Summer typically dominates the wedding season and while it’s all fun and games to have a gorgeous wedding in spaghetti straps overlooking a sunset, those popular months book up fast and prices shoot up, not to mention all the other suppliers, so why not reconsider winter as the new season of marital bliss.
Depending on your budget and geographical location, a winter wedding can be just what the doctor ordered. Obviously, a colder setting may lead to some other sacrifices, so let’s take a moment to consider all the pros and cons of a winter wedding.
Con: Let’s start with the negative, the most obvious of course is – it’s cold. And if you’re very unlucky, it’ll be VERY cold. And while that might not be the worst thing, sadly, British cold usually walks hand in hand with its best pals, wind and rain. And these pose more than just “winter blues” problems. It holds up traffic, might delay deliveries, flood your venue and ruin your hair and make-up! Not to mention that winter = flu season, and you might wind up with a lot of guests dropping out at the last minute due to illness.
Pro: Winter is winter every year, and it’s not like the British Isles are blessed with flawless summers either. Imagine spending a fortune for the perfect June wedding, just for the day to be as grey and miserable as October – which isn’t outside the realm of possibility. And as long as you pick a wedding venue strategically – ie, not low ground, not in a place that’s vulnerable to flooding, not so remote that catering, music etc will struggle to reach it, you should be fine – and save a lot of money. Besides, for the most part, everything will take place indoors, so you don’t need to stress, no matter what the weather does. Flu season and having the proceedings happening in a more confined space is also an excellent excuse to keep the number of guests small.
Con: most wedding couples want beautiful photoshoots of their favourite day and more often than not, those posed pictures tend to be taken somewhere outside, either exiting the church, posing with a fancy rented car or nonchalantly gazing off into the distance, away from the crowds of guests, with a natural blooming backdrop. While you can of course take stunning photos indoors, especially if your venue is a period home or boasts great art or interior design, but this can seriously limit the scope of great shots you can capture, with the possibility of unflattering lighting and less intimacy, since the guests will constantly need to be shooed away from the area. Furthermore, if you did want to capture a moment outside, your finery might get ruined with mud, wet leaves, or melty slush. Can you imagine the state of your heels or train?
Pro: just because it isn’t summer, doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the nature around you. If you’re lucky enough to have snow, you can have a gorgeous photoshoot in a winter wonderland, complete with snowflakes for confetti and magical frosted trees and flowers. Since in the UK, in the southern parts anyway, you can’t count on snow, you could pick a venue in the Scottish highlands, which will not only be more likely to be prettily frosted, but the landscape is utterly gorgeous, regardless of the season.
If your purse strings allow, you could consider a destination wedding. Enough of cliché Caribbean beaches or themed madness, why not try the Alps or Scandinavia. No need to spend money on fancy decor – your surroundings will already be beautiful. A destination wedding is yet another sneaky way to keep guest numbers down and at the end of the day, what could be better than slipping into a snow surrounded hot tub while sipping on some mulled wine. And if you’re still pining after that warm breeze, sunkissed photoshoot, just remember – sweltering heat and humidity are no friend to a beautiful bride either.
Additional pro: Speaking of decor, while a summer wedding is rife with centrepieces, fresh flowers, gazebos and lord knows what else, just to make Event Room C look like a fairytale, the bonus of a winter wedding, especially early in the new year, is that Christmas holiday decorations can easily double up as wedding decor, and it will readily available everywhere and all be massively discounted! If you’re lucky, the venue you pick will already be decorated for the holidays for other events, so you won’t need to invest in decor at all.
Yet another pro! Summer tends to be jam-packed with not only holidays, but other weddings, so it can become an availability nightmare. Winter weddings mean more of your friends and family will be available to come.
Con: …more of your friends and family will be available to come.
Whatever and however you decide to organise your big day, just know that a winter wedding would be just as beautiful, easier to plan and far cheaper and above all – it’s unexpected, and after a dozen weddings or so, there’s nothing your guests will thank you for more than avoiding all the usual, overdone tropes. Even Pachelbel is sick of hearing his Canon in D!