What's the Best Season for Your Wedding?
One of first (and most important!) steps of wedding planning is setting a date, which basically means booking a wedding venue for a particular day and time. But before you can pick a wedding date and a venue, you'll need to take a long, hard look at the calendar and narrow down the 365 choices (yes, weekday weddings are definitely a thing!) to a few dates that work for you, your future spouse and your loved ones. To do this, we recommend focusing your attention on a particular season and year. Of course, the time of the year you choose for your special day can be determined by a lot of factors—how long you want your engagement to be, your work schedules, family availability and more—and each season has its own advantages and disadvantages. Ready to choose the best season for your wedding day? We're here to help you decide.
For the past several years, fall has been the most popular time of year for weddings. According to The Knot Real Wedding Study, in 2021, 40% of weddings took place during the fall season, with October being the most popular month for nuptials. In fact, the top five most popular wedding dates in 2021 took place during the fall. While the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic likely had something to do with the overwhelming popularity of autumn weddings in 2021, we anticipate that fall will remain the top season in 2022 and beyond.
Why are fall weddings trending right now? Well, first and foremost, it offers some of the best weather. In much of the country, it's not too hot and not too cold, making it ideal for outdoor weddings (though depending on your wedding location, early fall can pose a risk of hurricanes). And of course, the gorgeous and colorful fall foliage makes a stunning backdrop for wedding photos.
From a scheduling perspective, there aren't a lot of major holidays in the fall, making it easy to find dates that are available and convenient for a majority of guests. And because the fall isn't a peak time of year for travel, it's a great time to host a destination wedding abroad.
However, the fall's overwhelming popularity may be a disadvantage to some. Because the fall is peak wedding season, venues and vendors book up quickly at this time of year, especially on the limited weekend dates. This shouldn't be a problem if you're planning your wedding with a year or more to spare, but if you're considering a shorter timeline, you might want to think about a less in-demand season or a weekday for a less competitive wedding planning process.
The summer months come with warm weather and a relaxed vibe, perfect for a wedding. And according to the Real Wedding Study, 37% of weddings in 2021 took place in the summertime, so clearly couples are clamoring to host weddings (and not just beach weddings!) in the warmer months.
Part of what makes summer weddings so special is that people are already in vacation mode—whether it's students or those in the education field having the summer off, offices having summer Fridays or just a greater flexibility for scheduling vacations. This makes hosting and attending a wedding weekend even more doable for your loved ones. However, people may have longstanding summer travel plans already in place, so be sure to send your save the dates ASAP so guests can schedule accordingly.
The downside to hosting a summer wedding? While the warm weather may seem like a plus, in many parts of the country, temperatures are just too hot for a comfortable outdoor wedding ceremony and afternoon thunderstorms are common. Our recommendation? If you're planning on getting married in the summer, make sure you have an indoor Plan B at the ready just in case Mother Nature doesn't cooperate for your outdoor event.
Springtime marks the start of peak wedding season, which traditionally runs from May to October. In 2021, 18% of weddings took place during the springtime—a bit lower as compared with past years, but that's likely because of COVID concerns. It's likely springtime will rise in popularity in 2022, as we're predicting two of the top five most popular wedding dates will take place in late spring—May 21st and June 18th, 2022.
Spring is a beloved season for weddings for symbolic reasons. Many people equate the springtime with new beginnings and romance. Of course, the blossoming trees and flowers make spring weddings (and their photos!) particularly picturesque. And after a long winter of staying indoors, people are excited to celebrate happy occasions with loved ones.
Of course, the season does come with some downfalls. In the northern half of the U.S., the weather in early spring can be a bit volatile (hello, cold temps and April showers!), making outdoor weddings a bit of a gamble. And there are quite a few holiday weekends in the spring—Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Mother's Day and more, that may make scheduling a bit tricky.
In much of the country, the winter months are considered the wedding off-season, meaning not a lot of weddings are held during this time of year. In fact, according to the Real Wedding Study, just 5% of weddings in 2021 were held during the winter season (specifically, January and February were the least popular wedding months of the year for nuptials).
However, there are still lots of advantages to hosting a winter wedding. While the cold weather may not be conducive to an outdoor wedding, an indoor wedding can create an intimate and cozy vibe that's oh-so romantic. And we've found that guests really relish winter weddings—the winter months can feel dark and lonely, and people are even more excited to gather and celebrate together during this time of year. And there's lots of room for creative and fun ideas in the winter (hot cocoa bars and warm blanket favors, please!).
Because the wintertime isn't traditionally a popular time of year for weddings, wedding venues and vendors may have more availability in the winter—and you might even score some savings with off-peak rates.
True, the cold weather and potential for snowstorms in certain parts of the country may make winter weddings less appealing. And yes, there are a LOT of holidays to contend with, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and more. But don't let that stop you from considering a winter wedding—who wouldn't want to celebrate love on New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day?