We have been inundated with requests to big up the winter wedding vibes. We've enlisted the help of reader Holly who had her very own winter wedding (coming to these pages really soon). So without further ado, let's crack on with the benefits of winter weddings.
Simply by the fact that there are fewer winter weddings, yours is likely to stand out. It’s also at the time of year, under 'normal' circumstances, that your guests are less likely to have wedding fatigue (can you believe that is actually a thing?) and your wedding is less likely to clash with others or annual holidays.
More Supplier Availability
January to March are often quieter months for venues and suppliers which means potentially more availability. A winter wedding might just be your ticket to getting that sought-after supplier. These months can also potentially be more economical in terms of wedding dresses if you get savvy. There are often more sample dresses available from previous seasons and if you did want a last-minute dress - you may not have to wait the obligatory 6 months or so.
Winter Wedding Weather
It goes without saying that you'll need a wet weather contingency. You might want to consider snow/ice contingencies too. Especially if your venue is somewhat rural. But aside from that, plan with the good old British weather in mind and embrace it. A big misconception about winter weddings is that you can't have a marquee or a tipi wedding in the colder months. We're here to tell you that you absolutely can. From fire pits to the most magical lighting, you can have an insanely gorgeous and cosy warm winter wedding in a tent. Don't believe us? Then check out this previous article on how to have a winter wedding in a marquee.
For late November or December weddings, often your venue will have some Christmas decorations up already, so this can sometimes enhance your own theme. They may already have a festive tree or some beautiful garlands floating about. It's a good idea to ask them what their seasonal decor plans are and you could take inspiration from this for your own.
Top Tip from Holly: I showed my floristry plans to my venue and they asked my florist to do their Christmas decorations as a result - this meant as an added bonus it all tied in!
With the evenings getting darker sooner you can really benefit from tonnes of atmospheric fairy lights, tapered candles, lanterns... Whatever takes your fancy. You can transform a venue space with just these three things alone. You can set such a special atmosphere with the right lighting so make sure you really consider your options. This article might help give you some direction.
Top Tip from Holly: Don't forget how much light fairy lights chuck out! The canopy at my wedding breakfast was much brighter than I envisioned because of the volume of lights. And for anything overhanging, use battery-powered tea lights to avoid wax dripping onto guests.
Using seasonal flowers and foliage to bring that festive feel.
Top tip from Holly: I used mistletoe and holly in our buttonholes.
Check out our podcast episode about wedding flowers here to find out why you should void using mistletoe on your cake!
Some flowers may be more expensive at this time of year if they're not in season so it's worth really considering what will fit your budget. But don't worry, seasonal winter flowers can be just as striking and colourful as any other time of year. Here is a round-up of some great autumn-winter flowers to fire up your imagination. Think berries, feathers, ranunculus, cosmos.
If you're struggling to decide on readings or music for your ceremony? You can look at incorporating carols or Christmas-inspired readings for pre-Christmas weddings. Our reader Holly had Deck The Halls during her ceremony. Obvs. Or embrace the concept of Hygge (cosiness) with songs or readings that evoke that feeling for you.
Again it's really easy to draw from the season when it comes to food and bevs. How about warm drinks for your ceremony (mulled wine/cider/hot chocolate etc), and you can follow that through into your reception and wedding breakfast with classic Christmas tipples (speak with your venue about creating cocktails as they can get a bit pricey if they include multiple ingredients). How about Mimosas with candy canes, Mistletoe Mules, or cranberry whiskey sours? I don't think you can go wrong with a classic espresso martini either. And then there's hot chocolates and toasted marshmallows in the evening. And what's not to love about winter food? That real comfort food that everyone enjoys. You know the ones, bangers and mash (great for meat-eaters and veggies too!), cottage pie or how about a selection of miniature pies? Devils on horseback (guys, I didn't know that this was an alternative name for pigs in blankets! Did you?), all the roast veg, gingerbread men, mince pies, and you can most definitely crack out the Baileys for an Irish coffee.
Holly's top tipple tips are: Hibiscus flowers in Prosecco, Sloe Gin, Mulled Spiced Cider.
If you want to go down the traditional route of favours then again, this is a great season for finding things that your guests will love. How about having a go at homemade cranberry sauce or hot chocolate bundles. Maybe you could go for tree decorations, candy canes, candles or crackers. Holly made her very own sloe gin. Fancy.
If you're partial to a bit of festive Christmas cake then why not make that the basis of your wedding cake? Other things to consider are yule logs (my absolute fave) and those richer warmer cakes, the red velvets or a chocolate fudge maybe.
Your options are endless when it comes to winter wedding fashion. And winter bridal accessories are our favourites. Some excellent ways to cosy up your look are:
Babes, if you rock a boot we will love you forever. If you're after some inspiration as to how that translates, look no further than real bride Emily. Wow.
Interestingly what you decide to put over your wedding outfit can sometimes make the outfit. Check out this Pinterest board dedicated to bridal cover-ups for tonnes of inspiration for the ultimate accessory. And one of our most-loved Instagram pictures was of this unbelievable bridal coat. We're seriously hoping that bridal coats become a thing, because... Wow.
You can also consider going a bit... Spangly on the ears and neck and/or wrists. Maybe not all at once. And what about what you're wearing on your head? If ever there was a time for Ice-Queen-Tiara-Chic it's at your winter wedding.
Consider your fabrics
We're talking predominantly about velvet. If there's one time you can rock an all-out velvet suit or a velvet cover-up, it's for a winter wedding. It adds warmth and character to any wedding. Also, wedding dress layers are your friend. But don't get too worried about your dress being warm for winter, you'll mostly be nice and cosy inside so you can still rock that backless dress if you wish.
A darker lip, vampy nails, a smokey eye. All things that work so well during this season should you feel bold enough to take any of them on.
And one final note when it comes to nailing your winter wedding: Consider how your photography plans might need to change to accommodate the season. With the evenings being shorter you may need to take your couples shots slightly earlier. And if you want to capture those golden winter sunsets you might have to be willing to nip out from your wedding breakfast to do so. Make sure you have a good chat with your photographer to ensure you get all the shots that are important to you.
We'd love to hear about when your winter weddings are going to be and what your plans are. Be sure to check out our winter wedding Pinterest board for inspiration on all the above advice and you can get even more winter wedding inspiration from this post. Thanks again to Holly for contributing to this article. Holly joined us on the podcast to chat about planning a wedding with small children, her son Theo was 6 months old when she married her husband Josh, so that's definitely worth a listen if it's relevant to you too.