We just love a winter wedding! The idea of a dusky winter colour palette mixed with touches of festive colours and décor along with lovely icy weather outside and roaring fires inside can make for a gorgeous occasion. That said, brides who have their hearts set on winter nuptials should tread carefully, as there’s a fine line between having a wintery celebration and ending up with an all-out Christmas theme.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t acknowledge the season, but you want to ensure your guests don’t come away feeling like they’ve just been at a rather elaborate Christmas dinner as opposed to an actual wedding. Not sure where to begin? Read on for some tips from Samantha at The Wedding Secret to create an elegant winter wedding without the Christmas theme!
1) Ditch the North Pole colour scheme
Nothing screams Christmas more like red, green, and white thrown together, so brides looking to get hitched in winter but who aren’t planning on inviting Father Christmas should avoid these colours at all costs. Although they’re obvious seasonal colours, they’re bound to put a big old ‘CHRISTMAS WEDDING’ stamp on your celebrations and, to be perfectly honest, they can look a little tacky.
When deciding on your colour scheme, draw inspiration from the colours of nature during the winter season. Go for dark greens and rich burgundy or wine reds and mix in some slate grey and even dusty pink. These colours match the feel of the season without the yuletide overtones.
2) Go for gold
Adding metallic gold accents to your décor acknowledges the season nicely without the need for using baubles as place settings or literally decking the halls with boughs of holly. (Gold foil also happens to be very de rigueur at the moment.) Throw this accent colour in sparingly but noticeably, perhaps with your cake topper or using real branches sprayed with gold metallic paint – a la Pinterest – for your guests’ place card holders.
3) Baby it’s cold outside
Getting married in an historic building in winter can be absolutely dreamy, but bear in mind that many older buildings (especially churches) in the UK don’t have the best insulation. Make sure you and your bridal party stay comfortable with some lovely, luxurious faux fur stoles to wear with your dresses and some thermal leggings underneath!
As for your guests, welcome them to your venue with a tea and coffee station, and provide blankets and hand warmers in the pews to keep them cosy.
4) A seasonal feast that isn’t a Christmas dinner
There are so many ways to incorporate the best of the Christmas season within your wedding breakfast without recreating an actual roast dinner for your guests. Consult your caterers on what the best local seasonal produce is and what winter menu options they’d recommend. And remember to keep things light so your guests aren’t too weighed down by food to dance the night away! Winter food is often pretty heavy, so be sure to take that into consideration.
Oh – and hopefully this goes without saying – we’d advise quite strongly against having a Christmas pudding as your wedding cake. No one likes it, anyway.
5) Get boozy
It’s tradition to offer your guests a glass of bubbly immediately upon entering your reception, but you should also see this as an opportunity to get your guests nice and warmed up, especially if they’ve had to spend time outside taking pictures after your ceremony! Acknowledge the season here by having mulled wine and/or mulled cider on offer as they come through the door. These are definite crowd-pleasers and will be a warming start to your reception.
When it comes to drinks later in the evening, the current fashion is to design one or two ‘signature’ cocktails for your guests to enjoy. If you’re planning on doing this, go for something that reflects seasonal flavours (think cranberries and cinnamon) served in pretty mason jars instead of martini glasses.
6) Winter warmer favours
Trying to steer clear of a Christmas-themed wedding? Then don’t be the couple who puts Christmas crackers at each place setting for the wedding breakfast as ‘favours’. Take this opportunity to give your guests favours they’ll actually use and appreciate which, given the season, will be anything that will warm them up! Think mini bottles of whiskey or jars of hot chocolate mix – which you can create your own labels for using sites like Vistaprint.
7) After all, it’s Christmas
Just because you don’t want a Christmas themed wedding doesn’t mean you should try to completely ignore the festive season altogether when planning your wedding. On the contrary, little nods to the holiday here and there can be nice touches. Does your venue have a great big Christmas tree set up in their ballroom that you won’t be able to move? That’s fine! It’ll be a great backdrop for photos. Accentuate it by having your florist create a couple of pretty wreaths to hang above any fireplaces your venue might have.
You can also bring the yuletide spirit into your ceremony by singing a carol instead of a hymn (if your church will allow it). But be sure to go for something subtle like ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ or ‘Silent Night’ as opposed to ‘Jingle Bells’.
Sure, the fact that you’re tying the knot in the festive season is going to have some influence on your décor choices, but we hope this post has shown you that a winter wedding certainly doesn’t have to be a Christmas wedding! There are so many ways in which you can make your winter wedding unique and stylish.