Critical Weather Notes for Spring Weddings in Payson
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
If you're planning your wedding or elopement for March or April in Payson, seasonal variations make temps and precipitation hard to predict year to year. Exactly "when" the weather warms, snow stops, and trees green up is hit or miss - but we get asked a lot as people plan.
Here's a few things to know prior to booking Spring weddings in Payson, AZ that should help you avoid unplanned weather issues or surprises.
When Does it Warm Up?
Many people assume that the first day of Spring in Payson (March20) means warmer whether and greener trees - but it's important to note that weather patterns are changing and the forest tends to come out of it's Winter hibernation in stages. Average temperatures in March and April are highs in the mid-50s(F) to mid-60s(F) and low temperatures are still cold in the high 30s(F) to low 40s(F). And remember, those are averages, it could be warmer or colder than those numbers.
Given we're in the mountains and the sun is still off-angle to many of the valleys during March - long shadows add to temperatures dropping more quickly in the afternoon. This means that March ceremonies stretching in to the evening hours can often go beyond chilly into straight out 'cold'.
Most venues offer heaters, as do we, and it's important to plan/budget for extended propane use as temps year to year. Best case - it's warmer than average and you won't need the extra heater time, but worst case you're prepared for the colder evenings.
If you're hoping to avoid the risk of winter weather, push for an event in late April. Brown trees will be greening up, and many of our highs will be in the 60s and 70s(F) by then. Lows will climb to a point where evening dinner guests will manage the chill versus the potential lows in the high-30s and 40s(F) that can be downright cold.
Does it Snow in Payson in March?
In short, the answer to 'does it snow in March in Payson' is 'yes'. See the graphs and images above. The pictures here are taken on March 14th and March 23rd, 2021. While we had late freezes this year, this is not abnormal, and the precipitation graph above shows March as HIGHER snowfall on average than February! The late snow/freeze in March of this year killed off many green buds and our trees had to start over - meaning much of the fruit didn't make it on local trees. It's the reason we have some good years for fruits and berries, and some bad.
Remember that even if not snowing, cold March rains will hamper outdoor events if the temps are above freezing just enough to avoid the snow. March is late in the rainy winter season and Spring brings dry weather by May, with late spring being our driest months in Rim Country. This means March is still a rain producer from an averaging standpoint.
The further you push your wedding toward June, the lower the chances you'll be rained (or snowed) out, and the greener the trees.
A late snow like in the March 2021 images above can put a serious damper on an outdoor event if there was no pre-planning for tents. Since event supplies in Payson are limited book reservations for tents and equipment early as insurance for your March ceremony, since everyone will scramble to cover their event if the weather turns!
Allergies Begin to Factor in May-June
The beauty of waiting till a little later in April to hold your wedding ceremony is those beautiful cherry, plumb, apple, and other trees should be in bloom, which makes for beautiful photos. Just remember the closer you get to May, the higher the likely-hood that. allergy season will begin. Note that with all the cypress, cedar, and juniper trees, plus all the various grasses that pop up, hay-fever suffers and those who suffer from 'cedar fever' may go bonkers. Come prepared with your allergy meds of choice, and note that "allergy season" can last till mid-to-late-July some years in Arizona.
Bring the allergy meds for your May-June weddings. Your guests may not even know they suffer from allergies until surrounded by the Tonto National. forest's trees and grasses, which tend to drive locals nuts for a month or two starting sometime in May-June.
Holding the Perfect March/April Payson Wedding
While there are many factors that contribute to unplanned challenges at weddings, weather is a major factor when planning your event. Knowing the local patterns is helpful, and understanding that the forest weather patterns often don't cooperate in early Spring is key to understanding and mitigating the risks to your early Spring Payson wedding or outdoor elopement event.
While weather/seasonal risks exist - we have many amazing 65 degree (F), perfect, Spring days in early and mid-March. While trees will just be 'waking up', a crisp, blue-bird day in the mountains of Payson yields an amazing opportunity for the perfect outdoor wedding in early Spring given proper planning and a bit of foreknowledge on weather patterns in Rim Country.
If we can be of assistance with local knowledge or you'd like to plan a turn-key micro wedding with us - please just reach out. We'll put our experience as forest locals to work, and do our best to help!