Choosing a date is along with the venue, one of the first steps towards getting started with the planning of your wedding. The date you choose will have an impact on the overall price of your wedding, as wedding venues tend to charge higher rates in high season. Flights to the South of France will also be more expensive if you plan on having your wedding during a school holiday period. When thinking about a date for your wedding on the French Riviera, you might want to keep in mind the following additional information:
|LOW SEASONJanuary through March is classed as low season for weddings on the French Riviera. This period is however fairly busy in terms of business travel with several exhibitions and trade shows taking place throughout the area, notably in Cannes at the Palais des Festivals congress centre.
The weather is extremely mixed with periods of rain and cold winds mixed with sunny, temperate spells.
Rates are certainly lower during the low season, however due to the unreliable weather; you will not be able to experience the best the region has to offer.
|LOW TO MID SEASONApril gives way to sunny days and the start of the mid season and can be a great month for a wedding on the French Riviera. Rainy spells and colder temperatures in the evening are still a real risk which should not be ignored.
Be sure to check when Easter falls before firming up any dates in April.
Most beach venues re-open in April, in time for Easter weekend and remain open until the end of September / beginning of October.
It is possible to have an outdoor ceremony and pre-diner drinks in April but often it’s too cold to eat outside without either outdoor heaters or a marquee covering.
|MID / HIGH SEASONMay and June are excellent months for weddings on the Cote d’Azur as lovely weather starts to appear more frequently from May onwards.
In May it can still be a little too cold in the evening to eat outside without outdoor heaters or a marquee covering. The odd shower in May is also common.
Watch out for the 4 public holidays on the 1st May (labour day), 8th May (victory day), Ascension which falls 39 days after Easter Sunday and Pentecost which falls 50 days after Easter Sunday.
If you intend to marry in or around Cannes, try to avoid the 10 days of the Cannes Film Festival which takes place every year in May. If you are to marry nearer to Monaco, avoid the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
June and particularly the last weekend in June is one of the most popular wedding dates in the entire year. Quite often, availability for June in terms of venues can be more difficult than in July & August.
|HIGH SEASONJuly and August are the busiest months on the French Riviera in terms of tourism. Sunshine and temperatures up to 35°C are guaranteed with very scarce rainfall.
Venue hire rates and rates for accommodation during the months of July and August are generally the highest.
Beware; hire of private beaches for exclusive use can be problematic in July and August as most beaches are filled with sun loungers occupied from the early morning until 18.00-19.00 by sun lovers. For evening receptions, this greatly reduces set up time.
Keep in mind that the French national holiday for Bastille day on the 14th July can be a problematic date; suppliers are often reticent to work this day and are likely to charge double time.
Several fireworks festivals run in three towns along the coast (Cannes, Monaco and Juan les Pins) during the high season and can be a great opportunity to make the most of a free firework display at your wedding. Check out the following sites for more info:
|MID SEASONSeptember is one of my favourite months on the French Riviera. Crowds disappear, temperatures cool so as air conditioning is no longer necessary to live comfortably and rates become more reasonable.
Something I have noticed however is that some establishments can give off a certain feeling of nonchalance due to the accumulated fatigue after a hectic high season.
The rain can fall in a spectacular manner in September, which comes as a much needed hydration after the previous months of hot weather and high temperatures. However some years, the rain does not come until October and sunbathing can be enjoyed during the entire month of September quite comfortably. This year for example, September was superb with high temperatures and sunny skies continuing well into October and November.
|LOW SEASONAs with January through to March, October and November are classed as a low season on the French Riviera.
The weather in both months is very unpredictable with clear blue skies and sun one day and then gusty mistral winds and rain the next. However this year we have been extremely lucky. Both October and the first part of November were absolutely glorious!
Most of the beach venues on the French Riviera close at the end of September / beginning of October and do not re-open again until April ready in time for Easter.
Be aware that many hotels close for annual holidays during the months of October and November and either open again in December ready for Christmas or in January after the new year celebrations.
|LOW TO MID SEASONDecember can offer some fabulously sunny days despite the cold temperatures. The French Alps in the distance are topped with snow, making a beautiful backdrop.
Some couples choose to marry in the South of France around Christmas time so that guests may make the most of the public holidays without needing to get time off work.
Venues are in full festive swing with Christmassy decoration and romantic log fires.
You should be aware that getting married on the French Riviera in December will not give you the typical sun, sea and sand experience. The climate at this time of year is certainly greatly inferior to those in the Canaries and other such winter holiday destinations.