If Jen Carfagno looks familiar it's because she's one of the first people many viewers see in the morning. As part of The Weather Channel's First Outlook team, Carfagno advises people on how to prepare for their morning commutes. As the channel's wedding weather expert, she provides an invaluable service, helping couples prepare for the most important day of their lives.
LoveToKnow Weddings would like to thank Jen Carfagno for taking the time to talk with readers about predicting wedding day weather. Hopefully her tips can help you to plan your perfect day.
Picking the Right Season for Your Wedding
LoveToKnow (LTK): What is the most popular time of the year for weddings?
Jen Carfagno (JC): While June and August continue to be popular, early fall is becoming increasingly desirable for couples. The weather tends to cool down and people are resuming their routines after summer vacations and activities.
LTK: When is the best time of the year to plan an outdoor wedding?
JC: The best time of year for an outdoor wedding depends on your location, but for a lot of the country, it is in the fall. The sky is a crisp blue, temperatures are comfortable, humidity is low, and most importantly, September-October-November are typically some of the least rainy months of the year for many cities.
Planning Outdoor Weddings
LTK: What should couples know when planning outdoor weddings, especially beach weddings?
JC: When planning a beach wedding, the weather can influence several small details which can make a big difference. Find out the sunset time, but also think about where the sun will set in the sky. Seat your guests so that they have a view of the sunset without the sun glare directly in their eyes. Tide prediction tables are readily available in advance. Knowing if the tide is coming in or going out can help you plan where you stand for pictures.
The water has a definite influence on the weather. It will help moderate the temperatures, so that beach is typically not as hot or cold as it is inland. A sea breeze often sets up on a summer afternoon, with cooler air from over the water blowing in over the beach.
LTK: I knew of a bride who planned her wedding according to the Farmer's Almanac, how much trust should couples put into predications from this book?
JC: The Farmer's Almanac does offer a downloadable long-term forecast online - I think a lot of brides must ask for it. It is reasonable priced, so it might be fun to take a look at, but don't plan your wedding based on it.
Climatology (average high, low temperature, typical monthly rainfall) combined with the Climate Prediction Center's outlooks are your best bet for assessing the weather odds. You can get both at www.weather.com/weddings, plus a lot of additional information to help you plan and prepare for your big day.
LTK: Many couples set a wedding date years in advance, can we really predict what the weather will be like that far ahead?
JC: The science of weather prediction just does not support specific forecasts beyond 10 days. Climatology (average high, low temperature, typical monthly rainfall) combined with long-term outlooks are your best bet for assessing the weather odds.
LTK: Weather wise, what would be the perfect honeymoon destination?
JC: For me, Hawaii. The temperatures are warm, but kept in check by the persistent trade winds. A/C is not needed - even the airport in Honolulu is open air! Rain showers are common, but a complete wash-out for every location on an entire island is rare.
LTK: And what place is least recommended as a romantic honeymoon spot?
JC: That's a tough one! If you pick a location that you want to visit, I think you will have a wonderful time regardless of the weather. Being stuck in a nice hotel room on a rainy day is not such a bad thing on your honeymoon!
Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Day
LTK: Are there any other tips you'd like to offer for choosing the perfect wedding day?
JC: Be realistic about long-term forecasts. We just cannot predict if it is going to rain a year advance. But, you can pick a date in the "dry season" to increase your odds. Then, embrace your wedding day weather. Get pictures in it - rain or shine. It's the backdrop for your wedding story.