A wedding guide to planning the perfect winter wedding
We love a winter wedding and, with more and more couples choosing to marry in the colder months, we’re not alone! Savvy brides are realising that marrying off-season often means reduced rates, less competition for suppliers and fewer guests away on their summer holidays. Combine that with romantic winter mornings, roaring log fires, cosy glasses of mulled wine and as many fairy lights as you want and you can start to see what all the fuss is about.
So we’ve asked our bridal experts to put together the ultimate guide to planning the perfect winter wedding, including everything from the dreamiest dresses and accessories to stylish winter cakes and decor ideas. Just grab a hot drink, snuggle up and enjoy…
Choose a great winter wedding venue
Everything starts with the venue and for a winter wedding, the majority of your reception will take place once the sun’s gone down. So make sure you visit your venue in the evening to see what kind of lighting it has and whether it has a vibe that’s suitably cosy and inviting for your big day.
Location, location, location
If possible look for a venue where you can hold both your ceremony and reception, so there’s no need for guests to travel more than necessary. If you can find somewhere where everyone can stay overnight too that’s even better, and means that no one will have to venture out into the cold late at night.
Beautiful wintry weather
One of the major plus points of a winter wedding is that there’s no need to worry about the weather! It will most likely be cold, so you can just plan for that from the start. Speak to your venue about what they’ll do if there’s snow or ice on the ground. Also, make sure you have an attractive location inside for your photographs if need be. Lastly, check that there’s a pleasant outdoor space for any smokers in your party.
Seasonal colour themes
Don't feel you have to have a winter wonderland or Christmas theme if you don’t want to, either. Obviously crisp blues, silvers and whites can look amazing but, if you want something different, rich purples, emerald greens and other jewel colours always look sophisticated and elegant. Alternatively, regal gold and cream combines both warmth and style. If your date is near to Christmas there's the opportunity for plenty of festive fun too. Think baubles, fairy lights, holly wreaths and more. Many venues will already have their own decorations up at this time of year, which will save you money. Just make sure you ask about the colour scheme and check that it suits the look you’re planning.
The write stuff
Your stationery will set the tone for the day, so make sure it matches your theme, whether that’s full-on festive or glamorous and elegant. Metallics are a lovely way to get that winter wedding feel without being too Christmassy, and this gold embossed navy stationery is perfect for the season.
Also, floral designs aren’t just limited to spring and summer weddings. Here light blue florals combined with chic ribbon and an elegant font set just the right tone.
A touch of warmth
Why not have fun with the season too, and add a few extra elements that your guests will love? A basket of blankets and pashminas, for example, will keep everyone snug. Also make sure there are plenty of hot drinks available, such as mulled wine, warm spiced, cider or Winter Pimms. A help-yourself hot drinks station for tea, coffee and hot chocolate will also go down a treat!
Cosy comfort food
’Tis the season for hearty food that will keep guests feeling toasty. A filling roast dinner, Beef Wellington or a traditional pie will work well, followed by something warm at the end of the night, such as bacon rolls, cheese toasties or cones of hot salty chips. Think about giving food as favours too. Guests will love treats like homemade mince pies, fudge, truffles or festive biscuits.
Embrace the season when it comes to your flower displays. Tropical flowers will need to be flown in and won’t look their best, so go for wintry foliage such as ivy, sprigs of yew, holly and hypericum berries, which will look stunning.
It’s the perfect time year for pine cones too, which can be added to your displays, piled into bowls or even used as great value place cardholders. And don’t forget a romantic sprig of mistletoe here and there, too!
A cake for all seasons
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to your cake design. While the summer months often call for light and delicate styles in pastel tones, in winter you can really go for it with something more gilded and opulent. We love this gorgeous cake in rich teal blue covered with elegant gold decorations and jewel-coloured flowers.
Alternatively, this brilliant white confection adorned with iced white flowers and just a splash of blue here and there is a real seasonal showstopper!
Winter wedding dresses with wow factor…
A fabulous winter wedding really gives you the chance to go to town with your dress and your accessories. And, of course, there are no rules for the style of your dress just because it’s winter. Choose the dress you’ve always dreamed of and simply add a stunning feather bolero for example or a sophisticated Mikado jacket. We also love a little faux fur for extra drama and for keeping out the chill! And remember, if you can’t indulge in some extra festive sparkle at this time of year, then when can you?
A statement train
Winter weddings are all about drama and theatre, so a dress with a statement train, like Cambridge by Anna Sorrano, will look magnificent.
This classic ballgown shape is simple but oh-so effective at flattering the waist. The off-the-shoulder straps are also perfect for brides looking for a contemporary princess style.
A touch of sparkle works all year round but at a winter wedding, you can really go for it! Look for crystals, beads and sequins that will shimmer beautifully under the fairy lights. Our Emmy dress, a stunning fit and flare gown embellished with lace and glittering beadwork, is the perfect sparkling winter wedding dress. Alternatively, Lucille is a luxurious modern fishtail finished with elegant Chantilly lace appliqués and a rippling train that really is to die for.
Warm winter shades
If you want to add a touch of warmth to your look, Syrah is a gorgeous sheath dress in a flattering champagne shade. The thin embellished spaghetti straps add a dainty feminine touch while the all-over Chantilly lace, paired with embroidered lace appliqués, creates a super luxurious texture. When you turn around you’ll also reveal the attractive low illusion back, which will ensure all eyes are on you as you walk down the aisle!
Finally, we have Florence, a strapless Boho chic style that’s easy to wear and perfect for dancing the night away. Available in both blush and ivory, we love the detailed floral embroidery motifs that help to accentuate a small waist. The perfectly pleated tulle also adds a pretty softness. For more support or a different evening look, why not add some chic tulle straps too?
And don’t forget the veil…
The right veil can add even more drama to your seasonal look and a full cathedral-length veil can look spectacular on a chilly day. Take the opportunity to add a little more glitz too, with a style like our Angel veil, which is edged in gorgeous teardrop beading.
Maids in heaven
When it comes to your bridesmaids' dresses you’ll be spoilt for choice. Do you go festive, with rich reds or emerald greens? Or glamorous, with opulent jewel tones? Light blue and silver-grey, mixed and matched in a range of different styles, can also look amazing on a frosty winter morning. Choices, choices!
Natural or glamorous?
Finally, take your normal look as inspiration for your big day makeup. If natural is more you, then go for brushed-out, gentle waves, paired with neutral makeup. A softly tinted lip and a soft, smoky eye are a gorgeous combo for a bride who wants to look natural and fresh. For something more glamorous, or to change your look for the evening party, try warm metallic eyeshadow matched with a blush pink lip. Metallics on your eyes and as a highlighter will really pop and shimmer under sparkling lights. You can also make a statement with a French plait half-up, half-down style. It's the perfect combination of classic and modern!
Want more ideas? Click here to see our full selection of beautiful wedding dresses or here for more of our essential wedding guides. Also check out our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages for dresses, accessories, suppliers and much, much more.