What images conjure up in your mind when you think of Winter weddings? Cosy log fires, beautiful long velvet capes, a dusting of snow, warming spiced drinks & twinkling candlelight?
It all sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? So why not have your wedding during the magical winter season?
As an experienced and professional wedding planner, Mary Briscoe, proud owner of ‘Weddings By Mary’ gives her musings with five ideas and tips, on the benefits of hosting a winter wedding in the UK (and beyond!)
1. Budget Deals
One of the bonuses of hosting your wedding in the winter is the cost implication. A wedding venue you set your heart on may not have availability during the summer but will offer a much more cost-effective rate for the winter months.
Although December may be a slightly more expensive month, it will not be nearly as much as the high season of summer. You could also make use of the venue’s festive decorations, to save even more pennies on decor.
I personally love November as it is a pre-festive season, so you can really get the party ball rolling, perhaps with a stunning firework display, to add that extra sparkle!
A January wedding, mind you, does give everyone something to look forward to after all the madness of the New Year has passed, especially if it is later in the month.
#TOP TIP: Double check with your venue that fireworks are permitted and whether you are required to use a specific company.
2. Hay Fever & Wasp Free
Everyone immediately thinks of weddings as summer occasions. The thought of hosting the drinks reception outside with the sun shining warm & bright, the sound of children running freely around and lashings of lovely fruity Pimms & ice-cold beers.
But, then along come the wasps. Your guests start to waft their arms about frantically or shift around constantly, with the odd light-hearted scream and dash. You know who they are and can picture them already!
Those of you who suffer from Hay Fever will most certainly want to consider avoiding the summer months, streaming eyes don’t make for the prettiest of photographs, however much your photographer can edit.
#TOP TIP: Don’t forget to check if there is a cloakroom or rail available for guests to use as you more than likely don’t want unsightly rain macs spoiling your wedding reception appearance
3. The Good Old British Weather
Just because you book your wedding in the summer doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to have beautiful blue skies and the sun shining brightly on you and your guests. (Although you would have been very lucky this year, albeit a tad too warm at 34 degrees in a three-piece suit).
If you decide upon a winter wedding you know that it will probably be chilly, however, you could also be lucky and have a bright crisp winter's day. If it does rain at least you can prepare and purchase umbrellas, perhaps to match your colour theme, just in case? I have however known December weddings to have most of their photographs captured outside as it was such a beautiful, warmish and sunny day. Imagine a bride not only wrapped up warm and cosy in a stunning white winter cape but also wrapped in her new husband’s arms too. What’s not to love?
#TOP TIP: Don’t skimp on a professional photographer. They will take amazing photographs come rain or shine and will make the most of the winter light.
4. Styling Potential
Now I’m not stylist but even I can picture a wonderful, magical winter wedding scene. Crunchy & frosty under foot, twinkling white lights, lots of gorgeous pillar candles, perhaps a delicate dusting of snow, with a warming, crackling log fire….the enchanted feel-good factor is endless.
If you want to embrace the whole Christmas feel for your winter wedding then you can really let your imagination run wild with either beautiful pale blue, sparkling silver & crisp whites or opt for truly festive rich reds and emerald greens with holly wreaths and mistletoe hung.
Why not have a mini Christmas tree with gift tags for guests to write a special message to you which they then leave hung on the tree? A gorgeous guest book alternative.
#TOP TIP: Check when the venue put up their festive decorations as well as their choice of colour scheme. You don’t want it to clash. Do also double check that they permit candles.
5. Alternative Drinks
How about serving spicy mulled wine or warm winter Pimms for your wedding reception? Such enticing smells to tempt your guests and warm their hands! Exactly what winter is all about – tempting and teasing the taste buds (and expanding the waistline!)
During the evening celebrations, as well as serving traditional coffee and tea, why not offer mugs of warming, rich hot chocolate topped with whipped cream & marshmallows. How lovely would this be for adults & children alike?
#TOP TIP: Have the hot drinks served on a separate table, which will give guests the chance to move about, stretch their legs and mingle with other guests.
If you have always dreamt about a summer wedding, why not switch your thinking and dare to be different!
For more expert advice, visit our planning section. Planning a winter wedding but still searching for those summer rays? Find out if a destination wedding is right for you!