A season to wed

There’s no question, July and August are the most popular months for weddings. 6 out of 6 of my first wedding enquiries this year have been for those two summer months. If you’re hankering after an outdoor humanist wedding, or are hoping to serve a hog roast in the balmy evening at your reception you might think you HAVE to choose one of these 8 weekends most likely to guarantee warmth and sunshine. You might just LOVE summer, the brightly coloured exotic blooms, the long days, the happy childhood memories of frolicking through long grass and jumping on hay bales. Your choice might be practical and connected to your honeymoon dates. I’ve nothing at all against summer weddings, but here’s some food for thought about the more neglected seasons.

SPRING

If you ask me, seasons in Britain are a matter of personal taste.I adore the spring. For me, there is nothing that beats that feeling of gardens coming to life, the relief and excitement shared by the birds, the bees, and the trees. Nothing beats the fresh smell of spring air, the urge nature gives you to clear out the clutter, and to start exercising more. I love the spring weather. Being an April baby my birthday has known snow, amazing sunshine, and many rainbows.There is something quintessentially English that is captured by springtime. Particular garden flowers, a particular air, a particular call to nostalgia, as if spring was the fuzzy round cornered 80s snap to summer’s pristine and crisp high definition shot. While every summer we heap our hopes up of mediterraneanesque glory only to complain when the British weather doesn’t live up to our dreams (or that it’s too hot); spring encourages us to roll with the punches, take it like a Brit, and come rain or shine, wed outdoors, party like its 1999 with wellies and umbrellas. Chances are, if you pick a day in spring for your wedding you will get a mix of sunshine and showers. To my mind, this is less depressing than an August day promising non-stop sun and delivereing non-stop drizzle and grey skies. If you’ve got your heart set on marrying outdoors, you have two options: draw up a contingency plan for wet weather; or screw up Plan B and get wet. Getting drenched might actually be the most romantic thing you’ve ever done.

AUTUMN

We all love the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, and the auburn beauty of avenues of turning trees. Autumn gives us some of the most gorgeous late afternoon dappled light when those last rays of sun hit your face to remind you that it’s still there. As the weather changes, what could be more romantic than cosying up with your new spouse, snuggling red-cheeked in front of the first open fires of the year. Autumn is the season of plenty, of bounty, of harvest – the perfect recipe for a wedding feast. If you’re not overly keen on a strapless dress anyway, why not consider the vastly enhanced options for autumn and winter brides? Shrugs, fitted bridal coats, long-sleeved dresses, wedding boots. Don’t try to conform to the cliches of a summer wedding if you’re marrying out of summer. Think about what is appropriate to the weather, and the changed natural scenery.

WINTER

If you’ve seen Love Actually you’ll know what I mean by winter romance. Falling snow, candles and fairy lights twinkling and reflecting and glistening pure angelic white, ice sculptures, vodka ice bars, ice hotels, eskimo hats, ice skating, everyone in the christmas spirit of giving, hugging, eating and dancing. Sparkle sparkle sparkle! Lots and lots of couples get engaged over Christmas and New Year because it’s a very romantic and momentous time of year. Things come to a head. You are filled with a sense of hope and possibility. It’s a natural time of change in our lives, when you wouldn’t just be entering a symbolically new beginning with each other once as husband and wife, you would be entering a really new beginning, by entering a brand new year. The brilliant thing about this earth is that where there is winter there is also summer. You just have to go down under. So why not consider a honeymoon in the lower hemisphere? South Africa, South America, New Zealand? Likewise, marry in the autumn and you can honeymoon in someone else’s spring.

I hope I’ve shown that giving a bit more thought to which season to marry in can throw up some really fun wedding theme ideas. There are also practical reasons to get married out of summer. It might save you a lot of money. This goes for venues, all suppliers, and honeymoons. It opens up food options – choose the food that’s in season and can be sourced locally for a feel good, top quality, interesting twist on the trad wedding breakfast. Your flowers will look better if you opt for those in season and grown in Britain. Much better to have healthy, affordable, blooming flowers than poor, drooping, not quite right imported flowers. The beauty of wedding planning is in seeing the different elements blend together in perfect harmony. This is easy to achieve if you follow this one golden rule and go seasonal and go local! Choose food and drink that is in season and it will never look out of place. These guiding principles can help you acheive a really stand out wedding. Guests love to be surprised by difference, by the little touches. Consider commissioning small pieces for your wedding by local artisans. Be it rings made with local metal or stones, the wedding jewellery, or gifts, the Bride and Groom’s glass charms, a sculpture, carving, or stained glass piece. You will treasure bespoke one off pieces that featured as part of your ceremony or reception long after your wedding, far more dearly than items any Bride and Groom can buy at wedding shops on the High Street. Give some thought to the little things, and they might turn out to be the things that really matter. You might go to 6 weddings during the ‘wedding season’ so make yours stand apart from the crowd. Choose your season, and then choose your date.

Congratulations to all those newly engaged couples who are just setting out on their wedding planning adventures!