::What is the best day and time of the year to get married in the south?::

I think we all know that Saturday is the most coveted wedding day, yes? But in Austin, Saturdays book so far in advance that couples almost have to find a venue before they even get engaged these days. I know you feel weird about that so factoring in our southern geography, let’s explore other options by looking at the pros and cons of varying days, seasons, holidays and even approach the idea of a brunch wedding. Truth be told, some of the other options are actually my favorite for couples. In some ways, they are better suited for certain personalities whether that be for the planning phase or the day itself.

Take it or leave it- at the end of the day, when you decide to get married is a personal decision. What is not a personal decision is how the date you choose may impact your guests so if you pick a time that requires added guest consideration (weather plans for example), you need to be serious about your budget and accommodating their needs or they will leave early… or not come at all. And maybe you are okay with that, just know it and make that decision now rather than be surprised by it later.

FRIDAY WEDDING

PROS:

·       It may cost less.

·       Gets you off on your honeymoon with less rushing.

·       Or, allows you to spend the weekend with guests.

CONS:

·       Even local guests typically have to take half days at work.

·       Guests tend to be tired after a long day at work.

Tip for success:

Plan an after party because there definitely will be people ready to go out given they will have a leisurely Saturday morning ahead. This is less costly than paying your vendors for an hour or two of party time when half the guests have left.

Photo by Amber Kelley

Photo by Amber Kelley

SUNDAY WEDDING

PROS:

·       It may cost less.

·       You have the full weekend to relax and ease into it, which can mean fewer days off of work for you.

CONS:

·       TABC laws can interfere with alcohol deliveries.

·       Guests typically leave earlier.

·       Guests that are flying in will have to take more time off of work. Taking a Friday off is typically easier than taking a Monday off.

·       Rushed to the honeymoon if taking one right away.

Tip for success:

Plan for an earlier start time so you feel like you got the full value of an event.

Photo by AL Gawlik 

Photo by AL Gawlik 

HOLIDAY WEEKEND WEDDING (OR NOV-JAN)

PROS:

·       Less rushed.

·       More time with family and friends.

·       Less time off of work.

·       Depending on the holiday, like Christmas, places are already decorated. (some love this)

CONS:

·       Likely more expensive, even on a Friday or Sunday. Vendors charge overtime, flowers are in high demand, etc.

·       Asking guests to forgo their yearly traditions.

·       Anniversaries are masked by holidays.

·       Depending on the holiday, like Christmas, places are already decorated (some hate this).

·       Financial stress for guests: travel and accommodations will be higher and holidays are typically met with other family costs.

·       Vendors are difficult to communicate with during certain seasons- for example, if doing a wedding in December, you lose the full week of Thanksgiving which doesn’t seem like much but it’s all about timing. That’s a critical month, losing days is hard. If getting married in early January, you are essentially losing 3 weeks as vendors are off the radar for an additional two weeks around Christmas and New Years. They’ve just come off of busy season, they are exhausted and they just don’t care about anything but the holidays- which means returning is a little foggy and they aren’t ‘at their best’ again until mid-January. Just being honest.

Photo by Justin Douglas 

Photo by Justin Douglas 

BRUNCH WEDDINGS

My personal favorite!

PROS:

·       Far more relaxing.

·       Likely less cost.

·       Compatible with spending time with loved ones.

CONS:

·       Early start to a day.

·       Not a ‘party’ atmosphere though, don’t dismiss dancing, some good classics will get a little fun in the mix.

Tip for success:

Consider an evening dinner as well. Just a restaurant, no need for décor or vendors, but another time to see everyone after you’ve spent the afternoon with your husband!

SPRING WEDDINGS

PROS:

·       Full day of light (after time change in March).

·       Nice temperatures- be mindful of rain.

CONS:

·       Peak season- higher cost, vendors in high demand and hard to get.

SUMMER WEDDINGS

PROS:

·       Low season – lower cost (unless outside because it is SO hot that vendors sometimes charge for the added toll that takes on them).

·       Best of the best vendor picks as there is little competition.

·       Less likely to rain.

CONS:

·       Vendors may be slow to communicate in those final months as they are a little scattered with traveling and catching their breath from busy season.

·       HOT. Outdoor weddings in these months are just rude. If you must, please provide a LOT of water and nutritional calories to both your guests AND your vendors.

FALL WEDDINGS

PROS:

·       Nice temperatures- be mindful of rain.

·       Full day of light (until the time change in November).

CONS:

·       Football season. Baseball playoffs and World Series. Silly that I put this at the top? Nope. People get really pissed about this. Like mad. And then they literally sit and watch the game on their phone at your wedding when you spent about $300 a head to get them there. I know we think we are more special than football and we are… but when dates impact a large group of people, that means something, too.

·       Peak season- higher cost, vendors in high demand and hard to get.

Photo by Debra Gulbas

Photo by Debra Gulbas

WINTER WEDDINGS

PROS:

·      Lower demand, easier for shorter engagements to find a venue and vendor.

·      Romantic.

CONS:

·      Can be super cold, needs to be inside. Heaters just don’t help unless standing right by them.

·      If you have a guest list primarily coming from northern states, they can get snowed in. I’ve had half a guest list cancel the day before the wedding for this reason in December once.

·      Terrible daylight hours after November time change which mean early starts and early ends. Early starts make Fridays impossible. Winter weddings are typically 4pm-10pm- give or take half an hour on the front end. Don’t push past 10pm. I promise you’ll be wasting your money- throw an after party.