Why are Winter Weddings a good idea? I know we all love the summer, basking in the sun, sea and sand, jetting off to beautiful destinations. But, perhaps these are all the reasons for why the winter wedding is actually the better idea!
Summer months are normally jam packed – holidays, parties, family dos, the lot. This can make it especially tricky to have everyone you love there on your big day. Scheduling a date with all of your guests becomes almost impossible, particularly with getting extra time off work where needed.
Another practical reason winter weddings have in their favour is the temperature! Hair and make-up can be one of the more costly parts of your wedding planning. Luckily, without the sweltering heat that comes with summer, your mind is at ease knowing your make up won’t sweat off and your hair won’t drop out!
We have put together this complete guide, full of ideas to incorporate that wintery magic into your big day. From wedding favours to bridal looks, decorations and food options, here are the best ideas to make your winter wedding wonderful.
Skip Ahead To…
Top 5 Reasons to have a Winter Wedding
When having a winter wedding, there is one absolute: it is going to be cold! This means that planning your ceremony and reception has just become that little bit easier.
You know that no matter what, you’re going to want to be inside a venue for both (unless you’re hoping to get married in the snow, then this is entirely different!). This also means you’re likely to save money as you won’t be forking out for emergency last minute cover because, come on, we all know how unpredictable British weather is.
More Venue Dates & Flexibility
Most locations and vendors quickly get booked up in the summer months, not just for weddings but other types of celebrations too, making the chances of getting the date you want harder as it is peak season for all sorts of events. Since the winter months are out of season, you’re more likely to get what you’re looking for in terms of availability as the summer months can be booked out up to two years in advance!
In addition to this, your venue and vendors will have more flexibility on timings as they are less likely to have other bookings that they need to rush off to or prep for.
Another perk of booking out of season is that the winter months are much quieter for vendors and venues alike, meaning it is highly likely you will be getting a better rate on the services you want.
Travel and hotel pricing skyrocket in the summer months as schools are out and families take the opportunity to go on holiday. Winter weddings let you and your guest take advantage of off-peak pricing for both travel and accommodation if necessary.
(Free) Bonus Décor
As soon as it hits December 1st, you already know the halls are going to be decked with holly. With it being holiday season, nearly all venues will likely have Christmas decorations up as they get in the festive spirit.
This adds an extra celebratory feel to your wedding and at no extra cost to you! If you don’t know what winter wedding theme to go for, this can really help you narrow down the ideas too or spark some inspiration.
Stew, soup, roast dinners, treacle tart, custard, crumble… the list of hearty dishes goes on. Winter weddings are the perfect excuse to serve up those familiar, traditional plates that everybody loves.
Not only are these crowd-pleasers, but they are great for serving a big number of guests without costing you a bomb either!
Winter Wedding Venues
Where? The biggest question after the dress decision making – where will you say, ‘I do’? Whether you’re dreaming of a toasty, warm, fire-lit barn or grand hall extravagance; there are plenty of options to choose from in the winter months.
Getting married in a hotel may not initially jump out as the most romantic, winter wedding venue. Nevertheless, this style venue offers many benefits, mainly, their well-polished staff and facilities to make the most of.
By having your wedding at a hotel, you can save money, effort, and time on organising transport by having everything in one place. The ceremony, reception and guest accommodation can be sorted in one go. To top it off, hotels will almost certainly have their own festive décor already up in time for your wedding so make the most of them!
Look at these hotel venues and get inspired…
The Glasshouse Hotel – Edinburgh
This hotel is one of the best wedding venues in Scotland with a stunning back drop of historic Calton Hill and intimate secret roof top garden.
Being in Scotland, this venue is typically covered in a beautiful blanket of snow in those winter months so is an ideal place for those winter feels!
Holkham Hall – Norfolk
This grand yet cosy interior sets the tone for a perfect winter wedding. With four staterooms, each decorated beautifully, you can take advantage of bonus décor on your big day.
Take inspiration from the staircase – add Christmas trees decorated with your own colour scheme for a festive feeling!
House of Worship
Whether you are religious or not, these often historic and beautiful places of worship are a meaningful place to tie the knot. These types of venues are the perfect place for traditional, religious wedding ceremonies and are budget-friendly options too.
