For many couples, deciding how to choose a wedding date requires military-style strategy. Things to consider include the availability of the following:
- the legal/religious officiants
- your most important suppliers, including venue
- key guests, especially those who live abroad
- Bank holidays / religious festivals / major cultural events, including sports finals (Meghan and Harry!)
- Family events, such as birthdays, pregnancy and other weddings
- Location and whether your guests get there
- Day of the week
Selecting the season may have a huge impact on the overall feel of the wedding. It impacts the ambiance through floristry and decor, the proportion of the day spent in- and outdoors, and the photography. I chatted to four industry experts to gauge their feeling on how to choose a wedding date.
* * * SPRING * * *
“The seasonal shades lend themselves beautifully to colour themes and the array of gorgeous blooms make choosing the perfect bouquet a dream scenario” – Liddy Goodrum Weddings
Planner (and Spring fanatic) Liddy Goodrum thinks this season is ideal for a UK wedding: “Spring is on the horizon, and I just adore spring weddings. The seasonal shades lend themselves beautifully to colour themes and the array of gorgeous blooms make choosing the perfect bouquet a dream scenario. You’re guaranteed some sunshine, without worrying about becoming too hot in your dress or your make-up running. When it comes to wedding dress shopping, your options for spring weddings are endless. I love seeing brides in pretty vintage dresses with a shot of spring colour via carefully-chosen accessories.” Spring is also the time of new life and reawakening in nature, which fits perfectly with the sentiment of marriage.
Liddy Goodrum, holding a pink bouquet, as featured on her Instagram
Bridal accessories designer Lucy Stevens, founder of Lucibelle, is a dedicated romantic. She argues the summer season is the best time of year to get married. Us Brits love nothing more than to get outdoors for a celebration: “A summer wedding brings long, warm evenings where guests can mingle outside amongst scented flowers. I love the sound of chatter and laughter out in the open. Inspired by nature, there are plenty of UK flowers available this time of year. A few of my favourites are sweetpea, lavender and cornflowers.” It’s a timeless, elegant scene, well-represented by Lucy’s classic crystal and pearl jewellery and hairpieces. The green lawn, the ringing of bells, gentle birdsong – for me, summer offers potential for the most joyous of British weddings. One fear many brides-to-be have about summer weddings is that their wedding will clash with their guests’ summer vacations. But rest assured, it’s not unusual to advise your guests a year in advance with a ‘Save the Date’ card, so they can avoid a date clash.
A peach crystal tiara by Lucibelle, the perfect accompaniment to a bouquet of English roses at a British summertime wedding
* * * AUTUMN / WINTER * * *
Valentina Ring, Founder of The Stars Inside, puts forward a compelling case for an off-peak Autumn/Winter wedding. As a planner and stylist, she is well-placed to see the benefits of breaking from tradition and reaping the financial benefits as well as stylistic opportunities.
“celebrating your wedding in the Autumn or Winter is a fantastic way of bringing costs down and receiving much better value for money” – Valentina Ring, The Stars Inside
“Embracing the changing of the seasons and celebrating your wedding in the Autumn or Winter is a fantastic way of bringing costs down and receiving much better value for money,” Valentina begins. “Venues and suppliers are likely to charge very differently in mid or low season, and may even be promoting special deals in order to even out their year’s workload: it may be that your dream venue is all booked and out of budget in Summer, but well within budget and available in Winter! From a weather point of view, looking later in the year means that you know what you’ll get, and you can plan for the cold temperatures by finding a venue whose forte is their stunning indoor spaces & log fires, rather than their gardens; then, whether you get snow or sun, it’ll all just be an added bonus – and no need to anxiously watch the forecast every day!”
“Some other great advantages are: the foodie festive mood that everyone is in in the run up to Christmas, the fact that you won’t be competing with your guests’ summer holidays, the gorgeous dark colours of the leaves and textures of bare ivy creepers, and the shorter days making it feel like evening parties can start earlier! Finally, marrying later in the year also means that your honeymoon is likely to fall in winter, which is a perfect time to visit the wonderful sights of the Southern Hemisphere. Oh, and let’s not forget – bridal capes!”
* * * DESTINATION WEDDING * * *
“A few perks include the amazing holiday vibe that your guests get into, which sets off the wedding in such a fantastic way.” – Lucy White, Wiskow & White
Of course, there is another option, as Lucy White of destination planners Wiskow & White explains: “As much as I do love the UK, for it is my home, getting away offers so much more when it comes to a wedding. A few perks include the amazing holiday vibe that your guests get into, which sets off the wedding in such a fantastic way.” It is a vital point. Everyone is going to feel special having been transported away from home and into a fresh, exciting environment. “Then there’s the incredible potential of using locally-sourced food and wine, which can be really good value too. Obviously there’s the weather. While it can rain in Southern European destinations or the Caribbean, it is very likely to be warm and give you that beautiful backdrop, light for photos, ease of logistics and most importantly a stress free day for you and your guests!”
- Do you dream of warmth on your wedding day? Photo by Marta Guenzi.
Is there a conclusion here? Not especially, as with every aspect of a wedding it is a totally personal preference. My husband and I chose September. We decided a wedding at the end of London Fashion Week (my busiest working time) would be a brilliant fortnight to honeymoon. We didn’t want any stress about the weather, so therefore chose an indoor venue. For us, it was perfect, and now means our anniversary is conveniently timed for just out-of-season mini-breaks. I’d love to hear when and why you have chosen your wedding date. What were the successes of the date you selected?
The Stars Inside Instagram is an interactive treasure trove of inspiration, and highly demonstrative of her precise attention to detail and artistic eye.
Wiskow & White’s Instagram is a beautiful and informative source of inspiration for destination weddings, specifically for couples with Italy in mind.