Why Winter

When people hear that we are planning our wedding for January, in a mid-Atlantic climate, the most common question people follow with is WHY?? As if getting married in the winter is completely unheard of. My go-to response is “Why not?” And people say, “Aren’t you worried it’s going to snow??” No more than I’m worried about rain, or hail, or tornadoes, or the apocalypse, or monkeys falling from the sky on my wedding day. I try to avoid worrying about the weather, because if there is one element that is completely beyond my control, it’s this.

I’ve always wanted a winter wedding. As a teacher, I know it makes the most sense to get married in the summer. Time off to finalize plans right before the wedding, a long extended vacation right after—it makes perfect sense to me. I get why the summer is so popular, but I have zero interest in getting married during these months. While I love vacation, the weather from June through August is a different story. Excessive heat and humidity, sweating, mosquitoes (I am a mosquito MAGNET)—no thank you. I also have super-sensitive skin, and after no less than 10 minutes in the sun, I get a terrible sun rash that itches me all day. With all this, my wedding fragrance would have to be a combination of SPF 100 and bug spray. Not my idea of a romantic scent. I will risk the chance that it might snow on my wedding day to avoid everything I don’t like about summer weather.

But, as a librarian (and forever seeker of knowledge!), curiosity got the better of me, and I wanted to research what the history of our wedding date was like in Philadelphia.

So, being January and all, I’m most concerned with snowfall:


Philadelphia Snowfall Totals for the past 30 years / Image via The National Weather Service

So as you can see, Philadelphia snowfall peaks maybe once every seven years, the two winters prior to this past one were very heavy, and this year we had virtually no snow. So if you look at the pattern in the graph, this winter should have a low to average amount of snowfall based on these stats.

Furthering my research, I wanted to see what the weather history was on the actual date of our wedding, so I found this weather site, wunderground.com, and they have a travel planner, which gives you the weather history of a travel destination for the past 15 years:


Weather history on our wedding date via the travel planner on wunderground.com

So statistically, based on the past 16 years, we have a 31% chance that it might snow. Now, snow I’m OK with, so long as it’s not a blizzard and doesn’t look like this:


View from my back porch, Snowmageddon 2010 / Personal photo

I know I can’t predict the weather, and as good as statistics are, they don’t forecast what the weather will actually be the day of our wedding. And regardless of what does happen weather-wise—sunshine, rain, or snow—we will be husband and wife, and I am 100% certain of that.

If I’m already stalking the stats of the weather for my wedding day seven months out, can you imagine how bad I will be with a 10-day forecast? Anyone else choose an off-season wedding because they dislike summer weather?


Mrs. Lyre

Wedding Date:
January 2013
The One Where We Pick a Florist
Here We Go!!
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  1. Member
    BookishBelle 1629 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:19 pm

    That’s EXACTLY why I’m doing a January wedding too!!! I MELT in the slightest bit of heat and did not want to be a sticky bride :) I hope it snows a TINY bit, enough for beautiful pictures but not to ruin anybody’s travel plans!

  2. mstreasure Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:22 pm

    I love a good winter wedding! Everything in white with sparkles and Christmas lights! But in Chicago, the risk of a blizzard + the vast majority of our guests being from out-of-town wasn’t the best combination for us.

  3. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:40 pm

    Monkeys falling from the sky? that’s another one for my worries list. lol
    We decided on a winter wedding case we want to get married on our anniversary.

    Summer here’s awful, like 115°F right now, awful, so winter weddings are normal around here, -10% chance of snow, darn desert.

  4. Member
    Digital_Geisha 65 posts, Worker bee @ 3:09 pm

    Yep, December 15th for me! I’m wearing a heavy satin dress which would have murdered me in the summer! There’s something so romantic about a winter wedding.

  5. dalmatian Member
    dalmatian 592 posts, Busy bee @ 5:02 pm

    I think winter weddings are beautiful! I am a warm weather girl myself, but I can totally see the appeal of a winter wedding – so romantic!

  6. Member
    redrosewolf 19 posts, Newbee @ 6:10 pm

    We decided to get married 12/12/12. This was partially because I liked the date, it fell between army training for my Fiance, I was supposed to have been done with school, I sunburn easily and I always wanted a furlined cape! Thank you for the weather information and how to get it! I was sort of worrying as we are getting married at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park CO! Mountain wedding+ middle of week + snow= pretty but possibly a bad idea. No sun burn for me in wedding photos though!!

  7. Member
    lindsey.sturges 54 posts, Worker bee @ 6:27 pm

    I always wanted a winter wedding but it didn’t work out with when we got engaged. So I’m doing early spring – end of March – still cool enough I hope!

  8. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:40 pm

    Love your reasons, it definitely makes sense to me, plus winter weddings are so gorgeous!

  9. Member
    futuremrslalli 7 posts, Newbee @ 7:11 pm

    Have you heard the song ‘January Wedding’ by Avett Brothers? Please tell me its on your song list……

  10. Member
    priyathescientist 1514 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:19 pm

    While I will probably end up with an autumn wedding, I think winter weddings are ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. Your reasons are absolutely sensible, and I’m glad it works for you and Mr. Ly!