Bear in mind, this style of venue may not be well equipped for every type of wedding imaginable. Make sure you know the venue well and have a good idea of what you’re working with. You’ll want to consider a plan for the space as this will making planning catering and reception equipment much easier.
Check out these stunning Houses of Worship:
Chichester Cathedral – West Sussex
Founded in 1075, with beautiful architecture and compelling stained glass windows, this Cathedral is a true, traditional fairy tale venue in which to say your vows.
For a more traditional approach to your winter wedding, add some soft candle lit lighting and green foliage with winter berries.
St Helen’s Church – Hertfordshire
The picture-perfect Church for your more traditional wedding dreams. St Helen’s is nestled in a quiet village surrounded by peaceful grounds – ideal for a more intimate ceremony.
Looking for a more simple, intimate design? Why not decorate with classic Christmas trees, lit up with ornaments matching your colour scheme.
This style of venue is the thing of dreams; a true fairy tale wedding! Its beautiful past will really come to life in those magical wintery months. With rich architectural structures and distinctive interior, it will most certainly add a classic, romantic feel. It’s the the perfect backdrop to say, I do.
Homes on historic registries often feature stunning grounds and gardens perfect for those ceremony pictures. Definitely consider this, especially if you want some photos outside! If you’re lucky enough, a beautiful blanket of snow may fall, and your photos will be just that more incredible in such a special setting.
Have a peek at these beautiful historical venues!
RSA House – London
This historic house is the perfect example of the uniqueness that a historic site venue can add to your winter wedding. It’s stunning interior is sure to wow your guests.
Dress this venue up with twinkling fairy lights, lots of deep green shrubbery and winter berries to elevate those winter wedding vibes.
Elmore Court – Gloucestershire
This Grade II listed Country House is 750 years old with breath-taking views of the Cotswolds and River Severn from its gardens.
Festive lighting is all you need to achieve winter wedding wonderfulness here! Play around with the brightness of light to get the right amount of romance.
Looking for a venue that is a bit out of the ordinary? Think Night in the Museum vibes… a magical, wintery night, brought to life by your commitment to each other; surrounded by the ones you love. Made In Chelsea’s Ollie and Gareth Locke tied the knot in London’s Natural History Museum in a beautiful and as extravagant celebration.
In all seriousness, if you’re looking for something unique and special for your big day, a museum offers stunning backdrops and one-of-a-kind décor. Do some research and find out which museums host weddings and find one that really suits your style.
Consider this unique beautiful wedding venue…
Natural History Museum – London
Made in Chelsea’s Ollie and Gareth Locke tied the knot here last year, decorating the magnificent halls with large flower arrangements and candles.
With most of the wonder already captured for you in this breath-taking venue, you can nicely compliment your surroundings by adding simple decors like the Locke’s did, making use of wintery flower arrangements and candle lighting.
Barn or Cabin
Looking for a more intimate, rustic, romantic feel to your wedding day? Think open fires and twinkling fairy lights with indoor shrubbery and holly hanging from the vaulted timber ceilings. Not to mention, wood-plank flooring on which your guests can dance away all night long.
There are so many options for décor when it comes to this style of venue and often these are budget friendly too. However, whilst you may save money in this area, you will definitely need to consider heating. Find out if this is provided, included or at what price you may need to add this on for to ensure your guests are comfortable in the colder months.
Check out farm and barn wedding venues for some ideas
South Farm – Cambridgeshire
Hidden away in the beautiful Cambridgeshire Countryside, this restored farmhouse radiates romantic, intimate wedding vibes. It’s warm cosy interior is perfect for your wedding day.
Make use of those stunning wooden beams, dressing them in twinkling fairy lights and green shrubbery for that extra wintery feel.
Heaton House Farm – Cheshire
Boasting cosy sandstone barns, this venue glows with warmth and romantic vibes with the perfect balance between contemporary chic and rustic for your winter wedding day.
Check out this winter décor from a previous wedding at the farm, using snow dusted shrubbery for an enchanted feel.
All of Your Winter Décor
It’s time to think about what theme and colour palette you’re going to go for. Going for a winter wonderland theme is so broad and there can be many ways to achieve those magical, romantic feels. Consider deep reds, greens and velvet décor or brighter gold, silver and bronze metallic colours. There are so many options to choose and incorporate into your big day.
