Winter is such a magical time of year to tie the knot – from crisp weather and festive entertainment to glamorous colour schemes, there’s so much to embrace.
Throwing a winter wedding is fast catching up with summer as a hugely popular time to say ‘I do’. 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!
Winter wedding often gets mixed up with Christmas wedding in people's minds, but they're absolutely not the same. You can find our favourite Christmas wedding ideas here that are just about that festive time of year, while this list is all about making the best of the beautiful months of December, January and February.
From winter wonderland colour schemes to wintry wedding dress ideas and the best winter cocktails, we've got 50 winter wedding ideas that'll make your day so memorable. Plus, there's also 13 top tips that'll save you money and make your winter wedding day run as smoothly as possible.
- Winter Wedding Décor Ideas
- Winter Wedding Themes
- Winter Wedding Food and Drink Ideas
- Winter Wedding Outfit Ideas
- Winter Wedding Cakes
- Top Tips for Your Winter Wedding
1. Choose a Winter Wedding Venue
The easiest way to create the right atmosphere for your winter wedding is to choose a venue that really lends itself to the season. An all-white ceremony or reception room looks so good dressed up for a winter wonderland theme, while a rustic barn can channel that elegant ski chalet vibe and the all fun of the apres-ski.
READ MORE: The Most Magical Winter Wedding Venues
2. Add Rustic Welcome Signs
How gorgeous is the forest green and gold colour scheme on this acrylic wedding sign! A crown of dried florals really offsets the palette and sets the tone for the whole wedding as guests arrive.
3. Go for Modern Monochrome Table Settings
Don't be afraid of black, it looks so chic against white and blush tones. This modern and minimalistic table setting is perfect for a couple who want a contemporary style for their winter wedding. Can you see the bauble place setting too? They would also look amazing in matte black with white calligraphy.
4. Decorate with Fairylights
A fairylight wall makes 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. If your venue are able to accommodate a wall of fairylights, it really does set the whole mood.
5. Use Warming Jewel Tones
As chic as a pure white colour scheme looks, jewel colours are ideal if you want something more snug, relaxed and intimate. They bring so much warmth and richness to your table settings, so look for jewel-coloured glassware, velvet table runners, napkins and candles.
6. Keep Your Guests Warm
A blanket box at your wedding ceremony will go down a treat. Guests could be sitting for a while and will get chilly so put a cute hamper of blankets near the entrance - it's especially important if you have elderly guests.
7. Hang a Neon Sign
With the dark pressing in outside, you need to make your reception room as warm and inviting as possible. A custom neon sign is a great way to do that and looks seriously cool.
8. Make Your Own Ice Buckets
DIY ice buckets make such a visual impact! You can freeze water with cranberries and rosemary sprigs into ice bucket shapes and serve your white wine in them at each table or the Champagne for your toasts!
9. Use Dried Fruit for Colour Pops
Fresh fruits aren't right for a winter wedding as not much is in season. Instead, go for dried fruit as part of your centrepieces and place settings. Blood oranges work particularly well, but you could also use slices of dried pears and apples. Try combining them with hearty herbs and spices - a bundle of cinnamon sticks and fresh rosemary tied up with a slice of dried orange looks incredible as a place setting.
10. Try Alternative Chandelier Lighting
Pendant lights like these star-shaped ones make a great alternative to a traditional chandelier. They look fabulous in photos and have a very festive feel without being outright Christmassy. They'll look just as good at a celestial-inspired wedding in February as a Christmas wedding in December.
11. Use Soft Pastel Florals
If you're obsessed with the soft blue Bridgerton vibe, you can still use pastels at a winter wedding even if you think they're more for spring. Use cooler, icy pastel shades mixed with metallics to make them feel more hibernal.
12. Have a Candlelit Altar
If there’s one thing that can add to a wonderful, wintry atmosphere, it’s a candle-lit room. Use lanterns filled with pillar candles to light you aisle and staircases. We love this look where the candles frame the altar where the couple exchange vows.
13. Add Statement Foliage Displays
Instead of flowers, foliage make such a statement at a winter wedding and a hanging display is incredibly theatrical. It's a great idea for a high-ceilinged room as it makes the space feel so much cosier. Don’t forget to add a sprig of mistletoe here and there!
