You’ve got the sparkler on your finger and now’s the time to start thinking about setting the date for your big day.
But, before you go rushing in with ordering save the dates, it’s worth thinking about what time of year you want to get married, with each season offering something different.
SoBristolWeddings has weighed up the pros and cons of every season, whether you’re dreaming of a pastel-themed spring do, a festival-filled summer celebration, a rustic autumnal party or a romantic Christmas wedding.
The season when Mother Nature bursts into life certainly makes a lovely time of year to tie the knot, with cherry blossom and golden fields of rapeseed making picture-perfect wedding pictures.
Spring lends itself perfectly to soft pastel colour palettes, with delicate pinks, yellows, blues and greens working beautifully for weddings held in March, April and May.
Couples will be able to tailor their wedding catering to include lots of lovely seasonal fruit, veg and produce, with spring lamb, asparagus and scallops just a taste of the culinary delights on offer.
Even though the British weather is unpredictable throughout the year, there’s no denying that spring can be especially wet. When choosing your venue, it’s worth remembering to look for somewhere that has space for guests to shelter should the weather turn.
If you’re planning on tying the knot in early spring, temperatures can still be on the nippy side, so brides might want to consider opting for a dress with sleeves or wear a shrug to banish any chills.
While it can be tempting to take advantage of the four-day weekend at Easter, venue prices can increase at this time of year and availability is also quickly snapped up. If you are planning a religious ceremony, you’ll need to factor in that some parishes won’t conduct weddings on Good Friday, Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday so your dream date might not be feasible.
Spring celebrity weddings: Kate Middleton and Prince William; Beyoncé and Jay Z; and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Beautiful long summer days and balmy nights mean you’ve got ample time to enjoy hosting wedding celebrations in June, July and August, with many venues offering the option to exchange your vows outdoors.
Summertime is perfect for festival-loving brides and grooms planning to throw an alfresco bash to celebrate their nuptials. Do remember that it can still rain at this time of year, just think of Glastonbury which takes place in June and often plagued with bad weather, so have some wellies at the ready in case.
Couples have plenty of choice for flowers at this time of year, with ever-popular peonies still in season in early summer, while sweet peas are a beautiful fragrant choice, along with oh so pretty English roses.
While you might have longer to party into the night, lighting can be harsh during the summer months making it more difficult for photos, although experienced photographers will be skilled at taking pictures in all conditions and seasons.
Summer is still the most popular season to say ‘I do’ and bagging your dream venue on a coveted Saturday in June, July or August can be challenging, with many popular barns and stately homes book up to two years in advance, while top suppliers are also snapped up early.
If you’re trying to get married on a budget, summer can be expensive for couples, with suppliers and venues often charging high season rates at this time of year.
Summer celebrity weddings: Fearne Cotton and Jesse Wood; David and Victoria Beckham, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
As a general rule, the weather in autumn tends to be nicer, with couples often blessed with glorious Indian summers on their wedding days. There’s also less pressure for it to be boiling hot and sunny as with summer celebrations, which mean less stress for the bride and groom!
Couples can make the most of the beautiful natural colour palettes that are in abundance at this time of year, with burnished leaves in oranges, gold and yellow adding a wonderful backdrop to wedding photographs, with the autumn light a photographer’s dream.
If pastel shades aren’t your thing, it’s definitely worth thinking about having an autumn wedding which offers ample opportunity to incorporate jewelled tones, berry shades and darker greens, while foraged leaves, pumpkins and conkers adding a season touch to the décor.
September is now a hugely popular month to get married and as a result, many suppliers and venues still class it as high season when it comes to costs, so if you’re looking to save then consider tying the knot in October or November.
If you’re dreaming of an outdoor wedding, late October and November is likely to be a bit too cold to have an alfresco ceremony or drinks reception, so make sure to consider this when viewing venues.
With Christmas on the horizon, late November can be a busy time for family and friends so ensure you pin down a date as early as possible and let everyone know so they can be there to celebrate with you.
Autumn celebrity weddings: Tess Daly and Vernon Kay; George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin; and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.
Couples planning to tie the knot in winter can benefit from off-season deals in January and February, with many venues offering affordable winter wedding packages. Keep in mind that December will be more expensive due to the popularity of Christmas weddings.
Winter weddings are crying out for cosy decor, with the season offering ample opportunity to incorporate a winter wonderland fairy tale theme into your day, with mistletoe, fairy lights, open fires, glitter and rich colours adding a romantic feel.
Worrying about the weather can be a big stress for couples in the run up to the big day, but the joy of hosting a winter wedding is that there’s no expectation of hot sunny days, while a dusting of snow just perfect for adding a magical feeling to the day.
As December is a busy month for Christmas parties, couples will find that some venues, particularly hotels, are booked up well in advance during the festive season.
At this time of year there are fewer daylight hours so your photographer will have to make sure that they adjust their schedule in order to capture plenty of shots before it gets dark. It’s also worth ensuring they have scouted the venue for indoor photo ops in case of bad weather.
Couples planning to jet off on their honeymoons over the Christmas period or January need to be prepared to pay more, with the Caribbean particularly popular at this time of year when you can expect beaches and resorts to be busy with holidaymakers making the most of the high season weather.
Winter celebrity weddings: Elton John and David Furnish; Gordon and Tana Ramsay, and Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe.
By Anna McKittrick
Friday 01 July 2016
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