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Planning the perfect winter wedding

Choosing to get married in the winter will be one of the biggest decisions you make when planning your special day. And with so many inspiring colours and themes to choose from, an autumn or winter wedding can be beautiful and much more original than a summer wedding.

From icy snowflakes and evergreen foliage to autumnal colours and luxurious fabrics, there’s no end to the inspiration for a winter wedding. But there are also many practical benefits to choosing a winter month to tie the knot.

Because it’s generally considered to be ‘off season’, having your wedding in the winter could cost considerably less – which is great if you’re on a tight budget. And with less demand for popular locations, your dream venue is more likely to be available. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to book it up at a fraction of the cost.

Having your wedding in the winter should also mean that more of your friends and family can attend. Planning a wedding around everyone’s summer holidays can be a nightmare, but with fewer holidays taken in the winter, you can be sure that your loved ones will all be able to share in your special day.

So, if these benefits have you intrigued and the thought of frosty winter days brings out your romantic side, read on to discover how to plan the perfect winter wedding.

The theme

Take inspiration from the season and think about what you love about the winter. Is it the sparkling snow, frost-covered countryside or the rich, warm colours of autumn? Winter wonderland is a popular wedding theme, with icy snowflakes the obvious choice for everything from decorations to the invitations. Festive bows, baubles and stars also help to set the mood. You could take your inspiration from nature and adorn your venue with evergreen foliage, bright holly and romantic mistletoe. Or how about a warm, theatrical theme with flickering candles and twinkling fairy lights?

The location

There’s less demand for venues in the winter, so you should have your pick of the bunch for your big day. But make sure you consider your choice carefully - what sounds great in the summer may not be so perfect in winter.

If you’re getting married in a church, make sure they have adequate heating for the ceremony and for the reception, try and choose a venue that compliments your theme. A stately home or candle-lit castle with roaring log fires makes a truly atmospheric setting for a romantic winter wedding. If you’re planning an intimate wedding, a cosy lodge in the country could be a great choice.

It’s also worth considering hiring a hotel for the wedding, reception, or both. Many hotels do decorate for the festive season so it’s worth enquiring what they’re planning as it could save you some money. You may even be able to tie your theme in with theirs. Another benefit of having your wedding in a hotel is that all your guests can stay for the night, often at a reduced off-peak, or group rate.

The details

Choosing the outfits, flowers and transport for a winter wedding needs just as much – if not more - thought as a summer one. But get it right and the results can be amazing.

Delicate jackets, velvet wraps and fur capes can add a glamorous touch to the wedding dress, as well as helping to keep the chill out. And don’t think you need to stick to traditional white either: winter is the ideal season to experiment with rich reds, golds and purples, with icy embellishments and opulent jewellery.

While you can pretty much get any flower in any season these days, choosing festive foliage like holly, ivy and evergreens as well as pine cones and glitter-covered branches will achieve a beautiful wintery effect. You can then also use similar bouquets as table centre-pieces and decorations for your reception.

Before choosing your transport, you need to decide where your wedding will be held.

Then, it’s worth having a look at the weather for the last few years to get an idea of what to expect on the day. While no one can predict the weather, there’s no point booking a sleigh to get you to the reception if it never snows where you’re holding it! Unpredictable weather aside, winter does give you a lot of romantic transport options to choose from. You could go for a snow-queen style horse and carriage, or if snow can be guaranteed, how about a husky-drawn sledge? If you’re looking for something with a bit more comfort, vintage cars are always a great choice and they can be decorated to reflect your wedding colours and theme.

And for a final flourish, how about closing your celebrations with a bang? Treat your guests to an exciting firework display – a great way to make the most of the early evenings and ensure your winter wedding is one they won’t forget.

How can John Lewis Wedding Insurance help?

Whenever and however you decide to get married, John Lewis Wedding Insurance is here to help financially protect your special day. So whether you’re planning a lavish ceremony at home or an intimate wedding abroad, we can arrange cover for your special day.

For further tips and advice, please see our quick guide (PDF).

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Wedding Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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