When a couple gets engaged or married is typically based on a number of factors. Holidays, breaks from work and school, and—perhaps most notable—weather, all play into the month that someone proposes or says I do. In fact, wedding season exists for these exact reasons.
This coming year, things are looking a bit familiar to popular wedding months of the past. While some of the most popular times to get engaged and married remain mainstays, we’re seeing new months on couples’ radars and an overall shift in 2023’s projected wedding season. It’s official: Everyone’s getting engaged and married in these months. Here’s why.
With 2023 coming off the heels of one of the busiest wedding seasons ever, it's no surprise to see the most popular wedding months pre-pandemic rising back to the top.
After last year's shift due to postponed weddings, September returns to the #1 most popular wedding month for 2023. Summertime and early fall typically host the most weddings, next year’s couples have set the most dates between May and September.
Many people’s calendars are marked up with wedding dates and summer vacations during the summer months. September, however, sees a decrease in packed plans, making it ideal for couples with longer guest lists. Guests have more time and availability for early fall weddings and are more likely to attend your celebration. September also embodies that desired fall feeling many engaged couples are after, while still offering the warm weather present at the end of summer. Add in the three-day Labor Day weekend, and many are sold on this being the best time of year.
June weddings are well-liked for many of the reasons that we’ve already covered. However, the month is also steeped in history and tradition. For one, June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, and thus long considered a favorable month to get married. Nowadays, June weddings are often sought after for more practical reasons. The beginning of summer has great weather, school break offers flexibility, and you can choose an outdoor wedding venue.
May weddings enjoy many of the benefits that June weddings do, such as nice weather and the accompanying flexibility. May is one of the months of the year that’s less likely to clash with plans, such as summer vacations and weddings. On that note, guests won’t suffer from wedding fatigue, which is possible during the busy summer wedding season. For many venues and vendors, a May spring wedding falls outside peak summer pricing. For couples that prioritize sticking to a budget, this month provides all of the perks of a summer wedding without the extra cost.
The reasons why October sees so many weddings are similar to why it sees so many engagements. In many places, it’s the perfect post-summer temperature, and vibrant fall colors have started to paint mountains, trees, and landscapes. You can also use deeper, moodier, or cozier decor than is usually seen in the spring or summer. An autumn wedding also opens the door to fun and seasonal food and cocktail options. Halloween also gives couples the chance to throw the ultimate themed ceremony and reception in potentially cold weather, especially on the east coast.
Although April showers can occur, this seems to be the only downside to having a wedding this month. When it isn’t raining, couples and their guests can enjoy comfortable weather, with temperatures anywhere from the fifties to the eighties throughout the US. April also has a popular and traditional context, making it a favorable month. After all, William and Kate chose April 29th, and the Romans considered April the Sacred Month of Venus, the Goddess of love and fertility.
One of the first things that come to mind with a mid-summer wedding is the high likelihood of fantastic weather. In many parts of the US, there is a very low risk of showers or strong winds, which is a great relief for those who want an outdoor ceremony or destination wedding. The days are longer, an abundance of flowers and fresh fruits are in season, and people are more willing to spend time traveling and socializing.
With that in mind, let’s start by looking at the months when people get engaged. This data hasn’t been seen as big of a change, likely due to proposals being a more intimate experience. That is to say, not many couples plan on having all of their loved ones present for it.
More often, proposals involve the couple, if not a handful of close friends and family members. This has made getting engaged throughout the last year easier to manage, with the usual factors such as weather, time off from work and school, and holidays having the largest influence.
The holiday season has long reigned supreme when it comes to the most popular months to get engaged—and we can’t say that we’re surprised. December brings with it feelings of thankfulness and love in the winter months. It’s the time that we’re most likely to be surrounded by loved ones, many of whom couples want to share these special moments with, which is one reason winter weddings are popular. With loved ones near, holiday cheer, and many towns decked out in festive decor, it is no surprise it is such a beloved time of the year to get engaged.
May is one of the best months and lands in that nice place between late spring and early summer, with sunnier weather making an appearance in many places. Warmer days and the long Memorial Day weekend begin to coax people outside, making outdoor proposals much easier to pull off. Another plus to getting engaged in May is that it leads seamlessly into summer; a time when celebrating your engagement and beginning wedding planning becomes more manageable due to summer break and people’s availability opening up.
With fall kicking off just a few weeks earlier, October is a prime time to take advantage of the best weather. Come mid-October, most of the US sees the arrival of fall foliage, a great excuse to drive into the mountains or take a surprise trip upstate. A vibrant, gorgeous autumn backdrop makes quite the backdrop for a proposal. Of course, we can’t go without mentioning Halloween, as spirited couples who go all out find it an especially special day to get engaged.
Late March marks the beginning of springtime peak season, a time representative of renewal, rebirth, and fresh new beginnings. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the start of something new, especially with the return of warmer weather and new blooms. Spring break starts around mid-March, allowing couples with children to make a sunny escape full of adventure and relaxation. This month also has two holidays that provide the perfect time: St. Patrick’s Day (especially if you or your partner are Irish) and National Proposal Day.
Summer is finally in full swing, and with it comes sunny skies, large family gatherings, and the chance to go on trips with your significant other. Many couples take advantage of the typically warm weather by spending time together at their favorite outdoor spots near or far from home. Moreover, school’s out for summer, which means that couples or significant others with children can more easily involve them in the proposal. All of this provides ample opportunity for exciting engagements in all parts of the country.
Though Valentine’s only lasts a single day (February 14th), the feeling of love permeates the entire month. Whether due to the anticipation leading up to the holiday, the giddiness thereafter, or both, it isn’t shocking that a lot of couples get engaged throughout. Valentine’s Day alone is an apt time for big surprises and grand expressions of love. It’s romantic and traditional, as well as pretty unforgettable.
Not only is the time of year important to consider when planning your wedding day, but there are some dates you need to consider avoiding. Although, some holidays can be helpful. If you’re considering having your big day near a holiday, poll essential wedding guests to see if they’ll be able to attend.
Super Bowl Sunday (or other major sporting events, depending on your guest list and country)
Long Weekends, such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas weekends
Weekday Weddings, getting married in the off-season or weekday can help avoid peak wedding season pricing
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
Interestingly Numbered Dates, for example, 4/24/24 or 2/5/25
Once you’re engaged and your date’s been picked, much of your wedding planning can begin. Great! Although, admittedly, this can be an intimidating thing to approach. Not sure where to start? Zola’s got you covered. By creating an account, you gain access to a number of helpful tools, like a customized monthly wedding checklist. Just sign up, tell us your wedding date and any special traditions that you’ll be following, and allow us to compile the rest. Come for the checklist and stay for the Wedding Website builder, online RSVPs, and more Expert Advice.