Planning a New England Wedding in Any Season

We've broken down the year to help you plan your New England wedding no matter when it is.
by Caitlin Moscatello

Spring

Weather:

While you might luck out with a 70-degrees-and-sunny day, spring can still be chilly. Check the forecast a few days before and set up a backup plan of indoor locations (or attire) with your photographer if it's going to be cold or rainy.


Best time of day to take photos:

Plan on heading outside around 5 p.m. (or even later; say, around 6 p.m. in late spring). Your best bet: Check WeatherChannel.com to find out when the sun will set, and schedule your photos for a half hour before.


Look out for:

Graduation weekend. In May, college towns like Providence and Amherst become overrun with proud parents and celebrating grads. Traffic picks up, hotels also tend to book up early, and guests from out of town could have trouble getting dinner reservations at local hot spots.


Must-have:

Cute rain photos. Okay, we don't want it to rain on your wedding day. Really, we don't. But photo shoots during a light shower can be really sweet with the right gear (and a good photographer). Think reflection shots in the puddles. If the forecast calls for a wet day, pick out some cute umbrellas for your bridal party -- and some brightly colored rain boots for you.

Summer

Weather:

When summer rolls around you can finally skip the coat check. Tented weddings, beach ceremonies and clambakes are all the rage.


Best time of day to take photos:

It starts to get dark anywhere from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. depending on the month and your exact location -- not to mention weather conditions (a summer thunderstorm can suck all the light out of midday). Ideally, shoot while the sun is still above the horizon, because once it starts to set, it moves quickly.


Look out for:

Beach traffic. If you're getting married near Newport or Cape Cod, be prepared for inbound jams on Friday nights and all day on Saturdays. Also check for events that might attract big crowds, like Waterfire in Providence or Newport's annual jazz festival.


Must-have:

Lobster prints -- whether they're on the groomsmen's ties or your cocktail napkins. Nothing says summertime in New England like some pretty crustacean swag.

Fall

Weather:

One word: foliage. New England is gorgeous in the fall. Just be prepared with a light sweater or shawl in early October and a just-in-case coat for any time after.


Best time of day to take photos:

In the fall, it's important to pay attention to when it starts to get dark. Late afternoon and early evening is still ideal for photos, so think around 6 p.m. in September and more like 4 p.m. in November.


Look out for:

Even though hurricanes don't rip through New England that often, the area does get hit with tropical storms. If you're getting married in September or October, keep an eye on the forecast and make sure you have indoor locations scouted in case of torrential downpours -- and you might need extra permits for certain photo locations.


Must-have:

Photos with beautiful leaves in the background and also ones in front of brick, ivy-covered buildings. Another favorite: If you're having a fall beach wedding, have your bridal party wear shawls in autumn hues and pose on the sand at sunset.

Winter

Weather:

Cold, cold, snow, ice and more cold. You'll definitely need a coat -- and hat and gloves -- check.


Best time of day to take photos:

It gets dark super-early in the winter, so if you want outdoor photos make sure to get them in before 4 p.m. -- and even earlier in December and early January. And don't get discouraged by the snow. It's almost like a giant reflector because all the white bounces off and reflects light, making for some very cool photo effects.


Look out for:

Icy roads. Some historic venues can be hard to get to, and parking can be a problem if the roads have recently been plowed.


Must-have:

Photos playing in the snow (whether it's for your engagement photo shoot or on your wedding day). Add some classic New England elegance by wearing a fur muff, and keep your wedding party warm with matching scarves.

Special thanks to Sharyn Peavey of Sharyn Peavey Photography, Elizabeth Horne of Elizabeth Horne Photography, Pamela Price of Price Images, Rupert Whiteley of Rupert Whiteley Photography, Lisa Frechette of Lisa Frechette Photography and Melissa Coe of Melissa Coe Photography

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