Getting married in autumn or winter? There’s something so magical about a wedding during this crisper time of year – hot drinks, roaring fires and seriously romantic lighting to name just a few. But of course then comes the small matter of avoiding the common (and less common) problems that come with an autumn or winter wedding. You don’t have to figure them out yourself, because we’ve already done it for you! Read our helpful words below and have a fabulous wedding!
9 Cute & Cosy Ideas for Winter Wedding Guests
Is your wedding scheduled on or close to a major holiday?
You have Halloween, Christmas and New Year to consider. Is there a chance some people you want to invite may not be available on those dates? Perhaps they have other plans, places to visit, family traditions, etc. You should take this into consideration in case your venue has a minimum guest requirement. If for some reason the potential guests decline your invitation and you don’t meet the minimum, then you may be paying for empty seats.
The solution is to send save-the-dates well ahead of time for these major dates. They will give the guests enough time to make adjustments in their plans. And if they decline, you’ll have enough time to ask other people instead.
What is the distance between the ceremony and reception venues?
Depending on the weather, driving may be difficult (sometimes downright dangerous) in autumn and winter. You could have a full church at the ceremony, but if a storm strikes in the meantime, your reception may be half empty. Think about this practically and find two venues that are relatively close by. An ideal solution for an autumn or winter wedding is having the ceremony and the reception under one roof. Hiring a coach is another great option – everyone will depart and arrive on time, together, and they won’t have to worry about driving in less than perfect conditions. It’s a win-win.
Above image courtesy of vintagecoach.ie
What about the shorter days?
Arguably, you now have fewer hours to play with, but that’s not necessarily a problem! Before you plan your wedding day timings in detail, speak to your photographer. Ask them what do they recommend for the timings so your photos have plenty of good light.
The weather is frightening? Thunder and lightning?
Well, maybe not thunder, but the possibility of rain is definitely high if it’s an autumn or winter wedding day. Put on your practical thinking cap before you buy your dress and shoes: if there’s a lot of getting in and out of cars or walking outside (photos!), you need to be able to lift your dress. A lavishly long train may be a wee bit impractical, unless you have a bevvy of attendants. Those delicate white shoes you really want? Keep them for the indoors, and change into something more reliable for the outdoors.
22 of the Best Rainy Day Wedding Photos
While you’re adding shoes to your shopping list (don’t forget your other half!), add umbrellas too. You don’t have to buy them right away, but keep in mind you may need them. Keep checking the weather forecast for your wedding day, and if it definitely looks like rain, then get them just a few days before. It’s up to you if you want to buy one for each person in the bridal party, or one per couple. By the way, umbrellas are very photogenic, so make sure to ask your photographer to include a few happy brolly snaps!
And the last word about umbrellas – it’s good to check with the venue if they have some umbrellas your guests can borrow to walk to and from their cars.
Shop wedding umbrellas here!
Above image from Sarah & Vinnie’s real wedding by Mrs RedHead Photography
What about the wind?
If you’re not having any part of the wedding day outside, the only thing to consider is your hair. Ask your stylist if the style you picked is going to withstand a major gust, and same for the bridesmaids!
But if some of your autumn or winter wedding is outside, then don’t buy any decor that’s in danger of toppling over. Tall candelabras, vases, glasses… not to mention paper place cards and the like. One blow and they will all fall over or flutter away. It’s worth keeping in mind when you go shopping.
How will everyone stay warm and cosy?
Hands down, one of the best things about autumn and winter is the knitwear, wraps, pashminas, gloves… all the things that feel wonderful and are easily jazzed up with some twinkly jewellery. You know those snowy cashmere boleros, or fluffy fur wraps in every colour of the rainbow? They’re perfect accessories for you and the bridesmaids, and flattering on absolutely everyone.
And for the guests, if any part of the wedding day happens outdoors, you could put out a basket of gloves and pashminas. You’ll be surprised how cheaply they can be found on eBay. It’s a very thoughtful thing to give your guests and a perfect wedding favour too.
Don’t forget the power of a hot alcoholic drink on a cool day! Autumn and winter have seasonal flavours people really look forward to: pumpkin, mulled wine, Bailey’s, to name just a few. If you want some tasty ideas, here are some old and new favourites: 10 Scrumptious Autumn & Winter Cocktails
Above image from weddingpartyapp.com
Should you make it a tent event?
Most people think marquees are only for spring and summer weddings, but they couldn’t be further from the truth! Pitched during the colder months, marquees are first a delightful surprise, and second – the best way to get that outdoor feeling even on a snowy day. You won’t have to worry about a thing, as they come heated, fully secured against winds, and with all amenities included inside. If you’re intrigued by this option then give one of weddingsonline’s marquee companies a call and ask for more info and a quote.
What to do about decor?
Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say, so even though you have fewer hours of daylight, you can now illuminate your autumn or winter wedding with absolutely gorgeous lights, and enjoy them for much longer! Check out some fantastic ideas here, for seriously dazzling inspo.
And if you’re a winter bride, here’s where Christmas is really going to do you a big favour! From the 1st of December, you can pretty much assume that the church and the reception venue will be decorated for Christmas (if you’re not sure, call them up and ask). It’s a major difference for your budget!
Image from 16 Ways to Light Up your Autumn/Winter Wedding
Hire a fire?
Who doesn’t like a great roaring fire? It’s fabulous indoors (in a fireplace, of course) and even better outdoors, especially in autumn and winter (provided it’s not seriously below zero). Gather around, roast some sausages or marshmallows, take lots of photos, and make sure someone has a guitar. Unforgettable atmosphere guaranteed!
And remember… your skin and hair!
Don’t forget about yourself in the midst of all the weather, decor and warmth malarkey! Most people need to change their skincare and haircare routine when the weather turns cold (by the way, this includes your other half too). You need more moisture because of much drier conditions indoors, and extra powerful lip care too. Radiant brides don’t just happen in the spring and summer, you know. Autumn or winter wedding, you’re going to look absolutely fabulous.
Above image from Denise & Andrew’s real wedding by Emma Russell Photography
Main image from Louise & Terence’s real wedding by The Fennells
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.