TIPS & ADVICE FOR A WINTER WEDDING
A winter wedding can be a fabulously elegant, atmospheric and stylish affair boasting the finest luxury of the season. Below we offer our tips for the perfect, stylish winter wedding day.
Should you decide to tie the knot in winter you may want to incorporate a theme for your special day. There are a variety of interesting and unique themes to choose from. Two popular choices are a Christmas wedding which lends itself to a formal and graceful event complete with black tie and evening gowns. Another popular alternative is a New Year’s Eve wedding, providing the backdrop to a magical midnight countdown amongst your nearest and dearest. Other winter themes may involve a whimsical fairytale!
As with all weddings, the venue choice is very important, particularly for a winter wedding. Many couples select a stately home or country house. They often have rooms with atmospheric open fireplaces, but it is important to find out about heating as you don’t want cold guests. Rooms with too many windows, and some churches, are often cold during the winter months. If your wedding is close to Christmas, there is a good chance that your chosen venue will already be decorated for the festive season, which can save you a great deal of time and money.
Remember to consider the weather! Even if it doesn’t end up snowing on your big day, you may be faced with rain. Your guests will appreciate the availability of extra umbrellas for them to borrow. Where possible it is also a great idea to have a roaring fire for guests to dry out their shoes and coats. Serving a hot drink to guests such as mulled wine is a fabulous way to get everyone into the spirit and chase away the chill.
Also, as a winter bride, you will need to prepare some contingency plans, particularly when it comes to transport. Ask yourself what you would do in the event of a blizzard on your wedding day restricting guests from getting to your venue? Additionally it is worth noting that classic cars aren’t always suitable on icy roads, but a great transport firm will offer a replacement vehicle to cope with the climate.
Be sure to ask your chosen suppliers what would happen if you were forced to cancel the wedding due to inclement weather. Ideally, you will have agreed with your suppliers to reschedule for a later date incurring no additional fees, depending on their availability.
You can create a truly magical atmosphere with the clever use of lighting. This can vary from flickering candles to storm lanterns to fairy lights.
We’ve also seen romantic ceremonies with lots of atmospheric spiced scented candles, decorative snowflakes, beautiful glass centrepieces and stunning lighting displays to reflect the season. Some couples have even had firework displays to mark the occasion.
When speaking to your florist, enquire about what flowers are in season. Some options may include winter blossoms such as cyclamen, irises, winter jasmine, freesias, lilies, roses and stephanotis. Berries and pine cones also add fabulous texture to floral arrangements!
FOOD & DRINK
Consider offering your guests a winter cocktail after the wedding ceremony. Warm Winter Pimms is very popular! Other comforting drinks include hot apple cider, rum punch or even hot chocolate with a splash of Baileys.
For the wedding breakfast try to make the most of seasonal ingredients. In the cold winter months you may consider opting for a warm and hearty starter such as spiced pumpkin soup. For a cold appetiser keep to seasonal foods and try figs wrapped in Parma ham or brie and cranberries.
Beef and lamb are very popular as a winter main course, and of course traditional turkey served with seasonal vegetables.
Seasonal desserts such as Christmas puddings are a tasty treat as are good old fashioned steamed puddings.
Winter wedding photography is an art and there are special considerations that you need to think about. An experienced photographer will look for sheltered places such as archways, decorative doorways, even large trees, as locations for couple and group shots. The photographer will also take into account the possibility of low level lighting both outdoors and at the venue and advise you on the best approach. It is also important to choose an earlier start time for your ceremony to maximise the use of natural light, given the earlier sunset times in winter.
Be prepared for some of your guests to decline your wedding invitation. Elderly guests and those from out-of-town in particular may choose not to attend your wedding due to concerns over icy conditions or potential airline delays.
Whether you’re getting married outside or just going out for scenic photographs, it’s important that you, as the bride, stay warm and comfortable. The perfect winter wedding dress incorporates practical elements to keep you warm. The length and fabric of your wedding dress, as well as accessories, should be carefully considered.
Make the most of winter fashion by using an elegant faux fur stole or shrug to dress up your wedding dress whilst keeping you warm when you’re outside. Also, don’t neglect your bridesmaids! They may require an elegant shawl to keep them warm – these double up as great gifts for your bridesmaids.
Whilst outside it is wise to wear closed toe shoes. Use a good quality spray to protect suede or leather shoes, or buy a pair of wellington or snow boots to wear outside if there is heavy snow – no one will even notice them under your dress if you don’t want them to, but equally they could be a fun statement!
If you and most of your guests celebrate Christmas, a festive beautiful ornament or snow globe would make the perfect gift. Or you may wish to spoil your guests with an indulgent hamper of hot chocolate and marshmallows or tea for two.