Planning your winter wedding on the Central Coast is still going to be a lot of the same processes and suppliers as your summer wedding. Everything from venue, photographer, entertainment to attire, cuisine and make-up. It’s all there but the elements around the planning is what you need to consider
The Central Coast is a beautiful place for a wedding all year round, beaches and headlands or mountains and bushland. It does have it’s weather patterns and changes through the hot to cool months but with the right light at the right time of day it can create a magic backdrop for your day all year round.
The following are some things to consider that you may not think about until it’s too late so don’t be caught out in the cold and start your winter wedding planning with the following tips.
The availability in a typical wedding season is quite competitive during the warmer months so with less competition for popular dates, you will find more venues are available on your chosen date.
You may find that the venue will be discounted down as they will want to fill up their calendar, don’t be afraid to ask them for a special or discount
Accommodation rates in the local area for you and your guests will be less expensive during the Winter months. Many accommodation locations will also offer Group Bookings discounts.
Physically view the spaces that you are hiring, so you can see how many people fit into the venue, especially for the ceremony. If you are planing an outdoor Ceremony you should also plan a ‘back-up’ space (indoor or undercover) in case the weather turns, make sure that the space is big enough for all your guests. It’s also a great idea to make sure that it has ventilation and heating if possible as sweaty nervous people and wet clothes can become an uncomfortable space very quickly.
If you are insisting an outdoor ceremony, keep an eye on the weather forecast in the weeks leading up to your wedding. keep in touch with the venue and vendors as it will work best for you if you keep in contact with everyone involved.
Choosing a venue where you can hold your ceremony and reception in one location is a great idea, it will be easier for your guests while you are having your photos taken, they can stay warm and dry close to the reception area ensuring they are happy to get the party started.
Marquees in Winter are actually still a excellent option. The marquees of today are incredibly structurally sturdy and a clear glass marquee would be amazing in a storm. The dance floor in your marquee also makes the perfect spot for a back-up ceremony – it’s dry underfoot and large enough for all your guests.
If you are wanting to have your ceremony and reception in different locations, then allow for extra travel time. Rain, traffic and road conditions will definitely add to your travel time.
Ask your venue what photographic areas they have on site, this will save you time and stress on the day. Consider some of the inside vignettes that will make your photographs unique to the season. Imagine photos against a roaring open fire or looking out from a bay window with a storm rolling in.
The best part of winter is the availability of suppliers, most will have more availability in the off season. Although it is important to note that a lot of wedding suppliers use the down time to have a holiday. Contact them as early as you would for a peak season wedding to make sure that you can book their services.
Some wedding vendors will also be cheaper during the winter month’s. Ask them as it can’t hurt to enquire about prices during these months. I drop my prices of my packages during these months so come have a chat 😉
Find wedding suppliers that are happy to be flexible with the changes that will undoubtedly occur due to the weather like moving ceremony decoration or adding extra lights inside due to darkening storm clouds.
Read the terms & conditions, once you have paid a deposit, under normal terms & conditions you will not be refunded if you decide to cancel. Bad weather will not alter these terms & conditions.
You have access to styling pieces that are unavailable at every other time of the year. Items such as grapevines and seasonal flowers that aren’t available during the warmer months. I’m sure you stylist and florist will jump at the chance of using something unusual and seasonal.
Having a Winter wedding definitely does not mean you have to choose a Winter theme. All your fresh flowers and greenery will be vibrant right through the day and evening.
You will get far more use out of any lighting that you have, with the sun going down earlier festoon lighting can be a great mood setting in trees and around gardens along walkways.
Winter gives you so many wonderful opportunities to try something unique that includes the cuisine. You could try 24-hour roasted lamb shanks on a bed of mash with red wine jus!
Talk to your caterer or venue chef, to see what amazing seasonal produce is in and serve something truly warming and memorable to your guests.
Time Of The Day
Days are a lot shorter in Winter. For instance a Summer ceremony normal starts between 3-4pm. However in winter, daylight is completely gone by 5pm which will be exacerbated by any cloud cover and the sun will definitely be set by 6pm.
The best person to talk to about the timing of your wedding, is your wedding photographer. They are the professionals and could have great suggestions. Some photos could be taken before the ceremony or they may know a close by location for the sunset.
Will your guests be comfortable between the Ceremony and Reception, while they wait for you are they out in the open or comfortable in a warm room? Don’t make them wait for you out in the cold as the sun goes down.
The sunlight during Winter is vastly different to Summer light. The sun is lower, the days are shorter and we are further away from the sun so the light is actually less intense.
Keep an eye on that weather app on your phone, if any major weather changes are forecast, then keep in contact with your suppliers.
Quite often venue staff will pitch in to help when weather turns sour . . . just ask them as they won’t want to watch everything get ruined.
If the weather forces you to shift locations at the very last minute, make sure that one of the contingencies that you have is a group message of guests and a seperate one for other vendors, so that you can let everyone know the new location keeping everyone up-to-date.
One of the greatest advantages to a winter wedding is being able to wear something different that you can’t at a Summer wedding, faux-fur stoles, a coutured coat or a fitted jacket. The men will also be more comfortable in their suits.
Be aware of the need for this extra layer of comfort, you don’t want bare-shouldered bridesmaids hunching over in the cold and straining to even smile for the photographer so stay warm and comfortable when outdoors
On a more sensitive topic – headlights. If your bridal party (blokes included) are cold, then your gorgeous photos may be ruined by glaring ‘headlights’. So dress warm!
Hair & makeup will also need careful consideration . . . makeup will last a lot longer, however hairstyles will be quickly decimated in the winter wind. Talk carefully with your hair and makeup stylists to get their opinion and advice.
Your photos will have far less squinting guests and far less sunglasses.
Many guests may already have a wedding or two to attend in the Summer, along with BBQ’s, long weekends and general Summer activities, it can be quite exhausting traveling to all the events. If you offer them a winter wedding, they will be far more likely to have not only the time to attend but also the desire.
Having your wedding in the Winter will also make your wedding far more memorable to your guests.
Having your wedding on a Thursday or Friday means that guests can make a whole weekend of your wedding. It will give them time to visit wineries, go for hikes in the foothills or even walk around the small towns helping out the community by visiting cafes and restaurants.
A final tip would be to book a venue that can handle severe weather as cancelling a wedding will cost you thousands of dollars. Obviously I don’t recommend this if people’s safety is at risk, but if you have done your research, your venue will provide safe parking, safe inside seating and dancing areas, adequate drainage for heavy rainfall, and climate control.
Most venues and wedding suppliers will not refund in the case of bad weather. Even if you cancel it still costs them money because they haven’t been able to schedule other customers due to their commitment to you.
So please do your home work and don’t get up in competing for the summer months when winter is just as beautiful and will save you some serious dollars.
If you would like to find out about my prices for the winter months click the link bellow to get to my home page where you will find an enquiry form.
Happy winter wedding planning.