Anthurium, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Freesia, Lily, Lily of the valley, daffodil, Nigella, Oncidium Orchid, Phalaenopsis orchid, Rose and Tulipto name but a few.
Whilst you might be able to manage open sided cars or carriages, it is risk thinking about fully open top transport. If it is a bit blowy it is safer to be enclosed – a cold pimply bride will not feel her best.
A spring wedding lends itself to a nice variety of dresses. Most wedding dresses made for a spring wedding have full and large skirts. In the height of summer they will probably be too warm. Now is the time for sleeveless or strapless dresses.
Spring is a grand time for food variety. You can choose fresh young vegetables such as baby carrots, baby asparagus (or regular asparagus), new potatoes, sugar snap peas, and green beans. There are usually some strawberries, rhubarb, and apricots available, even if they have been imported. The Spring Wedding Cake can be a tiered white cake, classically topped with flowers (faux, real or sugar)..
Slight discounts may well be available as it is not high season. However, remember that Easter, Spring Bank Holiday and the conference season may push prices up a bit. Probably not the time for an external wedding ceremony or celebration.
Summer is definitely the high season for weddings. It benefits from being warm and the weather is the driest of all the seasons. The options for venue, location are at the most varied. However, summer is the busiest wedding and most popular seasons for weddings. The costs of venues, honeymoons etc are higher, it is reasonable to expect to have to pay premium rates because venues and services are in such high demand.
This is the time for flowers, they are I abundance. The choice is wide and varied. You are spoilt for colour and variety.
You can chose between varieties like Peonies, Dahlias Mimosa, Ranunculus, roses, sunflowers, red and yellow calla lilies, dahlias, Gerber daisies, cosmos, mums, zinnias, purple dendrobium orchids, roses, stephanotis, white phlox, elegant white calla lilies, casa blanca lilies, hydrangea, snowball mums, and daisies.
The warmth and nice weather give many more options. Very little is off-limits, so you can go for enclosed splendour, open top show or a mix of the two.
Summer is the season that allows a great deal of versatility, but most of the dresses on offer will be sleeveless and/or strapless. It is the perfect season for light fabrics such as organdie, linen, chiffon, crepe, georgette, and other light weight silk. You can also consider something less formal, especially if you are considering an outdoor wedding.
Okay summer is here and you have a wider choice of food. You can have a choice of berries, fresh vegetables, as well as both hot and cold meals. Summer is also a good time to have fresh seafood, including lobster and oysters.
The biggest advantage a summer wedding can offer is an outdoor wedding. The downside is that venues are much more in demand and the prices may be higher than at other times of the year. On the up side, there will be more options of venues because you can consider an outside wedding. No problem having a marquee in summer because it can protect you against summer showers and you can heat it adequately at this time of year.
Autumn is the season of rich and distinct colours that make for a memorable wedding. But do remember that there is more possibility of cold weather and possible rain.
There is still a wide range of flowers and blooms available. The green of Autumn allows for a more natural look. Ferns can be mixed with roses, daisies, Freesias, Chrysanthemums, Dahlia, Carnation, Aster, Gypsophola, Hypericum, Lilac, Iris, Marigold, Sunflowers and Lily can be mixed with Autumnal foliage.
Much like Spring time, open sided cars or carriages might be possible, but the weather is likely to be less predictable. Does the bride really want to risk turning up damp and wind-blown?
Autumn allows the wearing of cream and off-white dresses. It is also more likely that you will find dresses with gold beading and accents in autumn wedding dresses. But, do not forget that the weather in autumn can be less predictable. This is where you might want to consider buying accessories like wraps etc as a barrier when entering the church or wedding venue.
Autumn is the start of the weather cooling off and depending upon the time of day, you can have a good choice of foods. If you want to serve a hearty meal there are a range of seasonal vegetables and roasted meats available. .
The weather will be cooling down, but you will have the natural and gorgeous autumnal colours. A real benefit is that the prices start to coke down towards the end of Autumn. You could even risk taking a chance and having a cooler outdoor wedding.
Autumn lends itself to weddings in castles, Inns, old churches, old mills and even barns.
Winter is the less popular, but does give opportunities to have a more memorable wedding. Some feel that Winter weddings are more romantic. Certainly, you will need to ensure that your guests can stay warm. Also, if you opt for a winter wedding, I would advise you to have the ceremony as early in the day as possible in order to maximise the available daylight, otherwise much of your wedding day will be in darkness.
Whilst it is true that there are fewer flowers available in Winter, it is by no mean a barren time. Additionally many blooms are imported during this period so you can still have you colourful bouquets of flowers. There are some beautiful orchids available as well as the Phalaenopsis or Cymbidium orchids. Other options include Peonies, Tulips, Chrysanthemums, Narcissus, Iris, Call Lilly and Roses.
Definitely the season for being enclosed, warm and dry. It does allow you to consider the grandeur of the Rolls Royce, Bentley or traditional enclosed horse and carriage.
This is the season of the fuller wedding dress, possibly long sleeves. You may also need to consider wraps, capes or some form fur or faux fur wrap.
Winter is going to require warmer fare, even if you are serving a buffet. Whilst a cold buffet may work, some of the options available in summer will not be possible.
Winter weddings are generally considered to be in the off season. This means most venues are likely to offer a discount so that they fill vacant dates.
"Hey Martin, I cannot believe that you did not mention photography as a seasonable issue?" I hear you say. Well no, although it is obvious that wedding photographers will be busier and possibly pricier in summer, time of year is not a problem. We are so used to getting a great shot whatever the weather or season. A professional wedding photographer will not be fazed by having to work in different light and weather. It can be just as much a challenge to photograph in a dark chapel in the height of summer as it can be to get great shots in a splendid venue in the height of winter. even bright sunlight brings its own challenges.
All seasons have their attraction and uniqueness. Cost can make summer less attractive, but my view is that there is no best time to get married – when the time is right for you that that is the best time to get married.
If you want to use a wedding photographer who is going to deliver great images for you whatever the season (and who will charge the same prices all year around), then contact me at Martin Neeves Photography or call me on 01455 271 849 or on 07973 638 591.