Flowers & Greenery
Flowers and greenery, whether they be the real kind or artificial, are a must have at all weddings and not just for the bride’s bouquet. Having some shrubbery in your surroundings adds a beautiful and elegant touch.
There are many ways you can incorporate flower décor into your venue’s set up. Flower arches are totally in right now and would be perfect at the top of the aisle to say your wedding vows under.
Why not try hanging plants from the ceiling or light, or perhaps snow dusted pinecones, tied neatly with pine needles by a red bow, dotted around your tables.
Centre Pieces & Table Décor
Winter is all about the deep reds, emerald greens, metallic golds, silvers and bronze and of course, white! You can incorporate any, or all, of these colours into your centre piece ideas easily, especially with the use of flowers and/or candles as these will match beautifully with each other.
Why not add some red winter berries or snow dusted pinecones to bring some colour and sparkle to the table? Try red blooms on a contrasting sea of green and play around with more simplistic and over the top themes.
Lighting is incredibly important for setting the tone on your big day and can really influence the mood you’re going for. There are a variety of ways to achieve the perfect vibe with your lighting choices – from softly-lit, warm candles to twinkling fairy lights draped across your venue, there really is a huge selection of choice.
Let’s not forget either, winter means Christmas and Christmas means lights! If you’re looking for a more festive feel, you can always make the most of those Christmas tree lights, and beautifully lit ornaments dotted around your tables. Remember, placement matters too!
Your Winter Wedding Look
Dressing to impress, and dressing to suit the season are two different things. But it is not difficult to ensure your wedding day look reflects the theme you are going for. The only limit is your imagination!
Winter Wedding Dresses
It’s the one you’re most excited about, the all important dress! Whether you already know exactly what you want, or feel completely lost amongst the many choices available; remember that picking your dress should be something fun and special. Try not to get stressed out and go to the fittings with an open mind!
Just because its winter doesn’t mean you’re limited. The cold weather instantly points towards a long-sleeved dress, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Remember, you’re likely to be inside a venue for the ceremony, so if you want that low-back, sleeveless gown then absolutely go for it.
In fact, it could even be said there are more options to go for by having a winter wedding. It’s not only long sleeves that give you the opportunity for warmth. What about considering a stunning fur shawl would complement your gown beautifully too and contribute to that winter wonderfulness?!
From extravagant ruffles and couture feathers for that Great Gatsby feeling to more romantic, classic long sleeve, fitted lace; there are so many beautiful wedding gowns or alternatives to make your wedding day even more special.
Hair & Makeup
Now that you’ve got the perfect dress, you can start thinking about your hair and makeup. There are thousands of choices and combinations to gather inspiration from. why now choose a soft, natural make up with a beautiful dewy glow? Or a smoky eye and bold red lip for a more glam festive look? Add big bouncy curls adorned with a tiara, or a simple chignon relaxed up-do and you’re on to a winner. The possibilities are endless!
Any of the hair styles here are perfect for a winter wedding. The vintage up-do can be more suited towards a glam Great Gatsby vibe whilst the chic chignon is a perfect match for a more intimate, relaxed do.
Don’t forget, there are many variations of braids so if you like these they can be incorporated into a lot of half up-down dos or a variety of styles too.
Don’t forget to accessorize! Elevate any hair style you like by incorporating tiaras, pins, and wintery shrubbery for that added touch.
In terms of winter wedding makeup, think bold red lips and metallic golds, silvers and bronzes which can create a beautiful look, particularly when applying your eyeshadow.
Don’t worry, not a massive fan of makeup? It’s perfectly fine to not want to wear too much makeup on your skin or want a more subtle look. Let your makeup artist know the kind of look you’re going for and if it’s more of a natural one, they will be able to use a lighter foundation formula to compliment your beautiful skin in photos.
Top Tip – When taking inspiration for any hair or makeup look from photos you see, remember that these looks are only guidelines. To what extent your stylists can achieve them will be dependent on things like your hair and skin type, so keep an open mind! They will be able to recommend what they are able to do and what would work best.
Dress – check, hair and makeup – check; so, to complete your look, you now need to think about your bouquet. This is really where you can tie together your wintery image. Surprisingly, there are plenty of beautiful flowers in season during those winter months! This means not only do you get to play to you winter wonderland themed dreams, but they’ll be looking their absolute best in comparison to flowers that won’t be in season.
