We’ve spoken to hundreds of couples who got married in the chillier season – and every last one of them was thrilled with their choice to have a winter wedding.
The days may grow darker, but winter is still a joyous season. In the UK, winter officially lasts from 21st December 2020 – 20th March 2021. Just think of all the festivities during that period: the sparkle of Christmas, New Year festivities, Burn’s Night, Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year. You’ll certainly have plenty of inspiration for winter wedding ideas!
What’s more, winter is a time for celebration with loved ones – your wedding will perfectly fit the mood.
There are many practical advantages to winter weddings, too, from budget benefits to the stunning decorations you can get. And don’t forget honeymoon choices. At this time of year, you can either enjoy an escape to the sun or embrace one of the many amazing winter wonderlands around the world.
We’ll take you through the reasons to choose winter, just like all those clever couples who had the best day ever in this wonderful season.
1. Winter wedding venues are beautiful
Airy orangeries and meadows filled with summer flowers have their charms, but there’s also much to admire when it comes to winter wedding venues. Consider different types of venue to suit the mood you want to create:
Castle wedding venues are, as you’d expect, ideal for infusing your day with historic grandeur. You may worry that their size makes them somewhat chilly, but in fact, most castle venues have inviting indoor spaces – think roaring open fires, warm wood paneling and rich fabrics throughout.
- Looking for elegance? Country house wedding venues are perfect for a laidback yet refined mood.
Pub wedding venues really come into their own in winter, particularly if they have atmospheric period features.
- If you have a smaller guest list, check out our edit of the best intimate wedding venues – these can feel really cosy in the colder months.
But don’t feel you have to limit yourselves – as this beachside winter wedding in the UK shows, most venues can be adapted to suit a winter wedding.
READ MORE: 25 winter wedding venues
2. Winter weddings can be less expensive
As a general rule, you will save money on a winter wedding because they’re off peak – venue hire and supplier fees will likely be cheaper than in spring or summer. However, choose your date wisely. If your proposed wedding date coincides with another type of celebration – Christmas parties, for example, or Valentine’s Day – you may not see a saving. You should also think carefully before committing to a day when people don’t normally work, such as Boxing Day or New Year’s Day, as suppliers may charge extra – and you may find it harder to get them on board in the first place.
READ MORE: 7 things to think about before you set the wedding date
3. Seasonal winter flowers are surprisingly lovely
Winter is not a season associated with fresh blooms. However, you’d be surprised at what’s actually available. In addition to year-round blooms such as roses and lilies, winter sees the arrival of some beautiful seasonal varieties.
Amaryllis is a striking choice for a structural, contemporary look. For a softer feel, paper whites, white anemones and snowdrops are delicately pretty. You can add colour pops with berries, and go for silvery foliage.
READ MORE: 31 beautiful winter wedding flowers
4. Your winter honeymoon will be amazing
If you decide to have your mini-moon or honeymoon close to your wedding, there are some wonderful options, whatever your travel preferences.
Happiest on the slopes? Now’s the time to look at luxury ski honeymoons.
Prefer to escape to the sun? You’ll be spoilt for choice. Honeymoon favourites The Maldives and the Caribbean are at their best December to March, although you’ll find the prices do rise accordingly.
December to March is winter in Oman, which means sun-seeking is still on the cards but it won’t be too hot to explore.
For a shorter flight time but still-pleasant temperatures, consider Cyprus or Morocco.
5. Your wedding breakfast can be comfort food
While it’s generally better to keep it light in summer, winter is the time for hearty, warming dishes – and that means a wedding breakfast of dreams. Go as opulent as you like, whether that’s with hearty meat dishes, succulent seafood or lashings of vegetable dishes for vegetarian and vegan wedding food.
While we love British classics, we’d also suggest looking around the world for your winter dishes. Spicy foods, such as curries or tagines, are beautifully warming in chillier temperatures. As evening food, consider something like an Alpine fondue station or mini versions of American favourites such as mac ‘n’ cheese, sliders or cheeseburgers.
Winter is also the perfect time for showstopping desserts, from sticky toffee pudding to crumble.
READ MORE: Winter wedding food ideas
6. You’ll save guests some money
Everyone knows that it’s expensive to be a wedding guest. However, so long as you avoid peak times such as the immediate run-up to Christmas, travel and accommodation should cost them less.
