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?