"Wait!" I hear you cry. "This isn't feasible for me! I live in Alaska/North Dakota/Maine! It gets really cold and snowy, you have no idea!" I really do sympathize. I grew up in rural New England and I now live in the midwest, so I am no stranger to unpredictable weather. I'd like to encourage you to consider, however, November or April, or keep your eyes peeled for a bargain date in late October or early May.
Some things to consider:
How much do you really care about getting married outside? Really, honestly. Ponder it for a moment. Picture it in your head. If you are firmly wedded (...er) to being married outside with the wind in your hair and the sun shining down, this whole November-April thing may not be your cup of tea. But if you've been wavering between outside and another setting, read on ...
This would be a real chance to stand out! Honestly. How many weddings have you seen that have a beach/summer/wildflowers/pastel colors theme to them? Those are lovely, of course. But imagine how striking a fall or winter wedding could be, working with rich, warm colors, and evoking the natural drama of winter weather. I've included some eye-candy from photos of a Minnesota winter wedding to drive this point home:
You could go elegant, snow-themed and glowing...gourds and leaves, cornucopias...you could evoke the first signs of spring, tulips and crocuses! The possibilities are endless!
Last, but not least, for those of you who are reading this for the frugality, I present the numbers:
In this article from MSN, a few key pieces of information can be extracted:
- only 5% of the weddings in the U.S. take place in January
- fixed costs per guest at banquet facilities can drop 20-50% between January and March
- Example: the Meeting House Grand Ballroom in Plymouth, Mich. has a $2300 discount (for a 200-guest wedding) between January and March, $2000 from the switch to "Friday prices" and $300 from the ceremony fee
- Couples can save up to 50% - I don't know where they got this figure, so it makes me twitchy, but I'll quote it anyway!
- Beware Christmas weddings! No, not Christmas-themed weddings - weddings right around Christmas! Their expert notes that this can drive the price right back up. Also, consider that many churches may have decorations up in the sanctuary or fellowship halls, and altering them could raise the cost!
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?