14. Embrace Fireplaces
Lit fireplaces add warmth and cosiness to a room, but not every venue's fireplaces will be in case (or you might get lucky and not need the weather for a fire!). In that case, use the mantlepieces as the base for a romantic floral display intertwined with candles. These deep red flowers add a beautiful gothic vibe to your wedding venue but for something lighter, ask your florist to use pure white flowers.
15. Marry Under a Winter-Inspired Arch
Add a wintery wedding arch to your ceremony if you want to really impress your guests. This greenery-heavy one is the perfect addition to any winter wedding; after the ceremony, you can move it into your reception room and let guests pose in front of it. It could even be the backdrop to a DIY photobooth!
READ MORE: The Prettiest Wedding Arches You’ll Ever See
16. DIY Pine Cone Centrepieces
Pine cones are easy to get your hands on at this time of year and versatile. Use to hold flat place cards, heap in a bowl for a cute centrepiece or decoration around your cake. They look really good spray painted gold or silver.
17. Mix and Match Textures
Don't be shy about using lots of textures at a winter wedding. This beautiful table setting uses sheepskin as a table runner, but soft velvet, fluffy faux fur and fleecy tartan are all great alternatives. Your guest will want to run their hands all over them!
18. Add Wintry Entertainment
Your entertainment contributes to the look of your venue too, so think of who your hire as part of your overall aesthetic. A live swing band set up on a stage is infinitely glamorous and a solo saxophonist will be so much fun wandering around your reception room. A glitter station by the dance floor will become one of the favourite spots for guests.
19. Create a Classic Winter Wonderland
If you want to take your entertainment even further, 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 sleigh. Project winter scenes onto your walls and decorate with ice sculptures and vodka luges. The only limit is your budget – heck, you can even hire your own ice rink!
READ MORE: 23 Beautiful Winter Wedding Bouquets
20. Decorate with Seasonal Flowers
Tropical, out-of-season flowers will need to be flown in and won’t look their best or be cheap. Embrace seasonal blooms for your bouquet and arrangements, and stick to classic whites and dramatic reds. Wintry foliage, like ivy, springs of yew, holly and hypericum berries look gorgeous in centrepieces and bouquets.
21. Throw Alternative ConfettiWinter is a great time to look at an alternative kind of confetti as dried petals don't seem quite right for the season. We love these biodegradable confetti canons that will make it look like you're walking through a cloud of snowflakes or we've even seen feather, leaves and herbs thrown! For a winter twist, you could give guests mini sleigh bells to ring as you walk out your ceremony or even knit lots of pompoms from wool and have them thrown instead. Just make sure to pick them up at the end!
22. Go Gothic
Even if 'gothic' isn't your couple style at all, a moody set-up looks so modern and cool. Here it's been achieved with geometric black lanterns, trailing foliage and a beguiling floral selection with sultry dark reds, purples, black and stark white.
23. Have a 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.
24. All White Everything
One of the most fabulous winter wedding colour schemes is classic white. This coach house has been filled with white blossom trees, fairy lights, candles, and white chairs. It’s a super glamorous look that's actually very easy to achieve. You can hire white furniture and artificial trees from a local event hire company and ask your florist to go wild with all-white blooms.
25. Rustic and Cosy
We love the rustic, inviting layout here – the vines wrapped around the wooden beams and scattered fairy lights really give it that winter wedding feel. Keep it unfussy (no tinsel etc) and let the ambience of the oak barn shine through.
26. Metallic Glamour
Going back to the metallic glamour of winter – is there any prettier setting than this wedding ceremony? The gold chairs work beautifully against the white backdrop and that chandelier finishes the theme off perfectly! Use lots of dramatic burgundy and deep purple touches, like flowers and bridesmaid dresses, to really make the metallics sing.
27. Christmas Is Coming
If your wedding is around the Christmas period, why not use that to your advantage? Many venues will already have a gorgeously decorated Christmas tree so lean into that. Everything from the fairylit tree to the festive centrepieces and wooden chairs just screams winter wonderland in this set-up. 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?
READ MORE: The Best Budget Wedding Venues in the UK
28. Modern 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.
29. Have a Hot Chocolate Station
Whipped cream, crushed candy canes, crumbled gingerbread biscuits, flakes, marshmallows: have them all ready to top some creamy hot chocolate with. Fill a few large thermos with hot chocolate and let your guests warm up before or after your ceremony with a sweet cup. It's ideal for kids and you can secretly have a few tipples available for adults to spike theirs and add a different flavour, such as coconut rum, Grand Marnier, amaretto, brandy or salted caramel vodka.
30. Serve a Roast Dinner
Dainty canapes are lovely, but when it’s chilly outside, guests want comfort food. A cheese fondue or mini beef yorkshire puddings are perfect for canapes; a roasted joint, carved at the table, for the main; a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. Winner.
31. Offer Mulled Wine Arrival Drinks
If hot choc isn't quite the vibe you're after, mulled wine is a great welcome drink.
32. Put on a Midnight Feast
Before your guests head off into the cold night, serve something warm and hearty at the end of the reception. A hog roast, bacon rolls, sausage rolls, burgers and cheese toasties are all ideal.
33. Serve Signature Winter Cocktails
Rhubarb negronis, chai latte martinis, warming chilli picantes, and ginger margaritas all have that Christmassy-spice twist. Think of delicious wintry flavours you love and ask the bar staff to mix you something special: some of our favourite flavours include plum, cranberry, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, rosemary, maple and pomegranate. You could also try a signature warm cocktail like a spiced apple hot toddy.
34. Gift Festive Food Favours
Easy to DIY, you can wrap up your own homemade mince pies, fudge, truffles, nougat or snowman biscuits as wedding favours. Otherwise hot chocolate mixes or s’mores kits are delicious for guests to take home.
READ MORE: 37 Delicious Wedding Cake Alternatives
35. Wear a Long Sleeved Winter Wedding Dress
Ok, we know we've kind of gone against the reasoning for having long sleeves (you'll stay toasty and warm) with the bride above, but how good does her dress look! Feathers and sparkles are ideal for a winter wedding dress and we love them on a long-sleeved look.
36. Layer Up
Layers and accessories will keep brides and bridesmaids warm. Capes look amazing (just check out Lily Collins' bridal cape) as does 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.
READ MORE: The Best Winter Wedding Dresses
37. Embrace Rustic Textures
Thick fabrics like velvet, tweed and tartan are warm and look incredibly chic on grooms and groomsmen. Dark hues are made for crisp weather, and patterns look fab at rustic weddings. if you want to stand out, icy blues and pale grey can look striking.
38. Have a Statement Train
Winter weddings are all about drama and theatre, and nothing says that more than a statement train. Combine with the on-trend modern princess look (voluminous but light layers, statement sleeves, Bridgerton-style corset) and you'll be the belle of the winter ball.
39. Sneak in Extra Heat
Wear tights underneath your dress if your legs won’t be visible and get your wedding party to carry handwarmers to heat up icy hands before your wedding photos. Chelsea boots and warm socks are great for wearing through the day too and will save your feet from pain.
40. Choose Sparkling Bridesmaid Dress
Look for crystals, beads and sequins that shimmer under your fairy lights for the wedding party. The sparkles really accentuate the winter theme and not to mention how incredible they look next to that show-stopping wedding dress.
41. Go for a Less Is More Approach
If sparkles are a bit too much, stick to the darker end of the spectrum in winter. Navy bridesmaid dresses, bottle green and cranberry red dresses all look amazing. You need very few accessories with such rich, luxe colours and especially if they're in a gorgeous velvet fabric.
42. Wear a Chic Bridal Suit
If you’re the kind of bride who wants to push boundaries with your wedding day look, why not dare to be different in a sharp suit or jumpsuit? More informal and relaxed, bridal suits are seriously bold and contemporary. You’ll glide down the aisle.
43. Wear Seasonal Buttonholes
Winter groomswear doesn’t just have to be reflected in the suit you wear. For the ultimate seasonal buttonhole, make sure it has a sprig of mistletoe in it!
44. Single Tier Winter Wedding Cake
Jewel colours can be weaved into your cake too, like the statement flowers on top of this cake. They look wonderful against the buttercream pattern on the cake and the rustic log serving platter.
45. Metallic Winter Wedding Cake
If you want to add some glamour to your winter wedding cake, why not opt for a white and gold style, just like this cake? The drip effect and fir and pine cone toppers make it the dreamiest choice for a metallic wedding cake.
46. Rustic Winter Wedding Cake
If rustic is your theme, why not have a cake with a semi-naked finish, gold leaf and fresh eucalyptus leaves? It's a more subtle way of incorporating luxe gold into your cake while keeping it pared-back and natural looking.
47. Fruity Winter Wedding Cake
Frosted fruits look incredible on white wedding cakes. The colours and choice of toppings is up to you, but figs, blackberries, cherries, pears and physalis are perfect. These sugar-crusted cranberries are a striking and appropriately seasonal option.