READ MORE: This is how much it costs to be a wedding guest
7. Your lighting options will be endless in winter
Darker days mean more creative lighting options – and that’s particularly true when it comes to dressing your winter wedding venue. Whether you decide to hire or buy, you’ll be able to choose from festoon lighting, all kinds of fairy lights, mason jar lamps, candles of various shapes, sizes and scents… Your venue is going to look so romantic when you’re finished.
8. Your hair will look better
It doesn’t sound like this should be a priority, and yet somehow it is. Unless you’re blessed with the kind of obedient hair that stays exactly as you style it in the morning, it can be difficult to manage summer wedding hair because of the temperatures. But at a winter wedding, you don’t have to worry about humidity-based frizz playing havoc with your bridal hair-down look or sweat messing with your updo. One less thing to worry about – just make sure there’s a member of your wedding party on hand with an umbrella in case of wet weather.
READ MORE: How to choose a hairstyle that works with your veil
9. You may get snow
Of course, you don’t want too much snow – the amount that leaves guests unable to travel – but that happens relatively rarely during UK winters. We’re talking about a pretty dusting, giving you a wonderfully romantic backdrop for your photos.
READ MORE: 24 magical winter wedding pictures in the snow
10. Suppliers have more availability
Another advantage of winter weddings is that suppliers tend to have more dates available when you get married outside peak wedding season. This means you’ll have greater chocie when it comes to everything from venues to hair and make-up artists. What’s more, they should have fewer weddings during winter months, which means they’ll be able to focus more on your day. For example, in summer, photographers will have images from multiple weddings to edit, but in winter, they should have fewer – so you’ll get those much-anticipated pictures quicker!
11. All-out glamour is season appropriate
We don’t believe in ‘should’ when it comes to weddings. If a bride wants to go for sparkle and a red lip in spring or summer, she’ll still look amazing – but it’s undeniable that winter is most associated with that type of wedding glamour.
You are going to have a lot of fun putting together your winter wedding look if that suits your personal style And it’s not just sequins and sparkle – think weighty, shimmering satin, dramatic skirts and sculptural silhouettes.
When it comes to your accessories, a cover-up or coat is essential. Even this can get on board the bridal glamour train; just choose a luxe fabric, such as velvet, faux fur or even feathers.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about wedding makeup
12. You can get away with Christmas music
Now, for some people, a Christmas music playlist is a special kind of hell. But if you’re the kind of person who’s already searching for seasonal jams on Spotify in October, a winter wedding is the perfect time to crack out those old and new favourites to get people on the dance floor. Peak Christmas wedding: Mariah’s All I Want For Christmas Is You as the first dance.
READ MORE: Unusual first dance songs – the ultimate playlist
13. Winter colour palettes are so diverse
Pretty much every colour palette you can think of suits winter, whether you go for luscious berry reds, frosty pastels, mixed metallics, or anything else. Even a zesty tropical palette feels right, as a warming contrast to the cold weather. We also like the idea of pared-back minimalism: a chic monochrome, for example; nothing but white; or a greenery-led palette for a rustic look.
If you’re getting married close to Christmas, check whether your venue will already have their decorations up by that date – you want to negotiate to have these removed if they don’t go with your theme. Alternatively, you could embrace the look and enjoy Christmas decor for free!
14. A winter wedding is something different
Given the popularity of spring and summer weddings, there’s a chance many of your guests won’t have been to a winter wedding before. If you’re the kind of couple who like to stand out from the crowd and do things differently, choosing a less obvious time of year for your wedding makes perfect sense.
15. You can get the party started earlier
Image | Andreas Ronningen at Unsplash
There’s a real advantage to the fact that it gets dark earlier in winter: you can start the party sooner! Let’s be honest, it does feel a bit odd taking to the dance floor when it’s still light outside. At a winter wedding, evening falls sooner, so you can make the most of your wedding entertainment ideas and get everyone feeling festive.
16. Winter is ideal for a ‘wedkend’
If your dream wedding involves several days of celebration, winter is a lovely time to treat your friends and family. Hire a country house for the weekend, for example, and there will be plenty to create a magical atmosphere: picture them snuggling up with mulled wine in front of an open fire after a hearty winter walk, or wrapping up to toast marshmallows in front of a fire pit.
READ MORE: Cosy coats for winter wedding guests
17. You’ll save on a winter hen and stag
It isn’t just weddings that are less expensive in winter. Have your hen and stag – or joint sten party – outside peak season and your budget should go further.
Whenever you get married, make sure your photos are exactly as you want them with our guide to getting the most out of your wedding photographer.