Winter wedding inspiration from leading wedding planner

ceremony aisle with big floral displays Credit: Bizzy Arnott

Matthew Shaw, founder & creative director at sauveur. shares his winter wedding inspiration for those looking to tie the knot at this time of year. Winter weddings have grown hugely in popularity. The festive season can be a truly magical time of year to host a wedding and stand out from the crowd but it does bring its own set of considerations for the planning. Whilst the key areas of your wedding planning will be the same as a wedding in any other month, there are a few different elements to consider to create an incredible winter wedding celebration.

Finding the right venue
There are so many wonderful winter wedding venue options available and you will often be able to get better availability (and sometimes prices) by looking in the so-called off season. These are accompanied with some important considerations when choosing the right location. I would always suggest visiting your venue when dark to get a taste for it once the sun sets which happens much earlier in the winter months. Venues can look very different when flooded with daylight to after-dark and you'll want to make sure you've seen this. When looking at a winter wedding, you will likely be looking for a venue that can house all your celebrations inside. Marquees are, of course, an option but you should factor in significant heating for this and I advise discussing with your planner or marquee supplier. When visiting venues, make sure you are happy with all the interior spaces and that your plans can be accommodated there. The great thing to remember with winter wedding planning is that your weather plan B, is actually your plan A and you will avoid the potential disappointment of moving your summer celebration inside.

bartender serving drinks in glasses Credit: Bizzy Arnott

Think of your guests
The overall guest experience is paramount in any wedding planning. We spend hours mapping out where guests are, how they get around, and how everything ties together to ensure a perfectly smooth day. This is, of course, crucial for any wedding but it does require extra attention when planning a winter celebration. You will want to think carefully about how your guests move around to ensure they are kept warm and dry. And importantly, do not forget that your cloakroom will very likely be under strong demand! Taking the time to think through some lovely touches to look after your guests: hot drinks, blankets, and umbrellas will go a long way on the day! You should also consider your guests' travel plans. Whilst you will have likely planned an indoors celebration, the winter months are known to create travel issues and this is worth factoring in.

Be realistic about costs
All year round, budget is at the forefront of everyone's minds when planning a wedding and there are many great savings to be made when considering winter. Suppliers are typically quieter during this period so they may be more open to negotiation. Venues often have seasonal rates too, which can be beneficial to your budget. However, if you are looking for a deal, I recommend you stay away from key holiday dates as the Christmas period can often become more expensive than the summer months. Selecting a venue that can host your winter wedding within its four walls can also remove the requirements for marquees and other temporary structures that often add significant amounts to budgets. I always advise putting together a detailed budget and asking your planner and suppliers for advice. Whilst there are savings to be made, there are also hidden costs with a winter wedding that should not be ignored.

grand reception room with long tables and chandelier in centre large tall floral displays Credit: Bizzy Arnott

Embrace the season
One of the great things with a winter wedding is truly embracing the season. You will likely be at fewer weddings during that period and can make the most of a lack of 'wedding fatigue' by bringing your friends and family together when they might not have seen each other in a while. If you are planning a January or February wedding you will likely also be the first one of the year, which can be very exciting. Traditionally, winter weddings are unique and it can be great to lean into this across all aspects of your wedding. From the food offering to design and dress code, there's a lot of fun to be had! Do you provide a bright and colourful contrast to the winter months or embrace the wonderful and cozy aesthetic that can be created? Although I would suggest avoiding too many festive themes. There are so many exciting ways to be creative and do things definitely by embracing the winter months. Black tie is the perfect dress code for this as well as warm and filling food that you may not want to serve on a summers' day. A lot of venues also already have decorations installed during the festive season which can help with your budget. If you are planning a wedding around Christmas, I always advise asking them for visuals of their decorations to make sure they are to your liking.

Transportation for everyone
I always insist that transport is provided for guests at any wedding so you can move them between venues and also get them home safely at night. This can also help your planning as you will have visibility on where your guests are and ensure they arrive on time. There is never a more important time to insist on this than for a winter wedding! Keeping your guests warm and dry as they move around will be hugely appreciated and will ensure everyone is also looking their best for the photos.

large floral pedestal display Credit: Bizzy Arnott
chocolate cake with red and white flowers Credit: Bizzy Arnott

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