Wedding planning can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. There are a lot of decisions to make, from choosing the perfect dress to finding the right venue. One decision that’s especially trying is choosing when to get married. Should you host a sunny outdoor ceremony or a wedding in the off-season?
According to The Knot, 80% of couples marry between May and October when the weather is more predictable, and this is especially true for Minnesota. As this is a busy time of year for many people, you may want to consider hosting your day between November and February or what’s considered off-peak for weddings. From price cuts to unique guest experiences, here are some of the benefits of having a wedding in the off-season.
Stretch Your Dollar
The classic rule of supply and demand works the same way for many wedding services. During peak season, vendors are in high demand and they can charge a premium for their offerings. This is especially true for venues, photographers, and planners. Some are booking out 18 months up to two years in advance!
This can be a great advantage to having an off-season wedding when many vendors slow down. Some will even offer “off-peak” pricing saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars and keeping their business thriving during the winter. If they don’t offer hard discounts, you may be in a position to ask for complimentary add-ons such as a free champagne toast, complimentary parking for guests, or an additional hour of photography, for example. This may not be something that is advertised so don’t be afraid to ask!
Keep in mind that this is not true for every one of your wedding services or for the entire season. Costs like flowers and food, for instance, are typically non-negotiable since these items require sourcing where prices are set. And if you want to have a holiday wedding — Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve — many vendors will actually charge a premium price so just be aware of the dates you’re looking at as well.
Another advantage of having a wedding in the off-season is that there is often more availability when it comes to venues and vendors. During peak wedding season, venues and vendors can book up quickly, leaving you with limited options. But during the winter months, you may have your pick of dates and locations.
The Twin Cities wedding market is actually quite competitive among venues and photographers, and some of these businesses have a booked calendar year-round. But, if you are willing to be flexible with dates, you may be able to score your dream venue!
Unique Experience for Guests
Having a wedding in the off-season can also give your wedding a unique atmosphere. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to take advantage of the natural beauty of the season. Consider an early November wedding day If you still want a bit of an autumnal vibe. Think of the fun fall color palette you can incorporate with moody tones and dried floral!
We also love the idea of a romantic winter wedding! Plush greenery with pine gives a stunning look next to bright red flowers. Picture a formal reception with guests in fur wraps gathering around a fireplace. You could even incorporate a hot chocolate bar for peak coziness.
Another advantage for guests is that airfare and accommodations are often at a lower price this time of year. If you have a lot of out-of-town family and friends flying in, this is something they will most definitely appreciate.
Guests will love that you’ve considered their schedules if you have a wedding in the off-season. We all know how busy summers can be, and it seems like every weekend is full before the warmer months even begin! This results in many scheduling conflicts leaving fewer guests able to RSVP “yes”.
With the exception of holidays, calendars are typically more open in the winter and early spring, and many of us are looking for any reason to leave the house. Why not have it be your wedding? Family and friends will surely be ready to celebrate.
Perfect Time to Honeymoon
As Minnesotans, we all know that getting away to a tropical destination is ideal in the wintertime. The weather in places like Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic is perfect with low rain and warm temperatures. Whereas in months like July or August, you might run into high temps with muggy weather and heavy rain.
If you do choose to get married in the summer or early fall, it is common that you might delay your honeymoon for a few months to ensure the best weather at your destination. But getting away immediately after your wedding day allows you to just enjoy each other’s company and revel in wedded bliss.
No matter which time of year you choose to have your wedding, we always suggest doing your research and planning a day that is representative of you as a couple. The day should be unique to you and an incredible team of vendors will help you do so.
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