Don’t rule out the idea of a winter wedding. The chillier months can be just as magical and romantic.
By Nina Koo-Seen-Lin
It’s true that most weddings are held during the warmer months of spring and summer, particularly in the month of June. However, winter weddings are becoming more popular among couples these days. Maybe it’s the idea of starting married life in the romantic glow of a winter’s evening, or a convenient way to get the family all together during the festive season. Perhaps it comes down to money – you can make your money go much further than you would for a summer wedding.
Whatever the reason, when planned right, the colder months are a beautiful time of year to tie the knot. Here are a few tips to consider from dresses to decorations.
Dress for the weather
– Brides –
Brides-to-be, you don’t have to winterproof the most important dress you’ll ever wear. Go for whatever style you want be it traditional, cutting edge, low-key or scene-stealing. Every bride wants to stand out on her big day and if a dusting of snow happens to fall some of the bolder brides may want to forego the idea of a traditional white gown and become a vision in midnight blue or scarlet red.
If you opt for bare shoulders a fur stole, cashmere bolero or long cloak can add a touch of warm glamour. Since the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, long lace sleeves have been popular. They keep the chill at bay especially during the chilly church service and there are plenty of elegant styles out there from lace to satin. You can even choose a dress with detachable sleeves for a change at the reception party.
– Grooms –
Grooms may wish to opt for a warmer woollen suit or coat tails especially if the bride holds with tradition and keeps you waiting at the alter. To add some festive flair opt for tweeds or tartan that will brighten up the occasion.
The groom’s tie usually matches the colour scheme and winter colours are usually deeper, creating a bold effect during the grey days. Make sure the groom’s buttonhole flower aligns with the bouquet.
– Guests –
Guests who shy away from pastel hues, rejoice! Winter colours are bolder and brighter. Ladies can choose from an array of jewel tones such as forest green, ruby red and deep plum. Keep warm by accessorizing with cosy coats, cashmere cardigans, scarves and leather kidskin gloves. Men may want to follow suit with the groom and choose woollen fabrics. Long heavy winter coats, gloves and woollen scarves will keep you looking stylish as well as warm.
The mother of the bride and mother of the groom usually have to stand out that little bit more. Add a touch of sparkle with sequins and shimmering fabrics that will glisten, especially during an evening candlelit service.
Setting a seasonal theme
– Venue –
Most locations favoured by couples make an outdoor wedding impossible in the winter. Tents, fields and woodland forests may be out of the question, but stately homes, castles and hotels are not. You can do a lot to these spaces to make it warm and cosy from the cold outside.
– Atmosphere –
A crackling fire adds a touch of grandeur to the scene. Add candles or fairy lights to create a romantic ambience – A Midwinter Night’s Dream if you will. If you really want a touch of nature during the service and reception, you can create a winter wonderland by adding fir trees, pine cones and snowflake decorations. Frosted glass and fake snow can also make the party atmosphere that little more festive. If snowflakes start to lightly fall outside, grab the opportunity to create a winter wedding snow shoot.
– Flowers –
The usual choice of blooms for brides such as roses, freesias, lilies and gerberas are more pricey as they’re not in season. Create bouquets and arrangements with poinsettias, ivy, willow, thistle and sprigs of holly. The red of the berries and green colours will add a vibrancy to the decor. Adding a branch of eucalyptus leaves will also add a fresh scent.
A festive feast
– Tipples –
At a winter wedding reception, you can indulge guests with comfort foods and rich treats. Champagne is always a classic aperitif to serve, but you could also offer mulled drinks and hot toddies to warm guests up. Mulled spiced wine and hot punch are good choices.
– Nibbles –
A platter of warm appetizers such as toasted crostinis, roasted root vegetables, mini cups of hearty soup. A cheese fondue placed on every table will encourage guests to get to know each other while sharing the retro snack. To satisfy the sweet tooth winter desserts include hot cocoa with lashings of whipped cream, chocolate puddings with melting middles and spiced cookies straight from the oven. The richer the better.
– Cake –
The wedding cake is the centrepiece to any wedding party. There are so many flavours you can choose from for a winter wedding cake. Choices include chocolate and mint, orange and cranberry or traditional sponge with a blackberry or cherry jam filling. Tradition states the newlywed couple must keep a slice in their freezer for a whole year and eat it on their first wedding anniversary. So make sure you and your guests are put off from eating the whole thing!
There’s no better way to end or start a year than with a romantic winter wedding. With a little planning and practical thinking, you’ll start your married life in a merry way. During wintertide there’s always a nice day for a white wedding.