  11. msfairy Member
    msfairy 976 posts, Busy bee @ 5:46 am

    I love the idea of a winter wedding! My parents got married in November and had a candlelight ceremony. I also think you can get some amazing pictures in the snow :)

  12. Member
    MsMarbee 222 posts, Helper bee @ 6:41 am

    To get our venue on a Sat evening with a less than 250 guest list, we had to book it for an off month. I pushed it as close to spring as possible, Feb 23rd. Since it’s northern IN, I am hoping for a light dusting, but NO lake affect. Most people haven’t reacted that badly, MIL had some of the common responses of “Why?”, “Brrr”, etc. It’s all in the same building, people only go outside when they leave their cars to come in. Suck it up is what I say 😉

  13. msdragon Member
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 9:56 am

    I’m hoping that our fall wedding makes for a less sticky/sweaty/messy day!

  14. Member
    StacyM 55 posts, Worker bee @ 10:54 am

    We’re getting married in South Jersey right after Christmas. 12-30-2012 and I’m secretly hoping for enough snow for pictures plus th fact that I can utilize the holiday decorations that are already going to be up.

  15. coyote Member
    coyote 1930 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:03 pm

    I think winter weddings are beautiful Lyre!! And I love all the weather research you did. :)

  16. Member
    gonnabeMrsHH 466 posts, Helper bee @ 2:08 pm

    Im a real sunlover…cant stand the cold AT.ALL. But Ive seen some really nice winter weddings here on the hive and Im sure yours will also have that nice, romantic feel :)

  17. Member
    MsVoyageur 1384 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:28 am

    Yup I’m with you. We live in HOUSTON and this area is absolutely infested with mosquitoes (there is a bayou that runs through the whole city), and it is over 100 all summer and extremely humid. So we’re getting married in November :)

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    ErinGrossToSall, Guest @ 7:43 am

    Winter brides of the world unite! We’re getting married in January in Buffalo, New York and we couldn’t be happier about it. Everyone, family and friends included, look at us like we’ve gone completely crazy, but I’m a pale-skinned redhead who spends most of the summer rotating between shades of white and red, and I just don’t want to worry about it. Plus, we love our city, snowfall and all. I’m actually hoping for some snow for our photographs. We also invested in wedding insurance to cover us in the event of a huge blizzard that shuts down the whole city. At the end of the day, I don’t mind the weird looks. We’re getting married exactly when we want to.

  19. porcupine Member
    porcupine 633 posts, Busy bee @ 8:13 am

    My summer-hatred was a big reason we chose March. I REALLY wanted a winter wonderland wedding, but everyone BUGGED out that it would snow and ruin everything. Then it turned out to be the warmest winter ever. Figures! It was warmer in February than on my actual wedding day. You never know.

  20. honey Member
    honey 1684 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:41 pm

    Yesss to winter weddings, I’m biased, I know…but I think they are so romantic and beautiful!! Can’t wait to see yours come to life!

  21. Member
    BostonBaby 882 posts, Busy bee @ 4:07 pm

    Yep, we chose a New England winter wedding very much on purpose. I can’t stand the heat in the first place, but for both of us NE is in its prime in winter.

    Faced with an abnormally mild season, however, we were incredibly lucky that it snowed on two special days: the shower and the afternoon before the wedding! I hope you have whatever winter weather you prefer; off-prime season events are the best!

  22. Member
    debeachgirl 543 posts, Busy bee @ 5:02 pm

    As a fellow Jan 2013 bride thank you for the stats I feel much better. Andes I too am tired of the whys? We live at the beach and my family runs a seasonal business so summers out (not that I wanted that either). I have no interest in a spring wedding (weather here is always wet and cold) and fall ’13 mistook far away!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Robin, Guest @ 12:26 pm

    I’m also getting married in January 2013 in Central NY. We live right on the Finger Lakes and 45 minutes from a Great Lake so I’m playing with fire (although more like snow) but I don’t care! The vendors I wanted were all available and offered a discount because it’s the off season. I hate being hot and sweaty. 95% of our guests are coming from the NE and have driven in snow before so as long as they can get here safely, I don’t care if we have to have a week long party after they’re all snowed in! I did note that of the last 15 years, 12 have had snow but at times as little as less than an inch. I peeked at the 5ths of June, July and August and it was only sunny 1/3 of the time over the last 15 years. At least I won’t be devastated when the sun isn’t shining!

  24. Member
    lechevalnoir 277 posts, Helper bee @ 1:59 pm

    Hey, I’m getting married in Pittsburgh in January. I’ve heard we are the in the top 5 snowiest cities in the United States. Here’s how much I care! =) You go girl!

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    MrsPianoMan, Guest @ 12:59 pm

    We got married on Dec. 31, 2011, and we received the same question constantly–especially living in Iowa. But like you, I’m super sensitive to the sun and break out in an itchy, heat rash, so the cool weather sounded ideal to me–not to mention, we like to go against the grain a bit :) I stalked our weather forecast a good 2 weeks before our wedding day, but I soon came to realize, that that was the one thing completely out of my control. We lucked out and didn’t have any major snow storm, but the ones that mean the most to you will be there no matter what–and that’s really what makes the wedding day so special. I would get married again in the winter in a heartbeat! Best wishes to you!

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Efrain Jester, Guest @ 1:18 am

    Wow, great blog article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  27. Member
    missesawesome 144 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:52 pm

    I love the weather research you did! I followed the link you posted for past snowfall in your area. I was hoping to be taken to a generic page where I could fill in my area’s information to see an infograph like you have.

    I tried searching the site, but was unable to find information like that. :( Could you post a link that will take me to the correct page on which I can put my location in so I can get the same type of info as you did? Or, could you tell me what links/pages I needed to be clicking on?

    My wedding and reception are outdoors and I could really use the help. 😛


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