Weather Or Not…

Today we’re going to talk about the weather.

No, this isn’t a desperate attempt to come up with a topic because I’m running out of ideas. (Never fear, I have a whole list of things I want to talk about eventually!) My original post for today was going to be an informational analysis of bridal workplace dynamics, but then I decided to write while sitting at the Bean.

As a result, I’m surrounded by families, tourists, school groups, and employees on their lunch break, all of whom are enjoying the second nice day of spring in Chicago, and I can’t think of much else other than the feeling of the sun against my extremely pale snowbird skin. (The girl sitting across the table from me has either been tanning or went somewhere tropical for spring break, but either way, I look like a ghost next to her!)

And oh, there’s the wind. It’s just enough to add a touch of briskness to the day whenever it becomes a gust, but mostly it’s a steady, gentle breeze.

You'd think writing at the Bean would be a nightmare, given how many distractions there are, but I love it! (Personal photo.)

You’d think writing at the Bean would be a nightmare, given how many distractions there are, but I love it! (Personal photo.)

To put it simply, this would be an ideal day for a Chicago wedding.

I’m keeping an eye out for any bridal parties who come to the Bean for photos; if I don’t see any here, I’m going to wander over to the Buckingham Fountain, just in case! (I fully admit it, I’m a total creeper when it comes to spotting bridal parties. I’ve been known to follow them around Grant Park at a distance to spy on their photos. I’m shameless. I know. I’m also way too eager to help families take group pictures, which I’ve done two or three times since sitting down here.)

I think choosing the wedding date is one of the most stressful aspects of planning a wedding. Choosing the season is easy enough; most brides have a clear idea of whether or not they want a spring, summer, fall, or winter wedding. But when it comes to deciding on the actual month and the exact day, the indecisiveness truly begins to set in.

The main reason for this? The weather. True, some couples are extremely flexible and they’ll enjoy their celebration no matter what, rain or shine. But other couples can be devastated if it’s even so much as cloudy on their special day, especially if they have to cancel certain aspects of their ceremony or reception because it decided to drizzle.

I’ll be honest, as much as I’d like to think of myself as someone who could be flexible with the weather, knowing myself, I would be upset if it rained on my wedding day. I wouldn’t be devastated, because I would keep it in perspective (I’d still be marrying the one I love, surrounded by my family and friends, after all). But yes, I’d be at least a little disappointed. Especially because my hair looks ridiculous when it’s even the slightest bit humid.

That’s one of the main reasons that I’m still personally debating about when I’d ideally like to have my wedding. (The other main reasons being that I’m currently single and I’m sure my future fiance would like to have at least some say in choosing the date.)

Ideally, I want to have a spring wedding. Spring is my favorite season, especially right at the start. This first few weeks of nice weather are probably the most enjoyable for me; I’m finally getting the vitamin D I need to fight off the depression caused by my seasonal affective disorder—those “happy lights” can only do so much, you know? I feel re-energized and invigorated, optimistic and confident about my life. I’m sure it might be different if I lived in a region that got more sunlight, but living in the Midwest where warmth and sun are not the norm throughout the year, spring is when I feel more alive.

I've been living here for three years but I'll never get tired of the Bean. Sp have another picture of it. (Personal photo.)

I’ve been living here for three years but I’ll never get tired of the Bean. So have another picture of it. (Personal photo.)

That being said, spring can be extremely volatile in terms of the weather. Chicago this week is a perfect example. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow have a high of 80 degrees, clear skies, and glorious sunshine. But the next eight days? We’re back in the low 50s with scattered thunderstorms throughout the week. And that is really not what I would call “perfect wedding weather.”

Likewise, summer weather is more stable, but then there’s the risk of it being too hot. Will the bridal party’s makeup melt off? Will groomsmen get heat stroke in their tuxes? Will the area for post-ceremony photos be filled with kids on summer vacation? What about the costs—will it be more expensive to keep food cool outdoors, or will venues charge higher prices for the “busy season”?

No matter what, it’s a tough call. In some ways, winter weddings may be the safest bet. Sure, there’s the chance of blizzards creating transportation issues, but you know that it’s going to be cold and, at the very least, overcast, if not snowing.

But as it stands, fall and winter weddings will never be the most popular choices for couples. The majority of couples dream of that beautiful spring or summer wedding, and in doing so, they’re inevitably playing a game of weather roulette.

Ultimately, though, it really is a matter of perspective. If the day of your wedding arrives and it’s pouring, it’s okay to feel upset or disappointed. But don’t let it ruin your special day, regardless of whether your guests are huddled beneath umbrellas or fanning themselves with their programs. The weather isn’t going to create lifelong memories; it’s a day spent in the company of loved ones that will remain with you for many years to come.

What’s your ideal wedding weather? Did you have it on your wedding day, or are you strategically consulting the farmer’s almanac to ensure that your outdoor ceremony or reception goes exactly as planned? Alternatively, did you or do you want to choose the date for your wedding without caring about the weather at all?