Many couples are finding that their spring and summer wedding is being rescheduled to the cooler, winter months and they are looking for ideas of how to adapt the style they had originally planned for their big day.
Winter is actually becoming an ever popular wedding season with couples; it is a beautifully magical and romantic time of year with amazing early sunsets, stunning rich colour palettes and soft candle light and of course, the added sparkle of festive decorations.
Winter weddings mean shorter days
It is worth considering that the sun sets earlier in the winter months, so bear this in mind when planning your winter wedding day, perhaps bring your wedding ceremony forward to allow your photographer sufficient time for those all-important outside photos.
Your winter wedding ceremony
It is entirely possible to have an outdoor winter wedding ceremony, providing it is dry and everyone is wrapped up warm. However, it is worth considering that if you have a number of elderly guests attending, they may well appreciate a cosy indoor wedding ceremony! There are great ways to keep everyone warm for an outside winter wedding ceremony such as fire pits, hand warmers, shawls and faux fur throws etc.
Being a Celebrant, I love how creative couples are with their ceremony areas and as a Celebrant is not restricted to licensed areas, you can hold your ceremony absolutely anywhere in your venue allowing you to really go to town with your ceremony space decorations. Perhaps a beautiful festive arch, or a canopy of fairy lights? An abundance of candles will really give that magical, romantic feel.
A unique, carefully crafted Celebrant ceremony will bring that element of magic to your wedding day; your ceremony will reflect your ideas, your personal style and will be all about the two of you! Sharing your story and declaring your love and commitment to each other in front of those closest to you in the incredible atmosphere created by twinkling fairy lights, flickering candles and a roaring log fire is such a beautiful, poignant and romantic moment on your wedding day. Your Celebrant ceremony will leave you and your guests with really special memories and if you’re fortunate to have a sprinkling of snow, well, need I say more!
You may consider including a mini ritual within your wedding ceremony, such as a Handfasting, a unity candle ceremony or a ring warming ceremony. Or perhaps you might enjoy a warming tipple by including the Loving Cup ceremony; an ancient Celtic tradition using a two-handed Celtic bowl known as a Quaich. The purpose of the ceremony is for the couple to have their first drink together as husband and wife and symbolises the joining of two families. There are many beautiful ways to enhance your ceremony which you can discuss with your Celebrant. Of course, your promises to each other and the exchange of your wedding rings is the heart of your ceremony and if you are after something a little special, Natalia, from My Billet Doux has kindly shared some beautiful photos of her unique, silk, envelope cushions and antique ribbons which she makes in her York based workshop. Each cushion comes with a two cards and a pen, for the couple to write a love note, their wedding vows, a poem or beautiful words. The cushions can also be embroidered with the couple’s initials. These stunning cushions are used to send beautiful words to someone you love, but they can also be used during your wedding ceremony to carefully store your personalised vows and should you decide to allocate the important job of presenting the wedding rings to a smaller member of your wedding party, there is a special ring attachment to ensure your wedding rings remain safely on the cushion! What a lovely idea?
Your winter wedding decorations
Winter Weddings can bring classic, elegant, icy, white colour schemes with muted or metallic colours such as silver, gold or rose gold or you may prefer rich, luxurious, jewel tones such as purples and reds for the dramatic effect. Combined with fur or velvet throws, twinkling fairy lights, pine cones, roaring log fires and candlelight, a winter wedding is enchanting and very romantic.
Flowers for your winter wedding
Discuss with your florist the flowers that are in season for your winter wedding theme. Do bear in mind that fewer flowers bloom in the winter months in the UK, however, there are still some beautiful options available and you will not have to compromise on your floral display. It is also worth considering that if there is a particular summer or spring flower that you had dreamed of including, many flowers can still be imported from abroad. It is perfectly possible to blend summer shades of blush pink, peach, cream and white into your winter bouquet and by adding winter elements such as berries, ivy, thistles, branches or pine cones, you could really achieve a stunning winter wedding look.
Consider the winter weather!
