The Wedding Seasons - Part 1: Winter

A Wedding Celebrant’s Perspective
The Wedding Season usually runs from May to October, with most couples choosing to get married between those months. It is wonderful to have at least part of your special day outside, but as we know, even in our summer months, British weather is extremely unpredictable!!

As a wedding celebrant, I have led wonderful ceremonies all year around and have discovered that every season has its own beauty.

This 4-part series looks at each season in turn and considers how its uniqueness and beauty can be captured to enrich and enhance your special day.

Part 1 – Winter

Winter Weddings call for magical, romantic settings, rich sumptuous festive colours, roaring log fires and maybe, even, a small dusting of snow.

Having a Wedding Celebrant means that you are not restricted to where you hold your wedding ceremony. It could be in your home, a local pub or grand hotel, a marquee in your garden or your local village hall. This enables you to have it in the same place as your reception, ensuring that your guests don’t need to leave the warmth of the ceremony space, or face extra travel in bad weather.

Many venues are much less expensive out of season. It is often easier to book the date you want. Most will be decorated for other festive activities. This is a great money saving option, as you may be able to re-use the decorations already in place. However, check that they are to your taste and whether they can be taken down if not.

Winter wedding colours are rich and warm. Mix bright reds, berries, pine cones and tartan, with lots of greenery, holly and mistletoe and crisp white linen.

As it will be too cold to go outside, bring the outdoors indoors with wreaths, garlands, swags and table centerpieces. You will be following a festive tradition that can be traced back to ancient pagan beliefs and the celebration of the winter solstice on December 21. The turning point for the short bleak days of winter. Firs, pine and other evergreens symbolise eternal life, winning over death and the continuity of nature.

Mistletoe was considered special by the Druids, it stayed green after the trees lost their leaves and became a symbol of fertility. Bunches of mistletoe hanging above your ceremony space make it the perfect place for your first kiss.

Satin ribbons in the Christmas colours of red, green and gold tied the readings which had been written on rolled parchment paper. Two warm beeswax candles were used to light a Unity Candle. The couple also chose to have a Parchment Signing and Witness Ceremony.
Bunches of bright red holly berries, so abundant in winter, add a fresh, natural look to all the greenery. According to Celtic mythology, holly symbolises peace and goodwill, so just perfect as sprigs for wedding favours.

As the days are short, it will become dark quite early. Use glowing candles and lanterns to completely transform the room, warm up your wedding space and create a romantic ambience.

A lot of venues have nooks and crannies that aren’t well-lit. Use all your space by adding candles to provide some moody elegance. They can be placed in simple glass jars of different sizes grouped together to make a subtle statement, or placed around metallics to help boost the light.

A string of lanterns can help guide guests to their seats, whilst shimmering gold votives can light up each side of a rose-strewn aisle and help create a stunning entrance for the bridal party . Wedding sparklers are a fun way to involve your guests, create a stunning exit and give your photographer plenty of opportunity to capture some memorable shots.

For a bride, choosing what to wear is a big consideration, so I have invited Hannah from Bridal Reloved, Street to share her tips and ideas for winter brides

‘Thanks to the Middleton sisters, sleeves have made a welcome return, regardless of their length. So, you can cover up for your winter wedding knowing that you’re still right on trend. Another popular trend is a faux fur or feather cape which also helps add texture to your dress. This may also be the season to try another key trend – bridal gloves!’ Hannah

Winter wedding food is all about warming, comfort foods and tradition. Greet your guests on arrival with warming mulled wine and mince pies. Fill them up with seasonal fayre and send them happily on their way with a traditional hot toddy or a hot chocolate to send them off in a truly festive spirit.

I really enjoy being part of a couple’s special day at this time of year, for a winter wedding not only lights up and warms a cold, dark day, it leaves an afterglow that lights up the whole winter.

A Wine Box Ceremony – favourite tipples, mementoes and sealed love letters were placed and locked in a wooden box that was carved with the names of the bride and groom and their wedding date. It will be open on their fifth wedding anniversary, when they will enjoy a drink and read the letter written to them with so much love.
In the next post in this series, I will look at spring weddings – the weather is warmer, the buds are out and the sky is bluer, what’s not to love about this season?


Member of the UK Society of Celebrants