Over the past few years, the last and first quarters of the year have been steadily gaining in popularity with couples tying the knot. From avoiding clashes with summer holiday season to cheering up the season and even making significant cost savings, there are so many reasons to love a magical winter wedding. Here’s all you need to know about planning yours…

A Winter Wardrobe

The look and feel of a winter wedding is very different to its summer counterpart, and one thing that is important is to make sure that you and your bridesmaids are appropriate dressed for the lower temperatures. Luckily there are so many wonderfully chic ways to cover up, and a winter wedding can result in a chicer, more elegant look for the bride and her companions. From faux fur trimmed capes to dresses with long sleeves, winter weddings are your chance to play with textures and layers. Don’t make your bridesmaids shoved in strapless dresses – make sure they have faux fur stoles or cropped jackets to add an extra touch to their look and keep them warm too. Groomsmen can choose thicker fabrics and tweed or wool suits to keep them from shivering as well. For all members of the wedding party, layers are the key to keeping comfortable. Venues can often get hot later in the day so make sure you have pieces that can be slipped on and off easily – and look great either way.

Give a Festive Feast

Winter is your chance to spoil your guests with hot food and drinks to celebrate your marriage, so nod to the season with your catering choices as well. Hot spiced mulled wine makes a great welcoming drink if you don’t want to go for the traditional champagne and should warm people up if they’ve been stood in a drafty church or stately pile for the ceremony. Soup makes a brilliant starter and will likewise keep guests warm. The main food should be rich and hearty. If you love dishes like beef bourguignon or warming stews with freshly baked bread, they can work wonderfully. Or try non traditional meats such as an exquisite haunch of venison with dauphinoise potatoes, or even a roasted duck dish. For vegetarian guests, steer away from salads towards rich butternut squash bakes sprinkled with crushed pistachios. For dessert a rich sticky toffee pudding or wild blackberry crumble served with custard is sure to go down a treat.

Seasonal Styling Is All In The Details

If you’re a fan of sparkle, winter is the perfect season to introduce it to your big day. Colour schemes can use metallic gold, silver and copper as the main event or as accents to rich jewel tones such as sapphire, emerald and garnet for a deeply luxurious look. Fairy lights and an abundance of candles are a great way to introduce light and sparkle to chase away any shadows – some brides even opt for fibre-optics woven into their wedding bouquet! Don’t forget to send save the date cards with a hint of the theme, such as ones with beautiful metallic borders and fonts, or even flocked velvet card.

Fantasy Flowers

Winter wedding flowers are your chance to lend a bohemian look to a proceedings. From trailing ivy to seasonal evergreens the theme of abundance at this time of year looks spectacular. Many winter brides like to include a sensory nod, using aromatic botanicals woven into their flowers, such as fragrant eucalyptus and sage to bring their blooms to life. Wedding wreaths are another big trend for 2018. Not just for Christmas, the beautiful garlands can be tied with paper tags for guests to leave a message to the happy couple.

Whether the Weather

The weather is the big question with winter weddings. Anything from chilly and bright to magical snow, atmospheric fog or even the dreaded rain could happen, so watch that forecast and make sure you’re prepared. Winter weddings tend to have less of an outdoor component, which can be a great thing as you’re less constrained by if the sun’s going to shine or not. It does pay to be prepared, so a basket of pashminas at the reception to warm up chilly guests or even personalised compact umbrellas as favours can go a long way. If you’re planning a ceremony and reception at different venues it’s worth thinking about transport for your guests. It’s a small touch, but saving them from five minutes of exposure to inclement conditions can go a long way to helping your guests to feel welcome and looked after. Your evening entertainment should also nod to the season. Darker evenings means firework displays and fire lanterns are a beautiful display, or if there’s a grand fireplace how about sparklers and champagne by the heat of the flames?