5 Challenges of an Early Fall Wedding | This Miss Cooks

Depending on where you live, Fall can take any number of shapes by the time October rolls around. In the Pacific Northwest, it can be even more unpredictable than in places like my home state of Arizona. My fiancĂ© and I never really expected to have to push our date this far back, but I’d encourage any couples out there to keep an open mind to the opportunity if it arises. There are a million reasons why it’s the perfect time of year for many, though it does have its drawbacks.

1. Unpredictable Weather

This is the most obvious issue you’ll come up against, but early Fall is fairly unique in just how tempting it can be to take the chance on an outdoor ceremony and reception. When my sister toured my venue with me, her immediate advice was to plan for an outdoor wedding and move it inside if weather turns nasty. Do the exact opposite.

Unless you want to become best friends with every weather website and phone app known to man for the days and weeks leading up to your wedding, do yourself a favor and plan for an indoor ceremony in those marginal Fall months. If your venue has the indoor/outdoor option, maybe make outdoors your secondary plan, knowing that it’s unlikely to pan out. Having unattainably high expectations is a great way to ruin your happiness.

2. Seasonally Available Locations

If you have your heart set on a specific location, know that occasionally they may not even operate as a venue outside of peak wedding season (which every place defines differently, of course). Some venues only have certain locations within it available as well. Ours closes the beautiful grove on the property for ceremonies a few weeks before our date.

3. Shorter Days

This can vary heavily depending on where you’re located, but the farther North you go, the more variable daylight hours get throughout the year. I remember being amazed when I moved to Oregon from Arizona when I saw the sun set at almost 10 o’clock at night during the Summer.

If you want natural lighting for your wedding photos, you’ll need to plan ahead with your photographer to make sure you can make arrangements for that. Group photos are often taken between the ceremony and reception, which might be a little on the late end for an afternoon wedding.

5 Challenges of Planning an Early Fall Wedding | This Miss CooksPhoto by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

4. Halloween?

The question mark is there because I honestly did not expect this to come up as often as it has, but expect regular questions about whether or not you’ll be having Halloween-infused nuptials if you’re tying the knot in October. Now, I know at least one friend who will absolutely be having a spooky Fall wedding should she decide to marry, so it’s definitely not a knock against that creative direction. If you find yourself suddenly wondering if orange is a good wedding color for the first time, even though it’s your second least favorite color, now you know why.

5. Another One?!

This one is perhaps an over-generalization, but one that seems to still be true for many friend groups these days: all your friends are getting married. Potentially even in the same year. My boss has spent the past 3 years at weddings nearly every weekend from June to September, and her own will be in June of next year.

While planning an off-season wedding means there’s less chance of an accidental overlap, it does mean that some guests may not be able to swing airfare or other wedding-related costs by the time your big day rolls around. To be fair, that may actually be a bonus for some couples, though it’s a bit of a bummer reason to have a smaller guest list. Plan earlier than you might otherwise and get the word out for your date ASAP.

Are you planning a Fall wedding? I’d love to hear what your struggles or triumphs have been so far!

If you’d like more tips when thinking about venues, I put together a few that really helped us find our perfect place and the downloadable spreadsheet to keep track of it all.