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Ten top tips for your rural winter wedding

By Helen Pentith  //  Wed 17th September 2014

Choosing to organise a winter wedding is certainly a brave decision, but a successful rural winter wedding will certainly be a day to remember. Winter weddings can be magical and enchanting experiences – not least if you choose a stunning rural wedding venue as the setting for your event. However, it’s clear that organising such an event is a tricky task, and many aspects of the event will differ simply because of the time of year. Here at Escrick Park we host weddings all year round. Here are some of our tips for making your winter wedding the perfect occasion.

#1: Contingency plans

You can’t control the weather! You may be hoping for a romantic snowy wedding day, but we all know that, realistically, the chances are slim. Still, you may have heavy rain or icy conditions to contend with, and these could lead to some key players pulling out. Speak to your photographer, caterers and venue hosts about what they can do if bad weather hits. Your venue should de-ice paths and clear snow, at the very least. It’s important to have contingency plans in place. You can’t control the weather, but you can control how prepared you are for it.

#2: Beyond faux-fur

When we picture winter weddings, our mental image inevitably features the bride enrobed in a faux fur shrug, wrap, or bolero. Faux fur looks fantastic and is certainly warm, but be aware of other winter wedding fashion options. Long velvet capes look great over the top of wedding dresses, or you may wish to layer a bridal winter coat over your gown.

#3: Catering considerations

Your guests will surely appreciate warm winter food! Serve hot soup as a starter, and make use of other seasonal ingredients and traditional foods. That means mulled wine, roasted winter veg, and perhaps even turkey with cranberry sauce!

#4: Don’t clash with Christmas

Only the most self-assured couple would dare to have their wedding on Christmas Eve. By all means arrange your wedding in December – just avoid the window between the 23rd and the 26th, and check with your guests before you monopolise their New Year’s Eve plans!

#5: Transport

Travelling during the Christmas period can be a nightmare. In addition to the holiday traffic, you may also have tricky weather conditions to contend with. Ensure that you hire a wedding car that can cope with icy roads. It might also be worth avoiding white wedding cars, as no doubt they’ll become splashed with mud and grit from the roads very quickly.

#6: Flowers

Holly isn’t your only option. Incorporate winter berries and pinecones into your bouquets, or alternatively, use red roses and contrasting greenery to add to the Christmassy theme of your wedding. You could even do away with the flowers altogether and opt for crystal bouquets, adding another hint of seasonal sparkle to proceedings.

#7: Have an early ceremony

Winter wedding photographers have to contend with a lack of light. If you hold the ceremony at the usual time of 2 or 3 p.m., daylight will already be fading by the time the ceremony ends. Opt for a ceremony start at 11 am or noon to ensure that you have at least an hour of good light in which to take photos.

#8: Check for discounts

Some wedding suppliers will be able to offer discounts on their services for winter weddings, given the relative lack of demand for their services at this time of year.

#9: Choose your photographer wisely

You may like to have your wedding photos taken in picturesque snowy scenery, but it’s much more likely that you’ll have to face dull skies and soggy fields. Ensure that your chosen photographer has experience in shooting winter weddings. They should ask you about any areas of shelter near the wedding venue, and how much light they’ll have to work with.

#10: Look after your guests!

Your guests need to be kept warm and dry, too! Keep a stash of additional umbrellas for your guests to use, and set a space aside for soggy guests to dry out.

Winter weddings may require you to cross your fingers and hope the weather holds, but with a fantastic rural wedding venue such as Escrick Park as your setting, your winter wedding will certainly be an incredible experience.
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