If you’re willing to plan your wedding just on either side of peak season–the months known as the “shoulder seasons”–there are a lot of perks, from cheaper rates to fewer crowds. Maine is a popular wedding destination and dates from June through September book up quickly, but if you can take a chance–and have a few backup plans in place–spring, fall, and even winter weddings in Maine have their own romantic allure and enticing event details.

As we say in New England, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” That’s especially true in the less predictable shoulder seasons, but if you’re prepared to roll with the punches and ready for anything Mother Nature might throw your way then “risky” shoulder season weddings can reap some of the most beautiful (and picturesque) rewards. 

One of Hardy Farm’s most popular wedding planners, Paula Cano of A Family Affair, shared with us a few of her most unique and romantic ideas for combating the chilly temps of Maine’s shoulder seasons–from highs in the 50s to 70s to lows in the 30s or even teens–so you can take advantage of our stunning fall foliage, our winter ski season, or our spring flowers.

Serve up warming beverages.

Whether as a welcome drink or a post-ceremony cocktail to put the feeling back into chilly fingers, your guests will thank you for serving warm and tasty tipples like hot toddies, spiced cider, eggnog or mulled wine — even a whole spiked cocoa bar! (Just imagine the photos.) Martha Stewart Weddings has a wonderful list of 20 ideas you can share with your wedding planner and/or catering or bartending vendors.

Have cozy blankets available for guests to wrap themselves in.

From lightweight pashminas to thick, chunky knits, there’s a classy blanket plan for every style and every shoulder season wedding–and creative ways to display them for guests to grab. Any rustic wedding held at a farm wouldn’t be complete without them, actually. As one couple invited their guests with a hand-lettered chalkboard sign: “To have and to hold, in case you get cold!”

Have guests cuddle together under ceremony seats outfitted with umbrellas or heaters.

Consider it a literal ice-breaker: Nothing will get your guests talking and comfortable with one another faster than getting cozy grouped together. As they say, “Pick a seat, not a side–we’re all family once the knot is tied!” Rental vendors can offer incredibly stylish solutions for both seating and displays, from portable wooden benches and heaters to hay bales covered in Maine Woolens plaid blankets, as well as ideas like offering boxes of clear umbrellas or rows of Bean Boots to borrow if rain (or a hurricane) is in the forecast.

Gather around the fire pit.

Nothing caps off a fall or winter wedding in New England quite like a bonfire, those wafts and that smell of campfire smoke permeating the air. Turn up the heat during your dusk cocktail hour with your guests around our Hardy Farm fire pit. As a backup plan, you can always work with your caterer to create DIY tabletop stations with Sterno cans!

Shoulder Season Weddings at Hardy Farm

November at Hardy Farm continues to offer beautiful foliage and many warm days.  Our barn also provides the perfect backdrop for a cozy romantic vision of a smaller, more intimate autumn wedding reception.  Being our shoulder season we can also offer a substantial discount on your venue cost if your group is no larger than 100 guests. Check out our Availability page or contact us directly, we would love to answer all of your questions about shoulder season weddings.