The Big Day

Top Tips For Planning A Winter Wedding

Wedding planner Charlotte Nichols gives her expert advice on tying the knot in the festive season.


Charlotte Nichols

A winter wedding can be breathtakingly romantic but it can also be held to ransom by the rain or teetering on the verge of cliché if you're not careful. So wedding planner Charlotte Nichols is here to help guide you towards a very special big day for the colder months.

alt textPhoto: Andy Rapkins

It is no secret that over at Charlotte Nichols Weddings, we love a good winter wedding. Despite the fact that the majority of couples choose to celebrate their nuptials during the brighter, warmer months, there is something so utterly magical and romantic about saying your ‘I dos’ during the wonderful winter season. Of course, there will be the inevitable considerations that come with planning an event when light and warmth are limited, but there are also endless possibilities when thinking about the special details, sparkle and festivity that you could incorporate.

Personally, I am not one for the overly cliché tinsel weddings or the white winter wonderlands, but there is something to be said for embracing seasonality and doing what winter does best! Read on for some of my top tips for planning and designing your winter wedding.

alt textPhoto: Andy Rapkins

1. Think characterful and cosy when it comes to your wedding venue
There are certain types of venues that lend themselves perfectly to a winter celebration: a beautiful old country manor house with open roaring fires or a rustic barn, for example. It's worth also considering having just one venue for your ceremony and reception. If you are using two separate venues, ensure they are close together or that you organise transport for your guests.

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2. Put a festive stamp on your paper goods
When I think of winter wedding invitations, all the lovely luxe details come to mind like velvet ribbons, rich texture, wax seals and perhaps even a touch of gold. You could also consider incorporating subtle winter illustrations like snowflakes, festive foliage and wreaths. I love Papier’s selection of lovely winter and Christmas themed invitations that are fully customisable to suit you and your wedding.


alt textPhoto: Amanda Karen

3. Embrace the season with thoughtful table details
Your tables are the perfect place to create that really magical, warm and festive atmosphere that your guests will just love. Candles are an absolute must during the winter and think about playing with different heights and scents. Something from nature like pine cones can be a great addition to your table and can be used as place card holders. There are also plenty of options when it comes to offering favours for your guests. A custom cracker, personalised bauble or really anything that incorporates booze or chocolate always goes down well at this time of year.

4. Combine classic style with warmth when it comes to your wedding wardrobe
Winter is the perfect excuse to wow in an elegant long-sleeved dress. If you prefer to stay short sleeved in preparation for the steamier evening party then why not consider adding an accessory for the ceremony – a bridal cape, some fur or even a sparkly jacket. Velvet touches for the men will look super stylish and if you’re worried about cold tootsies opt for a pair of bridal booties.

alt textPhoto: Amanda Karen

5. Choose a rich, warm colour palette
A pure white theme can be gorgeous for a winter wedding but also think about incorporating some rich, warm tones into your wedding design to help create that really cosy vibe. Perhaps the bridesmaid dresses, florals, table linens or stationery. Deep burgundy, forest green, warming amber and touches of gold make a stylish and memorable winter palette.

6. Style your venue with seasonal florals and foliage
One of my personal favourites when it comes to winter decor, and making a huge comeback on the wedding scene, are dried flowers. Using dried florals can really help to create that winter woodland vibe and practically makes a lot of sense too – they can be prepared well in advance and will keep afterwards.

But if you’re not feeling quite daring enough for that there are a wonderful selection of seasonal items that will add a real wintery feel to your decor without it feeling overly Chrismassy. For example, using lots of wood in the form of tree stumps or twigs, dried oranges, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, eucalyptus and mistletoe. Your choice of flowers at this time of year is likely to include roses, ranunculus, anemone, hellebores, winter jasmine and freesias, most of which are available is an array of colours.

alt textPhoto: Andy Rapkins

7. Go hot and hearty when it comes to feeding your guests
Warming is definitely not boring. Offering your guests a warm tipple at some point during your day is a must during the winter months. Perhaps a winter Pimms or mulled wine reception which can be served with a mince pie, or two. Or an after dinner treat of hot chocolate and marshmallows. A hearty, home-cooked meal is what your guest will enjoy at this time of year, and for your wedding cake carry your decor theme through incorporating pine cones, berries and foliage or offer guests a traditional fruit cake.

8. Set the scene with winter sounds and lots of sparkle
Nothing sets the atmosphere better than some background instrumental. Bring a saxophonist into your reception for a real wintery jazz vibe or perhaps carol singers during your ceremony. Winter is an excuse to get out the sparkle. Offer guests sparklers for a mega send-off and photo op, or go all out with a fire show or fireworks display.

alt textPhoto: Amanda Karen

9. Carefully consider the weather and seasonal implications on your day
The fact that it might be dark by 4:30pm means you might want to have a slightly earlier ceremony and think about when you will want your formal photographs taken to guarantee there will be enough natural light. Try to ensure that the majority of your day (if not all) is planned inside and that the heating is firing. If there is the need for guests to venture outside then think about having umbrellas and blankets to hand out.