HomeLifestyleDating & Relationships

Planning an exquisite winter wedding, from venues to decor

5 min read

Planning an exquisite winter wedding, from venues to decor
Winter weddings are trending, thanks to lower prices and the romance of a frosty wonderland. Here's how to plan yours, with tips on choosing a date and theme
Winter weddings are experiencing a surge in popularity as more couples become enchanted by the captivating and festive atmosphere that the season offers.
With its chilly landscapes, crackling fires, and breathtaking sunsets, the winter season provides an ideal backdrop for exchanging vows. This time of year exudes a magical aura, invoking a sense of festive warmth and togetherness that we all hold dear.
"Winter weddings not only create an intimate and unparalleled atmosphere but also often come with cost savings"
Winter weddings not only create an intimate and unparalleled atmosphere but also often come with cost savings and discounts during the off-peak season.
However, as idyllic as winter weddings may be, they present unique challenges that warrant careful consideration during the planning process.
To assist you in orchestrating your dream winter wedding, the team at Foxhills Country Club in Surrey has compiled the following exclusive guide to address every facet of your special day.

Selecting the perfect winter wedding venue

Bride posing in fur jacket by farmhouse door at winter wedding
Choosing the ideal venue is likely one of the most pivotal decisions you'll make for your winter wedding. There is a multitude of options to consider, ranging from traditional heritage buildings and golf club wedding venues to luxurious hotel settings, and many more.
You'll want a venue that is not only practical and functional but also offers a comprehensive array of wedding facilities.
Furthermore, you'll aim to leave a lasting impression on your guests, making them feel at ease throughout the day.
When deciding on a winter wedding venue, it's essential to ponder the following key aspects:
  • Capacity—Ensure your chosen venue can comfortably accommodate the anticipated number of guests for both the wedding day and evening celebration. The last thing you want is for invited guests to arrive without adequate seating. Conversely, if you plan to host an intimate wedding, ensure the venue can adapt by sectioning off additional space, preserving the event's intimate and romantic atmosphere.
  • Location—Your wedding venue should be easily accessible for your guests. If guests must travel a considerable distance, ensure the venue offers sufficient rooms to accommodate everyone on the night preceding the big day.
  • Facilities—Does the venue provide all the necessary amenities, such as ample accommodation, reception rooms, a well-equipped bar, and a cloakroom? You may also desire a venue equipped with spa and leisure facilities to keep your guests entertained throughout their stay.
  • Aesthetic appeal—You'll want a venue that aligns with the aesthetic vision you've set for your wedding day. Your dream venue may feature manicured gardens, grand reception halls, and ornate furnishings, underscoring the importance of making a choice that harmonises with your wedding's desired aesthetic.

Choosing a date and time

The timing and date of your winter wedding carry significant weight and should be influenced by weather conditions and the season's sunset schedule.
This is particularly crucial when many of your guests must traverse long distances to attend. Unfavourable weather conditions can deter guests from making the journey, so be mindful of this factor.
"Scheduling your ceremony earlier in the day can ensure an ample supply of natural sunlight"
It is also prudent to steer clear of Christmas and other festive dates to optimise guest attendance.
Winter days bring shorter daylight hours, which result in limited natural light. Therefore, scheduling your ceremony earlier in the day can ensure an ample supply of natural sunlight for capturing cherished wedding photographs.

Selecting a winter wedding theme

Bride and groom in relaxed winter wedding outfits pose on snowy footpath
If you wish to depart from the conventional wedding experience and prefer to infuse your day with a specific theme, there are numerous options available:
  • Rustic—This theme incorporates elements of the countryside and rural surroundings to create a warm, inviting, and relaxed atmosphere. Natural materials like wood, stone, and burlap can enhance the rustic aesthetic. Winter wildflowers, wooden signage, and fairy lights can also play a role, while a more relaxed dress code can be applied.
  • Glamorous—A glamorous wedding is characterised by materials such as velvet, crystal, and fur, exuding opulence, extravagance, and lavish details combined with elegant decor to create a sense of grandeur. Dramatic lighting, sumptuous floral arrangements, and gourmet cuisine feature prominently, with guests expected to adhere to formal attire or black tie.
  • Fairytale—This theme emanates an enchanting and magical atmosphere inspired by fantasy. Romantic and picturesque venues like castles, historic buildings, and country club estates with extensive gardens and woodland settings are ideal choices. Horse-drawn carriages, ballgowns, winter-themed floral crowns, mystical lighting, and magical entertainment are likely to be featured at a fairytale wedding.
  • Bohemian—"Boho" weddings diverge from tradition, embracing an unconventional style that celebrates nature, art, and individual expression. These weddings often take place in outdoor settings, requiring patio heaters to keep guests warm. The relaxed atmosphere is reflected in an eclectic dress code, rustic decor, and casual seating, with an emphasis on celebrating love over traditional formalities.

Choosing your winter wedding food and drinks

Dining table set with winter decor at winter wedding
Alongside the wedding ceremony and speeches, one of the most memorable aspects of your day is the food and drink. Your wedding meal should align with your chosen theme and cater to all guests, including those with specific dietary requirements.
  • Seasonality—Construct a menu that encapsulates the essence of a winter wedding theme by utilising seasonal ingredients. Typical options include turkey, beef, salmon, and winter vegetables, complemented by mulled wine, along with winter salads, butternut squash, and stuffed mushrooms.
  • Warmth—On a cold winter's day, there's nothing more comforting than a warm wedding meal. Consider serving soups, stews, and other hearty dishes that help stave off the chill.
  • Variety—Offer guests an array of food and drink options. Ensure a selection of main dishes caters to diverse tastes, accompanied by a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for guests of all ages.

Winter wedding transportation

Providing transport for guests to and from the wedding venue, particularly following the ceremony, is a time-honoured tradition. It is advisable to secure bookings for buses, taxis, or shuttle services well in advance to prevent any hitches.
Moreover, for guests who plan to drive themselves, it is imperative to provide them with the wedding venue's address and clear directions to facilitate their arrival.
Alternatively, you may opt for a venue that encompasses both the wedding ceremony and reception within a single location. This eliminates the need for guests to concern themselves with transportation, streamlining the overall experience.

Winter wedding photography

Black and white photo of bride in wedding dress holding up parasol in snowy garden
To capture the essence of your winter wedding and create enduring memories, it is vital to select a photographer thoughtfully.
Although budget-friendly options may be tempting, it is crucial to prioritise experience when choosing a photographer, particularly one with a proven track record of capturing the enchantment of winter weddings.
Winter weddings often entail unpredictable weather conditions, underscoring the importance of selecting a photographer experienced in working in various conditions. This ensures the best possible results for your special day.

Transform your dream into a lasting memory

Winter weddings contain a special charm, which make it easy to become enchanted by the romance of the season. By adhering to the above tips, you can meticulously plan your ideal winter wedding, crafting an unforgettable experience for both you and your guests.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter

This post contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Read our disclaimer

Loading up next...