The Winter months brings beautiful blue skies and a crisp feel in the air, a light dusting of frost and the possibility of a beautiful covering of snow.
But let’s address every couple’s big concern, in the UK, the weather is unpredictable all year round however, in the winter months it is a particularly good idea to be prepared as the cooler months bring the possibility of adverse weather but rather than getting stressed about the weather; embrace it and prepare for every eventuality!
It is always highly advisable to take out wedding insurance no matter what time of year you are getting married, but it is particularly wise with a Winter wedding. Make sure your policy covers for severe weather and will also pay out if the weather prevents your suppliers from attending at short notice. It is a great idea to clarify with your suppliers about their contingency plans for adverse weather; depending on the location of your venue, you might wish to consider using local suppliers, or if this isn’t possible, perhaps your preferred suppliers could be in the area the day before your big day to ensure that poor weather does not prevent them from attending? This will give you reassurance that there will be no last minute stresses on your big day!
If you are fortunate enough to get a light dusting of snow on your wedding day, your photographs of your winter wonderland wedding will be stunning.
How to keep your guests and your wedding party cosy at your winter wedding
It is very important to ensure that you and your guests are kept warm and happy at your winter wedding. Ensure there is a plentiful supply of handwarmers, blankets, faux fur throws and wraps available for your guests to use during the celebrations and also to take home at the end of the evening. Your guests will be eternally grateful, especially if any of your celebrations are taking place outdoors.
Hopefully, you will be able to have some wedding photos taken outside before the light fades, so ensure that your bridesmaids and flower girls have matching shawls or fur jackets. It is also worth suggesting that the Groom and his Groomsmen wear suits made from a warmer fabric such as wool, tweed, velvet or tartan, they will look incredibly dapper!
Make sure there is a place for guests to keep warm, should they wish to nip outside; a fire pit is a great idea.
Let’s talk winter wedding food and drink!
It’s a great idea to keep your guests toasty with a warm beverage such as hot chocolate, mulled wine or spiced apple cider, you might even consider setting up a coffee and liqueur bar? It is also worth ensuring that the bar is well stocked with whisky, brandy and rum and other warming options. Winter cocktails are also very popular, such as an Espresso Martini, Black Russian or Winter Pimm’s punch!
Winter months mean warm, comforting seasonal food and Debra Green from Chive catering has kindly offered some suggestions for your winter wedding menu.
“Firstly, choose what YOU would like to eat, and ensure that you arrange a tasting day, it is always our couple’s favourite part of their wedding planning! Consider serving a little cup of hot soup such as Sweet potato & mild chilli with shredded pancetta & sour cream drizzle. These are great for encouraging guests to do a few outside photographs on a crisp winter’s day.
Followed by warming bites to give the comfort factor on a chilly day such as Mini pies of Chicken, leek & tarragon. For our vegetarian & vegan guests mini baked potatoes with our amazing mushroom & bean chilli.”
“For your wedding breakfast, we suggest a delicious seasonal 3-course menu, such as wild mushroom & coriander filo baskets or with a slightly festive feel Gin & juniper cured salmon to start.
For the main course we recommend our Kangaroo Hotpot served in a spring pastry basket with a cracked pepper mash, which always goes down well, but it comes down to hot & filling and this can also come in the shape of our amazing pies, whether it’s Beef & local ale, or Sweet potato, roast peppers & blue cheese. Of course, you may decide to opt for a carving dish for your main course and whilst beef is often most couple’s obvious choice, Chive catering also offer a succulent slow cooked boned legs of lamb which is always a winner.”
And then desserts, our Date & chocolate pudding with butterscotch sauce orour Mulled wine & berry baked cheesecake are true crowd pleasers!”
Your winter wedding cake
Your winter wedding cake can be both simple yet sophisticated or as bold and decadent as you wish, there are many wonderful ideas and designs you can incorporate to ensure your wedding cake blends with your wedding style.
You may choose to a classic, winter white cake embellished with real flowers to match your theme. Or perhaps you may choose a more rustic design with different winter flavours for each cake layer, such as ginger, chocolate and spiced carrot? The important part of this is obviously the taste testing!
