June (Was) Bustin' Out All Over

By Jerome West

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June’s arrival each year is always a time for celebration. It’s the beginning of summer. It’s Pride month. And, historically, it’s been the month to get married. However, many wedding professionals across central Virginia are saying that, when it comes to wedding dates, October is the new June. This probably has something to do with the fact that in October Virginia combines mild temperatures with picturesque mountain and valley scenes.

Fall in Love with Fall

Schuyler Somers and Katie Lester operate A Little Party, a Lynchburg-based event planning business. Sommers posits, “October is popular for one reason: the leave are changing. Sometimes November is too cold, and June can be too hot.” Also, countryside weddings are a big business in Virginia. “Fall weddings allow you to add shawls, blanket wraps, cozy signs, apple cider and hot cocoa,” Lester says. “You just don't’ see that in June weddings.” Each year, Sommers and Lester notice that more couples engaged to be wed are booking dates from September through November rather than the traditional wedding months of April through June.

Mackenzie Cunningham, a resident of Gladys, got married in October in Gladys. For her, getting married in October was important because she feels a connection to the month’s overall theme of change. “To me, just as the leaves change their colors and shed from the trees, people are also ever changing. Fall means new beginnings and getting to marry my very best friend is just the start of a new chapter.”

Autumnal Wedding Inspirations and Tips

There’s a trend to have fall weddings at outdoor venues. If you opt for an outdoor venue, the weather becomes a serious factor for your wedding planning. Also, when you have an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to have interactive stations to give your guests something to do when they’re not eating, drinking or dancing. Consider setting up a cornhole game, coffee stations, a fire pit with s’mores or a lounge area.

When it comes to flowers for fall weddings, dahlias are it. Fall wedding colors are usually rich, bold jewel tones such as burgundies and wines, which align with the season. Decorative accents often include seasonal items like apples, pumpkins, bales of hay and colorful leaves.

In central Virginia, the average fall wedding costs about $35,000. The cost of a wedding depends, in large part, on the number of guests. Think about it: When you add 10 guests, you’re adding to costs associated with the food, chairs, table, floral arrangements, linens, etc. If you’re trying to cut back on your budget, start by cutting back on your guest list. You can also cut costs by making DIY party favors. Consider going to an apple orchard with your betrothed, pick some apples and make apple butter for guest to take home.

One thing you do not want to cut from your budget are wedding vendors. You may think you’re saving money by doing everything yourself; however, in reality, all you’re doing is taking on an unrealistic burden which will prevent you from enjoying your big day. Don’t skimp on critical vendors like a wedding planner (you can’t do it all by yourself, honey), caterer (Aunt Tilley can’t cook for all your guests) or DJ (your Spotify playlist ain’t gonna cut it, girl). Think about it: A real DJ is an emcee; they navigate the night, let your guests know what’s going on, gauge the crowd and keep the party going without ever missing a beat. When you’re getting married, you don’t have time to be the consummate host(ess). Professional vendors will communicate with and serve your guests, so you can actually enjoy your own wedding.

Getting married? Mazel tov! Here are the morals to the story: 1) Stick to your budget; 2) Hire the right vendors, and; 3) Embrace autumn. For generations, June was bustin’ out all over. Now, when it comes to weddings, it’s just busted.