Wedding season is often seen as running from April to September, with most couples choosing to tie the knot in more balmy summer months. But there are many benefits to choosing a winter wedding.
From the possibilities of a magical dusting of snow to the longer, romantic evenings, there are plenty of reasons to choose a winter wedding.
If you’re preparing to say ‘I Do’ in this magical season or have just recently gotten engaged, we’ve prepared a checklist of everything you’ll need to consider. From décor to drink ideas, we’ve got it covered.
1. THE VENUE
When asked what the most important aspect of their wedding is, around 24% of brides said the venue. Choosing the right space for your big day is essential as it encompasses all the other elements.
Unlike the summer, you can’t just turn up and throw a flimsy marquee into an empty field. Winter weddings require a space where you are completely protected against all the elements!
This doesn’t mean you won’t be spoilt for choice when it comes to the style of your dream venue though. Choose cosy and casual in a log cabin or go opulent and elegant in a medieval castle or listed building like our Grade II listed Ballroom.
Even better, dates during the winter months are usually off-peak. Meaning you should be able to negotiate a deal with your venue and suppliers. Don’t forget though, the closer you get to the Christmas and New Year period, the more expensive rates will become.
2. DÉCOR AND DECORATIONS
After choosing your winter wedding venue, comes another important step: the décor. Again, this is an opportunity for you to decide the look and feel of your wedding, with many options at your fingertips.
Either go warm and cosy with warm colours, tartans and pinecone accents or merge metallics and snowy, crisp whites for a dramatic look. Glitters and golds are also fabulous for adding some extra magic to your day.
Winter weddings can also lend themselves to dramatic themes. Get inspired by dramatic literature or medieval fantasy like Narnia or Game of Thrones. These themes are best implemented during the winter season, as your more able to give that fantastical atmosphere.
Remember! If you’re looking at dates around the Christmas period to ask your venue whether they’ll have theming or decorations already up. This could affect the cost of your venue hire, so it’s always good to check in advance.
Another area of your winter wedding where you can get creative is with your wedding flowers. Choose seasonal florals, with deep, warm colours creating a romantic feel. Flowers are also a great area to bring in seasonality by adding holly sprigs and berries.
Incorporate evergreen winter foliage to add colour and texture to your wedding flowers or add dimension with pinecones or thistles. Or capitalise on the deeper, more romantic colours that the winter season brings with mauves, burgundies and scarlets.
4. WINTER WEDDING FOOD
The cold means one thing: carbs and plenty of them! Treat your guests to more than just a simple salad starter. They’ll need sustenance in the frozen winter weather.
Take advantage of seasonal treats to build a mouth-watering menu that will warm your guests from the inside and give them dancing fuel! People want to eat heartier during winter months, especially when there’s an open bar.
Choose canapes like mac & cheese balls or hearty entrees of risotto and root vegetables, this is your chance to get creative. Make sure you’re trying everything and that you’ve discussed your ideas with your caterer.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about ingredients and alternatives. The growing trend of veganism and vegetarianism means caterers are becoming more flexible with dietary alternatives. Think about trying non-traditional buffets so guests can mix and match their favourite foods.
5. DRINK IDEAS
A winter wedding also gives you the chance to get creative with your drink options! Save on the champagne and provide a warming winter welcome drink instead.
Use mulled wine for a festive feel or warm apple cider for an autumnal kick. Finish the evening meal with a hot toddy or liqueur coffee to gently steer guests to the dancefloor.
Make the drinks a centerpiece with a build-your-own hot chocolate station. Top with anything from whipped cream, crushed candy canes, gingerbread biscuits, flakes, marshmallows. The options are endless and its great entertainment for little ones and big ones alike!
Photography and/or videography are a close second when it comes to priorities. And for obvious reason: these are the memories you will treasure and share with family and friends forever.
Finding the right photographer is something every couple goes through. Not only is their photography style vital but also their connection with you. Make sure you meet them in advance and communicate your vision and wishes.
Our other tip is do not be afraid to wrap up warm and brave the cold for outdoor shots! Oftentimes, couples think a winter wedding means indoor shots only, but you can get some wonderfully romantic moments by stepping outside.
7. THE DRESS & WEDDING PARTY ATTIRE
Our biggest tip for winter wedding style? Layer up! Opt for elegant covers like shawls and capes or inject some playfulness and texture with faux fur. Depending on your dress, you can also sneak in extra heat with tights or leggings!
For the grooms and wedding party, you’ve got the chance to experiment with textures and patterns. Think tweed, velvet and tartan, with darker hues complimenting crisp weather.
Plus, the festive feel of winter weddings gives you the perfect excuse to use sequins or beading in your wedding dress. They’ll sparkle against the lights and add stunning glamour to yours and your bridal party’s dresses.
8. MUSIC AND DJS
Much like your photography, choosing the right DJ is key to your enjoyment of your big day. Search for someone that you connect well with and get to know them on a personal level. Matching your personality will make the whole process go much smoother and your wedding day more fun.
It goes without saying that your DJ should have a similar music taste to your own, as this will set the tone of your whole evening. However, don’t forget a little variety will go a long way and your guests also need to enjoy themselves!
Use clever lighting to your advantage. The right lighting can bring a plain venue into a whole new realm.
Bolster romantic feeling with strings of fairy lights adorning the ceiling and walls, twinkling in the twilight. Use candles to create a feeling of fireside warmth and decorative tea lights to give a festive feel.
Alternatively, set the mood with bold colours. Our state-of-the-art robotic lighting system means you can find the perfect mood lighting all day, from the ceremony through to the evening reception.
10. THE ATMOSPHERE
Together, all these important elements add up to one thing: the atmosphere. When polled on the wedding forum WeddingWire, most said that the atmosphere is what matters most.
Brides-to-be said that their main aim was that their friends and family were enjoying themselves. Plenty of brides mentioned that the key factors for this were also food and venue, as these are what they feel affects guest’s enjoyment most.
Whilst it’s lovely to ensure everyone at your wedding has a great time, don’t get caught up in this. You’ll never be able to please everyone. At the end of the day, everyone there is there to celebrate you and your partner’s new life together. As long as your happy with your choices, they will be too!