More and more couples are pushing their weddings to the winter season, because summer weddings have been known to be a bit pricey! But, thats not the only reason…
Winter really lends itself to some unbelievable (and original) ideas for all of the details that really make a wedding – from an ombre wedding dress to a snowy photoshoot – as well as some outstanding venues in which to hold your special day.
As explained in part two of our email course, How to Plan the Perfect Family Villa Holiday, if you’re celebrating a special event like a wedding or honeymoon then it’s important to think about whether you want to visit during high season or if you’re happier during a less crowded time of year.
Off-season holidays can be terrific for stretching your budget.
A lot of people now opt for a Friday instead of a Saturday, but now Autumn and Winter weddings are becoming a trend as well. Yes, it can be tough to let go of that long-held dream of a barefoot, summer wedding, but if you can get past that, you can get much better wedding deals in the colder months.
And as you’ll see below with some of these cakes, flowers and venues, winter weddings can have just as beautiful decor as any summer event (and just as beautiful dresses too)…
Winter is a time to go all out…
Anyone who watched 90s sitcom Friends will remember The One With Phoebe’s Wedding. Possibly one of the most perfect TV weddings ever which delivered the idea of an idyllic winter wedding to the mainstream for the first time…
Winter is a time you can really go all out – and for less money than in the summer, too. Think striking colours against a snowy backdrop, twinkling lights and cosy fabrics, set in a beautiful venue that cost a fraction of what it would have in summer.
Even bad weather worries can be eliminated these days, thanks to advances in cloud seeding technology that can 100% guarantee fair weather and clear skies for your wedding day!
So whether you’re planning a winter wedding or just attending one, this one’s for you…
1. Turn your dog into the cameraman.
This bride and groom had the brilliant idea to attach a camera to their dog Ryder so she could film their entire winter wonderland wedding. From beginning to end, Ryder managed to capture every gorgeous moment that this newlywed had to offer.
And at 5.6 million views on YouTube and counting, it looks like I’m not the only one that thinks this is just brilliant.
2. Get a cake that matches the occasion.
Fondant and white-chocolate branches on this striking Lulu Cake Boutique design gives a true woodland fairytale feel—perfect for a winter wedding in the UK.
3. What about this old wedding chapel in Devon?
Devon Manor House is a Grade II listed manor (date stone 1665). Surrounded by woodland, fields, gardens, wildflower meadows and lakes, the house also boasts a large open courtyard and the romantic old chapel in its grounds.
‘Looks chilly’ you say? Nothing a few high-end patio heaters can’t sort out!
If you’re looking for the kind of wedding that forgets formality and invites everyone to have a cracking time, this is the place for you. Better yet, the nearest neighbours are miles away so when it comes to partying, you can really let rip until the wee small hours!
Wedding costs are pretty reasonable too, with three nights starting at £5,495.
4. For a ‘twist’ on the music, try the 1940s Acapella Group.
A classical pianist playing during dinner is a sure way to create an elegant ambience, but consider a more unexpected accompaniment, per theknot.com.
For a twist on the tunes, consider hiring an a capella quartet like The Doo Wop girls (above) to sing background music at your reception. Have the group sing your favorite jazz and pop songs to set a welcoming and festive tone for the evening.
The Doo Wop girls will make you feel a little bit better about everything – like a hot mug of tea and a crumpet. Just sit back and smile.
If you’re into a more classical sound, hire a cellist and ask that Vivaldi’s “Winter” be included in the repertoire.
5. Stay warm with a winter wedding in the Caribbean.
Who says your winter wedding has to be cold, anyway? If you’d consider a destination wedding, then there are plenty of places to keep you and your guests warm in the depths of January.
Like the Caribbean, for starters.
Even though January is the coolest month of the year for the Caribbean, that’s not saying much. The temperatures there vary so little from season to season – in the winter daytime highs are typically comfortably hot, while the nights remain warm.
It’s also the driest month of the year for Kingston, Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas.
