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Tips and Ideas for Planning an Off-Season, Winter or Early Spring Wedding in Los Angeles and Southern California

In today’s unstable economic environment, we are all looking for ways to save money. While we don’t recommend cutting corners on certain aspects of your wedding, we do recommend you consider planning an off-season, winter or early spring wedding to help you save money. Wedding season takes place from May to October every year. During that time, wedding planners, wedding bands and wedding venues are booked solid. Because of supply and demand, sometimes the prices for these services tend to be more expensive than they are in the off-season, which takes place from October to April. Since the wedding season has just ended, why not explore the possibility of planning an off-season, winter or early spring wedding? You’ll not only save money, but you’ll save a lot of the stress which can accompany wedding planning, too!

As winter approaches, most of the United States turns its thoughts to cold, chilly weather and the approaching holidays. While the latter is present in Los Angeles and Southern California as well, we’re blessed with more temperate weather. This is a great time to plan an off-season wedding, because rates on many services, like wedding planning and wedding venues are likely to be lower. This is particularly true of the period between November 1st and March 31st. Many of the weddings which can be held during the fall can also be held during the winter. However, you will want to consider that a beach wedding may still be too chilly for some. Conversely, though, if you do opt to have a beach wedding, it will likely be more private than one held in the summer or even the fall.

Below are some more tips and ideas for winter weddings:

  • Consider a winter destination wedding to Utah, Colorado or Montana and take advantage of the breathtaking beauty of snow-capped mountains. This is an especially good choice if you and your future spouse enjoy skiing or snowboarding.
  • If you decide to stay in Southern California, a beach wedding is a possibility as long as you plan for the cooler weather with items such as bolero jackets or shawls for the bride and bridesmaids and wool suits for the groom and groomsmen. The cooler weather can work to your advantage, however, because the beach will be more secluded.
  • Choose winter colors for your color scheme and avoid spring and summer colors, especially. Good color choices for winter weddings include deep burgundies, rich reds, forest greens, royal blues, dark purples as well as gold and silver. You will likely want to avoid spring greens, autumn yellows and autumn oranges as well all pastels. Remember that winter colors are rich and luxurious.
  • Try decorating with winter flowers and using them in your bouquet. Every wedding uses roses and lilies, but if you’re having a winter wedding, then winter flowers will make it truly special. Ask your florist about poinsettias, winter jasmine, amaryllis, hyacinth, tulips, narcissus and hellebore. While poinsettias are considered a Christmas flower, they would work well with a wedding that has a deep burgundy or bright red color scheme.
  • Although they can be a lot of fun and very romantic, you may not want to have a holiday wedding for Christmas, Haunukkah or New Years Eve. This is because venues and bands are often booked months in advance for corporate events for these holidays.
  • On the same token, you may not want to have your wedding on the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, because this is an extremely popular time for weddings. As such, it can be expensive and the vendors you are looking to book may not even be available. If you want a Valentine’s Day themed wedding, consider the week after.
  • Vendors often have special deals for the months of January and February, because wedding are not often booked during these times. Consider marrying during these two months, especially, and you can save a lot of money.
  • Although you may worry about inclement weather, just as there may be bad weather in winter, there may be bad weather in summer. Don’t be afraid of the cold, rain or even snow – take it as a cue for creative planning and accessorizing!
  • In the article, “Wedding Trends: Off-Season Weddings” several wedding vendors are quoted giving the following advice:
  • A Decorator: “[We] Incorporate Christmas trees into our wrought iron gate backdrop, and 24 inch sparkling snowflakes into the ceiling canopy. Christmas trees around the room can be grouped together and accented with lights and fabric on the ground to create twinkling snow.”
  • A DJ: “It’s so much easier to plan a wedding in the off-season, because you don’t have to fight to get the reception hall you want, the DJ, the photographer…”
  • An Officiant: “You’ll find less people are on vacation [in the winter]. More guests will be able to attend your wedding… It takes a little more planning [for the weather], but then I have seen summer weddings with huge showers and wind storms!”

If a winter wedding doesn’t appeal to your taste, you may want to consider an early spring wedding. A lot of the same tips for planning apply, but consider the following, as well:

  • Choose spring colors for your wedding, such as light greens, sky blues, baby pinks, lilac purples and other pastels. A springtime palette is very natural, muted and soft.
  • Look to spring flowers for your decorations and bouquet. Daffodils, lilacs and tulips are perfect accents to a spring wedding and will be more appropriate than roses.
  • Avoid having your wedding too close to Easter. However, if you are having a Christian wedding, consider asking your church about renting their Easter decorations. This can save you money and chances are in your favor that their color scheme will go perfectly with a spring wedding.
  • Wedding gowns are designed for the type of weather spring provides, with full skirts which may be too hot for summer and sleeveless tops which may be too cool for winter. If you do begin to feel a chill, opt for a stylish shawl or wrap in a complimentary color.

As you can see, off-season, winter and early spring weddings can help to save you a lot of money and hassle. Furthermore, they can provide for unique wedding experiences which will be remembered for a lifetime.

If you would like to plan an off-season wedding but aren’t sure where to start, we can help steer you in the direction of wedding planners, venues and caterers we have worked with. If you’re ready to have a fantastic off-season wedding, contact us today!

( Posted on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 6:13 pm )

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“Thanks so much! The Bracken Band trio for Christy's wedding were wonderful -- just what she and Brian wanted, and the crowd loved them. We really appreciate how easy you were to work with, and that your band more than fit our expectations. Wishing you the best!”

—Cathy V, mother of the bride, Cathy & Brian married September 15, 2012, Newport, CA

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