If wedding planning wasn’t stressful enough, COVID really threw a curveball to couples this year. Unfortunately, there’s no guidebook for planning during a pandemic, so it’s an understatement to say that many have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to their big day.
Fortunately, we’ve seen a tremendous turnaround in recent months – from intimate weddings, to virtual weddings, to social distancing in backyards. This is truly a testament to the resilience of engaged couples everywhere and their ability to adapt in times of uncertainty.
That said, there’s been a common question hanging in the air for those that have postponed their wedding – what should you do if you’re switching to an entirely different season?
What you need to know
In an ideal world, a couple’s wedding would simply be moved to the following year at the same time. Of course, with thousands of couples all having the same idea, re-booking your vendors and/or venue for the same season is no easy feat.
JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli notes, “When you are considering a shift to another season, you may have to add some enhancements to the bridal party attire. If the dresses are sleeveless and have summer-y fabric, you may want to consider buying them wraps or pashminas to keep them warm if you move to a cooler month. Also, if you were hosting a tented wedding and now you are in a cooler season, you must now consider an enclosed tent, flooring, and heaters to keep your guests comfortable.”
According to Jamie Chang of Passport to Joy, timing will be everything. “The major item you'll have to shift is your schedule and, in turn, logistics and vendors. The timing for the day will change given the change in both weather and sunset. You'll need to account for those adjustments in your schedule, which can affect everything from setup time, to when hair and makeup begins, to how long you have for photos.”
Regarding the stationery and invitations side of things, Kristy Rice of Momental Designs says that there are a few things to be mindful of. “Many of our couples request landscape illustrations or venue renderings for their stationery designs, so an update to the scenery might be necessary. Depending on the location, designs would need to reflect vegetation bursting to life for spring or summer, a colorful display of leaves turning for autumn, or a majestic snow scene for winter. Florals are another popular design concept couples choose for their stationery, so coordinating with the florist to confirm availability is important, as some blooms are abundant and scarce during specific times of the year.”
How to keep your original vision no matter what
Not only are you and your partner now mourning what was thought to be your original wedding date, but by switching seasons, you may be sad about the possible changes that come along with it. Try your best to ditch those feelings – you’re still in control of honoring your wedding vision!
Laura Maddox of Magnolia Celebrates has confidence that you’ll be able to remain true to the wedding you envisioned. “Unless you were very theme driven with your decor, you should be able to encompass most of what you already have planned with a few small changes of florals. Subbing dahlias for a garden rose, or anemones for lisianthus for example. The same for your food — if you originally wanted a soup for a fall wedding, what about a chilled soup for the spring?”
Being open-minded is a great start, according to Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss. “A little flexibility can go a long way when it comes to transferring your vision to a new season. Rather than insisting on fluffy peonies in the winter (they are in season during the spring months), allow your florist some creative freedom to swap in a different flower that will provide a similar look.”
Kylie Carlson of The Wedding Academy adds, “Some couples that have shifted seasons might find that their original color palette is now too seasonal and doesn’t quite fit the feel of your new wedding date. For this, we recommend sticking to your original shades for the most part, but maybe swapping out one or two hues for something that’s a better fit with the climate. For example, if you were previously leaning toward a deep forest green or berry color for your winter wedding, you could consider brightening up your existing palette with some light neutrals or vibrant earthy tones.”
Is it possible to change seasons without busting your budget?
Short answer: yes. While there are tons of moving parts that go into planning a wedding from one season to the next, it can be a relatively seamless process if you communicate with your vendors properly. However, the constraints of your budget will also depend on how far along you are in the process. For example, if you’ve purchased all of the décor for a holiday-themed winter wedding, it’s going to be difficult to translate that with a new summer date.
Katherine Healy-Brown of Clover Events attributes a good portion of savings to your chosen date. “One major way a couple can save on their budget is by moving to what is considered an ‘off-peak’ season or day. These typically fall from December to March, or by selecting a Friday or Sunday date. This is often seen as a less busy or ‘unpopular’ time for your venue and they will likely offer a reduced rate.”
Another great budget hack for switching seasons is to take a look at your original agreements and see if there’s any wiggle room. Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services says, “Communicate with your hired creative partners on which original terms to your contract you can reasonably change. Be mindful that some upcharges or fees may apply due to company policies for certain items. For example, take into consideration that moving your venue from indoors to outdoors (or vice versa) will likely affect the amount of lighting required to keep the party going – whether that means cutting down or needing more light.”
Janice Carnevale of Bellwether Events agrees, adding, “Rely on your vendors and straight up ask them if they have any suggestions for moderating any added expenses due to the date change. You are still going to get married, and your wedding team really does want to make this day as awesome as possible for you.”
Creating a new dream wedding that looks a little different than you’d always imagined can be tough, but it’s important to remember that you’ll be surrounded with love regardless of your décor, florals, menu, or otherwise.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
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