How to Choose Your Wedding Date

Have an Awesome Wedding Day, No Matter the Season – Advice From the Pros on how to choose your wedding date!

If you are recently engaged, you might be thinking about how to choose your wedding date. It is one of the first things to do on your Wedding Planning Checklist. This can seem like a relatively simple task, but it can quickly become overwhelming when you start to consider the climate of your area and all of the things that can change between seasons. But don’t fear! We are here to help you have an awesome wedding day and get beautiful portraits, no matter the season!

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm

Each season comes with its own benefits and challenges. So no matter the season your wedding falls in, you can still plan a beautiful wedding with gorgeous photographs.

Determining what season you decide to have your wedding in will also help you choose your venue. It is so important to see photos from your venue in all different seasons. You may fall in love with the way the venue looks in spring, but become disappointed when the venue looks different in the winter. For example, the photos below are taken at the same venue, Donnaha Valley Farm, but in different seasons. The tones of the greenery and the lighting are very different between these two weddings.

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
These two photos were taken of the same ceremony location. The one on the left was taken during mid-summer when the arbor was covered with beautiful green vines. The photo to the right was taken in early March.

Choose Your Wedding Date: Spring

April – May

The best time for portraits will vary during this time because the sun changes position quite a bit. In April, 5:30-7:30 is ideal while 6-8pm is preferable in May. The best part of Spring weddings is all the wonderful blooms and we will definitely use this to our advantage. The temperature is mild but be cautious of Spring storms and allergy season. Depending on your region, Spring can bring lots of wind, rain, or even a late snow storm! Mornings and evenings will still be chilly, but days are typically warm.

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
This is another example of the same location, but different seasons. The photo on the left is taken midsummer with the warm sunset. The photo on the right is taken at the exact same location, but was taken in early March at sunset. The light is much cooler and coming from a different direction. The leaves have not grown back and the tall grass is still very brown.

Choose Your Wedding Date: Summer

June – August

During Summer the best time for portraits is in the cool of the evening, about two hours before sunset. This is typically 6:30-8:30pm. Be prepared to sneak out of your reception for some sunset portraits. Summertime can be wonderful for all different kinds of weddings, but be mindful of the heat. Outdoor ceremonies in the full sun are not always best for photos or guests.

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Beautiful summer sunsets create warm tones on the skin and foliage creates a beautiful glow as the light peaks through.

Choose Your Wedding Date: Autumn

September – November

Like Spring, the sun changes drastically during this time. From September to mid-October, 5:30-7:30 is good for portraits while in late-October through November the best time is 3-5pm. Fall golden hour is some of the most beautiful lighting of the year! Autumn weddings are becoming the most popular with our brides because of the color and the temperature outside, especially here in the South. This is our favorite season for weddings!

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Here you can see the striking difference in tones between the summer wedding on the left and the early spring wedding on the right. During the summer, the leaves and grass bounce more warmth and green tones onto the skin. During the Winter and Early Spring, the low angle of the sun and bare trees create a cooler color profile, but also some epic photos!

Choose Your Wedding Date: Winter

December – March

The temperature and Daylight Savings make Winter portraits best in the afternoon from 3-5pm, except for late-March when the time changes again. Winter weddings can be gorgeous and budget friendly, but do require additional planning and creativity to capture all of your portraits before the sun sets. Many vendors and venues offer discounts for “off season” weddings.

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
These photos taken in early March mark the end of winter here in North Carolina.

Once you decide your wedding date based on your ideal season, you can move forward with booking your venue. Remember, make sure you know what your venue will look like in your chosen season. To make sure your wedding day is perfect, no matter the season, The key for each season, is to always have an inclement weather plan. You venue and your wedding planner are the best resources to plan for a rainy (or snowy, or windy, or hot) day!

Want to see more from Madeline and Jared’s beautiful June wedding at Donnaha Valley Farm? Keep Scrolling!

Want to see more from our Princess-Inspired March Editorial Shoot at Donnaha Valley Farm? Click HERE!

Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm
Winston Salem Wedding Photographer Donnaha Valley Farm

I have to give a HUGE shoutout to my favorite Hope Ann Photography who asked me to join her as a second-shooter for Madeline and Jared’s wedding. To see more of her bright, colorful photography check out her newly re-designed website HERE!

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