Well, you’d need your head examining to contemplate a winter outdoor wedding or vow renewal, especially in our climate!
Hold your horses (or reindeer?), I hear you say.
Yes, I agree that it’s a huge gamble. Nobody relishes a wet, cold ceremony. But just imagine if you get one of those crisp, snowy days, with a blue sky. What could be more magical?
I’ve officiated at an open-air ceremony in January. There was torrential rain either side of the wedding, but we enjoyed a blessed gap for the ceremony itself!
If you’re thinking of going for it, there are some ways of harnessing the climate to your advantage; you can also lessen its (negative) impact. So here’s what I suggest.
If you’ve taken the plunge (sorry about the pun!), then accept that you’ve taken a decision and you have to make the best of it.
Two nice touches you could adopt are:
- Issue blankets (whether in themed colours or not) to guests
- When the guests arrive at the reception, rather than ice-cold champagne, why not offer them hot chocolate or mulled wine?
Make the Weather your Theme
You can use snowy scenes as background for your wedding invitations, RSVP cards, and, on the day, for the place cards.
Table decoration could include pine cones, foliage and lots of white. If it is likely to be snowy weather, plain white can work very well for the colour scheme.
You might even replace flowers (which, being out of season locally, can be costly) with pine cone bouquets, which are attractive as well as rather original.
Candles or tea lights may be a good idea, but you will have to take good old health and safety into account – people need to be able to see where they’re going and you don’t want fires breaking out, either! Also bear in mind that exposure to the elements may cause candles to be blown out or even to fall over!
If you are having white as your themed colour, this may allow you to choose strong colours for bridesmaids, which could look very striking.
You can style the wedding cake with festive red and white.
It can be a lot cheaper to use your garden for the wedding, rather than hiring a venue, and it may have, well, a homely feel about it, which can be charming. However, you could save less money than you think, and you risk missing out on that valuable peace of mind that dealing with professionals should afford.
You’ll have to make suitable arrangements for tables, chairs, toilets, parking, catering, place settings and electricity. Then you will need to offer protection from the elements, possibly providing blankets, as already suggested, and even umbrellas.
So, yes, an outdoor winter ceremony is a dangerous gamble, but the rewards can be so worthwhile …!