Hello again! Recently, I discussed the struggle my fiancé and I had about deciding whether we did a destination or traditional wedding. After reviewing all the pros and cons of each, we finally decided that we wanted a traditional wedding. Now the big question is when do we want the wedding? As a wedding planner, I know that the month that you want a wedding is critical aspect in your budget and venue search. Here are a few tips to consider:
The least expensive months are November, January, February, March, and April. Not just for your venue, but for the majority of your vendors.
If you are trying to go environmentally friendly and locally conscience, your flowers and food will be determined by your wedding date.
The season you hold your wedding will influence your décor. It feels unnatural to do bright fun colors during the winter (but can be done). In addition, if are able to play off of nature (snow or cascading sunny views) to limit your own décor.
Outside vs Indoor – In Oregon your restricted to an indoor wedding from October through May. Even during the summer you will need a plan B for rain and extreme heat for an outdoor wedding.
Outdoor weddings can typically accommodate more people (for example vineyards) than most indoor. So if you are having a large wedding, you will limit your search if you choose to have your wedding during the rainy months.
Have a lot of out of town guests? Consider the weather when traveling. While Oregon has pretty mild winters, that is not the case for most of the country. You run a risk of your guests not being able to travel during winter months.
Where are you going on your honeymoon? Make sure the destination you choose won’t be in hurricane season when you arrive.
On your anniversary, you will likely want to get away/ take a vacation. Is that the “busy season” at your jobs? What about the kids? If the kids are in school, you might not be able to get away as easily (unless your parents are rock stars).
Are you putting your guest in an imposition if you have your wedding around the holidays? What about the 100 other weddings that they will attend during the summer? Are you asking them to give up their Memorial/ Labor Day weekend? If you have it around a holiday, expect less attendance.
The style of your wedding from everything from the formality to photos will be determined by the season as well. Do you want a black tie affair? You may want to consider an indoor non-summer wedding for the sake of your guests wearing their formal attire.
You may have noticed, I’ve been saying “season” or “month” and not “date” because you do not start by picking a date, you start by picking the month and the day of week you want. You do not have a wedding date until you have a venue. Once you’ve figured out that you want your wedding in July on a Saturday, then you start your venue search that can accommodate. As for me, I’ve seen it all and know that weather is an untamable beast so an outside wedding terrifies me. BUT, it’s not just my wedding. We are going to do an early summer wedding (so I can have tulips) in 2016 at a venue with indoor and outdoor options and a strong plan B in place.
I really wanted a woodland / garden-esc feel. After looking at Rhododendron Garden, Camp Colton, Abiqua Estate, Hordings Hideout, and Deepwood Estate we finally decided on Deepwood Estate. All of these were solid options and provided different benefits. Since our wedding is in May and considered “off season” we were able to get a significate discount and free use of a 100x40 foot tent (my plan B).