Although typically considered an alternative time of year to get married, if you’re considering getting married in the winter months, we say, go for it!
Winter weddings come with a beautiful, ready-made magical atmosphere and are the perfect excuse for added sparkle, lots of lights and dreamy moody photography. Plus you tend to have a few more options when it comes to your venue and wedding supplier availability and of course some of these will offer off-peak rates too!
But, before you dive straight into planning a winter wedding filled with mulled wine, hot toddies, fur capes and Christmas trees, there are a few things to consider if you’re having a winter wedding so that your wedding looks gorgeous and the whole experience runs smoothly.
What to Consider with your Venue
Have you considered what your venue will be like in the winter? Are you holding your ceremony and reception at the same venue or will guests need to travel from one to the other and could this be an issue in the winter months?
If you have multiple venues and your guests need to travel between them then think about how adverse weather could negatively impact this. Is it a quick dash on foot from your wedding venue to your reception venue? Could a stash of umbrellas by the door come in handy if the heavens decide to open at the wrong moment? Planning for the different scenarios beforehand will save you lots of stress on the day.
Another thing to consider is how your venue will look in the dark. Lots of couple only view their venue during the daytime, especially if you are doing your initial venue search during the spring or summer months. Having a cosy, inviting atmosphere is going to be so important for a winter wedding and so you should try to view your venue at night or in the afternoon during the winter. You’ll be able to see how it’s lit up and make sure you love it just as much as you do during the day. As most of your wedding reception will be after dark, it’s going to be an important thing to consider especially for your wedding photography too – ensure your venue comes into it’s own at night. Think of those dreamy photos!
If you are looking to have flowers that reflect the season or those that are naturally available through the winter months, then this will dramatically change the style available to you compared to if you were getting married in the summer months. Winter arrangements can make a bold statement and be a wonderful focal point.
There are still lots of incredible blooms available for you to choose from during the winter months, including Amaryllis, Sweet Peas, Camellias, Anemones, and many more, but you may find that the colour palette or overall feel is different to what you originally had in mind. If sustainability is important for you and you’d like to use flowers with a smaller carbon impact speak to your chosen wedding florist about the blooms naturally available and those that can be locally sourced. There’s still plenty of gorgeous foliage available during the winter months and so you don’t need to worry about their not being enough green available.
Find the right photographer
Capturing the day in all its splendour is something that every couple is looking for, photos can last a lifetime and keep memories fresh and alive, so it is imperative that you give this some extra thought when planning a winter wedding.
Natural lighting through winter is very different to that of the summer months. For one thing there are fewer hours of daylight so it is important that you understand the timings you are working with and when the best opportunity to capture those photos will be.
In some cases, you may want to have photos taken before the ceremony, especially if you have a late afternoon ceremony planned. This will allow you to still take advantage of the natural light and get some outdoor shots if that is what you are looking for, you can then pair this with some romantic evening pictures as the sun goes down.
Most photographers will have experience capturing all kind of seasoned weddings and plenty of experience photographing in every kind of light but if you are looking for a particular mood or aesthetic for your photographs it’s best to check out your chosen photographers portfolio extensively. Ask to see photographs around the same time of year as you are considering and see if they have any pictures with lower light or adverse weather.
Luckily winter days give gorgeous, dreamy lighting – it’d be a shame not to put it to use.
Check the Christmas Decoration Situation
Getting married around the Christmas period can mean big savings on your wedding décor if your venue is already decorated ready for the festive season. It’s a good idea to check what decorations they have, how they’ll look and if they fit with your overall vision and don’t clash with how you want your day to look.
Don’t assume your venue will have decorations in their dedicated wedding spaces, many choose to leave the space blank for their couples. Likewise if you are someone who doesn’t want to use the venues decorations and has a different vision in mind it’s worth having a chat with the venue as to how flexible they’ll be in removing their decorations and allowing you to have free reign.
Be Mindful of Timings
With the days being shorter and night’s drawing in much earlier through the winter months it might be wise to have a rethink on your timings for the day. Do you need to plan an earlier ceremony than you originally thought?
Is natural daylight important to you, either for photographs or for providing light in your venue? Is this something that could affect the overall look and feel of your day, meaning that you need to visit your venue at different times of the day so you can make sure you get the planning right? How your venue looks at 11am in the height of summer will be very different to how it looks at 3pm in the midst of winter, bear this in mind as you plan so you don’t end up disappointed on the day. It’s best to have an open and early discussion with the wedding planner at your venue as they will have planned plenty of weddings before and knows what works best. If you are happy to be flexible and move things around in your schedule you’ll be able to take advantage of the light and perhaps that winter sunset too.