Think festive Holly, hypericum berries, white lilies and red roses – perhaps you’d like these arranged beautifully with some winter shrubbery? Pine needles are amazing for achieving that rustic winter feeling as well as snow dusted pinecones!
Top Tip – Choosing flowers that are in season during the winter means they will be easy to source and will be looking super fresh for your bouquet. Different flower arrangements will help you achieve a different vibe – forget-me-nots are great for a rustic chic feel while roses will certainly add a touch of romance!
Why not try…
- Casablanca Lilies
- Casablanca Lilies
Wedding Reception Essentials
It’s time to start thinking about your reception. From food and drink to keep your guests tummies happy, to entertainment to make them smile, find the perfect options to suit your day. After all, it’s supposed to be a party!
Your ‘Save The Date’ cards are one of the first things that guests see about your wedding. They are hugely important to set the tone and give your loved ones an idea of what’s to come. If you are embracing the festive period and choosing all things Christmas, your save the dates and RSVPs can be beautifully designed to match. Take inspiration from Christmas cards. Pick all things winter – holly, ivory, robins, snowy scenes and maybe some glitter to add a bit of sparkle!
Even if you’re not totally going all out with all things festive, you can still achieve that wintery touch by incorporating little things. Consider, winter florals and shrubbery, metallic accents, and wax melt stamps to seal, or simple sleek white, grey or blue colours.
Table placers don’t have to be as simple as a written name on card. However, these are still a great way to do it and you can save on costs by making these yourself with your partner and having a bit of fun with it at the same time!
If you’re looking for something a bit more out of the box for your place names this winter, why not try personalised Christmas Crackers? This is a super festive and fun way to tell your guests where they’re to be seated and look amazing set out on the tables, really adding to that wintery feel. Alternatively, you could also try mini-Christmas wreaths or candy canes, labelled with your guest’s name!
Food & Drink
One of the best things about winter is the endless craving for hearty, warming foods. There are classics and family favourites, crowd pleasers and nostalgic meals that you can’t really go wrong with. So, when deciding your menu for your guests, think roast dinners, chocolate puddings, soups, and mulled wine for the festiveness of course!
- Baked Camembert – a proper winter treat!
- Puff Pastries
- Brie stuffed baby potatoes
- Soups – there are so many options to go for here and are ideal for serving a lot of guests!
- Brussel sprouts (but fancy) – jazz these festive classics up with bacon or fig jam for veggie guests.
- Beef Wellington
- Salmon (or any type of fish) and seasonal roasted vegetables
- Mash Potato Dishes – mash and gravy dishes are hearty, warming and loved by all; you can’t go wrong and have plenty of flexibility (it’s also veggie friendly!)
- Stews – another great choice for batch serving many guests and budget-friendly
- Roast Dinner/Nut Roast – for smaller weddings with less guests to serve, you can really personalise the menu by giving guests a choice of meat to choose from!
- Crème Bruleè – a more sophisticated choice of dessert.
- Chocolate Lava Cake/Melt in the middle puddings – aesthetically pleasing as well as a crowd-favourite, these desserts provide a tiny bit of satisfaction as you watch them melt or split into a delicious mess.
- Mince Pies – a no-brainer, festive favourite!
- Fruit crumble with warm, rich custard.
- Marshmallows – either classically dipped under a flowing chocolate fountain or for a more rustic, festive feeling, roasted over a small, supervised open fire to provide a little fun for guests too.
- Mulled Wine
- Whiskeys and Bourbon
- Hot chocolate– not only does this option cater to guests not to drinking alcohol, but its also a super fun and cosy idea. Why not set up a mini bar of hot chocolate toppings for your guests to personalise their hot drink!
- Bailey’s – another Christmas Classic!
Top Tip – Whether you’re having a more intimate ceremony with fewer guests or are well into the double/ triple figures, these types of meals are super easy to adapt. Many will be cost-effective for serving several guests. For more intimate ceremonies, you can focus on personalising the menu to best suit your guests. For larger weddings, choose meals which can be batch cooked easier to make this more cost effective.
The cutting of the cake! It’s a treasured tradition that you may want to adhere to on your big day. So, choosing a cake that everyone will be seeing, watching you cut lovingly with your newly-wed (if you so choose), can be a bit stressful.
