Wedding dates get picked for a myriad of reasons – my own actually got picked by our venue when they double booked our original, carefully chosen date. So how do you pick? Based on your sibling’s wedding plans? Maybe the dates your venue has open? Or maybe it’s when you are able to get enough vacation? There’s a certain amount of serendipity and chance that is lovely about that process.
But if you could pick any wedding date, let’s pick the perfect one.
In my book, the perfect day to get married in the Midwest is the days surrounding summer solstice. It’s all because of the light.
People, the light! Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, which means the sun is going to be up for glorious extra time. You know that languid, warm feeling you get in summer – when your brain knows it’s evening, but it’s still light out? You feel like you are cheating time. That feeling that there is still so much of the day left ahead, so much possibility with the oncoming dusk. It’s all because of the extra light.
Your cocktails will be fully lit – giving a sparkle to your guests’ conversations and the fizzy deliciousness in their hands. You’ll be victoriously walking into your reception just as golden hour is starting. Your toasts will be bathed in light that flatters everyone. Your first dance? Imagine beautiful golden rays of the setting sun all around you. (You do realize I’m describing a fully lit dinner? Perfect!) Dark will come, and with it, your dance party. The onset of dark is a natural cue to the brain that it’s time to transition into party time. Light plays a huge part in mood and energy – so go ahead and put that on your side to add the awesome to your wedding day.
And you know, as your photographer, I couldn’t be more excited about a choice for the best light!
What other benefits does this time of year have? So many!
-In the Midwest, Summer Solstice falls right in the middle of summer. So, you’ll spend half of summer prepping for your wedding day, and the other half enjoying being newlyweds! Perfect, right?
-It’s also right before the 4th of July, so you’ll have a major holiday right after your wedding to be the glowing newlyweds and dish on all the fun your day was with family and friends.
-Think to the future – your anniversary will also fall mid-summer, which is a great time for trips and celebrations.
-Here in the Midwest, the heat is often a factor in choosing a date. The end of June is typically a sweet spot – where it’s warm and very summery but not yet humid and sticky. So breezy dresses and strappy sandals are perfect, and your makeup will be too.
Of course, this is not to say that other wedding dates aren’t perfect. They are – for different reasons. But photographically speaking – I’m always going to take the side of light, and the very best light of the year in the Midwest is over Summer Solstice. Your fall wedding date can be arranged beautifully to take advantage of light, and so can your spring or winter wedding – it’s really about maximizing what is special about that time of year and using it to your advantage.
*All images in this post are from weddings around this perfect time of year. Here’s some links if you want to explore:
Kyle & David at the Milwaukee Country Club
(they took full advantage of the light on their day with a clearspan tent – that’s doubling down on all the goodness!)