How to choose a Wedding Date
My couples often ask me how to choose the perfect wedding date so I’ve decided to write a blog about it. The UK is settled in a beautiful location that never suffers the wrath of the weather too much. We have downpours for weeks on end and the country occasionally gets shut down by snow but we don’t have to put up with extremes that other countries do. The temperature rarely drops below 0°C and it also rarely exceeds 30°C which keeps all the extreme weather away. This does mean though that the weather is pretty average across the year with a variation in temperature of about 20°C throughout the year.
The most important tool to a photographer is natural light, the more of it for longer makes the day a lot easier, it’s that simple. You may be surprised to hear that a clear blue sky with not a cloud in sight is not actually the perfect weather for your wedding date. Direct sunlight can create harsh shadows that are not flattering. Clouds diffuse the light and create soft light with hardly any shadows. So the best weather for a wedding is actually blue skies with a select number of puffy white clouds, who said learning wasn’t fun!
Matching Your Venue to Your Month
It’s important to pick a venue that benefits the wedding date that you have chosen. There’s no point picking a venue for a Winter wedding that has minimal space inside and a beautiful outside. Also if you visit a venue in the Spring and you plan to get married in the Autumn then don’t be surprised if it looks completely different. To avoid this I would suggest visiting your venue the year before at the exact time that you plan to get married the next year. To help with all of this I have summarised every season below to help you narrow the search.
Mar 06:30/17:45 8.0°C Apr 06:30/19:45 9.9°C May 05:30/20:30 13.3°C
Winter is gone, the clocks have gone forward and Summer is on it’s way but first we have possibly my favourite season of the year. Spring is a truly special time of year where the whole world seems to spring to life, we start to get lighter mornings and our days start to last a lot longer. The first plants start to blossom producing fantastic colours at most venues. The sun is not at it’s highest nor at it’s lowest, so I often find the light to be just right. We go through Easter holidays, May Bank Holidays and a May Half term. This extra time off is an attractive time of year to get married as it can sometimes fall outside of venues/suppliers premium wedding date charges and normally most of your family and friends are already off. April and May have a perfect sunset time of 19:45 and 20:30 giving you a great slot of time to capture some incredible photographs while the sun goes down, just before you get your “Rave On” on that dance floor.
Jun 04:45/21:15 16.2°C Jul 04:45/21:15 18.6°C Aug 05:30/20:45 18.6°C
With it’s long days and high average temperatures, Summer is by far the most popular season of the year to get married. During the Summer months the sun is at it’s highest position of all the seasons which can (dare I say it) give too much sunlight. Shadows appear their strongest and do so for a longer period of time as the sun makes what it appears to be a slower pass of our skies. Some venues and suppliers charge a premium for their services during Summer as these are there most popular months. If you are thinking of having a Summer wedding and you would like me to take your photographs then I strongly suggest that you contact me right away. You may think three months is a long time and that I’ll have a lot of availability but when you break it down that’s only 12 Saturdays and like other people, I do sometimes go away for a little rest.
Sep 06:15/19:45 15.9°C Oct 07:00/18:30 12.4°C Nov 07:00/16:30 8.7°C
We blink and Summer is over bringing us to my second favourite month, Autumn (nothing to do with my birthday I swear). As Summer departs us on the horizon we experience the poignant death of natures beauty all around us in stunning colours. Springs flowers will create vibrant tones but nothing will compare to that discolouration of a tree that happens sometimes within the space of a week. Once again the sun sits neither at it’s highest or it’s lowest; in my opinion it sits just right. September has a great slot for sunset sitting at around 19:45 but October and November are at times where you’d normally be eating the wedding breakfast or breaking out some speeches. Autumn is really only about one thing and that is the beauty of nature, it’s a busier time of year for everyone with minimal public or school holidays and at the end of Autumn we run into the chaos that is Christmas!
Dec 07:45/15:45 6.9°C Jan 08:00/16:00 5.9°C Feb 07:30/17:00 6.0°C
Wrap up warm and prepare the mulled wine it’s that crazy time of year again. As daylight hours drop and temperatures plummet Winter finally comes (Game of Thrones anyone?). If you plan a late service you can almost kiss goodbye to any outdoors shots, I strongly recommend that the most important part of your venue for a winter wedding is it’s inside capacity and decor. Chances are we’ll be inside for most of the day with the occasional shiver outside whilst we get those all important couples shots. If the interior of your venue is the same all around then it will be a real struggle to get creative with photographs, Manor Houses and old Halls are often well suited to Winter weddings as they have a lot of different rooms and features to exploit for photographs.