Guide to Planning the Ultimate Winter Wedding
Summer is peak season for British weddings, with nearly half of all weddings taking place between July and September. However, owing to the recent pandemic, thousands of weddings have been put on hold, rescheduled, or cancelled due to social distancing.
With this in mind, we’re expecting a rise in winter weddings, giving us double the reason to get into the festive spirit!
How to Plan a Winter Wedding
There’s many good reasons for hosting a winter wedding, least of all the great British landscape providing a crisp and enchanting backdrop. With unpredictable British weather, most wedding venues are already well-equipped for indoor soirees, making the UK one of the best countries for hosting a wedding between November and March.
Whether you were always planning a festive elopement, or have been forced to change your plans, here’s some insightful tips to help you achieve the winter wedding of your dreams.
Book your venue soon
It’s no secret wedding venues get booked up super-quick, even during off-peak season. With postponements also in the mix, it’s a good idea to book ahead, usually at least six months in advance.
With December being a big party occasion, do check guest availability as soon as you can. Work Christmas parties, family get-togethers and New Year’s celebrations have a tendency to get in the way!
From winter wonderland to festive cheer, there’s plenty of great themes to enjoy at this time of year. You can go all out with; snow-themed decorations, festive garlands, white-washed furniture, twinkly fairy lights, an Apres-ski style bar and so much more .
Two must-have additions include a hot-chocolate station (kids and adults will love it), and a vodka ice-luge. It might not sound classy, but actually an ice-chiselled sculpture creates a real centrepiece… plus, it always helps get the party started!
There’s no time like winter for inspiring colour palettes.
Play around with shades of ivory and white, contrasting against festive colours of vintage purple, metallic pewter, tree green and robin red. Extend this theme into the essence of your wedding day, from your floral bouquets through to your wedding dress.
Winter wedding dresses exude glamour and sophistication, in a way that no other season can compete with. It’s the perfect excuse to invest in a chic faux-fur shrug and long flowing gown. It’s really the most wonderful time of the year in the bridal fashion calendar.
With a turn in the weather, you’ll want to wrap up warm. Beyoncé’s sister, Solange nailed the look for her winter wedding in a stunning full-length gown by Kenzo, offset with elegant gold bangles. But the look was complete with a statement cape draped over her shoulders. A stunning addition that elevated the look to another level. Follow suit by accessorising around your wedding dress with warm layers.
Winter also opens up a host of fashion possibilities for grooms too. Think brushed velvet suits in Cadbury purple, ivory trouser and jacket ensembles, or maybe even a jacquard tailored two-piece. Pay homage to the season’s colours however you can.
Finally, don’t forget your guests – rugs, shrugs and wraps on standby always make a welcome gesture.
The magic of Christmas is best brought to life with fresh, seasonal wedding flowers. For starters, holly, ivy, and mistletoe is in abundance at this time of year, making it (cheap) and easy to decorate your venues. Consider strategically placed thistle, berries and greenery – there’s many different ways to arrange your flowers.
As for your bridal bouquet, there’s some delightful choices in bloom. Elegant calla Lilies, luxurious red or white roses, and ranunculus, are all in season during the winter months.
If you want to bring a touch of festive spirit to your ceremony, consider Christmas readings or Christmas hymns as part of your celebration. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love (and know all the words to ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ or ‘Jingle Bells’ as part of your winter theme?
If you’re marrying in January consider Burns Night on 25 January. This is always a fun occasion for those with Scottish heritage. It’s also the perfect excuse to serve up haggis, drams of whisky, and entertain guests with a Highland fling dance at the end of the night. Fun times guaranteed!
Locally sourced seasonal produce
Let’s get to the good bit; the food. Winter is the perfect season for serving up hearty bowls of soup, slow-cooked joints and maybe even game – pheasant is a real treat this time of year.
There’s also a host of delicious root vegetables, bursting with flavour and colour.
Indeed, a winter wedding is all about the comfort food, so order in the cheese fondue, get baking those pumpkin pies, and ask your Auntie Pat to get making her famous mince-pies!
And let’s not forget the centrepiece – your wedding cake. Decorate layers with thistle, holly and red rose petals for that unmistakable winter look.
You can go to town with creative festive favours, from Christmas crackers through to miniature Baileys bottles, there’s so many great ideas to inspire guests.
If you’re on a budget, then think of low-cost high-impact goodies. Home-made jams, spice sachets, sparklers, hand-crafted mince pies. There’s so many great options.
Better still, if you’re getting married in January or February, there’s tons of discounts from leftover winter stock.
In Nordic countries with frosty dark nights, they embrace the concept of hygge. This is basically the cosy conviviality of snuggling up under the covers, keeping warm and enjoying good company.
Lighting can play an important role in all of this, with lightly scented candles, fairy lights, and lanterns bringing a sense of occasion to proceedings.
Not-so Silent Night
When it comes to your evening entertainment, winter presents lots of great options. Karaoke bands are growing in popularity, and a great way to get all your guests involved. With or without karaoke, a seasonal theme is a fun way to get everyone up dancing. Christmas classics from ‘Last Christmas’ to ‘Fairytale of New York’ are always a hit!
So there you have it, ten fantastic ways to enjoy your winter wedding day.