Explore the blog


I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

Vlog Favorites

Looking for Something Specific?




What To Expect For Each Season When Planning Your Wedding | VLOG

March 20, 2019

There is a lot to think about when it comes to planning your wedding! I believe the one that causes the most excitement and honestly the most stress is choosing your actual wedding date.

As soon as you are engaged, the first question you are asked is “when are you going to get married?!” …you’re probably thinking, “um I just got the ring, I haven’t gotten that far!”

You may have a time of year in mind, which is great! I’ve found from talking with my brides that there are a lot of smaller details about each of the season that don’t necessarily come to mind immediately.

Today I’m walking through what to expect and think about for each of the seasons in the South when you’re choosing your date.

Some may seem obvious and others are likely things you hadn’t thought about…like how the season could affect how many beautiful portraits you get!!

What To Expect In The Spring

I will start with the spring because it is usually considered “wedding season” in the south, though I feel like there are two or three “official” wedding seasons throughout the year. Spring is the most traditional one!

Spring is beautiful for many reasons. This is when the flowers start to bloom and everything comes back to life! If you love bright pastels and fluffy flowers, this is probably the season for you. Flower prices depend on the season, so if florals are a big priority for you, I would look up what type of flowers you want and chances are they may be in the spring!

Getting married in the spring also means that most people are expecting to attend weddings but they also likely have multiple invitations, so make sure to send out save the dates earlier than normal to make sure they can come.

Another benefit is that you get to honeymoon closer to summer! You’ll likely already have your tan from your big day and you get to enjoy the warm weather without having to go across the world (though that’s still a fun option!).

Some of the “cons” to think about are that with all of the new growth comes the RAIN.

Oh, the rain. And also the pollen. And the allergies.

If it’s going to stress you out thinking about the ups and downs in the weather or that you may be really sensitive to the pollen in the air, I would consider this when setting your date!

One of the biggest things to think about in every season is the sunset. Having bright light is going to be the thing that allows you to have beautiful, glowy portraits…and once it’s gone, flash is your only option!

The time changes right at the beginning of spring so make sure to look up the sunset times when picking your date to know when you should set your ceremony time so you can plan on portraits after.

What To Expect In The Summer

I love the summer because the colors get brighter, the sun shines more, and in general I just feel like people are happier! At least around the beach they are!

If you like bright and bold colors, summer is definitely for you.

This time of year it’s easier for people to take off work for traveling or going to destination locations. If you want to give your guests a weekend experience, you could book your wedding in a place where they could also turn it into a mini vacation!

When it comes to light, the sun sets really late which means there is almost an unlimited time for portraits –– woo hoo!!! This means most of my summer couples get 2 portrait times throughout their day (3 if they have a first look!!!) because we’ll shoot right after the ceremony and again at sunset.

However…it’s going to be HOT. I know my summer brides are aware of this because no one will let them forget, ha! It’s inevitable that we will be sweating so keep that in mind when choosing a venue and outfits for your bridal party.

We will want to take as many photos outside as possible, so look for a venue with plenty of shaded areas to cool off in and rooms with air conditioning. We will help the guys in their jackets by moving as quickly as possible but shade will still help!

If you’re getting married outside, look for an area that’s shaded as well. If that’s not possible, try to keep the ceremony short and sweet and then have a reception space that is covered from the sun or inside to quickly relieve your guests from the heat.

I love summer weddings but there’s no doubt they come with some challenges!

What To Expect In The Fall

Fall is what I like to consider “wedding season round 2” because this is my second busiest time of year! Fall is one of my favorite seasons because of the energy –– school is starting back, there are football games, the heat is cooling off, farms are being harvested, and in general I just feel like everyone kind of gets a new energy.

Fall also brings new decor like cotton and brightly colored leaves with more muted and neutral tones.

Along with the spring, fall also has moderate weather. I love a good, cool fall night where it’s almost the perfect temperature. But it’s important to remember that we live in the south where the weather never cooperates so there is still a chance that you will have the one freezing day in October or…hurricane season.

Another thing that comes with fall is football and hunting season. While these make the time of year exciting, they also cause some issues with your guests’ (or your own!!!) priorities with all of the tickets and plans they’ve made. Make sure to get your save the dates out early!

There is another time change in the late fall, so if you are having a November wedding always consult the sunset schedule to see how it will affect your time for portraits after the wedding.

What To Expect In The Winter

I used to not be a huge fan of winter weddings because I love lush green backdrops and colorful flowers so much but recently I’ve changed my mind!

Winter weddings are beautiful with their jewel tones bright whites. If you’re lucky enough to get snow, I would dream of everything being all white!!!

Holiday season is also during the winter which means you have a lot of themes to work with. From the rubys and greens from Christmas to the fun glitter of New Year’s Eve. I love the idea of a New Year’s wedding because everyone already wants to be out partying, so why not celebrate you at the same time!

Winter weddings are definitely hard with the sunlight situation though. You need to make sure that you have a venue with enough natural light OR really awesome lighting since the majority of the event will be dark outside.

The sun sets so early in the day that having an early ceremony or at least a first look is about the only option for getting natural light portraits. Though if you like the drama of flash, you’ll have no issues!

Choosing The Best Season For You

There are always things that are going to be great and not-so-great about each of the seasons. It’s really about looking at all of the options and weighing what’s most important to you…and then going for it!

If you have more questions about the seasons or something to add to the conversation, drop them down below so we can learn from everyone’s experiences!


I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.

Looking for Something Specific?

Vlog Favorites



How to Choose Your Senior Photographer



How to Plan a Proposal with a Photographer

The Conversation You MUST Have With Your Bridal Party

Reader Favorites

a few

a few

Reader Favorites