With its frosty mornings and beautiful sunsets, winter can be such a magical time of year for a wedding. But here in the UK, we know that there are a few things you need to consider to make the most of your day whatever the weather.
Us Brits love to talk about the weather, and it’s no surprise as we have such variation. No matter what month you decide to get married, the weather can never be guaranteed.
But if you are considering winter nuptials, there’s plenty to consider in the planning to ensure your event goes off without a hitch.
In this article we present some top tips and ideas – from the choice of venue to the timetable for the day – that will help you make the most of your big day.
Consider having the entire day at one venue
Winter conditions can make for difficult journeys. Consider having both the ceremony and reception at the same venue to minimise driving times.
If you are having a church wedding, or have your heart set on a different location for the ceremony, then try to keep the two venues as close together as possible, and be sure to allow for extra time as traffic may be slower if the weather is bad.
Don’t forget lighting
If you can, try to visit your venue in the evening and ideally at the time of year you’re planning to get married, so that you can see what the venue looks like once the sun has set.
What could be a picture perfect venue in the summer may look drab and dreary in the winter. Ask yourself, does your venue shine at night?
Ask your venue what lighting they have in the evening, especially if there are outside areas, to check that it will suit your chosen time of year.
Give your guests lots of notice
Whilst a winter wedding can be magical and romantic, it also might have to compete with Christmas and New Year parties. Planning a wedding during school holidays can make it difficult for your guests to get time off work. Some people will already have holidays planned.
Send ‘save the date cards’ as soon as possible to give you guests lots of time to plan their diaries, book accommodation and find child care.
When picking outfits for both yourself and the wedding party, think about what the temperature might be.
If the entire party is inside and there is going to be a roaring fire, then your bridesmaids may be happy to have something lighter to wear. But if you’re going to be outside or in a cold room, then you may want to consider sleeves on the dresses, and shawls to keep everyone’s shoulders warm.
It’s also a great time of the year to consider different fabrics options. Velvet or tweed could add a real wintry vibe to your groomsmen outfits.
Layers are key at this time of year! Be sure to consider the weather when picking your wedding dress. If you are going to be outside and are worried about your dress trailing, perhaps you’ll want to consider a shorter dress, and think about sleeves and shawls.
And don’t forget your bridesmaids! Most brides are kept warm by adrenaline, but the same won’t go for your bridesmaids. If you want them to look a particular way, ensure you have provided them with shawls or shrugs. If not don’t be surprised if they don their coats!
Allocate extra time for guests to arrive
Winter weather can make for difficult driving conditions, so be sure to allocate extra time to allow for your guests to arrive. Maybe put the start time a little earlier on your invites, and if you are swapping venues between the ceremony and reception, be sure you have left plenty of time for your guests to make the journey.
Consider your timeline for the day carefully
Whilst lower lighting can make for some beautiful couple photos, it’s odd on that you would prefer to get your group shots in the daylight. With the nights drawing in you may want to opt for an earlier ceremony to make the most of the daylight hours.
However, dusk arriving early may also provide you with the perfect opportunity to get those sunset or sparkler shots, so don’t forget to plan these into your timetable if it’s something you want.
Plan for rain
Although rain is a possibility at any time of year, it is unfortunately more likely with wedding in November, December or January. But it certainly doesn’t need to dampen your spirits on the day, as long as you are well prepared.
Speak to your venue about their wet weather plan (especially if any parts of the day are set to be outside) and have a good talk to your photographers about how to get the best photos on the day. An umbrella shot in the rain could be spectacular!
It’s also worth having a wet weather kit with you, including umbrellas and some good footwear for getting you to where you need to be.
Keep your guests warm
So you’ve remembered to keep the bridal party warm, but don’t forget your guests. If there is an outdoor space, consider hiring some fire pits (you could even provide marshmallows for toasting later, little s’more kits make great winter favours).
Perhaps consider a big basket of blankets?
Hire a coat rack
Your guests are likely to turn up in bulky layers at this time of year, so don’t forget to set up a coat rack station with hangers so that your guests can shed their layers when they get to the venue. Some venues will have a coat rack already, but other coat racks are available to hire.
Featured snippet – What colours are good for a winter wedding
Embrace the season
If you are opting for a winter wedding, the odds are that you like winter, it makes sense huh?! So embrace it! Don’t try to fight it by picking summer flowers and having outdoors games (unless ‘a tropical winter’ is the theme you are going for).
Use seasonal flowers and foliage, dress the place up with fairy lights and candles and if you’re going for a pre-Christmas wedding, you may even be able to save money on decorations if your venue have put up a Christmas tree! Why not create a seating area around the Christmas tree with some faux log furniture!
If it’s dark and stormy outside, venues can sometimes look a bit dreary and cold. Warm things up by incorporating lots of colour. Deep jewel tones can be perfect for creating a warm, cosy atmosphere, or bright colours might help life an otherwise dark room.
Create a cosy atmosphere
Dark and cold weather can sometimes make for a dreary wedding venue, so don’t be afraid to use colour and lighting to create a romantic, cosy atmosphere.
Fairy lights and lanterns teamed up with colourful table linen and seasonal flowers all help to make a venue warm and inviting.
The food & drink
Serve warm drinks
Have a think about what you would like to welcome your guests with. A winter wedding is the perfect opportunity to try something a bit different for welcome drinks. Why not serve your guests mulled wine or cider. Or perhaps a warm cocktail!
Wintry wedding favours
Surprise your guests with a little favour in keeping with the season. Home made chutneys, candy canes, candles and mulled wine spices are all great favours to give away at this time of year.
Alternatively, give your guests something to warm them up on the day. Perhaps a shot of whisky in a mini-bottle?
The other things
Carry tissues with you
It’s always a good idea to carry tissues anyway in case of tears, but at this time of year they are just as useful for wiping away running mascara and for defogging glasses, so don’t forget to stash some away!
Don’t forget your beauty prep
Dry skin and chapped lips unfortunately come hand-in-hand with this time of year, so don’t forget to start your beauty regime extra early.
In the months leading up to the wedding perhaps up your moisturising game, drink lots of water, and be sure to pack some hand cream and lip balm on the day!
Most importantly don’t panic! A winter wedding can lead a bride and groom to worry about the weather, and constantly check the weather reports, but don’t panic. All wedding professionals are used to wet weather weddings and if rain or snow should happen on the day a good venue and photographer will know how to make the most of the conditions.
Just relax and remember, rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck! A tied knot that gets wet is almost impossible to untie!
What do you think of our ideas?
Are you planning a winter wedding at the moment and have something to add to this checklist? We’d love to hear from you. Please add your comments below.
Finally, if you would like us a no-obligation quote for any items you might need to hire for your wedding then please use our online ordering system or give us a call to discuss your requirements.