Winter vs. Summer Weddings: Which is Right for You?

After getting engaged, one of the first steps to take towards planning your wedding is to set a date. There are many factors to consider when deciding on a date, from venue availability to guests’ schedules. But one of the simplest questions you can start asking yourself is what season you’d like to get married.

winter wedding
Photo: Rebekah Westover

Summer and winter are two popular wedding seasons — and each one carries its own appeal and pitfalls. We asked wedding professionals for their best advice on picking the right time for your wedding. Here’s what they had to say.

Pros of a Winter Wedding:

"Having a winter wedding means cozying up by the fire and relaxing with your friends and family, but it can also bring other perks, like lower costs for venues, accommodations, travel, and more! If winter sports are your thing, make it part of your wedding theme and get everyone in on the fun. Spend a day skiing, boarding, tubing, or playing in the snow, and then gather everyone together for a warm winter feast with all of your favorite comfort foods to warm you all up." —Nora Sheils, Rock Paper Coin, Bridal Bliss

"A winter wedding may have less competition than a summer wedding for dates. This means venues may have more dates available, target vendors may have their dates available, and important guests like the wedding party and family members may have fewer conflicts that would keep them from attending." —Vijay Goel, Bite Catering Couture

"Winter weddings can be a great option for destination locations with hotter or humid summer weather. When thinking of a winter wedding, you will want to consider the location and weather for that time of year. A winter wedding in the southern US or in Mexico might provide ideal weather in the winter months." —Samantha Leenheer, House of Joy

Cons of a Winter Wedding:

"If you have guests flying in from other locations, they could potentially experience trouble with flights in the winter. Even if your wedding is not in a northern state, depending on where they are traveling from, they could experience significant flight delays if there happens to be a snowstorm." —Nikki Golden, Nikki Golden Photography

"There are some natural challenges to having a winter wedding, of course. Depending on where your wedding is, access to roads may be unavailable or unsafe to travel on if a sudden storm rolls in. Are there alternate routes to your destination? Can you hire a shuttle service to pick up all your guests and bring them to the venue simultaneously? Ensure your plans go as smoothly as possible by having a few plans in place, like asking guests to come up a day or two early to be sure they make it onsite." —Sheils

"Cold temperatures will also limit the availability and the use of certain flowers that are lighter in color and more delicate, as they will not be able to hold up in the cold. Winter months are ideal if your ceremony needs you to get married after sunset, as the daylight is shorter." —Leenheer

Pros of a Summer Wedding:

"Having a summer wedding opens up many options for planning couples, from locations to fun menu options, flowers, and fantastic weather! Have a beach wedding and build an experience for your friends and family at a resort where they can simultaneously relax and celebrate with you. Another pro of having a summer wedding are the endless color palette options you can use to choose your decor, wedding attire, and beyond. Have fun with your choices." —Sheils

"A summer wedding generally allows for indoor/outdoor choices. Due to warmer weather, you may be able to host the wedding either indoors or outdoors (this will depend heavily on local weather — summer is not a good time to have an outdoor wedding in, say, Phoenix). A warm summer night might be a fantastic time to add an outdoor dining or outdoor ceremony to the wedding itinerary.” —Goel

“More sunlight! In summer, you have so many hours of sunlight to play around with. This gives you an abundance of time for photos, so you don't have to get up so early to start hair and makeup." —Golden

Cons of a Summer Wedding:

"Summer is a popular time to get married, and you can have more competition with friends or family who may have multiple obligations throughout the summer." —Leenheer

"Summer weddings in certain geographies may mean that heat, humidity, and or insects may limit outdoor celebrations. This is where the thought of an outdoor wedding may intersect with the practical benefits of a climate-controlled tent for protecting things like the wedding cake. Make sure to look out at the predicted weather and trigger any backup plans as needed!” —Goel

"Hurricane Season. If you are getting married somewhere that could be affected by hurricanes, this is a huge consideration. As a Florida photographer, I have had my share of 'hurricane weddings,' and they add a significant amount of stress to the day." —Golden

Ultimately, the time when you choose to have a wedding will reflect your own personality and wishes as a couple. But by understanding the pros and cons of each season, you can plan for logistics ahead of time to ensure a smooth and easy wedding for everyone involved.