Mango’s Guide: How To Choose a Wedding Date

Securing a wedding date is the first and the most important step in your wedding planning process. After all, everything from your venue to your wedding photographer, your florist to your wedding planner will have to revolve around that date. How crazy is that?

There are so many factors that go into choosing a date that is perfect for you. It can be based on a season, a special date, your wedding venue’s availability or the availability of your close family and friends. Remember: you and your partner will celebrate this date for the rest of your life, so pick a date mindfully! Your wedding photographs, the only tangible memory from your wedding, will be hugely affected by your date and season. But not to worry! From awe-inspiring winter fairytale weddings that left us speechless to super fun summer celebrations by the pool, here at Mango Studios our photographers have tons of experience shooting weddings regardless of the season or weather conditions.

Now, each season comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. Depending on what season you choose, your wedding day theme, colours and even the menu will have to be altered accordingly. I asked around our photography team at the studio and compiled a list of all the pros and cons. I hope it’ll help you to make the best decision and settle on a wedding date that is not only special, but also results in a beautiful wedding day photographs.

Summer

Who doesn’t love summer? Long, sunny days, warm nights and spectacular weather are just a few of the summer’s pros. However, people tend to forget unbearable heat and higher vendor rates that tend to come along with it thanks to its popularity.

Pros:

  • Long, sunny days: There are about 9 hours of sun on a summer day depending on where you live. It makes for great flexibility when it comes to planning your wedding day timeline. With more sunny hours, you can have your wedding portraits taken at any hour!
  • Warm summer nights: With a summer wedding, you don’t have to worry about your guests getting cold in the night. The weather is comfortable enough to get the dancing to the whole new level and beat that 4 a.m. dancing record.
  • Vacation season: Vacation season is in full swing, which means that even your Aunt Nanny who lives on the other side of the country will get to make it to your wedding.
  • Variety of flowers: If you’ve been obsessing over that peony bridal bouquet on Pinterest, you’re lucky! Because in summer, pretty much any flower is in season.

Cons:

  • Heat: There’s nothing worse than seeing a frustrated bride sweat through her makeup. Be aware of high temperatures and schedule your outdoor portraits and ceremony until late afternoon to save yourself and your guests from a summer heat.
  • Higher rates: With so many weddings happening in summer, this season is on fire! Venues and vendors will have to put a cap on how many weddings they can take on and charge a higher rate. The law of supply and demand at work, ladies and gentlemen!
  • Vacation season: Avid summer vacationers may have already made plans to travel abroad, so that Aunt Nancy I mentioned earlier might not be able to watch you walk down the aisle after all. Send Save-the-Dates early in order to avoid the attendance drop.
  • Harsh summer light: Having plenty of sun during your portrait session is great, but not to the point where the light is too harsh. Be mindful of that and schedule your photo session late in the day. After all, you’ll remember the day by the photos, so make sure all conditions are good.

Fall

Fall foliage is my favourite thing. It gets so pretty in the Fall, that it might as well be my personal favourite wedding season. However, the constant rain and a drop in temperature make me think twice.

Pros:

  • Milder temperatures: A rustic, Fall outdoor barn wedding? Done. It’s not that hot anymore and your outdoor wedding dreams may still be fulfilled as long as you have your wedding scheduled before mid-October.
  • Fall foliage: Mother Nature shows off all her beauty in Fall. Your Fall wedding photos will be jaw-dropping and the talk of the town for many years to come.
  • Cutting down the cost: To be honest, Fall is so pretty you can use the nature around you to be your wedding decoration and save. Add some darker colour palette into your bouquet, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful wedding and you might be able to get a bit of a discount with different vendors. Though fall is becoming more and more popular you may still be able to get some deals.
  • Variety of food options: When it comes to harvesting, Fall can’t be beat. Use it to your advantage and set up a wedding menu that uses locally grown products harvested in Fall. From hearty root vegetables to juicy fruits, there is no shortage of all sorts of yummy!

