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Published August 28, 2010, 12:00 AM

Harvest swoon

Fall becoming popular season for weddings Dori Amundson is a self-described “farm girl” who loves harvest season.

Dori Amundson is a self-described “farm girl” who loves harvest season.

And when she’s out bow hunting with her fiancé, she finds the orange and gold of the fall outdoors “so pretty.”

“Actually that’s my favorite season,” says Amundson, a Finley, N.D., native.

So it’s fitting that she and fiancé Chad Dahl have planned their 2011 wedding for autumn with an October date, rather than the more traditional summer months of June and July.

They’re not alone.

“Fall is the new summer,” says Alicia Weigel, owner of the Fargo-based Bliss Events and Weddings.

It’s not like all brides have suddenly decided to eschew the summer wedding, but Weigel has seen a definite increase in the number of couples tying the knot later in the year. She even says that she already has more weddings on the books for this fall than she has had for this summer.

Darla Julin, owner of the Fantasies in Frosting custom cake shop in Moorhead, can vouch for the increasing popularity of fall weddings.

September and October are “pretty neck and neck with June and August,” says Julin, who has been decorating cakes for well over 25 years.

And she says they’re seeing more fall weddings every year.

The trend is more than anecdotal. According to stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 65,000 more June-July wedding than September-October weddings in 2007. But in 2009 that number dropped by almost 50 percent with only 33,000 more weddings in June-July than September-October.

The trend toward fall weddings has also developed at Fargo-based Dude Walker’s Music on Wheels. As to why, the owner points to “simple economics.”

If you throw a posh wedding in June, it’s going to mean “big bucks,” says Dude Walker, the business owner’s DJ name. “You’re going to have money left over in October.”

Hotels and travel are cheaper, Walker says. Honeymoons are cheaper as are destination weddings.

He also believes a greater availability of services and facilities in the fall is a factor.

It could also be that summer weddings have an awful lot with which to compete.

“I think because people have just become so busy in the summer,” Weigel says.

And our area may even feel that a bit more than some.

“We only have three decent months out of the year, it seems like,” Weigel jokes.

There may be other reasons. In an agricultural region like ours, some may try to schedule around the realities of farm life. At least three brides have told Weigel they chose the dates they did so that the wedding falls after harvest.

“My dad will actually come to my wedding,” they’ve told her.

And maybe some folks just want a little something different.

Jenna Clark, a Fargo nurse, is getting married in October. She loves fall and the colors and milder weather that accompany it. She’s always had her heart set on a fall wedding. And she says summer weddings are so common that it’s “kind of became a little cliché.”

Of course, fall weddings come with their own dangers.

Clark says her special day is right before the opening of pheasant season, and her fiancé, Jordan Miosek, is a hunter. But she says he “sacrificed” that opener for her.

Whatever the reasons, Weigel believes the perceived growth in the popularity of fall weddings is good for those in her industry, expanding their work season.

“Now,” says Weigel, “if we could just get into winter.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734