Why a Winter Wedding?

It’s never easy to predict the weather, especially in this country. So does it make any sense to opt for a winter wedding?

The idea of driving through floods and snowdrifts just to get to a wedding doesn’t appeal. Then the photographer wants everybody to assemble outside for half an hour (seemingly) in a freezing gale. It’s not most people’s idea of fun. So why not forget about a winter wedding and opt for another season?

 

Weather

Autumn appears reasonably reliable nowadays. Spring can be beautiful, but is very unpredictable. Early June seems to feature heavy downpours, so could be a dangerous choice. Summer – well, have the last few British summers been glorious? (I somehow don’t think I need to answer my question!)

So to choose a winter wedding is not as ridiculous as it first may appear. Although it’s likely to be colder, there’s a fair chance you’ll stumble upon a beautiful, fresh sunny day for your wedding. And our winters (at least, in London) seem to be getting milder by the year.

Finally, to look on the bright side of the weather, if you happen to get a proper white wedding, imagine what those photos will look like!

Availability

An advantage of winter weddings is that more of your invited guests are going to be free to attend. Of course, you can’t rule out the skiers and the odd ones who opt for the Antipodes at this time. However, a wedding during the summer holidays is inevitably going to clash with family holidays, and limit the take-up.

By booking out of season (avoiding Valentine’s Day), you are more likely to get the venue of your choice. If you haven’t booked a year or two in advance, your only hope for your ideal venue may to book for the winter.

You are certainly more likely to find a celebrant available out of season. That may well apply to other suppliers.

Price

If you opt for the winter and are canny, you may be able to negotiate a discount with the venue and some of your suppliers. They will be glad to get bookings at a quiet time.

If you want to save still more money, consider a morning wedding (although bear in mind that those coming from far afield might have to make a very early start).

Not all suppliers will offer reductions. A florist may have trouble sourcing the flowers you want out of season, so their prices could actually be higher.

You can always try a bit of bargaining, and you never know what pleasant surprises may be awaiting you!

So give some thought to breaking the mould a bit. A winter wedding is a gamble (but so is a summer one!), but it could really pay dividends.

 

Marriage Miscellany

To be absolutely transparent: this article is really a mishmash of suggestions for the wedding day, rather than a “marriage miscellany”. I just couldn’t resist the alliteration – I hope you’ll forgive me!

Naturally, there are many factors that make up a successful wedding. As a civil celebrant, my specialism lies in the ceremony itself, but I get to see and experience other aspects too. So here are a few rather random – but no less valuable – thoughts that may help to make a difference to your big day.

The Bride’s appearance

As a middle-aged male, I don’t pretend to be an expert in this particular field. However, everybody seems to focus on the dress, make-up and hair. One area that tends to be overlooked is the skin. Without radiant skin, the cosmetics won’t be effective.

As for the dress, I’d only say that it should fit the occasion (ie stylish, if it’s a formal occasion).

Flowers

I would always advise hiring a professional. Go with their advice about seasonal displays. They will also look after the flowers – wilting flowers at a ceremony are so disappointing.

Photography

Whether you want the occasion recorded by video or still camera, you can save money by asking a friend to do the job.  Just bear in mind that there are down sides to this. Firstly, your friend may well miss out on much of the celebrating and socialising. Then, if he is not a professional, he might stuff up, and there are no second chances at weddings! And, of course, if you don’t like his work, a long-standing friendship could be put at risk.

I think a professional is advisable, though a major added expense. Provided you choose wisely (and I have written several blogs about this – eg https://vowsthatwow.co.uk/?p=1468), the outlay will feel justified, once you see the results.

Celebrant

You need someone who knows what they are doing, that you can relate to and trust. Again, I have often written about choosing a good celebrant, but the importance of doing your homework can’t be overestimated. After all, you want the ceremony to be perfect. Some advice can be found at https://vowsthatwow.co.uk/?p=1572.

The Reception

Table plans can be the devil to draw up, but are actually very welcome for guests (unless you have a mischievous streak and some scores to settle!). A big do can be quite disorientating and a little direction will not go amiss. If you mix people up a bit (judiciously!), they can have a lovely time making new acquaintances.

Children

I have often written about children at weddings (eg https://vowsthatwow.co.uk/?p=1659) . If you invite them, make sure they are occupied as much as possible. If they can participate in the ceremony, so much the better. At the reception, give them their own table (in the same room), with appropriate food and activities.

A miscellany, maybe, but I hope this was helpful and gave you a few things to think about.

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe.