The winter months are often overlooked when couples start thinking about when to get married – but it’s called a winter wonderland for a reason! Here at The Kingscote Barn, we love winter weddings and these are the reasons why!
Candles and Fairy Lights
With the nights drawing in, the winter months offer a perfect chance to create a twinkly atmosphere in the barn. Candles and fairy lights transform the barn to give it a magical and romantic feel that’s perfect for a ceremony and wedding breakfast. There are lots of different ways that you can use candles for decoration, whether you choose to place big hurricane vases with candles along the aisle for your ceremony, use candelabras as centrepieces for your wedding breakfast or have tea lights in pretty holders around the barn to add decoration. Nothing creates a warmer, more intimate atmosphere than real candlelight and this is most effective during the winter months! Fairy lights are also a fantastic way to decorate the barn and you can do this so easily and cheaply (even by using your existing Christmas tree lights!). Take advantage of the oak wooden beams and wrap fairy lights around these in the reception room and bar area. Or why not push the boat out and hire the stunning fairy light canopy from our recommended supplier.
There are lots of gorgeous winter wedding flowers that will give you inspiration for holding a wedding at that time of year. While it’s true that fewer flowers are in bloom during the winter months, this doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on your wedding flowers as many flowers can be imported from abroad or alternatives can be sourced. An icy colour scheme is perfect for a winter wedding, with pastel shades of pink, lilac, blue and white mixed with light green and silvery grey foliage. Or if you want to inject a bit of colour then you could choose warm, rich colours like deep red, purple, orange and yellow. Any colour scheme can be used and just made wintery by adding berries, cones and winter foliage. Dusty miller, eucalyptus, skimmia, thistles, silver brunia and snow berries are perfect for filling out a bouquet and giving it a wintery feel! There are also some beautiful flowers in season during the winter – we love ranunculus, anemones, wax flower, snow drops, hellebores and of course roses! We also love the use of succulents as an alternative button hole idea or to be put in centrepieces on the tables.
Food and Drink
Winter is the perfect time of year for eating delicious hearty food and yummy treats! It might be cold outside but you can keep your guests cosy and their tummies full with some warming comfort food. You don’t have to serve a traditional soup starter – there are plenty of other options such as a baked cheese tart with a fruit compote or chutney or a delicious risotto. For main course, a roast dinner will always be a crowd pleaser but if you want something a bit more special then you could swap the chicken and beef for duck breast, slow cooked pork or lamb shank. Roasted root vegetables will be the perfect accompaniment. For dessert, we love a warm sticky toffee pudding or chocolate fondant which will finish off the meal perfectly. There’s also plenty of warming winter drinks that are ideal for serving during the winter months. Mulled wine or cider are classics that everyone will love or alternatively you could try winter Pimms or a spicy winter cocktail. You could also set up a hot chocolate station (with plenty of toppings!) as a non-alcoholic option or have this served with tea and coffee after the meal. You could even stick with the winter theme for your favours and give guests s’mores to toast on the fire pit later on in the evening.
There is often the misconception that you don’t get as many photo opportunities with winter weddings as it gets dark a lot earlier. We recommend booking a slightly earlier ceremony time (so 1pm or 1.30pm) to give you more time to have photos during the daylight. Dusk can also be a beautiful time to capture those special moments! Don’t ignore the night time either – there’s plenty of ways that you can make the most of the darker nights and capture your wedding perfectly. Here at The Kingscote Barn, we have made sure that the barn is well lit throughout the day and evening so we have lots of lighting on the outside of the barn and around the grounds. Our lovely Linhay and Rose Garden have lights on them which create the most amazing effect when it’s dark and give you stunning photos! Sparklers are also a great way to get photos in the evening and you can involve your guests in this too by asking them to create a sparkler arch or make words or hearts out of the sparklers. Light up letters offer an ideal indoor alternative if you want those sparkly photos inside!
We tend to find that the main reason couples choose not to get married during the winter is down to the weather. Here in the UK, you’re never guaranteed sunshine at any time of year so planning for a summer wedding means you pay peak prices and you may not get the summertime benefits. That’s why it can sometimes be better to opt for a winter wedding so you’re not counting on the weather and then if it is sunny, it’s a bonus! February is also statistically the driest month in the year with the least amount of rain! It’s likely that it will be cold so make sure you think about winter accessories such as a long-sleeved wedding dress, a fur shawl or a cape. It’s also a nice touch to provide a basket of blankets/throws for guests to use if they do want to head outside. Don’t automatically think that you won’t be able to spend any time outside – if the weather is dry then we would still encourage you and your guests to have a few photos outside in the idyllic setting. Most guests will dress warmer for a winter wedding and will also bring a coat so don’t mind going outside for a couple of photos!
There are definite financial benefits of getting married in the winter months. Most venues are cheaper in November, December, January and February compared to the spring/summer months so you can save money on the venue hire. Some suppliers may also offer discounts for winter weddings making them more affordable. Saving money on some parts of the wedding means you have more money to spend on other parts of the wedding or on an exotic honeymoon! Here at The Kingscote Barn, we have a wonderful winter wedding package that’s been put together to incorporate hire of the barn, food, service of your own drinks, some decorations and a DJ. This works out as great value for money and also saves you the hassle or organising some parts of your wedding yourself.
We couldn’t do a winter wedding blog without giving a special mention to Christmas weddings! If you want to embrace the winter and go all out with a Christmas theme then there are many ways that you can do this. A traditional red colour scheme mixed with green and/or gold will add a festive cheer to your décor. Or you may prefer to have a winter wonderland theme with lots of white and silver – if you want to add a splash of colour then try a nice light pastel shade which will still keep with the icy theme. There are plenty of Christmassy decorations that you could include in your wedding. We love mistletoe at Christmas themed weddings and you can easily hang this from the beams to create a ‘kissing corner’ or incorporate it into the bouquets, button holes and centrepieces. You could also make your own Christmas wreaths and hang these up in the barn for decoration. And if you really want to go all out then why not think about hiring a snow machine to give the impression of a real snow storm! Don’t forget that The Kingscote Barn has its own decorated Christmas trees up in December – a 12ft one outside the reception room to welcome guests and a 6ft one up on the gallery area.
New Year’s Eve Weddings
Everyone loves celebrating on New Year’s Eve so it couldn’t be a more perfect day for a wedding! What better way to bring in the new year than celebrating the start of your new married life with family and friends. New Year’s Eve is all about glitz and glam so embrace this theme in your wedding decorations! Use silver, copper or gold metallic tones to fit in with your colour scheme. Sequined table cloths will transform the tables for your wedding breakfast and create a sparkly atmosphere. You could also give guests themed wedding favours such as sparklers, mini bottles of bubbles or party horns. Ask guests to share their new year’s resolutions and well wishes in your guest book or make a separate resolution jar for this. New Year’s Eve comes with a natural party atmosphere and this works to your advantage because guests will be in the celebratory spirit right until the end. The Kingscote Barn has a clock projected onto the ceiling of the barn for New Year’s Eve weddings so you and your guests can count down to midnight together and toast the new year with a glass of bubbly. End the night with a sparkler send off or a spectacular firework display – giving your wedding the wow factor from start to finish!