Having a winter wedding is a fabulous choice for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it’s dramatic – no question about that. You get to have a stunningly atmospheric celebration, cosying up against inclement weather and having your nearest and dearest huddled around you as the gloaming encroaches. It also means you can to save money as the trend is still for summer nuptials, so venues are keen to fill their available slots in the off-season. Additionally, you’re more likely to get all your guests to turn up, since fewer people will be off on their summer jollies.
So, now you’re sold on a gorgeous winter wedding, think about a venue that will wow your guests, whatever the weather. A lot of venues will show you photos of how glorious they look in a blanket of snow – but that can blind you to the unreliability of the British weather, which is just as likely to be incessant grey drizzle! Ellie Hinds from Dine has compiled 10 truly dazzling venues that don’t have to be frozen to look magnificent in the winter weather.
The Mansion at Roundhay, West Yorkshire
Just 15 minutes from the centre of Leeds, this Greek Palladian style mansion is a Grade II listed building set in more than 700 acres of rolling parkland, complete with woodland and a lake. It’s packed with both period features and all mod cons, including a massive crystal chandelier and a grand sweeping central staircase. The perfect place to snuggle up against the elements in total luxury.
Dartmouth House, London
A rarity for such a chi-chi postcode, this Mayfair venue boasts a beautiful sheltered courtyard, ideal for some cheeky hot toddies for your guests without them suffering from full-on exposure. It’s cosmopolitan, yet traditional and refined. Maybe it’s just the thought of Christmas shopping amidst all the nearby festive illuminations, but there’s something uniquely special about London in the winter that brings out a little bit of Disney spirit in all of us – and a lot of the Love Actually warm and fuzzies!
Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Get your vintage glamour fix in the opulent setting for ITV’s Downton Abbey. Make like Lady Mary without the tragedy and hole up with 120 of your closest friends, against the stunning backdrop of this most famous Victorian castle. You’ll have already seen how romantic Highclere looks in the winter, so here’s your chance to recapture the decadence of days past, in a truly cinematic location worthy of your own matrimonial memories.
Cressbrook Hall, Derbyshire
Set in the heart of the Derbyshire hills and dales amidst 23 acres of verdant woodland, this is quite literally a hidden gem (make sure your guests print out a map first! You can’t rely on sat nav in these hills!). It’s sequestered away from the surrounding villages with hills sheltering it on multiple sides, boasting gorgeous views across the River Wye, and guests can even stay on the estate. A truly secluded and private option with a little touch of Narnia about it.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
How about a medieval castle for impact? You can’t beat an ancient landmark for bringing a bit of gravity to proceedings, and your special day is no different. Make like a fairytale princess amidst a thousand-year history of romantic heroism and chivalric deeds. Sitting on the banks of the River Avon, Warwick Castle’s imposing exterior drama and cosy Harry Potter interiors lend themselves beautifully to winter celebrations.
Brinkburn Priory, Northumberland
We love something a bit more mystical for yuletide ceremonies and this old priory is just the ticket with its modern rustic elegance. Set in a secluded wooded ravine near a river, these are ancient buildings that house the most stylish of luxe Scandinavian interiors, ideal for a bohemian hibernation. It’s a marriage made in heaven! With atmospheric tipis for partying in the gardens, there’s a real festival vibe about Brinkburn which we think is perfectly suited to a winter celebration.
Manor By The Lake, Gloucestershire
With manicured formal gardens, a private lake and stunning Victorian mansion, this gem is like something straight out of a Poirot series. Imagine rolling up outside on a crisp, cold morning and getting hitched in an idyllic setting of breathtaking natural beauty. There’s a range of licensed rooms tailored to the size of your celebration and lavishly appointed bedrooms for staying in after the party’s finished.
Great Fosters, Surrey
You’re planning a wedding – chances are you’re using Pinterest for serious inspiration. This is quite possibly the most-pinned image of a winter aisle with that incredible simulated forest lining the walkway! You’ve probably seen this one and presumed that it’s some far-off fantasy that’s out of your reach, but it’s not so! Great Fosters is a country hotel with period features by the bagful, and looks just amazing dressed to the nines in winter. Not only that, but it also has a Saxon moat, a lake, several secret gardens and a Japanese carved bridge – nothing short of picturesque.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Igloo Resort, Lapland, Finland
Because if you want guaranteed snow, sometimes you just have to go to Finland. And what could beat a getaway wedding to a true winter wonderland? This is one of those destinations you’ll see all over Pinterest – and covet accordingly! It doesn’t get much more authentically wintery than this beautiful resort in the Finnish side of Lapland. Marry in a glass ceilinged igloo or a custom-built chapel of ice, and arrive in a reindeer-pulled sleigh. Magical.
Hanging Gardens Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
And conversely, what better antidote to the colder months than jetting off for your own slice of paradise in the cruel midwinter? Yep, this one’s not so typically seasonal, but when better to tie in a glorious holiday than a winter wedding in the sunshine? The bonus is it’s likely to be a bit cheaper than your regular summer holiday slot, so a perfect opportunity to combine your wedding and honeymoon, and give your loved ones a good excuse for a winter break too.
If you’re planning a wonderful winter wedding, find out how to save £££s and still pull of the day of your dreams!