There are no rules when it comes to choosing a date for your wedding. Fancy putting Mother Nature to the test and booking it in the middle of summer in the hope of a beautifully hot day? Go for it!
What about combining the festivities of Christmas with the most important day of your life?
Today, we’re going to focus on winter weddings, because it’s a time of the year that can make for an utterly magic, romantic day that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives together. Without further ado, here are twenty simple but highly effective tips for ensuring your winter wedding is as perfect as it should be:
1. Pick just the one venue
It’s common for marriages to take place in two venues; perhaps a church for the ceremony and then a hotel or purpose-built venue for the reception.
In winter, however, the less travel the better. To avoid your guests having to deal with bad weather too often, see if you can pick a venue in which you can get married and celebrate afterwards.
2. Allow for extra travel time
Winter weather is never particularly kind when it comes to travel, therefore allow plenty of extra travel time for everyone to get to the venue, no matter how close or far it happens to be.
3. Add extra candles for light and romance
Candles are a common fixture at weddings, but with nights drawing in and darkness arriving sooner, extra candles are a must.
The trade off is that your wedding will be even more romantic than it might have otherwise been; you can never have enough candles, after all!
4. Choose winter wedding colours
Dark, warm tones such as Burgundy, red, black and gold will add a rich feel to your big day.
Try and mix the above with extra wintry colours such as natural greenery. A hint of tartan won’t go a miss, either.
5. Make someone the master of coats
This might sound a bit odd, but remember that almost everyone will arrive wearing a coat. They all need to end up somewhere, and to avoid the coats being left haphazardly everywhere, it’ll need a bit of organisation.
The master of coats’ job will be to ensure they’re safely filed away somewhere at the venue (you could even add name tags into the mix if you’re feeling brave).
6. Keep guests warm
Readily available hot drinks and an agreement with the venue that the heating will be regularly checked and maintained at an optimal temperature will help keep guests warm.
Also, if you’ve opted for a marquee, don’t skimp on the heating!
7. Invest in winter wedding favours
Pashminas, sparklers, blankets, mulled wine, cookies and candy canes are great examples of winter wedding favours guests will love.
If Christmas is just around the corner, a miniature bottle of Baileys on the table for every adult guest will go down a storm, too.
8. Don’t be afraid to schedule outdoor activities
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to forgo outdoor activities.
Providing people have somewhere warm to retreat to afterwards, there’s nothing wrong with staging outdoor games or winter BBQs to get them outside for a bit.
9. Check the venue for Xmas decorations
If Christmas is nearby, you might want to check the venue for Christmas decorations.
Unless you want that kind of theme for your wedding, the presence of festive decorations and trees may detract from your big day. Ask nicely if they can be removed during your time there.
10. Buy winter accessories
Faux fur veils, capes and chic cardies are great options when it comes to winter accessories for the bride.
Don’t forget long-sleeved wedding dresses, either – a great option for this time of year.
11. Think velvet blazers for the men
The guys need to keep warm too!
When it comes to the groom, pageboys and ushers, opt for velvet blazers or similar. Basically, anything that is on-trend and features thick fabric to keep them warm and looking stylish.
12. Don’t forget winter beauty prep
Mother Nature has a habit of being rather unkind to our beauty regime when winter hits, so make sure you’re prepared for her wrath.
Chapped skin and dry lips are inevitable, so keep a chapstick handy and use plenty of face moisturiser throughout the day (this goes for both the bride and the groom).
13. Remember tights!
There’s no getting away from it – beneath that dress you’re probably going to need to wear thick tights to keep yourself warm.
The good news? No-one will ever know!
14. Opt for stylish winter footwear
Footwear plays a huge role on the wedding day, but it’s also one of the most practical considerations you’ll have to think about.
During winter, boots are a great choice, but don’t be afraid to go flat if the terrain demands it. The last thing you want is sore feat on or after your wedding day.
15. Go mad with glitter
What’s more festive or wintry than glitter?
Weddings usually feature glitter, but during the winter, you really can go mad. Opt for sequin or glitter dresses that will chime perfectly with the season and look fabulous in the photos.
16. Keep bridesmaids warm
Bridesmaids tend to do a fair bit of standing around during the service – particularly when it comes to the photos, so make sure they’re nicely covered up whenever they have to brave the elements.
Cover-ups are easy to hide during the photos and just as easy to slip on when having to wait around.
17. Be careful with photography timing
Winter means long nights, and that can be something of a problem for photography.
This means you’ll probably have to get your photos done as early as possible. Speak to your photographer; they’ll want to shoot them during the ‘golden hour’ most likely (the hour before sunset), so plan the day as much as you can around those all-important snaps.
18. Watch those heels!
If you decide to opt for heels on the day, make sure you keep another option handy (remember the boots we mentioned in tip 14?).
Bad weather might result in treacherous pathways, and if your photographer wants to get some snaps of you against a wintry field backdrop, the last thing you want is your heels sinking into the mud.
19. Keep those hands toasty
Gloves. Don’t forget gloves.
Perished hands never look particularly nice in wedding photos, so opt for stylish gloves to keep you both warm and looking fabulous.
20. Always have a brolly (or two) nearby
Beyond the cold, there’s usually plenty of rain to contend with in the winter.
But don’t fret – there’s nothing you can do about this almost inevitable part of a winter wedding. Instead, be prepared and have a brolly or two on standby. You won’t regret it.
Winter weddings are fabulous, and with our tips above, you’ll ensure yours goes off without a hitch and results in memories that will stay with you forever.
You may not need every tip we’ve listed, but keep a close eye on the weather, survey your intended venue and make a list of the things you’ll need to do come your big wintry day.