Planning A Winter Wedding

Vintage wood trestle table with powder blue decorations | Essex Wedding Planner

Image Credit: Terri & Lori Fine Art Photography & Film

Most engaged couples will bypass the winter months when choosing their wedding date. When in reality this season offers an abundance of inspiration and opportunities for your wedding day.

I have always had a soft spot for winter weddings. In fact, I chose to host my own wedding in December. I fell in love with the romance of winter weddings and couldn’t wait to incorporate a colour palette oozing with rich warm wintery tones and textures.

So, if you are yet to set your date. Or, if due to COVID 19 you have decided to re-schedule your wedding to the winter months. Then please do take a little time to read my tips on how to embrace the cooler months and use this wonderful season as the perfect backdrop for your wedding day.

Choosing a venue for your winter wedding

Before making this important decision be sure to visit your venue in the season that you will be marrying. This will not only provide you with a true vision of how the venue will look on your wedding day, but will also allow you to be inspired by the venues own winter decor. Of course, this may not be possible if you are planning your wedding at short notice, or have postponed from summer 2020 to winter 2020. However, it is still possible to gather inspiration from past weddings held at your venue.  Ask the venue co-ordinator to send you images of previous winter weddings they have hosted.  Or, better still, request that they put you in touch with photographers that have photographed winter weddings for their previous couples.

When looking around your venue, or taking a look at images from previous weddings, be sure to pay particular attention to the interior of the venue. Unlike the majority of summer weddings you should expect some, if not all of your photographs to be captured inside. You will therefore need to love the permanent features such as wall coverings & curtains and the interior colour scheme. As there is a fairly good chance that some of these will be making an appearance in your wedding images and film.

Colour palette for your winter wedding

The winter months offer a fabulous array of alternative hue combinations, which allow you to go off-piste and incorporate a variety of unique shades into your wedding day styling.

Rich berry tones paired with lashings of foliage, or opulent jewel hues with accents of contrasting gold metallic touches will help to create a lavish romantic ambience. Alternatively, Pantone’s colour of the year “Classic Blue” matched with crisp white. Or, why not combine a frosted white with a pearly silver to create a magical winter wonderland. Both of which are perfect colour choices for a winter wedding.

For those couples who had originally planned a summer wedding and therefore have a summer inspired pastel colour palette, consider incorporating a light shade of grey or a pop of warm aubergine. Both of which will compliment your existing colour choice, whilst giving a subtle nod to the season you have now chosen for your wedding day.


Bride on a velvet sofa with large candles | Essex Wedding Planner

Image Credit: Terri & Lori Photography & Film

Creative lighting for your winter wedding

Candlelight never fails to add a touch of elegance and offers an effective way to introduce a soft romantic atmosphere to both your wedding ceremony and your wedding reception. Pillar candles within lanterns are the perfect addition to your aisle. Whilst, the use of  candles varying in height and thickness within your centrepieces, on fireplaces, as well as your bar area will add an extra layer of detail and romance. Soft delicate fairy lights suspended above your dance floor will transform your first dance into the most magical of shows for your guests to enjoy. Whilst a fairy light back drop lovingly positioned behind your top table will help create an indulgent and idyllic atmosphere throughout your wedding breakfast.

For couples whose wedding was initially planned for the summer months, creative lighting is a simple yet effective way to inject a little winter romance into your wedding day, whilst allowing you to adhere to your original styling ideas.

Photography for your winter wedding

When confirming timings for a winter wedding you will need to be mindful of the limited number of daylight hours. In order to take advantage of the unique photo opportunities offered by the winter months you should carefully plan your ceremony timings, ensuring that your photographer has the time required to capture all the images you are hoping for.  It’s definitely worth discussing with your photographer where each set of images will take place. For example, are you hoping to have your group shots outside and your couple shots within your venue, or vice versa. This will then allow your photographer to plan their photo schedule accordingly, ensuring that all outside images are taken before the light starts to fade.

Also consider asking your photographer to show you a gallery of past winter weddings that they have shot. This will show you the kind of images they are able to capture in the winter months. Do remember to point out photographs you are particularly fond of, as this will show your photographer the style that you prefer.

For couples who have re-scheduled their wedding from summer to winter, you may need to consider bringing your ceremony time forward slightly to allow for the reduction in daylight hours. Start by reviewing your venues timing suggestions for a winter wedding and then speak with your photographer to discover their timing requirements. Once this has been done, you will then have a pretty good idea of the revised ceremony time that will be perfect for your big day.

Bride standing at aisle on wedding day | Essex Wedding Planner

Image Credit: Terri & Lori Fine Art Photography & Film

The weather for your winter wedding

Not having to second guess the weather was without a doubt an advantage for me when I was planning my own winter wedding. Although I needed to have a plan B in place for my photographs, this was actually the only back up plan I required.

I also knew it would be chilly, so I included the cost of the appropriate accessories for myself and my bridesmaids within my budget from the beginning, meaning I was not met with last minute purchases to keep us all warm, (brides who have postponed their summer wedding take note that you will require a shrug or similar for yourself and your bridal party).

My ceremony and my drinks reception were all planned to take place within my venue, meaning that I did not need to stalk the weather forecasts in the weeks leading up to my wedding, which believe me can be stressful.

In fact, the only concern that I had regarding the weather on my wedding day was my guests becoming stuck in traffic due to icy roads, or heavy rain. So, I arranged guest transport for my guests from a meeting point (the hotel were they were staying on the night of my wedding), and made sure that the coaches setting off time factored in heavy traffic. I also stated on my invitations my wedding ceremony time as half an hour before it actually was.  Cheeky I know, but all my guests arrived in plenty of time to watch my husband and I exchange our wedding vows, which was very important to us.

Obviously for couples who have moved their nuptials from the summer to winter months, you will probably need to make slight adjustments to the areas in which each elements of your day will be held. However, these will be minor changes and it is always worth noting that the weather could have forced these changes on you at short notice if your summer wedding had of gone ahead. So please do not feel too disappointed if you had planned an outside garden ceremony, which has now been replaced with an indoor ceremony. And do try to remember the true importance of your wedding day is the exchanging of your vows and starting the new chapter of your lives together.


Another huge advantage of hosting your wedding throughout the winter months is the additional destinations you can consider for your honeymoon, with the Caribbean, Australia and Thailand (to name a few), offering an abundance of winter sun for couples who are planning to go straight off on honeymoon after their winter wedding.

I really hope that this blog post has highlighted the advantages of hosting a winter wedding and I would be delighted to hear from any couple who after reading this blog post are now considering the winter months as a possible date for their wedding day.

I would also love to hear from you, if you are planning a wedding within Essex, Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire or Cambridgeshire. Head over to my website to learn more about the wedding planning services I offer and please do get in touch if you think I can help you.


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Essex wedding planner Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events in garden

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events trained with the UKAWP