Sure, it’ll be a bit expensive to jet The Doo Wop girls over with you, so for the music start with these 5 great songs for your Caribbean holiday.
6. Take some advice from the professionals… Canada
Back to the cold now. And if there’s one country that know a thing or two about getting hitched in subzero temperatures, it’s Canada.
This great infographic from thebridalsuite.ca in Toronto has some great advice to offer anyone thinking about getting married in the beautiful winter months.
Their top tip?
“The most important thing to making a winter wedding a success involves keeping things uniquely yours from start to finish… It’s about keeping warm, planning for the unexpected, and creating emotions for not only yourself, but also your guests.”
7. Seasonal signage is a whole lot of fun.
Have fun with your winter wedding with lots of seasonal signage.
‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, ‘Be Merry and Bright’, or ‘Joy to the World’ are some of my favourite festive phrases.
8. Winter wedding in France? Try Chateau De Brabant.
There’s so much to love about hiring a French chateau for your winter wedding.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might remember Chateau de Brabant featured in our list of the best wedding venues in France last year. And rightly so.
The spacious 19th century Chateau De Brabant and Lodge is set in a 300 acre estate with private pool, tennis court, forest and lake, and offers a unique setting for a family get together, reunion or celebration. The Chateau provides all the features of an elegant bourgeois abode, like large fireplaces, elegant salons, and a wood-panelled dining room.
There’s capacity for 100 at the reception, and it sleeps 35 too. Not bad when you consider the weekly cost starts from £5,500 with 3 nights from £4,500.
9. Chateau De St Louis Keep is another great option…
Surrounded by a moat and even coming with its own private lake, Chateau de St Louis Keep is a dream destination for a French winter wedding.
The inside is a beautiful reflection of the Keep’s 14th Century roots. And a dusting of snow will make a seriously magical backdrop for your photos.
The keep sleeps 16 in its 8 stately en-suite guest rooms, with prices starting from around £2,500 for three nights.
For larger groups, it’s also possible to rent the keep in conjunction with the chateau to sleep groups of up to 40 guests.
Want more French chateau ideas? Have a look at these top 10 beautiful châteaux in Bordeaux.
10. …and then there’s this NYE wedding in the Dordogne.
This short wedding video from Zen Film Works perfectly captures what a winter wedding in France can be.
Lubna and Jamil, from London, had their wedding on New Year’s Eve last year in the Dordogne Region in the French countryside.
It soon turned into a beautiful sunny day with an amazing sunset… creating the perfect light for a shoot amongst the old trees in the garden surrounding the Chateau.
If you like the look of this, be sure to cast your eye over the 10 best villas in the Dordogne.
11. Create a festive feel with seasonal tablescapes…
This one is a bit of fun. Creative tablescaping using cinnamon sticks, pinecones, log slices and fir foliage all create a woodland ambiance.
12. Or pinecone place settings.
Frosty pinecones are a classic winter ornament. They make great seating card holders, too.
Scatter them around your wedding for an instant (and cost-effective) seasonal touch.
13. Or iced biscuits.
‘Tis the season for eating serious amounts of biscuits. Why not treat your guests to some sweet treats with a festive feel?
You’ve got two options here, buy them or get baking. The first is time-efficient (you’ve probably got enough on your hands already without getting involved in the world of baking), but it could be expensive, depending on how many guests you have.
If you’ve got the time however, baking sweet treats yourself is guaranteed to impress – especially if you nail the icing.
Here’s a great guide to some icing ideas (which includes a link to the dough recipe), though I’d suggest starting with a small batch first to test your own skills before attempting to pipe on to 100+ baked goods.
14. Or a colourful wedding dress like this.
There’s a lot to like about this ombré (i.e. two colours blending into each other) wedding dress from this snowy inspiration shoot in 2012.
Winter weddings are the perfect opportunity to add deep hues and rich textures to your wedding day style. Great news if plain white just isn’t your colour.
