Winter weddings can be so magical and here at Healing Manor Hotel, our wedding barn makes the perfect backdrop for any December wedding.

One of the main advantages to getting married in the winter is the weather. It might sound silly but you know if you’re getting married from November through to February, it’s going to be cold. Even though getting married in the summer can be stunning and with pot luck, you’ll get to enjoy some of the glorious British Summer which we all crave as soon as April hits, it’s just not guaranteed. Getting married in winter means you’re pretty much braced for any kind of weather, alleviating any real kind of worry. So, how to get it right? Keep reading for our ultimate guide to winter weddings.

Photograph by James Green Studio, taken at Lauren and Ross’s wedding in Healing Manor Hotel’s Wedding Barn

Serve your guests hot chocolate and mulled wine.

The chances are, if the weather’s dry, you’ll be wanting to take photographs outside to make the most of the low winter sun, before you sit down to eat. Pimp up your hot chocolate station with cans of squirty cream, marshmallows and shots of Bailey’s, Cointreau and whiskey for the gents. Your guests will appreciate a warm drink more than you realise, and you can even purchase cups to match your colour scheme, including these personalised paper cups.

Photograph by Henry Lowther at Sam and Danny’s winter wedding held in our wedding barn. Venue Styling by The Wedding and Flower Boutique.

Take inspiration from nature.

For the ultimate winter wedding backdrop, mix natural materials with pops of colour and luxurious textures. Line the isle with tree stumps, candles and flowers, which can be later transferred around the room or onto tables, and use log slices for table centres and the cake stand.

A great money saving tip for any DIY bride and groom is to speak to your local tree surgeon for any spare logs, tree stumps and foliage they have spare before it hits their shredder. As the saying goes, one mans trash is another mans treasure and the likely hood is, you’ll be doing them a favour taking a truck load of tree stumps of their hands.

When it comes to decorating your wedding, do speak to a professional venue stylist, even if it’s only to decorate a part of your room. As tempting as it might be to invest in 50 tall Ikeas glass vases to double up as candle holders, the hassle of having to load up the car and dispose of them afterwards isn’t always worth it. Remember the props for your room only play a small part in the grand scheme of planning your wedding, so sometimes employing a professional for the sake of saving you from any bridezilla moments and stress on the day is worth every penny!

For a rustic wintery wedding with some modern touches, speak to Amy from Jack Loves Jill.

For a lavish, drape laden walls and the most beautiful flowers, speak to Jo from the Wedding and Flower Boutique.

Photograph by James Green Studio

Photograph by Henry Lowther at Sam and Danny’s winter wedding held in our wedding barn. Cake by The boutique Bakery

Photograph by James Green Studio at Aimee and Ben’s wedding. Flowers by Sarah Wyatt, Treasured Bouquets

Make the most of the winter light.

Winter months can provide the most beautiful sun light adding warmth and mid-afternoon sunsets to pictures. Be prepared to be whisked off by your photographer when you’re not expecting it. That perfect light can appear just as you’re about to delve into your first spoonful of wintery soup.

Speak to your photographer in good time, before confirming in writing any timings with your wedding venue. Most photographers will spend some time, be it over a coffee or during a pre-wedding shoot to understand what you want from your photographs. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss timings, so you can plan your ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening food around the weather and lighting. Just remember, the days are shorter and day light disappears around 4pm.

Photograph by James Green Studio at Lauren and Ross’s New Years Eve wedding.

Photograph by James Green Studio.

Candlelit Dinners 

Hosting your wedding during the winter months, means candles and fairy lights are a must. Dot candles on tables and around the room as the night starts to draw in and hang lights from beams and ceiling hooks for that indoor snow effect.

Amy from Jack Loves Jill says “Lighting, lighting, lighting. Winter Wedding’s are the perfect excuse to capture and enhance the most beautiful mood and atmosphere within your venue. From thousands of little fairy lights to glowing festoons and gentle candlelight flickering away into the night, these are sure to WOW your guests and make for some epic photos too.”

Photograph by Henry Lowther at Sam and Danny’s winter wedding held in our wedding barn. Flowers and venue styling by the Wedding and Flower Boutique.

Add some sparkle

Early dark nights provide the perfect opportunity to get all of your guests outside for that pre-first dance sparkler shot.

Photograph by Henry Lowther at Sam and Danny’s winter wedding held in our wedding barn.

Photograph by James Green Studio at Emma and Stu’s Wedding

Wrap up warm

Something old and something new. Whether it’s wrapping up in your Grandmothers tartan blanket between your ceremony and wedding breakfast, or draping your bridesmaids shoulders with carefully selected matching faux fur stoles, keeping warm on your big day is so important.

If you’re wearing a long bridal gown and you feel the cold easily, don’t be afraid to layer up with a pair of nude tights, and if you’re heading outside for photographs, a pair of wellington boots and thick socks is a must.

Photograph by James Green Studio at Aimee and Ben’s wedding. Flowers by Sarah Wyatt, Treasured Bouquets

Bring Reindeer to the party.

What says Christmas like a pair of reindeers flown straight in from the North Pole. Whilst there’s a few logistics to keep in mind when hiring in reindeer for your big day, they provide ample photo opportunities and will completely surprise your guests, especially if there’s any children in attendance.

Most companies will hire them out in 1-2 hour slots and will include travel time in their costs. They’re not cheap and a definite luxury, but so so worth it if they’re not going to break the bank.

Photographs by Aden Priest at Lewis and Katie’s wedding.

Festive Afternoon Tea

Like many now are, ditch a few of the wedding traditions and swap your wedding breakfast for a delicious themed winter afternoon tea. If you dream of the formality of a winter wedding, then warming seasonal soups and smoked salmon for starters, followed by a perfectly cooked meat, accompanied with buttery potatoes and vegetables with a trio of dessert for after, are more for you. However, if you want something a little less formal to encourage your guests to get stuck in and interact (not play) with their food, then a festive afternoon tea could be the perfect choice.

Not only does it means guests get to choose what they’re eating, but it means those that love dessert, can eat their dessert before the savouries guilt free and without judgement. After all that’s what afternoon tea’s about.

Photograph by Chris Waud for The Portman Restaurant.