Cons:

  • Weather: Fall might get pretty unpredictable, so stack up some nice looking umbrellas for your bridal party and guests. With rainy season approaching, prepare yourself mentally for some Fall showers.
  • Cooler temperatures: Don’t cut costs on blankets and heaters if you’re having an outdoor or a barn wedding in Fall. Cooler temperatures also mean scheduling your portraits earlier in the day to avoid having cold feet during your bridal creative.
  • Financial implications: After summer vacations and school tuitions approaching, some of your guests might be strapped for cash in Fall.  While you certainly shouldn’t choose your wedding season based on the gifts you’ll receive, be aware of that and adjust your expectations.
  • Indoor locations: Fall weddings tend to be held at indoor locations, and finding them this season might get a bit problematic. If you set your mind on a specific indoor venue, make sure to book it far in advance.

Winter

Your already perfect day is amplified with a dreamy winter snowfall. If you can brave the cold, you’re surely to benefit from all the great things winter weddings have to offer!

Pros:

  • Lower rates: Winter is a dead season in the wedding industry in Toronto. Use it to your advantage and enjoy some pretty good deals when it comes to venues and vendor packages in the wintertime.
  • Winter fairytale: If you’re lucky to get snow on your wedding day, it’ll make for incredibly beautiful wedding photographs. Colours just pop against the snowy background, and the whole scene is filled with wintertime magic. Priceless!
  • Variety: Again, because winter is a slow season, you’ll have a wide array of venues and vendors to choose from. Paired with generally lower rates, you can finally make that entire Pinterest board come true!
  • Overcast: Winter sun is not that harsh and what I love about winter weddings is that you can shoot pretty much at any morning hour without worrying about harsh light. Just schedule your wedding portraits before 3 p.m. and you’ll be golden.

Cons:

  • Weather alerts: Transportation can get a bit tricky if there is a snow storm or icy rain. Check the weather forecast ahead of time and make sure to let your guests know about any road closures and transportation times.
  • Freezing temperatures: As much as I love winter photo shoots, there is only that much time you can endure below zero temperatures. That makes for shorter than usual photo sessions and lower amount of images taken overall.
  • Confined to indoor locations: All of the above keeps you sometimes confined within the outdoor location options, which might not have a lot of variety. It doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, but it’s something to keep in mind.
  • Holiday season: When you’re settling on your winter date, keep in mind it’s the Holidays you’re competing with. Expect that many of your guests could be traveling home — in the opposite direction of your wedding — leaving you with a gift in the mail rather than their physical presence.

Spring

While allergy season and unpredictable weather swings might be serious drawbacks, it’s cherry blossoms and nature’s awakening that make me fall in love with Spring weddings over and over again.

Cons:

  • Unpredictable weather: Spring is gambling season when it comes to the weather forecast. What can start as a perfect sunny day may end up being a thunderstorm in a blink of an eye. Keep that in mind and be ready for any possible weather scenarios.
  • Allergy season: Springtime brings out those pretty blooms, but can your nose, eyes and ears tolerate the allergens? If you’re prone to springtime allergies make sure to stock up on the antihistamines for yourself and your guests.
  • Springtime showers: Rain is common in the springtime, and I always advise my couples to prepare a nice pair of umbrellas not only for themselves but for the whole bridal party. While rain is never a problem for taking beautiful wedding pictures, it’s good to be prepared.
  • Higher prices: If you want to make every penny count, winter looks like your safest bet in terms of cutting costs with vendors. As Spring is the official beginning of the wedding season, some of your favourite vendors might already be booked, so make sure to plan your budget and time accordingly. You may still be able to get some deals during March 21- June 1st.

Pros:

  • Romance everywhere: Nothing beats seeing a cherry blossom after a long, cold winter. Springtime makes for the most romantic photographs and the nature is your best backdrop.
  • Great attendance: You’re not competing with major holidays and vacations aren’t in sight. Send out your invitations, and you can expect to receive lots of RSVPs in return.
  • Freedom to choose your dream wedding dress: Have you been drooling over that long-sleeves lace dress you saw the other day? You can wear it without fear of being too hot as it might be the case in the summer. From ball gowns to two-piece dresses, Spring is the perfect season to wear any type of outfit imaginable!
  • Perfect lighting conditions: Spring showers bring May flowers and the sky is still overcast. All of these translate into flawless wedding photographs, as the lighting is key to any wedding coverage.