Not to worry, your cake-baker will have made plenty of wedding cakes and will help bring your vision to life. Need some inspiration for a wintery wedding cake? Think metallic accents, such as some gold dripping around the side of your cake. Or choose winter shrubbery such as ivory, holly and pinecones to decorate.
For the flavouring of the inside of your cake, there are plenty of options to choose from too! How about a classic Victoria Sponge, madeira, or chocolate or maybe a more festive classic like fruit cake? You can also jazz up the inside by asking for layers of different flavour and colourings or perhaps a marble effect.
Top Tip – Ask your cake-maker what flavours work well together or what they have made before which has been super popular. There may be some exciting combinations that you have never even heard of or a speciality cake individual to your maker. Always try to go for cake tastings prior to committing to make sure you’re going to like it!
Christmas is all about being with your loved ones (and presents!). Get in the Christmas giving spirit at your Wonderful Winter Wedding with these lovely little wedding favours that you can give to your guests as a token of your special day.
- Mulled wine spices for your guests to take home and make themselves as a little treat from you and your partner.
- Sweet Treats: Create mini rustic jars, adorned with pine needles tied by ribbon, of hot chocolate powder and marshmallows or the classic chocolate bunnies/reindeers/coins to give to your guests.
- Sparklers are a great wedding favour to give out, particularly for winter weddings as the evenings are dark early. You and your guests can pop outside during the reception to light these together.
Top Tip – If you are giving out sparklers as wedding favours, perhaps arrange a time during your reception to go out together to light these and make sure your photographer knows exactly when this will be so they can be present to take photos! Sparklers can create some beautiful and magical shots that you will be able to cherish forever.
- Snow globes, either personalised with your wedding details or just a beautiful wintery scene, for guests to treasure and keep in their homes for years after your big day
- Baubles personalised with your wedding details for them to hang on their tree as a reminder each Christmas.
Your Wonderful Winter Wedding planning is almost complete! With most things now in place, you can start to think about entertainment for you and your guests.
Make sure you plan your entertainment in good time. Service providers for entertainment can get booked up quickly and for many months in advance (although it is likely you will have more options with it being out of season) so if you know what you want, it’s good to get it sorted to avoid disappointment.
Top Tip – To make things extra wintery, or just a bit more fun, provide some props for guests to take photos with – Santa hats, reindeer antlers, fun glasses and moustaches on sticks just to name a few!
A photo booth is a common and brilliant form of entertainment to have on your wedding day. Not only do guests get to entertain themselves, taking pictures freely throughout the night, you also get to give them a memory to take home to remind them of your special day.
Because this form of entertainment doesn’t need everyone’s undivided attention at all times, its an easy add on to any wedding reception.
Some photo booth suppliers also provide a copy of every photo taken either in a guest book or USB form so that you can keep a piece of all your guests fun too!
With the evenings creeping in earlier, its likely your reception will run through to the sun setting. A fireworks display is a beautiful end to an extra special day. You can even try and keep it a surprise to wow your guests even more. Speak to your photographer to see if you can capture some stunning photos with your new life partner and your guests.
Two birds with one stone? Provide some entertainment at the same time as service with singing waiters who will serve your guests their food and drinks whilst also surprising them with a fun and incredible performance.
If you have guests with small children (or even have your own), consider having an amazingly decorated, Santa’s Grotto at your reception. Not only will it add to the festive feeling, but will provide some fun magic to your day too. This easy entertainment initiative also gives the adults some free time as they’re kept preoccupied with Santa and his elves!
What’s more festive than a gospel choir? These group of performers can sing a beautiful collection of renditions throughout the day. Great for both more intimate, traditional weddings as well as those more extravagant, a gospel choir gives you much versatility to really set the tone and mood.
With so many ways to have a Wonderful Winter Wedding, hopefully this guide has sparked some inspiration and ideas to incorporate into your special day.
The beauty of having a winter wedding is that the theme is so versatile. Whether it be festive and magical, Great Gatsby glitz and glam or a way more rustic, intimate, and cosy day, there are tons of ways that you can incorporate a touch of seasonality.
Winter Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful! Check out Poptop to find all of your wedding suppliers in one place. You can chat to them with ease and compare and contrast options.
Need any extra help? Contact our support team on firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Don’t Forget To Check Out…
Need some more inspo? Check out our Pinterest.