Off peak weddings...the pros and cons
'Wedding season' used to be from late March until early September, with all the other months classed as off-peak, however, with the British summer time lasting more in to the early autumn, the off peak season has diminished slightly. You're really looking at a November, December, January or February wedding.
Chances are if you're looking off peak, you are hoping to have a smaller budget requirement for your nuptials, and for many wedding suppliers, off peak weddings do have lower prices but before you greenlight your November big day, check out our list of pros and cons...
This is a biggie. With the average wedding costing a whopping £15,000 many couples are opting for celebrations that are more modest. If you are set on a high end venue, caterer or photographer, choosing a 'low season' wedding means that you don't have to compromise on your vision. Be aware however, that over the Christmas period many hotels and venues are actually closed so having a wedding during this time could be MORE expensive, as you have to pay premium rates for staff.
Ok, so a beautiful sunny day in the wedding photographs is lovely, but the drama of a thunderstorm can't be rivalled. Obviously, you can't predict the weather, but even a down pour offers a moment of beauty with a bride and groom cosy under an umbrella (cue Rhianna's song...) (thanks to Bridle Photography for the photo)
Because there aren't as many bookings in off peak seasons, you'll have your pick of the bunch! Places that are booked months, even years, in advance are more likely to be available. The Italian Villa and Highcliffe Castle make for imposing and escapist venues, whilst The Silent Woman Inn offer a cosy intimate venue. You can even be more quirky with your choice and look at local restaurants too!
No Clashing Weddings There is a time of year where you feel like every month you're attending a wedding - which is fab as a guest, but what if you clash with a friend or family member? By opting for a wedding late or early in the year you find that other than Christmas and New Year's, the calendar is much more workable!
Yeah, we know, it's a pro and a con! But extreme weather is a hazard for winter weddings - storms, snow and flooding are all risks. Be prepared with wellies, warm cover-ups and indoor locations for photographs - and speak to your venue about what happens in worst-case scenarios...Wedding insurance should be on your list too!
No Marquees Well, you can actually have a marquee wedding in the winter, but you must think about access (if it's a field it might be frozen, muddy or inaccessible due to snow) and keeping your guests warm. Heaters are available, so it's not impossible, but should be planned with every detail considered.
Christmas A festive wedding is a fabulous event - people are merry and most have time off from work - but they're also pretty booked up with family events, Christmas parties and well, Christmas itself. If you want a wedding close to Christmas Day, make sure you send save the dates well in advance to avoid double-booked guests!
Mmm-hmmm. That's right, the cost can actually work out MORE than peak season if you pick a special date, like Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve or Valentine's Day. That's because venues tend to have their own events running, or staff holidays so they either need to match their potential income or pay overtime, so don't forget to ask what premium days are when looking at a venue.
There is no doubt about it, a wedding in an off-peak season brings a lot of fun to a long, dreary few months, so if you are thinking about booking for a neglected month, we wish you all the best with bringing wedding day happiness to your SAD-affected friends!