Personal Finance

Skipping Miami’s peak tourist season can cut your hotel and venue costs in half, but there are distinct trade-offs to a summer or fall wedding in the area, said wedding blogger Dara Smith of Stifling heat and humidity aside, off-season also overlaps with hurricane season, the rainy season and mosquito season.

Winter storms can create a host of problems, from power outages affecting the venue to bridal party members, guests and vendors unexpectedly unable to travel in, said Anne Chertoff, trends expert for WeddingWire. And picking a weeknight wedding can reduce the number of family and friends able and willing to attend.

You’ll have to weigh the risk-reward of picking that less-desirable date.

Some issues can be worked around with planning. Smith said she often talks to couples thinking about a summer destination wedding in Miami about avoiding an outdoor, afternoon ceremony, asking the venue about contingencies such as fans, and being flexible with photo timing to avoid midafternoon rain showers. Also key: Dig into venue and vendor policies.

“Definitely go through all the scenarios,” Smith said. “What’s the emergency clause … if there’s a hurricane and everyone evacuates? Do you get all your money back?”

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Wedding insurance can be cheap way to buy peace of mind, Chertoff said. Rates are based on factors such as the cost of the wedding, with coverage kicking in to cover nonrefundable costs related to natural disasters as well as other wedding woes, such as a vendor going out of business.

Some downsides, such as a slimmer guest list, also have their own advantages for couples looking for a more intimate, less pricey affair.

“It’s the guest list that’s really going to determine how much you’re spending on your wedding,” Chertoff said. “Cutting one table of people could save you thousands of dollars.”

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