This may seem an unusual article to be writing as we enter the summer months but I have been thinking recently about the sadness facing many couples whose weddings have been postponed due to the Corona virus. Many will have opted to marry next year but others may have chosen a winter wedding so they can get married in 2020. As a party and wedding planner, I have generally had more requests for summer events than winter but I think a winter wedding should definitely not be ruled out for so many reasons.
I got married (many moons ago) the week before Christmas and it was truly magical. The church in which I married was in the centre of a town and it was lovely when all the Christmas shoppers stopped to wave as I arrived at the church! Our reception took place at a stunning venue, the gorgeous Chewton Glen Hotel on the edge of The New Forest in Hampshire. The space was so beautiful and festive that we did not need to do very much other than to decorate my father’s sports car ready for Father Christmas to whisk us off on honeymoon!
My little bridesmaids looked adorable in velvet and tartan dresses with tiny red roses in their hair and I remember my mother staying up all night dyeing their satin shoes from cream to dark green! The day itself dawned crisp and sunny with a stunning blue sky, not guaranteed obviously but then neither is the weather in June! It really was the most romantic and wonderful day and seeing all the guests in their winter velvet and hats resplendent with feathers was just gorgeous. I think that owing to the fact less couples get married in the winter, the day was actually more memorable.
The prospect of a winter wedding can throw up pros and cons but I think the pros outweigh the cons. Here are my top tips for planning a winter or Christmas wedding:
-Think about where you will hold the reception, a marquee will definitely require a hard floor and heating as well as a walkway from the house to the entrance. It may well be better to park guests on hard standing and transport them to the tent.
-Consider a venue which could turn out to be a less expensive option than a marquee but make sure you book in plenty of time as this winter is going to be busy for weddings and parties. Many venues are organising Zoom show arounds at the moment.
-A hotel is another option and can be fun for the bridal families and friends to stay with time to socialise ahead of the wedding day as well as the morning after! Many hotels can now accommodate a marriage ceremony as well as an exclusive hire for the weekend.
-Think carefully about flowers as they will be marginally more expensive in the winter and especially if you are considering a Christmas wedding. Make use of candles which create a stunning atmosphere and are less costly.
-Be quite conservative if you are going with a Christmassy theme, a few trees here and there with ivy and mistletoe are lovely but you don’t really want the space to look like Santa’s Grotto!
-Have fun with your menu, a spicy winter cocktail is delicious and what could be more appropriate than a rich dark fruit wedding cake.
Finally, a little snippet from my father who told my husband when we got engaged “I assume you chose this date to avoid spending your first married Christmas with your new mother in law”!
If you are planning on re-scheduling your wedding or party to a winter date, or indeed in 2021 and would like any advice, do get in touch, I would be delighted to hear from you.