Thinking about winter weddings at the height of summer … no I haven’t gone mad in the midday sun honest! But what better way to start thinking how to warm up your winter wedding. We’ve just launched our new winter wedding package and so I can’t stop thinking about amazing ways to create a dream wedding that will warm your guests’ hearts on the coldest of days.
So here are my top trends for winter weddings – with just a little help from my friends.
Sometimes the simplest weddings are the most beautiful. Bringing it back to basics with formal table-scapes, candelabras and other soft lighting, dramatic cakes, lavish fabrics and formal floral arrangements can make for the most beautiful wedding, ensuring all the focus is on you on your special day.
This works fabulously in our period venues, such as the quintessentially British 28 Portland Place and The In & Out, with their elegant opulence, chandeliers that take your breath away and grand staircases. You can make the most of the season with your floral arrangements, colour-schemes and catering, and perhaps add an extra sense of luxury by upgrading your linens to a lavish fabric such as damask or add our candelabras as centre pieces to give an extra sense of depth and warmth to your tables.
Everyone at ITA* loves food, so it’s great to see so many couples putting their dining to the forefront of their day. Although traditional three-course plated meals are always very popular, many couples are now breaking the mould and opting for sharing platters or a variety of meze options. Shared dining helps break up the formality of a wedding, to create a more relaxed environment and stimulate conversation and interaction.
I recently put together a traditionally British meze sharing platter for a wedding couple. It included a selection of pâtés, cheeses and different chutneys, all locally sourced. With their wedding set in an elegant livery hall, they wanted something quintessentially British but with a more relaxed family style service.
Here’s a fun idea – how about sparkling wine or cosy Winter Pimm’s on arrival followed by cream tea with scones and finger sandwiches? Afternoon tea is oh-so British, it was invented by the Duchess of Bedford in the 19th century, and it’s really picking up steam as an option for brides on their big day.
A wedding day is all about the couple, so if you love afternoon tea (and who doesn’t?!) then why not build your day around it? You can get creative, choosing a variety of different cake options, and save the savoury dining for your evening buffet, such as our street food style evening options or cheese slates.
Of course bubbles are always popular for weddings, and if you want to stick with this crowd-pleasing tradition, you can find out all about how to choose your sparkling wine in my video from when I met Becky Lown from the experts, Jascots Wine Merchants.
However, I always love mulled wine at winter weddings – it’s a lovely way to celebrate the season and help guests warm up on arrival. We’ve got sparkling and mulled wine options in our new winter wedding packages!
Roses, hyacinths, amaryllis, hellebores, paper whites and ranunculus continue to be the bouquet flowers of choice among brides. I believe this year we will see brides choosing softly-coloured blooms that reflect the gentle tones of the English garden for their bouquets and arrangements. These trends will continue through summer into the winter months with the colour schemes from the outdoors making their way onto the table theming and flower decoration. I love the idea of “bringing the outdoors in” for a winter wedding in 2016. If you can’t celebrate al fresco in the wintertime, why not bring the outdoors in with you?
Another nice idea is to celebrate the festivity of the season, with wreaths as table centres or “Christmassy” flowers such as poinsettias. These were also the flowers that Madonna used at her wedding to Guy Ritchie. At our National Venue Sales Manager Claire Pastore’s wedding, she had beautiful wreaths on her table, which she gave away to some of her guests to hang on their doors for Christmas!
I often see recommendations to avoid foliage and exposed stems, but I think, depending on your venue and style of wedding, it can be a real shame to hide the natural essence of your flowers.
"For winter, ‘think rich gold colours, deep reds, luxe fabrics such as velvet and sumptuous hues." - Jemma Jade Events
Warmer reds and deep pinks are still prominent and darker shades are being brought into the mix with dark brown and gold tones. These are the colours of autumn/winter, linking your colour-scheme with the theme of bringing the outdoors in. How about using that theme and the trend colours as inspiration for a little DIY for your place card holders?
"I think for 2016 the haberdashery trend is still picking up steam, with 'lace' cakes and our edible sequins remaining incredibly popular. Silver and gold leaf throughout designs also continues to be a real hit with couples, as do naked cakes.
“Tiers continue to be taller and edges are becoming more angular, moving onto a trend for contemporary designs. I think watercolour cakes will also continue to be popular for those couples with weddings full of bright colours. Serving the cake as dessert seems to be becoming increasingly attractive, as couples discover that if they move their dessert budget to the cake fund, they can afford the cake of their dreams." - Abigail Bloom Cake Company
Wedding favours are a great way for guests to take a little piece of your special day home with them. A perfect way for them to reminisce about the food they had on the day, perhaps a handwritten recipe to make a dish from your wedding breakfast or a treat enjoyed throughout the day.
Here’s a wedding favour idea I love: give your guests a cosy reminder of your winter themed wedding with marshmallows and chocolate to warm up at home. This is a perfect match for a dessert station where guests can create their own smores with their favourite toppings.
In the wintertime, lanterns and candelabras are really popular to light up a venue, create atmosphere and give a warm intimate feel. Simple candles are the understated decoration that have been used more and more this year.
Light up letters have been incredibly popular this year, ranging from small ones which can be set up on food stations to giant declarations that take centre stage on your day and create a great photo opportunity. My colleague Claire got her incredible “LOVE” letters from Mighty Fine
If you're feeling inspired by our wintery wedding trends, why not have a look at our winter wedding offers at some of London's finest venues?