Late spring and summer have always been popular months for weddings as brides seek outdoor venues for ceremonies or want pictures with an outdoor backdrop. However, holding off until winter can have many advantages, especially when it comes to cost.
Even with discounts offered at many reception halls, wedding business decreases tremendously come November, says Peter Kaiafas, owner of Avalon Manor in Merrillville and caterer for the Legacy in Valparaiso. Holiday parties do keep dates filled in November and December, but at the start of the year, few weddings are scheduled. Kaiafas says, “Couples who book during January, February and March can expect anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent discount, depending on what they are looking for as far as the food and bar."
Amy and Cesar Ontiveros, of Hobart, were engaged in August 2011 and knew they wanted to get married in about six months. They had a February 17, 2012, Friday evening wedding with the reception held at Ambassador Banquets in Hobart. “Our summer schedules are really crazy and it was a time that we thought was better for our schedules and we knew all of our friends and family would be more available than during the summer,” Amy says. “I wasn’t the kind of bride who wanted an outdoor wedding. We knew we were getting married in a church, anyway.”
Although romance is often in the air around Valentine’s Day, it still isn’t a significant time in the wedding industry. By going with not only a slower wedding month, but also a Friday date, she said they were able to find prices at about half of a summer Saturday. “A lot of caterers and DJs had the date open. Because it’s a slower time, we were able to work out deals.”
There was one exception on cost. Flowers that would typically be accessible and abundant during summer months are harder to get and therefore more expensive. “We stayed away from roses,” Amy says. “Our florist said that during the month of February the cost of roses is going to pretty much double.”
“Another reason we were excited about having a wedding in winter is that we got a great price for a winter package for our honeymoon. We went to the Dominican Republic and got a good price because it was a good time to fly,” she says. “And it was so nice to leave chilly Chicago and go somewhere warm.”