Wise Winter Wedding Tips
Without a doubt a winter wedding can be a truly elegant and stylish affair allowing you to indulge in the finest luxury of the season.
A winter wedding can be very beautiful and intimate, and certainly will stand out from the many summer weddings that are held each year. The team at Southampton’s Wise Weddings, a subsidiary of specialist events caterer Wise Catering, have some tips and advice for those who are planning winter wedding nuptials.
Wedding specialist, Katrine Lee, has the following advice: “Having decided that you want to tie the knot in the winter you may want to consider a theme for the big day. There are so many interesting and unique themes that you can choose and they are only limited by your imagination, and maybe your budget. Having a Christmas or New Year holiday themed winter wedding is a great way to celebrate the joy of the winter holidays. Two popular choices are the elegant Christmas wedding which lends itself to a formal and graceful event complete with black tie and evening dresses. Another popular alternative is a traditional Christmas wedding which is less stuffy and draws upon all of the warmth, fun and joy of the festive season. If you are more adventurous, then other winter themes include vintage or perhaps, even a whimsical fairy tale?”
As with all weddings, the choice of venue is of upmost importance and this is equally true for winter weddings. Project manager, Shane Castle, says: “Many couples opt for a stately home or country house as a venue. They often have rooms with great open fireplaces and can be very atmospheric, but make sure you find out about heating. You don’t want cold guests. Rooms with too many windows can be cold and unwelcoming during the winter months. This also applies if you are getting married in a church – old churches can be very chilly in December. If your wedding is close to Christmas, there is a good chance that the venue you have chosen will already be decorated for the festive celebrations. This can often save you a great deal of time and money.”
Shane also says remember to consider the weather: “Even if it doesn’t snow on your big day, you may need to deal with a rain. Having some extra umbrellas around that guests can borrow is a good idea. If possible have a roaring fire so that guests can dry out shoes and coats. Serving a hot drink to guests such as mulled wine is a great way to chase away those cold rain blues.”
Paddy McCullen, Operations Director, says: “If you need to decorate the venue yourself then consider laying the tables with white linen table cloths and attractive winter roses. Silver and gold are popular wedding colours and also create a Christmassy theme. Spiced winter candles can also be very atmospheric. In some venues you can create a truly magical atmosphere with the clever use of lighting. This can vary from candles flickering to fairy lights draped over tables or in archways. You may even want to consider fake snow and snowmen and of course a traditionally decorated tree.”
Food and Drink
Offer your guests a winter cocktail after the official ceremony, such as pomegranate and champagne. It also makes a unique twist to the traditional wedding toast. Warm Winter Pimms is becoming a firm favourite, other comforting drinks include heated apple cider, rum punch and even hot chocolate with a dash of Baileys.
Wise Caterings Executive Chef, Alan Stubbington, recommends some winter favourites to think about for the wedding breakfast: “Try to make the most of seasonal ingredients. In the cold winter months you may consider opting for a warm and hearty starter. Soups are a firm favourite and can vary from a traditional broth through to a finer selection. Popular Wise Wedding suggestions include broccoli and stilton and celeriac, leek and sweet potato. For a fun starter you can also consider a welcoming heart shaped pasta dish. For a cold appetiser stick with seasonal foods and try figs wrapped in Parma ham or brie and cranberries.
Beef and lamb are well liked winter dishes and of course traditional turkey or goose served with seasonal vegetables. Less formal dishes range from prime steak and kidney pie with golden shortcut pastry to award winning sausages with creamy mash.
Seasonal deserts such as Christmas puddings can be a very rich and tasty affair, but also consider other good old fashioned steamed puddings. If you want a more elegant dish then how about a snowman or star shaped sorbet surrounded with hot berries?”
Winter wedding photography is an art and there are special considerations that you need to think about. Shane recommends that you make sure the photographer you hire has experience taking photos of winter weddings and that you visit the venue together and plan for the conditions. An experienced photographer will look for sheltered places like archways, decorative doorways, even large trees, as locations for intimate and sometimes group shots. He will also take into account the possibility of low level lighting both outdoors and at the venue and advise you on the best approach.