48. Marble Winter Wedding Cake
Winter suits lots of darker, moodier colours too, like forest greens, burgundy and navy. Bring them to life with a marble effect and metallic accents, like this striking cake.
49. Doughnut Winter Wedding Cake
If you're not cake fans, then a doughnut tower is a fantastic alternative. There's a single layer cake at the top so you have something to cut, but then you can fill up the rest of the tower with your favourite doughnut flavours. These krispy kreme ones will go down a treat with guests!
50. Cheese Winter Wedding Cake
Winter is all about hearty food and comforting flavours. What better than the most elevated cheeseboard in the world - the cheese wedding cake! You won't be able to tear your guests away at the evening reception.
1. Visit Your Venue at Night
Most venue showrounds take place during the daytime, but at a winter wedding, the majority of your reception will take place once the sun’s gone down. Arrange a visit to your venue in the evening when you can see what kind of lighting they have, and whether the vibe is cosy and inviting. After you’ve booked, ask if your photographer can see it too in the evening so they can plan their shots.
2. See if You Can Negotiate a Deal
Winter wedding dates in January and February are usually off-peak so they’ll be cheaper than a summer date. You’ll likely have more choice of caterers and suppliers too as it isn’t the busy season. If your venue/supplier wants to secure your booking, you might be able to negotiate with them further – whether that’s money off or something extra thrown in for free. You might be able to get a further discount on guest accommodation too.
3. Plan an Alternative for Bad Weather
Ask your venue what they’ll do if there’s bad snow, for example. What if one of your suppliers is unable to get there? Is there somewhere suitable for guests to park? Will there be somewhere the photographer can still take photos? For guests that smoke, is there somewhere alternative they can go?
4. Allow Extra Travel Time
If it’s raining heavily, there’ll be more people out in their cars, which means more traffic on the roads. Worse is if you get stuck in a snow drift! Give yourself peace of mind with extra time to travel to the venue, and mention on your invites that guests may need to leave contingency time.
5. Consider the Same Venue for Your Ceremony and Reception
You’ll solve half your travel problems if you hold your ceremony and reception in the same venue. Then guests won’t have to travel between the two, which could take a while in bad weather. Even better if they can all stay over too.
6. Suss Out the Venue’s Heating
Your wedding venue will be experienced at getting the heating just right, but if it’s a barn or marquee venue, it can be a little trickier. Ask them what their plan is for heating the venue and if they have any outdoor heaters for those who want fresh air. Advise guests in your invite if they need to wrap up warm and seat older guests away from doorways with drafts. A warm drink, like mulled wine, on arrival helps too!
7. Check What Decorations Are Already Up
If it’s before or just after Christmas, your venue may have decorations up. They should be able to show you some pictures of last year’s to give you the gist of what to expect. If you don’t like them, ask whether you’re allowed to take them down. You don’t want something that clashes with your vision.
8. Get Wedding Insurance
We’d recommend it whatever time of year, but wedding insurance is particularly important in winter. You’ll need to cover yourself against storms and snow, plus if any suppliers let you down.
9. Protect Your Shoes
Spray shoe protector on leather and suede shoes. If you’re going outdoors for photos, have heel protectors to stop you sinking into the mud or have a spare pair of block or wedge heels handy. Even better, could you hide a pair of wellies under a big dress? It’ll keep your feet snug and dry.
10. Find Candle Alternatives
Candles create a romantic mood once it gets dark. If you can, include candles of different heights and thickness in your centrepieces, fireplaces, windowsills and even in lanterns for your aisle décor for a warm glow. But if your venue doesn't allow naked flames, use LED candles and fairylights instead.
11. Set Up a Coat Check
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.
12. Choose Winter Wedding Favours
Embrace the festive time of year with wintry wedding favours. Sparklers, candy canes, mulled wine spices, mini bottles of Baileys, hot chocolate kits, crackers, chocolate coins, personalised candles, s’mores, glittery cupcakes…the options are endless.
13. Research a Good Photographer
You can get everything right décor-wise but if your photographer isn’t experienced at shooting in low light, your photos can be lacklustre. Ask to see examples of their work in bad weather and at night to get a feel for what they can do. Low light and candlelight can be incredibly flattering so don’t panic about it not being a bright, sunny day!
To kick off the planning for your winter wedding, find your perfect venue with our pick of the best winter wedding venues.