Winter weddings in New Zealand

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Winter weddings

It may get dark early in winter, but don’t let that scare you. Winter weddings can be a magical event, here are a few tips to make your wedding special.

Getting caught in the rain is awful on your own but nobody sings love songs about the time it was unexpectedly sunny. Winter is romantic, winter is storybook – a winter wedding can be a magical event.

Themes and light

It may get dark early in winter, but don’t let that scare you. Use it to your advantage: play with light. Create a welcome respite from the cold and the dark. Tiny fairy lights, rustic bare light bulbs or flickering candles can create a number of different effects – take the time to look around: there are hundreds of beautiful ideas out there, from chandeliers to bulbs in mason jars, to suit your theme and style. In milder weather, stringing lights from trees in an outdoor venue brings to mind fantastic forests – consider a fairytale theme of toadstools, antlers, and bright red berries. As a bonus, points of light in the background will create beautiful, colourful out of focus highlights in your wedding photographs.

Rain and wind on your wedding day. New zealand winter weather.
Bride in the snow before the wedding ceremony.
Winter wedding in the forest with bride and groom.
Wrapped up warm for this winter wedding in New Zealand.
Pink cup cakes on stand.

Extra Layers

Use the cool weather as an excuse to layer up – don’t feel like only the groom can throw on the jacket (although he might consider a textured tweed), but a wool bolero or shrug will keep you warm and give you a way to introduce colour and texture. Sometimes it can seem like winter sucks all the colour out of the world – take every excuse to introduce more. Flowers might be harder to come by in the colder seasons, but don’t let that stop you: it just means getting inventive.

The reception and food treats

Nothing is an excuse for hot chocolate like the cold – there are dozens of recipes to try, with spices such as chilli, cardamom, ginger or cinnamon, or liqueurs such Baileys, Frangelico, peppermint schnapps, Kahlua or Grand Marnier – there are even chocolate recipes that call for red wine. Between the two of us, “testing recipes” might help with the planning stress. For wedding favours, layer chocolate power and marshmallows in mason jars (and tie miniature Baileys bottles to them with ribbon, if you’re so inclined,) or dip cute vintage spoons in chocolate – stir into hot milk for instant hot chocolate.

Working with the winter wedding theme

When it comes down to it, a wedding is a celebration of friends and family – those you already have, and those who might still come. Winter may be the darkest part of the year, but the rebirth of spring is just around the corner. Don’t feel like you have to fight the season – embrace the imagery of winter – snow, pine cones, warm fires, log cabins, cosy sweaters, hot chocolate, mulled wine… those first steps through the wardrobe into Narnia. If you’re fortunate (or unfortunate) enough for snow, think of it as nature matching your dress.

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