Tips And Things To Consider If You’re Having a Winter Wedding

If you’re considering getting married in winter, we say, do it! Winter weddings come with ready-made atmosphere, they’re an excuse for lots of sparkle, and you tend to have a few more options for venue or supplier availability and potential off-peak rates. Not to mention all the style potential! But before you dive head-first into mulled wine, candy canes and fur coats, there are a few tips and things to consider if you’re having a winter wedding so that your wedding looks great and the day runs smoothly.

1. Make Sure Your Venue Shines At Night

Lots of couples only view their venues during the daytime, particularly if you’re doing your initial venue search during the spring or summer. If you’re looking for somewhere with a cosy, inviting atmosphere, try to visit your venue at night or in the late afternoon in winter, see how it’s lit up, and make sure you still love it as much as you do during the day. Some spectacular venues loose their appeal at night, and others come into their own – as most of your reception will be after dark, make sure yours is the latter. Here are a few of our favourite winter wedding venues.

Photo by Anna G Photography via One Fab Day

2. Find Out When It Gets Dark

We all know it gets dark earlier in winter, but as the time changes throughout the season, keep your twilight time in mind when you’re plotting out your timeline, planning your photographs so that you know whether there will be daylight or not, and any other activities you want to include. We’ve put together an sample winter wedding timeline here to help. It may even affect things like what time you want your guests to arrive to your reception venue (would you like them to see it in daylight, or arrive when it’s lit up for the night?), down to how many candles you need to order (hint: lots!)

Photo by Emma Rock Photography via One Fab Day

3. Have a Weatherproof Plan

Most destinations require a weatherproof plan all year around – even a July wedding can fall victim to a hail storm or a heatwave – but a winter wedding does need a little more planning around potential meteorological pitfalls and we have some tips about how to deal. Talk to your venue about what they’ll do if it snows – especially if it’s in a remote location, chat to your photographer about where you’ll do photos if it’s a rainy day, and speak to your transport suppliers about allowing extra time for traffic if there’s bad weather.

If you have any outdoor elements, make sure you let your guests know in advance so they can dress appropriately, and have back-ups in place should you need them. Allow a little extra time throughout your day in case the weather leads to any delays, from de-icing the car, to waiting for a shower to stop so you can grab some pictures.

4. Ask Your Venue About Heating

Most wedding venues will have their heating down to a fine art, but for places like churches, castles, barns or marquees, it might take a little more organisation. Talk to your venue about how they heat the space (without over-heating it!) and whether or not you need to do anything additional for the comfort of your guests (hot cocktails on arrival are always a good idea!). It’s also thoughtful to let any guests bringing children know if there will be open fires at the venue. Oh and remember to sit older guests away from any potential drafts, and closer to fires or radiators.

Photo by Tara Aherne Photography via One Fab Day

5. Check the Christmas Decoration Situation

Getting married around Christmas can mean big savings on decor if your venue is already decked out, but it is a good idea to check what decorations they have, how they’ll look, and where they’ll be, so they don’t clash with how you want your day to look. Likewise, don’t assume your venue will have Christmas decorations, as some may leave the space as a blank canvas for couples. If you’re saying your vows in January or November and you don’t want decorations in the background, check with your venue about when they’ll be going up and getting taken down so you don’t have lots of tinsel and holly in the photos.

6. Choose Your Date Carefully

Normally during the year, a Friday or Saturday wedding is a safe bet, and a wedding midweek takes a little more consideration. But for a winter wedding, particularly around Christmas, you do need to think about your guests, their family commitments or if they need to travel, and factor it all in before you select your date.

If you want a full weekend winter wedding, it might be hard for guests with children to find someone to mind them. If someone is flying in for your big day, you need to have it close enough to (or far enough from) Christmas so they can either do both in one trip, or have time to get back if they need to. December 28th to 31st tend to be really popular dates, earlier in December can be busy so give your guests plenty of notice, and while into January, people tend to have more availability, you might not get the festive party atmosphere, if that’s what you’re after.

Photo by Weddings by KARA via One Fab Day

7. Find the Right Photographer

Most good wedding photographers can shoot beautiful pictures in any setting, any light, and any season, but if you’re looking for a particular aesthetic for your photographs, it’s wise to see examples of a photographer’s work either on dull days, at night, or in bad weather, to get a feel for their style year-round.

Winter days can give us the most dreamy lighting, and candlelight is always flattering for wedding portraits, but if it’s lashing rain, windy, and one of those days when it never really gets bright, you want to make sure you’ll still have gorgeous shots to look back on, that make you forget all about the weather.

winter wedding tips

Photo by Livia Figueiredo via One Fab Day

8. All About the Style

We have whole features with tips about winter wedding style (right here!) but there are a few main things to consider when you’re planning out your own look, and your wedding party’s style too. For starters, make sure everyone will be warm, (especially the little ones!), but also don’t choose anything so heavy that you’ll be breaking a sweat before you hit the dancefloor.

As with all cold weather dressing, layering is key, so choose cover ups like nice shawls, a leather jacket, a cape or a fur coat that will look great in the photos and keep you cosy. Spray any suede or leather shoes to protect them from being stained in wet weather, or for heels, pick up heel protectors so they don’t get damaged. And when it comes to underwear, make sure your bra has padding or wear stick-on pasties – you want your guests to have their eyes on your face – not your chest!

Get more ideas and for your Winter wedding with 20 Winter Wedding Tips and 10 Gorgeous Winter Wedding Colour Palettes.