Christmas doesn’t have to be the only thing to look forward to when those early evenings start drawing in, it’s a fantastic time to host a wedding. When dreaming of wedding days most couples, mainly bride’s, see a glorious summers day, blazing sunshine, outdoor ceremonies and long light evenings. However, there are several reasons why I believe that a winter wedding can be even better than a summer one.
If you choose to get married in between November and February you won’t be deciding on a venue that needs a wet weather plan, because quite frankly, it’s almost certainly going to be wet. This means that you already know exactly what will be happening with your guests and where they will be at all times.
You won’t need to send an usher to sweep the grounds for your great auntie that decided to wander off. The other bonus is that low-light (if you can get outside for a few minutes) makes for better photos. No one wants to be squinting as the photographer tries to get their shots and bright light ruins photos.
The other bonus to not needing the weather, no one will be sweaty. As much as this is slightly gross to talk about, most wedding dresses are heavy and thick and wearing them for 12 hours on a sweltering summers day does not make for a blushing bride, the same goes for everyone in a full suit. We also haven’t even touched on the fact that the hot sun and alcohol do not mix. Give me indoors and an ambient temperature any day of the week!
This one links quite closely to the weather aspect as well, when it’s hot, most people don’t want to eat, and when you have spent months agonising over your menus, 80% of your guests not tucking in is devastating.
The colder weather also brings out the heartier and more decadent food, whilst beef wellington works in July, it becomes even more savoured in December.
The colder weather also brings out some really interesting cocktail choices as well as Winter Pimm’s and Mulled Wine which can be lovely touches to a winter wedding.
Not only can you jump onto the Christmas bandwagon, but decorations become more interesting and more affordable. Especially if you are getting married after Christmas you can really add so many different aspects in regard to décor that would be incredibly expensive in the Spring and Summer months.
This is also the time, if you are doing a DIY wedding to stock pile on fairy lights, especially when they are on sale. This time of year also brings with it deep sumptuous colours and lots of metallics which always brings a real sense of luxury to any event.
A Fabulous Wedding Party
This one again, links to the weather as well. As mentioned, with a winter wedding you know exactly where your guests will be at most times. As you will predominantly be inside, I feel that this also helps with the party atmosphere. You don’t lose guests outside to a balmy summers evening, they are more likely to be throwing shapes on the dance floor all night long. It really helps to keep the atmosphere as exciting as possible as you are all kept together, and it makes for some better evening pictures and is less likely to mean that guests miss the evening food!
Choosing a Winter wedding can also open up lots of offers with venues as this is normally their low season, if you choose a winter month (not including December) most venues will be happy to negotiate a hire price with you, meaning you can usually get a lot more for your money. You also have a better chance of having all of your nearest and dearest there. With the best will in the world most Summer months revolve around a summer holiday and people book these so far in advance they often have to say no to invites, and what a way to make the month of January more excting, the prospect of a big winter wedding!
At Be Eventful we have an exclusive venue at Kingston Bagpuize House that not only has the most fabulous stately home in Oxfordshire, but a stunning heated marquee available all year round - simply perfect for a gorgeous winter wedding combined with a sparkling evening reception. Take a look through Be Eventful's portfolio to see our real bride's wedding days at Kingston Bagpuize House using the grounds and marquee.
If you are interested in holding your wedding day in the winter months, give Bayley a call to discuss your plans. We love organising a winter celebration. 01865 818166 or email email@example.com
Now this is a question that I get asked all the time, my first response, albeit a joking one, is to hire a planner and then they will do that for you, however, I know that with budgets this isn’t always possible. But, choosing the right wedding suppliers for your big day can be.
Firstly, does your chosen venue insist on using any specific suppliers? Usually this will be caterers or bar facilities but more recently I am seeing florists and entertainment being chosen suppliers at venues. Having a supplier chosen for you can feel quite restrictive, but I suggest you look at it from another perspective, the venue, think highly enough of a supplier to make them the only one that is allowed to work on site. Use this to your advantage.
What works really well at your venue when it come to food service or a drinks reception? Ask the chosen suppliers what they think, then ask them what could be done better. Maybe they feel that a 2hour drinks service is too long, but if you combined it with an earlier speech then that works nicely.
If the team are the only ones allowed on site, their overheads should be marginally lower and therefore better value for money. Also, they are usually more well equipped, always ask them what they can do that might not be on a package you have seen. Most wedding suppliers are incredibly creative and would relish the opportunity to do something different for you on a site they work closely with.
If you have free reign in choosing your suppliers, then I suggest you decide on the big three first:
I personally think that choosing your photographer or videographer can be one of the most daunting suppliers to pick. Not only do you have to absolutely love their work, but you actually have to like them. And I don’t just mean you could tolerate them like you might do an opinionated Uncle at Christmas, you have to be able to go to the pub with them and have things to talk about for hours on end.
