Generally accepted advice says that beach weddings are for the summertime, but people are finally becoming aware of the beauty of winter beach weddings. We’re stoked to see this trending, but why a winter wedding, and how do you make this theme happen? We’re here to answer your pressing questions, and walk you through everything from the venue and food to the invites and thank you cards.
Why a winter wedding?
There are tons of benefits to having your wedding in winter. The sun is low in the sky and there is often cloud cover, which helps create the perfect lighting for the atmosphere of the day and for the photos in particular. Any photographer will tell you that a cloudy day is the dream when it comes to a photo shoot, and winter increases your chances of landing one. Shorter days also make it easier for you to catch the ‘golden hour’ light with your photographer (the hour of warm light just before the sun sets). Winter is also considered one of the best times of year for dramatic sunsets, since crisp air, good air circulation and certain types of clouds contribute to making the perfect sunset. All these things, and the fact that the beaches are more likely to be empty, make for great atmosphere and amazing wedding photos.
On top of all that, winter is the off-peak season for weddings. This means your wedding is less likely to clash with someone else’s guests are more likely to be able to attend your big day. It also tends to be a big help for your budget: many venues and wedding vendors offer discounts or throw in extra features when it’s not the peak season.
Creating your winter beach wedding
Like most weddings, creating the theme is all about the big four:
- Location and venues: for the ceremony, photos and reception
- Stationery: from save the dates right through to thank you cards
- Decor: whether it’s furniture and lighting or bunting and flowers
- Food and drink: foodies know there’s a big difference between a summer menu and a winter menu.
Location and venue
Obviously it’s only possible to have a beach wedding if you live somewhere near a beach, or you’re prepared to have a destination wedding, so location is vital when it comes to this trend! The venue can be a little trickier. In summer you might have your wedding right there on the beach, but this isn’t always practical in winter. Ideally, you should locate a beachside venue with an ocean view and ocean vibes that is willing to host a ceremony and a reception.
Your wedding stationery can be anything you want it to be, but for a winter beach wedding why not focus on the grey-blue colour palette of the winter sky and sea? There are a range of popular colours for this, from baby blues and aqua through to slate grey, navy and of course, black and white.
Simple, colour blocked and typographic design aesthetics are the most popular when it comes to winter beach weddings, but it’s also possible to go more literal with it and incorporate other design elements like seashells, starfish and waves. Look at the decor of the venue, and consider any decor you’re planning to add, and try to match that.
For a little extra something, consider going for a premium print type like letterpress or foiling. This is perfect for a more formal beachside venue.
There are two kinds of wedding decor: what is built-in at the venue you choose, and what you can put in separately. This might still be provided by the venue, but it’s optional. An example of the first kind of decor is the provincial-style chairs and tables of a venue, the burgundy colour of their walls, or their statement pendant lights. An example of the latter might be bunting, flowers, candles, or other decorations that can be easily swapped or brought in.
Beach wedding decor shouldn’t be too much of a worry if you’re choosing a venue that makes the most of its beachside location. Usually venues by the sea make the beach central to their character and decorate accordingly. If in doubt, be sure to visit the venue before the big day and talk to them about any of your own decorations you wish to bring in.
Popular winter wedding decor includes candles, natural materials like rope, stone and wood, neutral colours with rich burgundy, navy or olive coloured accents, and greenery like succulents and ferns.
Food and Drink
Most restaurants, cafes and other venues where food is served rotate their menus with the season. This isn’t just marketing! The best cuisine relies on food that is in season, since that is when it is at its very highest quality, and also takes into consideration the tastes and textures that match the weather. This usually means salads and tropical fruits in summer, and soups, root vegetables and citrus in winter.
Your venue caterers will usually cater by the season, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this one, but if you are making the choice, consider choosing seasonal food to add to the winter wonderland you are creating. Of course, for a beach wedding, summer or winter, seafood is always a winning choice too!
By thinking carefully about each of these steps – from the appetisers to the furniture, the save the dates to the venue selection – you can create the winter wonderland of your dreams and still have your perfect beach wedding as well
This was a guest post by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust. Maddison is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional who loves words and drinking cups of tea.