Why a winter wedding is worth it

There’s been a lot of debate on Twitterland about winter weddings. But for some, the choice to have a winter wedding was a no-brainer. Here’s my lovely sponsor, Carol from AphroditeNet Wedding Photography to tell you all about why she chose to have a winter wedding – and why that choice resulted in her dream day.

Since starting our AphroditeNet Wedding Photography business, Tony and I eat, sleep and think about weddings and engagements almost continuously. As wedding photographers we know all too well the impact the seasons have, not only on our approach to the wedding and engagement photography, but also on the whole wedding experience itself.

High street giant Debenhams announced a 28% increase in winter weddings last year, and this trend looks likely to continue when the 2011/12 data becomes available. With all the excitement of Christmas and New Year,  winter (and in particular November, December and January), are not the most obvious months to plan your ideal wedding. Traditionally ‘the wedding season’ has always been considered to be spring and early summer, largely due to the likelihood of better weather!

Tony and I were married on 30th December. We had a winter wedding, and carried this wintery theme through to our snowy honeymoon in Austria.

So what did we feel were the advantages of a winter wedding? Well, there’s often the prospect of reduced costs. If you’re marrying ‘out of season’ some of the items you purchase can be reduced in price. This is especially the case with regards to venue hire. With very few venues holding events at this time of year (other than the obvious Christmas and New Year celebrations), there is also often plenty of choice and the most popular or sought after venues are sometimes much more easily available!

Winter wedding image © AphroditeNet Wedding Photography

We were very lucky as the restaurant where we had our wedding breakfast had a  marquee set up for New Years Eve, so we were able to use it for free as our guests arrived for drinks! Having a winter wedding also meant that none of our family or friends had holiday commitments (as would have been the case in for a summer wedding!) and a high proportion of our invited guests were able to attend!

There are a few rather unique planning ‘challenges’ which a winter wedding can present! Remember that the weather probably won’t be particularly warm and sunny – and whilst we may dream of picture-postcard snow, the reality is that it’s unlikely to snow on your wedding day! Make sure your venue has lots of potential (and easy access) to beautiful indoor locations for your wedding photography and remember that ‘appropriate’ dress is essential – I opted for a ‘shrug’ jacket for that extra bit of warmth!

Lots of shops have erratic opening hours over Christmas and New Year, so remember that collection times and return times will have to be carefully planned in advance if you are hiring morning suits etc… If you are not having a Christmas wedding, check with your venues as to what Christmas decorations they may have up, and whether they will enhance your own styling and decorations, or completely overshadow them!

We also found we had a few difficulties with our wedding flowers, as many of the flower markets are closed over Christmas and the New Year. We had agreed with our florist in advance as to the style of bouquet and colour scheme we wanted, but had to leave it up to her to pick the flowers according to what was available as the markets began to open after the holiday season…

We thoroughly enjoyed our winter wedding and honeymoon, and would recommend this time of year to all. As with any wedding at any time of year, you cannot plan for every eventuality. At our wedding a rather cold chauffeur left the engine running on our vintage car for the entire wedding ceremony. By the time we left the venue, and pulled into a one-way system, the car had broken down… the rest of our journey was by taxi, rather than the vintage car we expected to arrive in together! Our guests were somewhat bemused by our low-key arrival! Had we been married in the summer this probably wouldn’t have arisen! However, a winter wedding has all the potential to be a fairytale wedding which is a bit different from the norm, and if something does go wrong, you have a great story to tell after your big day!

AphroditeNet Wedding Photography – Tony & Carol Jones – http://www.aphroditenet.co.uk

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