This person will be in your personal space on one of the most emotional and important days of your life. They will need to catch every moment and do it well. I cannot stress enough that if they do not make you feel 100% comfortable in their presence, it doesn’t matter how good their photos are, you won’t love them as they won’t portray you in your best state.
With your other suppliers, like your photographer, anyone you will be spending time with on the big day you need to like and feel relaxed with, this also goes for hair and makeup. Take the time to look at their work, and make sure that they are styles that you like, don’t pick a bohemian hair style when usually you would wear a tight up-do.
Suppliers have strengths and you should play to them, don’t choose a make-up artist that works a lot with dramatic colours if you want a natural look.
For most of your additional suppliers just making sure that they come with good recommendations, are professional and enthusiastic when you speak to them will be enough, you don’t need to spend the day with your calligrapher, but you should love their work.
Also, use other people’s knowledge as well, ask your venue for their recommended suppliers list, and why they recommend them. Much like my work as a wedding planner, Every person on my list has got there because they are passionate about weddings, deliver outstanding work and continually go above and beyond for their couples and that makes one of the biggest days in your life even better.
Get in touch with Bayley to discuss your wedding plans, our suppliers and our exclusive wedding venue in Oxfordshire for an enchanting venue full of charm and style. Bayley also offer two places per year to plan and manage destination weddings abroad. 01865 818166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
They say it takes a village to raise children, the same can be said for the suppliers on your wedding day.
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now every organisational skill you have ever acquired will need to be put to good use. Luckily the biggest decision has been made, (you have found the perfect person to marry) the next big step is to find a venue, and for many this is not an easy feat.
Over the years of planning weddings for various budgets these are my top questions that I ask every venue that I visit…
1. How many weddings can you hold on a weekend?
This is always my first question, and for most it is an unusual one. My main concern if there are multiple weddings at a weekend is how is everything cleaned and re-set for the next day? When is Saturday’s couple allowed to come to the venue and deliver any extra decorations they may wish to add? How long is there between one couple leaving and another arriving? Now, don’t get me wrong, lots of venues manage to do this in a slick and professional manner, however, this is your big day and you shouldn’t have to feel like any aspect of it is shared. This question is also particularly important to ask if you are making/crafting a lot of your decorations yourself.
2. What areas on site are ours to use?
You think you have found your perfect venue, then you get informed that the place that is divine for drinks and canapes is actually open to the public until 6pm. Or that a particular room is yours, but the rest of the site is open to visitors at all times. For some people, this isn’t a huge problem, but to be forewarned is forearmed. Falling in love with a venue to then find out your dream location on site isn’t available to hire for the whole day is heart-breaking. Personally, I feel that an exclusive site or venue works best as it makes it more personal. Particularly if you have hired a stately home, it’s nice to think it’s just yours for the day!
3. Are there any décor restrictions?
A wedding dream filled with hundreds of white candles and fantastic candelabras can come crashing down if naked flames are restricted on site. Although it’s great to be flexible with your decoration ideas if your heart is really set on something in particular it is good to ask the venue as early as possible. Most venues will be really helpful and suggest how you could make this work, if it’s possible at all.
Always be wary if a venue says no immediately, a valid reason is fine, but a straight no with no explanation at all can ring alarm bells for how the site in general works.
4. How many guests are we allowed?
This may be an easy question if you are hiring a room in a hotel for example. However, if you have a venue where there are lots of different options for celebrations on site, it’s a really good idea to get the venue to slowly talk you through these. If the garden has a capacity in its thousands but the one option if it rains is a room that can squish 45 in standing, then a balance will need to be struck with how many guests are invited.
Many venues have different capacities for spaces on site, ask them how these work in every instance. Where do people have drinks and canapés if it rains? If they have to go straight into the room where the wedding breakfast is being held, is there space for them to stand or will they need to be sat down early? Are parts of the site closed at different times in the day?
Also, if you have exclusive use of the wedding venue, it’s always a good idea to close some of the options off later in the evening to keep guests together, which always helps with the feel of a party.
5. Who from the venue will be on site for the big day?
If a venue has multiple staff members who run events, make sure you have met the person who will be in charge on the day. Don’t meet them on the week in the run up to the wedding, take the time to sit and have a coffee with them. Talk them through your day, explain the things that are most important to you both and how you see the day going. They should be more than happy to do this for you and may also be able to suggest additional things that make your day even better. Ask them what has worked really well on site before, or something that they feel sometimes couples miss, they should be a font of knowledge for weddings at your venue.
Lastly, see as many venues as possible. Wedding venue hunting is like buying a house, you need to see exactly what works and what doesn’t for you both. Ask the same questions at every venue as you never know, they may surprise you and get in touch with Bayley if you are looking for a wedding planner to assist with your plans and management of the day. 01865 818166
For a truly magical wedding venue in Oxfordshire, be sure to check out our exclusive venue at Kingston Bagpuize House
and take a look through my portfolio to get some really great wedding decoration and colour theme inspiration from our 'real life' brides.