When you hear winter wedding, what comes to mind?

For us it’s the lights, the beautiful colours, the festivities, cosy evenings, marshmallows and hot chocolate stations! The nights might be darker, but the sparkles are brighter, atmosphere merrier and the whole day is bursting with romance. Not to mention that lots of wedding dates will be much cheaper! We are going to take a look at the benefits of booking a winter wedding.

Take a look at our top things to consider when booking a winter wedding:

Visit Manor Hill House at night

Whilst we offer showrounds in the daytimes, we do recommend coming along to Manor Hill House when it is dark to see the venue also. The majority of your reception will take place once the sun’s gone down. Coming at night time will allow you to see what lighting we have and check the vibe is cosy and inviting for you and your guests. After you’ve booked, ask if your photographer can see it too in the evening so they can plan their shots.

Assess the heating

Luckily our bespoke marquee comes equipped with heating so is perfect no matter what the temperature outside, we also have mini heaters for those guests who especially feel the cold! We do advise that you seat older guests away from doorways with drafts. A warm drink, like mulled wine, on arrival helps too! Or a tea and coffee station.

Check what decorations are already up

If it’s before or just after Christmas, we still have decorations up including our real Christmas tree and lights everywhere! We can show you some photos of last year’s weddings to give you the gist of what to expect. We do try and keep the venue as neutral as it can be the perfect backdrop for your vision

Candles are your best friend

Candles create a romantic mood once it gets dark; include candles of different heights and thickness in your centrepieces and put on windowsills and even in lanterns for your aisle décor for a warm glow. We allow real flames as long as they are encased to ensure safety for all guests, otherwise use LED candles (which are now really realistic) and fairy lights instead.

Sneak in extra heat

Wear tights underneath your dress if your legs won’t be visible. Get your Maid of Honour to carry handwarmers to heat up icy hands before your wedding photos. Obviously, long-sleeve dresses will keep arms from getting chilly.

Layer Up!

Layers and accessories will keep brides and bridesmaids warm. Capes are one of the most popular choices, or consider a faux fur stole, chic shrug, white tuxedo-style jacket, cool leather jacket or embroidered denim jacket. For bridesmaids, try a pashmina, capelet or bolero. Take it off inside and while you’re dancing so you don’t get hot.

Sequins, sequins and more sequins!

Sequin or beaded bridesmaid dresses are ideal for winter. They’ll sparkle under all the lights and look amazing in photos. For the bride, beading on your dress and on your hair accessories will add glitz and glam.

Add warm touches

Guests will appreciate a basket of blankets or pashminas to pick from if they fancy heading outside or get chilly in their seat. Having hot drinks always on hand will help too. Start with a mulled wine on arrival, finish your meal with a coffee, and how about a tea and coffee station in the evening?

Choose winter wedding favours

Embrace the festive time of year with wintry wedding favours. Sparklers, candy canes, mulled wine spices, hot chocolate kits, crackers, chocolate coins, personalised candles, s’mores, glittery cupcakes…the options are endless

Cloakrooms

A coat check is pretty essential from December to February. Guests will thank you for taking heavy coasts, scarves, gloves and hats off their hands, plus any wet umbrellas. A member of staff here at Manor Hill House will be on the door to greet your guests and put their coats away in our cloakroom for them.

Winter wonderland

To create a whole winter wonderland fantasy, hire carol singers to welcome everyone to the ceremony and stilt-walkers in ice-themed costumes for your guests arrival. Set up the entrance way with pine trees and a fur coat for a Narnia-inspired take. Arrive on a horse-drawn carriage which will give a sleigh feel. Project winter scenes onto your walls and decorate with ice sculptures. The only limit is your budget, you can even hire your own ice rink!

The Food

Small canapes are lovely, but when it’s chilly outside, guests want comfort food. A deep fried brie or mini beef Yorkshire puddings for canapes; a roasted joint, carved at the table, for the main; our trio of desserts of sticky toffee pudding, warm chocolate brownie and cheesecake for pudding! Winner.

Before your guests head off into the cold night, serve something warm at the end of the reception. A hog roast, bacon rolls, pulled pork baps or wood fire pizzas.

Hot chocolate station! Whipped cream, crushed candy canes, crumbled gingerbread biscuits, flakes, marshmallows: have them all ready to top some creamy hot chocolate with.

Festive food favours

Easy to DIY, you can wrap up your own homemade mince pies, fudge, truffles, nougat or snowman biscuits. Otherwise hot chocolate mixes or s’mores kits are delicious to take home.

The Themes!

All white everything

One of the most fabulous winter wedding colour schemes is classic white. Picture white blossom trees, fairy lights, candles, and white chairs. It’s super glamorous.

Rustic and cosy

We love rustic, vines decorating the venue inside and out and scattered fairy lights really give it that winter wedding feel. Keep it unfussy and let the ambience shine through.

Christmas is coming

If your wedding is around the Christmas period, why not use that to your advantage? Everything from the fairy lights to the festive foliage screams winter wonderland. You can go totally retro too if you wanted to add a twist – what about multi-coloured string lights, big baubles and stockings as wedding favours?

Winter wonderland

For a more modern vibe, go simple and striking with a white colour scheme and accents of contrasting green foliage. Keep your tables really simple and use branches, pampas grass and dried flowers for a contemporary feel. Splashes of emerald and gold can keep it fresh.

Winter décor must haves!

Fairy lights: A fairy light wall makes for such a romantic backdrop when it comes to the wedding pictures and it’s wonderful to look at, too. Wrap fairy lights around bannisters and beams, put inside lanterns as part of centrepieces, hang from trees, or use them to line paths.

Pine cones: Pine cones are easy to get your hands on go out and get collecting! They are incredibly versatile. Use to hold flat place cards, heap in a bowl for a cute centrepiece or decoration around your cake.

Sparkler send off: Sparklers are at their most dazzling against a really dark sky. Have your guests line up as the carriages arrive and light your path down to your car. It makes the most amazing wedding photos. If you’re spending the night with us at the venue you can still do the sparkler walk through for incredible photographs. If you are adding fireworks to your wedding day, why not have your sparkler walk through down to the firework display!

Winter weddings have always had the most magical festive vibe, everyone is getting excited for the holiday ahead and having a family wedding with your nearest and dearest feels extra special.

We feel a winter wedding is the perfect way to end the year or kick it off after the Christmas break in January! You can always guarantee the laughter and with it being so dark and cold outside, people love a reason to get dressed up and celebrate.

Photographer credits: Matt Priestley // Shepherd Photography // Martin Cheung // Emma Graystone

“We had our wedding day on Friday 13th December 2019. Everything leading up to and including the day itself was made extremely easy by the professional and supportive Manor Hill House team… Thank you so much to everyone who helped us have the most magical and memorable day. I can't recommend this venue enough, it was absolutely perfect!”

Published: 9 Jun 2020 in Times To Get Married