Getting married in autumn and winter presents lots of romantic style ideas that are different from a summer event. Gorgeous, rich colours, beautiful fabrics, mulled wine, fireworks without having to wait too late not to mention the hope of a few 'off-peak' discounts! But it also has a few issues to consider, you can plan for most of them apart from thick snow keeping special guests away so don't plan your winter wedding without reading this page first.
Winter StyleWinter style is quite different from summer with colours being the obvious one. Butterflies and summer flowers are popular summer themes but winter offers distinctive shapes such as snowflakes and holly and of course the great festival of Christmas. Flowers and some food ingredients are seasonal which will mean you have lots of choice for some items but cannot get others for a winter wedding. An early consultation with your florist is advisable!
Colour SchemeAutumn and winter colours work beautifully with crisp white and rich ivory from the oranges and browns of autumn to the reds and greens of Christmas and the cool aqua, pink and lilac of the new year. Black is particularly popular at this time. These colours transfer from bridesmaids dresses to stationery, waistcoats to cupcakes, venue decorations to flowers with ease.
MenusWho wants salad at a wedding? Let the feasting and comfort eating of colder months inspire imaginative catering for your wedding from toffee apples, jacket potatoes and hot dogs in the autumn to mulled wine, hot toddies and mince pies in December.
EntertainmentFireworks are a popular choice for lots of weddings and the advantage of darker evenings is that you can have them earlier if you want, especially if you've got lots of children present who will want to enjoy them. Just bear in mind that professional fireworks companies are unlikely to be available for bonfire night on new year's eve so check carefully if you are wanting them for dates close to these.
There is lots of music themed with winter and its festivals. You can go for obvious or try to think a bit differently but classical music includes Autumn and Winter from Vivaldi's Four Seasons (perfect for a string quartet) and tunes with Christmas associations such as the Nutcracker. Christmas, of course, has the most to offer for music and some familiar pieces can sound quite original played on a harp or violins, for example. These musicians and your DJ will have lots of ideas and can help you 'borrow' the best of these from other winter couples!
Winter Prices!Winter is off-peak for weddings although some suppliers will tell you that winter weddings are on the increase, perhaps driven by couples hoping to secure some deals in the quiet season. Some suppliers take holidays at this time, especially on January and February which are perhaps quietest of all and many are busy with other types of work but autumn and winter are good times to get the pick of the bunch. Some will be more expensive because their own costs are higher, particularly florists, and remember with the rest that if you want the same high quality as summer brides you may have to pay the same!
Autumn and winter are cheaper for most holidays, in the UK and abroad and you can find some winter sunshine overseas or celebrate the season with a cosy cottage here or skiing further afield.
Winter IssuesSummers haven't been glorious recently and we've had some warm January, March and October's but you are likely to be colder in winter so consider the inside space available as you book your venue. Don't expect 150 guests squeezed into a small room to have a great day!
Check if and how your insurance policy helps if snow keeps key suppliers away or disrupts your honeymoon plans.
One thing's for certain regardless of the temperature and that's what time the sun sets. Do your homework on this one and consider a ceremony late morning or by 12.30pm rather than 2pm to give the option of outside photos. The sun will be lower and all this combines to increase the need for a professional photographer.
Check supplier availability if you are getting married over Christmas. Depending on your exact date you need to consider the impact on suppliers who may not be keen to be working at this time! For example, if you get married on 27 or 28 December this means your cake maker will be decorating your cake on Christmas Day or your florist will be taking delivery of your flowers! Consider silk flowers, cake alternatives and other options at this time so you are not disappointed.
A Valentine's wedding is romantic - but the flower prices are not! Some florists will not booking weddings close to Christmas, Valentine's or Mother's Day and there is a hike in wholesale prices at this time. Consider silk flowers or an alternative bouquet of crystals, buttons and more.
Thank you to Birmingham chair covers supplier Chic Covers for the photos with the fir cone decoration and to Scarborough wedding photographers Richard Wood Photography and the Scarborough couples, venues and suppliers in the remaining pictures. All photos are taken at real-life weddings between late October and early March.