August 12, 2020
Getting engaged is a whirlwind of excitement!!! You want to tell EVERYONE you know! Strangers in the grocery store line comment on how beautiful and unique your new piece of jewelry is. Saying the word fiancé stirs up a few giggles as it is still so new. Your ring may even feel heavy on your hand, and it might take some getting used to.
One of the very first questions new brides-to be get asked, besides “tell me about the proposal!” is “when is the wedding date?”
You’ve got so much swirling around in your mind in regards to your wedding day, that you may have no idea what type of wedding you want, much less the season you want it in!
Most of the weddings I photograph are in the south, specifically in Tennessee and Kentucky, which have similar climates, as does mid to northern Georgia, Alabama & central to western North Carolina. If you live in places like the southwest, coastal states, Pacific Northwest or New England, make sure you check out the seasons specifically related to those areas.
Keep reading to find out the pros and cons to each season!
Getting married in December, January or February can feel magical! In December, you have the beautiful evergreens, burgundy and golds of Christmas, or crisp blues and silvers of Hanukkah. January shines with all the excitement of a new year & February brings in sophisticated colors of crimson and black with touches of blush and cream. However, getting married in the winter can be a toss up if you live in Tennessee. I’ve photographed weddings in December which have been very mild. The temps were cool during the day, and got colder at night, however, we didn’t worry about ice or snow storms. Because it’s winter, the sun sets earlier in the day, and to get those gorgeous sunset images after you say “I do”, you may need to schedule your portrait time closer to 4:00 PM, which means your ceremony might start around 3:00 PM. January and February seem to be a bit trickier. You may have weather in the mid to high 50’s, or you may have cold rain and sleet. Dead grass and bare trees are plentiful. What may start out as a beautiful blanket of snow, can turn into a wet and muddy mess in just a few hours.
Spring weddings are GORGEOUS! With the temperature rising and the flowers blooming, everything comes alive again! Sunset is also later in the day, which gives you the opportunity for a later start time and ceremony. March has a tendency to be a bit unpredictable. In the past, Tennessee has had modest weather, but we’ve also seen a few snow or ice storms later in the month. In April, things really start to get lush! The grass turns a glorious shade of emerald and the fragrance of spring flowers is intoxicating! You know know the old saying “April showers bring May flowers…” this absolutely rings true for Tennessee! Only replace showers with flooding! Springtime in Tennessee has been known to produce some crazy thunderstorms, flooding, and it’s right in the middle of tornado season! May weddings have mild temperatures with longer daylight. They are perfect for outdoor ceremonies, but make sure your venue has a backup plan incase of weather.
Summers in Tennessee are like no other! The days are long, and the lightning bugs are glowing! Ceremony start times can be as late as 6:30 PM, because sunset in the summer can be close to 8:00 PM! The trees are full of bright green leaves and there is nothing like that gorgeous glow of the sunset! This creates some of the most incredible sunset portraits ever! June can be hot, or it can be REALLY HOT! I’ve photographed weddings in late July that were cooler than the 1st week of June! Another thing the south is famous for, besides their sweet tea and BBQ, is the humidity! If you’ve ever visited the south in the summer you may have heard “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” This is so true! Even if your wedding day is hovering in the high 80’s, the humidity could be around 60%! This makes for a very muggy and sticky day! Be aware that if your ceremony is outside, and you have guests who are elderly or have health conditions, this may make it difficult for them to be outside for long stretches of time. July and August will be hot and almost guaranteed to be sticky! Think of wedding party attire when choosing your wedding date if it will be outside in the summer. Layers on the guys will feel like an oven, and non-breathable fabrics on the girls will cause their dresses to stick to their bodies. (not to mention the added layer of shapewear if they choose to wear it!) Hairstyles and makeup will also struggle in the humidity; with hair becoming flat and losing shape, to makeup running down your face and having your lash extensions come off!
Fall weddings are some of the most colorful! The leaves are changing, the air is crisp, but not unbearable, and you still get that glowy light at sunset! September weddings can still be hot, with weather in the 90’s! The humidity is still prevalent, but not nearly as much toward the end of the month. October is probably one of, if not THE most popular time to get married in Tennessee. The weather is in the mid 70’s, the humidity is low, and the time change hasn’t happened yet, which means sunset portraits can still happen later in the day around 5:30 PM. The golds, fiery reds and bright oranges of the leaves make stunning backdrops, and once the sun hits those colors, everything is absolutely MAGICAL! November continues to have colored leaves, however, by mid-November, they are starting to turn brown and fall off. The temperatures are still mild, but they are much cooler at night. Sunset gets shorter, which may cause you to bump up your ceremony time a bit earlier. Make sure that if you choose a fall wedding date, you book your vendors like the venue and photographer early enough, as fall dates fill up quickly.
I know this is a LOT of information to take in! There are SO MANY variables when choosing your wedding date. Some couples like their date to be on the anniversary of their first date or the day they got engaged. Others choose to get married on a holiday such as New Years Eve, New Years Day, Valentine’s Day or Fourth of July. Other couples choose their dates based on when they graduate from college, or have other big obligations. No matter what date you choose as your wedding day, it will be special, magical, memorable and wonderful, because it is YOUR wedding day!
Here’s a quick recap!
Cheaper travel for out of town guests
Possible off-season discounts for venues
An abundance of decor (Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day)
Black tie weddings
Travel may be problematic due to snow storms
Tricky weather (snow, ice)
Limited florals (you might be able to find the flowers you want, however they could cost three times the price!)
Grass and flowers blooming
Travel is still affordable
Longer days/more sunlight
More floral and wedding attire choices
It’s during allergy & tornado season
Lingering snow & ice storms. Late spring brings heavy rain.
Venue prices are starting to increase
Lots of options for florals
Later ceremony start times
Lots of options for wedding attire
More guests can travel
High heat and humidity
Peak travel- hotels may be booked
Guests who are elderly or who have health conditions may struggle being outside for long
Venues book up quickly
Cooler temps and lower humidity
Gorgeous sunset light
Little to no bugs
Affordable travel is still possible
Limited venue dates
Possible conflicts with other events
Venue prices could be the highest