Pros and Cons of Winter Weddings

I am getting married in January, all because of a song. The Avett Brothers are one of my (and my fiance's) favorite bands. They came out with a song called “January Wedding” a couple years ago, and my FH immediately fell in love with it. It was clear that he imagined us dancing to that song for our first dance at our wedding from the moment he heard it. But he also knew that I had always wanted an outdoor, early fall wedding.

When he proposed in March, the first thing we did was talk about a date. (As in, we established our date within about eight hours of the proposal). He started talking about an October wedding, but all I had to do was look at his face to know that wouldn't happen. The song idea was so special to him, I knew that he really wanted to get married in January. Since I knew he wouldn't have strong opinions about most of the wedding, I wanted him to have the date he wanted.

I didn't realize at the time that planning winter weddings have a ton of benefits, albeit there are some potentially serious problems as well. Let's examine them all:

Potential cons of having a winter wedding

Inclement Weather

The first obvious con of a wedding in January is the possible bad weather. Yes, there might be a blizzard the day before our wedding. If not in Glasgow, then on the East Coast where most of my family is coming from. Or maybe in Nashville where most of our guests will be flying into. When people bring that up, I generally respond with “My parents got married in a blizzard the day after Christmas in Baltimore, and it worked out for them.” Yes, some of my parents' guests didn't make it to the wedding. But their families and wedding party did, as well as the priests, so they were good to go. If I had had my outdoor fall wedding, I would have had nightmares about rain for weeks. And there's a higher chance for rain in October around here than a bad snow in January. There's always a chance that weather might ruin your day (just look to East Coast brides the weekend of Hurricane Irene for proof of that) but I'm not going to let it stress me out. At least not until the week of the wedding, if I start seeing foreboding forecasts.

winter weddings

The world may look like this on our wedding day…

Limited Floral Options

Another con is flowers. If I were getting married in the summer, I'd be one of those go-out-in-a-field-and-pick-wildflowers kind of bride. And it would be great. And yes, some flowers are cheaper during the summer. But a lot of flowers are the same price all year round. However, because live flowers are painfully expensive any time (without the availability of a wildflowers scenario), I decided to go with silk flowers. It was a hard decision because I love real flowers, but buying silk means I have been able to buy bulk online and also shop sales at Michael's and other stores. It also means that my mom and her awesome prayer group are going to take those silk flowers and my collection of borrowed mason jars and they're going to have my centerpieces done in November, two whole months before the wedding. I am sooooo thrilled I won't have to deal with centerpiece stress the day before the wedding.

Travel Can be Tricky

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, travel can be tricky– even locally. We have some family members and friends who are basically unwilling to travel during the winter, so we might be losing a few people from our guest list unintentionally.

Vacation Time – Delaying the Honeymoon

Dave is a teacher, and he will already be back in school, so we only get a long weekend and will have to wait until the summer to go on our honeymoon. As a reporter, the busiest months of my job are November and December. Everyone in my office takes sick pleasure reminding me how insane I am going to be the last couple months leading up to the wedding.

The biggest Pros of having a winter wedding

Availability

The biggest pro of getting married in January is that there is almost zero competition. I finally reserved my venue the beginning of July, almost exactly six months before the wedding. Out of about four venues we looked at seriously, and four weekends in January, only one of those venues had a conflict one of those weekends. Annnnd, because there is no competition, there are better deals to be found. We are getting married at a state park with the park's lodge and cabins serving as our hotel. Our rooms are half the price of what they would've been if we'd gotten married in peak summer season. (Not to mention the fact that they probably wouldn't have had enough empty rooms for us.) Also, if no one reserves the reception room for the day before, we can decorate after the rehearsal dinner, instead of the morning of the wedding.

Fewer Schedule Conflicts

I don't have to worry about anyone's summer vacation plans or other weddings on the same day. No one on our invitation list has to choose between their vacation and our wedding. We don't even know of anyone getting married within a couple of months of our date. There's also more time for everything because vendors are not overwhelmed with other events. I don't have to book meetings six months in advance of the big day just to meet our vendors.

Cheaper Decorations

I don't have to pay a dime to decorate the church because it will still be decorated from the holidays. The priest was even thoughtful enough to make sure the decorations he orders don't clash with our colors!

No Stressing about the Sun

Since I'm getting married in the winter, I don't have to stress about tan lines! I don't care if I'm a pale bride; I won't have to buy a strapless bathing suit or worry about tanning unevenly before I have to don my wedding gown.