Hello! It's been a long time since I've written, 11 months in fact. How things have changed over that time. I don't really want to mention the dreaded "C" word but the Covid pandemic certainly has altered our worlds, and the world of weddings, quite spectacularly over the past 6 months. My heart goes out to all of you having to postpone, change or place your wedding plans on hold. This certainly isn't what I signed up for when I entered the wonderful world of weddings. Pushing that aside for a moment, (because I don't want to dwell on it anymore than I expect you do) I want to try and look forward and get excited again about what I love doing - working with couples on designing their ultimate wedding celebrations. Because we will celebrate again. Things may look different, they may take a while to return to normal, but we will. This crazy new world we live in has made us all think differently. On the topic of being different, I want to cover planning a winter wedding. Spring and summer are still the hero months for the industry and with most couples. But with prime spring and summer dates now looking saturated for 2021, a winter or "off season" wedding is an option I'd champion. Here's my advice on how to put together a winter wedding, using imagery from the lovely Jess and Tom's November wedding last year captured brilliantly by Craig Williams
Winter opens up a whole new world of colour and floral options. You don't need to lean into the obvious when it comes to putting together your colours. Jess and Tom's wedding brief was "winter but nothing like Christmas". We chose copper, burgundy and deep navy, softened with dove grey, lilac and pinky tones. Our mega talented florist, Jenni Bloom worked magic with the blend of those tones (and if you want to see the use of strong colours brilliantly, check out her instagram @jennibloomflowers). Just because it's winter doesn't mean you need to limit yourself to dark, rich tones. Winter lends itself brilliantly to the moody dramatic look but there's ways of doing this with femininity and elegance. I had to postpone a wedding from May to November which means changing flowers from one season to the next. The pink and gold palette evolved to include some burgundy and darker tones alongside softer peach and dusky pinks and the design became something the bride loved more than she had the original.
Who doesn't like light? Especially the naked flame of candlelight. Candles, especially those in a tone to complement your colour scheme, always add to the style of your wedding but, at a summer wedding, you often loose that magic of the candlelight. It's just too light into the late evening. At a winter wedding you need the light and you see the candlelight. It's beautiful. It doesn't always have to be candles either. The pealight canopy over Tom and Jess's wedding reception is an example. Dropped pendant lighting or filament bulbs. Even if your venue doesn't allow for naked flames, a good LED pillar candle en masse in a space, or, to decorate the edges of steps looks classic. Open fires or outdoor burners, lanterns to line a driveway. Go crazy!
Winter always conjures up images of frosted glass and misty skies for me and there are lots of ways to incorporate this essence in the detail of your day. Vellum is a wonderful material for your on the day stationery that captures this look (Nat's Paper Studio produce some stunning work using vellum). Your choice of glassware is also a consideration - an etched crystal, a smoke glass or a frosted glass effect can really add to the detail of a winter themed style. Even the cutlery is a detail not to be forgotten, with mother of pearl handles or white teamed with gold. I'm never one to overlook the impact of a hundred little details!
Your photographers are there to capture the essence and emotion of your day. This means a large amount of the images will be natural, in the moment, candid shots. However, there will always be an element of more formal family shots and, of course, the portrait shots of you as a couple. Outdoors often provides the perfect backdrop for these images but, with the weather likely to be cold, you'll want to chat to your photographer in advance to decide on the plan. Ideally your photographer will know the venue or area and be able to suggest the perfect spaces. If not, you'll want to make sure that they have the opportunity to do their research in advance. Basically, you'll want to avoid guests (and yourselves) waiting around for too long! Also, make sure you have on hand a printed copy of the list of "formal" shots (along with the names of the guests to be in these). I would entrust this to one of your guests, ideally someone who knows most of your close friend and family by sight. This guest can be a godsend to the photographer when it comes to getting people into place quickly for those photographs. Jess and Tom decided to take their couple shots on the way back from the church. The car stopped at agreed points of beauty along the way, allowing for the guests to make their way back to the venue first, so they could relax and get ready to welcome them.
Images: Craig Williams