As I mentioned in my intro, I am getting married in January, all because of a song. The Avett Brothers are one of Dave and I's favorite bands, and they came out with a song called “January Wedding” a couple years ago. Dave immediately fell in love with it, and it was clear that he imagined us dancing to that song for our first dance. 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 and know that we would get married in January, because it was significant to him, and 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 in January actually had a ton of benefits, albeit there are some potentially serious problems as well.
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 in Nashville where people are flying into, or wherever. 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-look to East Coast brides the weekend of 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.
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 what they would have 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.
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.
Some more pros:
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 or someone else's wedding and ours.
There's more time for everything, because vendors are not bombarded with other events. I don't have to have meetings six months before the big day.
I don't have to pay a dime to decorate the church, because it will still be decorated from the holidays, and the priest was thoughtful enough to make sure the decorations he orders don't clash with our colors.
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.
Some more cons:
There are some family members and friends unwilling to travel during the winter.
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.
So, are you guys winter, summer, spring or fall brides? Why did you pick the season you did? What are the pros and cons of your wedding date?