15. Wedding dresses for the cold require extra thought, though…
There are plenty of fabrics available to ensure you stay warm, especially if you’re planning on an outside photoshoot (goosebumps aren’t exactly a good look).
You can also accessorise your dress with a bolero, pashmina or shawl, which can easily be whipped off when it’s time for your cosy reception. Look here for some more ideas from onefabday.com, to get you in the mood for covering up and keeping warm.
16. And what about the wedding photos?
…the setting for your chosen dress is also pretty important!
Photos taken in winter light have a much crisper look than those taken in the summer, so think of how much fun you can have with your photoshoot.
Colourful confetti against that whiter-than-white backdrop is an amazing effect. You can also consider a bouquet of colours that you wouldn’t even look at for a summer wedding: jewel tones such as deep greens and purples can really offset a white backdrop whilst bringing some welcome warmth to the eye.
Have a look at a whole slideshow of ideas from brides.com to help you decide how you can maximise your winter wedding photo potential.
17. Italy is beautiful, even in the winter.
Fancy channelling your inner Italian princess? Look no further than Castle Mago, the 500 year old former residence of Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Situated in the middle of 3 high quality wine production regions, you’ll have plenty of options of tipple for your guests to sip whilst gazing across the beautiful vistas of the Tuscan countryside.
Look no further than the Rose Garden for your winter wedding photoshoot location, and there’s a grand fireplace in the main reception area to warm up if it gets too chilly outside. The castle also boasts antique furnishings and oil paintings, with the coat of arms displayed in the entrance hall.
The castle itself sleeps 20 in its 13 stately en-suite guest rooms (the master suite has a grand piano and a fireplace in it, too!), with prices starting from £118 per person per night.
18. Or for a more intimate Italian wedding…
Opt for Villa Tafera, a 15th century villa with stunning panoramic views across 5 acres of private land flourishing olive trees, terraced garden with ponds, fountains, fragrant plants and vines.
Watch the sunset from one of the terrace, before dancing under the stars while sipping some famous Nobile wine.
The villa itself has seven peaceful bedrooms – four of which are ensuite, as well as a Jacuzzi/whirlpool and TV Room available to use.
From the fantastic price of £3,517 for 2 nights, it’s not wonder this is a top pick for an intimate wedding in the beautiful italian countryside.
19. This wedding in the snow looks lovely.
You didn’t think I’d let you off without watching another immaculate wedding video, did you?
Digital Memorys Video Production, who produced the video, said about that day:
This was one of the coldest weddings I have filmed. It was totally worth it though. The snow is so beautiful. They are an amazing couple and the dress looks stunning in the white snow.
I have to give it up for Sam. She really knew how to embrace the snow and cold in order to create some amazing photographs and video. Most brides would cut it short.
20. You could always elope…
Why not make like Julie and Chris and elope to a peninsula in Iceland, far away from any stress of planning? This beautiful video is a visual inspiration, and might just be the type of thing you’re looking for if the mother-in-law to be is becoming unbearable.
Or if Iceland sounds a bit far, a coastal Irish Castle might be more your style, like Smith’s Castle in County Clare. It’s set in five acres of land, perfect for feeling a bit cut off from the rest of the world whilst still enjoying luxury.
21. So whether you planned for snow on your wedding day…
22. (Or you didn’t!)
23. The best thing you can do…
24. Is just roll with it.
Are you thinking about a winter wedding?
There we have it then. 24 of the most inspiring videos, photos and graphics to help you on your way towards realising a dream winter wedding. If you’ve been inspired by any of this, here’s what to do right now:
- If you have 10 extra seconds, please leave a comment below and let me know your favourite.
- If you can spare 2 minutes and want to take the next step to see what’s possible, complete a concierge request here (it’ll take no more than two minutes) and let us know what you’re looking for.
We’ll rack our brains, ask our team of wedding planner experts, and email you a list of options we think will work for you quicker than you can say ‘gosh, it’s rather fun getting hitched in winter!’