Winter wedding dress and accessories ideas
Wedding dresses in winter months, are typically long sleeved, however, if you have already bought your dress for your summer wedding, you can still ensure that you keep warm with a cape, a fur stole or shrug or you could choose an embroidered denim jacket for a boho look. It’s also a great idea to wear tights, no one will ever know!
There is a wonderful selection of wedding dresses for the winter months and there are no hard and fast rules but it is worth keeping in mind that if you are having photos outside, choosing a heavier fabric will keep you warmer. Winter weddings also give you the opportunity to really lean towards creating that sparkle in the candlelight, so sequins, crystals and beading are a wonderful addition.
You may decide to choose your bridal headpiece to continue with the winter theme. Here, Rachel Chaprune has provided some examples of her beautifully designed and hand crafted, unique headpieces.
From a Photographer’s perspective
Sarah Relf from Lawless Rose Photography explains why she loves weddings at this time of year:- “I love love love winter weddings! You can have a really effective and beautiful colour scheme by keeping it simple. White and green look amazing in the winter. Dark colour bridesmaid dresses work perfectly and the dark night sky gives a stunning backdrop for evening portraits.”
Get those “Save the Date” cards sent out!
Do bear in mind that winter is a busy time of year for social events, office Christmas parties and family get togethers, so it is a good idea to send out your save the date cards as soon as possible, so your guests can put your big day in their diary.
Choose beautiful stationery to continue your winter wedding theme. These stunning “Save the Date” and Menus are designed by The Invite Shack and Tiggity Boo.
And finally, if you would like to find out more about how wonderfully romantic, unique and beautiful a Winter Celebrant Wedding ceremony can be, then please get in touch for a relaxed chat, it would be fantastic to hear from you.
Perfect Words make perfect memories
With thanks to the following suppliers:-
- Katie Winter Photography
- Lawless Rose Photography
- Ring Cushions – My Billet Doux
- Caterers – Chives Catering Ltd
- Stationery –Tiggity Boo Wedding Stationery Design
- Bridal Headpieces – Rachel Chaprunne
Winter Wonderland Styled Shoot
- Planning, Concept and lead MUA: Kerry-Ann Wells MUA
- Photographer: Emma Stokes Wedding Photography
- Videographer: Above Arcadia
- Venue: Chilston Park Hotel
- Florist: Moody Blooms
- Florist: Flowers by Donna
- Styling and aisle runner: Sisters Weddings and Events
- Stationery: The Invite Shack
- Jewellery: Lawley Design
- Dress: Victoria Elaine Bridal
- Hair accessories: Melancholy Magpie Couture Bridal Accessories
- Veil: X O Flo Veil Designs
- Cape: Eliza Jane Howell
- Shawls: Weddings by Laremi
- Robes: Bespoke Gems
- Suit: Jodi Bridal Boutique
- Ring box: Je Promis
- Bridesmaids MUA: Anya Wright
- Bridesmaids MUA: Jasmine MUA
- Chair drapes: Light of My Life
- Hair: Kirsten Hair and Makeup
- Cake: Chelsea Bun Cake Design
- Bride: Nicola Tee
- Groom @javi.sanchezofficial
- Bridesmaids @little_missfox @_megan_alice
70s styled shoot
- Venue: Bysshe Court Farm
- Florist: Bud and Barrow
- Photographer: Meryl Photography
- Dress: Miina – Indie Bride London
- Celebrant: Nikki Wood Perfect Word Ceremonies
- Videographer Jessi Zou – Le Moment Capture
- Make Up: Claire Allwood – Bear Beauty
- Cake: Gina Pitt – VanillaCo Kitchen
- Veil & Earrings Natalie McKinstry – Peacock and Pearl
- Table ware – Harriet’s Table
- Napkins & Bouquet ribbons Extra Special Touch
- Stationery: Invites By Heather
- Hair Stylist: Leanne Penfare