Once you’ve gotten engaged and set your budget, it’s time to think about when and where you’ll be tying the knot. Your venue is a big ticket item, so deciding where to have your wedding will really determine how much money you have left to spend on the rest of the event. As you’re doing your research, you might be asking yourself whether choosing a different month might help bring that cost down—when is “wedding season,” anyways?—and it’s a good thought! Our experts are here to fill you in on whether certain times of year are cheaper, venue-wise, than others.
Wedding venues definitely have a peak wedding season and low season. In general, wedding season months begin in late spring and continue through early fall and are therefore the most expensive, with weddings peaking in June and September. Winter, on the other hand, is often much cheaper—unless it’s December, when you’ll find yourself competing with company holiday parties and other non-wedding events for those much-desired dates.
Of course, the region where your venue is located will have a huge impact on when the prices rise and fall.
In the Midwest, South, and Southwest, summer months (July and August) are considered off-peak because few people want to deal with those regions’ scorching temperatures—meaning you may be sweaty, but a late July wedding in Phoenix will be on the more affordable side.
Alternatively, brides in the mountainous West love those summer months, as the lack of humidity and higher altitude make outdoor weddings incredibly comfortable, and mountain states offer a plethora of activities to keep guests entertained during June, July, and August. If you’re considering a mountain wedding, look at spring and fall dates. Spring is less desirable, as the snow melt (and chance of late season snow) makes a wedding al fresco a little tricky, but fall can be quite comfortable—and the changing colors of the trees is a stunning backdrop! A bride on a budget should skip winter (especially if her venue of choice is at a ski resort), as hotel rooms and travel prices skyrocket again as mountain towns fill up during ski season.
On the East Coast, late spring and early fall are prime wedding time. Summers are hot and humid (though waterfront weddings benefit from a lovely ocean breeze), and winters can be incredibly cold and snowy. If you’re prepared to face the chill (or have your ceremony and reception in the same hotel where your guests are staying, meaning no one has to go outside), you may be able to score a deal in January, February, and March.
And it’s not just the venues that can be more affordable. Based on the law of supply and demand, many vendors also offer lower prices or are open to negotiation during seasons when their business is slow. Don’t go in expecting a huge discount (your vendors deserve to be paid for their work!), but ask if there is any wiggle room given the date of your wedding.
Last, an off-season wedding will be a big money-saver for your guests, too. If they’re traveling to your wedding during a time that isn’t the destination’s high season, flights and hotel rooms will be nowhere near their peak. Of course, just keep an eye out for local events in the area, as well as holidays on the same weekend. Avoid major conventions, important sporting events, and major holidays, and your guests will be able to reap the off-season benefits!