The crisp blue skies of a winter wedding hold a special appeal for many couples, who dream of photographs filled with snow-capped landscapes and a reception with a cosy, classical atmosphere. But while a chill winter’s day can be the perfect backdrop for a romantic wedding, keeping warm - especially if your ceremony is in a traditional church setting - can be a challenge. If you’re planning a wedding that needs to deal with often frozen climates, these tips will help keep your guests (and wedding party!) happy and warm without compromising on a beautiful, elegant setting for your special day.
Provide comfortable cover-ups for the wedding party
You want your guests to be happy throughout the ceremony and reception, but it’s important to make sure that your wedding party are warmly dressed for the chill of outside photographs. An elegant angora shawl or cashmere scarf in a complementary color can add a touch of seasonal style to your pictures.
Serve spiced hot chocolate upon arrival
While a bubbling champagne is the traditional choice, your guests will appreciate the luxurious warmth of a spiced hot chocolate upon arriving at the venue in the morning. For an additional kick, consider adding a shot of liquor to the cup - amaretto or orange liqueur is a popular choice.
Place heaters around the venue
If allowed, a few well-placed space heaters can make all the difference to a cold venue, particularly stone buildings or areas with draughts. Ask and see if your site offers them: if not, check they’ll allow you to rent and place your own.
Traditional plaid throws add warmth to wooden seats
If heaters aren’t viable, adding a few thick cotton plaid throws to your chairs will create a warming and comfortable atmosphere to the ceremony. Particularly useful for older guests, these can be arranged however they like for comfort.
Offer hand warmers for some subtle heat
Pocket-sized hand warmers - often available in stylish knitted designs - can also be distributed to guests upon arrival, and are a subtle way to bring heat to cold fingers and hands. Ideal for outside photographs, these can also be used by the bride and groom.
Invest in a sturdy marquee tent
Essential for any outside spaces or an outside reception, a sturdy marquee tent both protects guests from the elements and adds a touch of medieval splendor to the proceedings.
Offer warming, seasonal snacks
Whether you make your own or decide to hire a traditional stall, offering warm winter snacks - such as roasted chestnuts or chocolate-covered marshmallows - allow guests to enjoy a hot bite to eat whenever they feel a little cold. The addition of a rustic cart can also contribute to the sense of seasonal cheer at your reception.
Keep warm with hot water bottles
With many places offering stunning covers, such as this cashmere hot water bottle from Johnston’s of Elgin, your guests can enjoy the warmth of a hot water bottle while soaking up the traditional atmosphere of your ceremony or reception.
Create a blazing centerpiece
Ideal if you desire your wedding to be a little different, placing Turkish-style braziers as table centerpieces can create a comforting glow and are both practical and beautiful.
Distribute hip flasks to grown up guests
A staple at any winter wedding in Northern Europe, a warming alcoholic dram can go a long way to keeping your guests lively throughout the coldest of days. As an additional idea, these can be served in stylish, personalized hip flasks and presented as gifts to your ushers post-ceremony.
Place flasks of mulled wine on every table
Instead of the usual bottle of red wine, a flask of spiced mulled wine is sure to go down a treat with thirsty guests. By using flasks or an insulated punch bowl with added oranges, this is an easy way to make sure your guests are keeping warm during your day.
Present fine plaid cover-ups
Perfect for the Mother of the Bride or other members of the ceremony, these fine cashmere plaid throws add a touch of class to any winter dress.
Consider choosing a roast
One of the simplest ways to rouse your guests is to offer a substantial, traditional roast as your meal during the way. For an added feel of a historical celebration, consider a hog roast with all the trimmings.
Indulge in delicious, seasonal desserts
To accompany your savory courses, a warm dessert is both a seasonal treat and a fitting end to the classic roast. Offer warmed double cream or a rich caramel sauce for a luxurious, festive wedding feast.
Add to the atmosphere with romantic candles
Finally, liberally placing candles around your venue and reception are a romantic touch that add both light and warmth to the early winter evenings. Fortnum and Mason offer elegant votives in a selection of styles that are very complementary to a wedding palette.
Your wedding planning
Are you planning a wonderful winter wedding? Do you have any tips on helping your guests keep warm on your special day? Do let us know!