My goodness, what a busy wedding season. As 2018 finally draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to write a post & help all my lovely Autumn/Winter 2019 & 2020 couples with their planning.
The biggest challenge my couples face will be the lack of daylight, and the possibility of some harsh weather on the day. In order to make the best use of your limited time you should consider the not-so-traditional ‘first look’. This is where the bride and groom come together (pre ceremony) to share some private time, and capture beautifully intimate portraits in the most flattering light of the day. It truly helps to calm the nerves, and there is such a beautiful sense of anticipation for the day ahead.
Brides should definitely aim for a 12pm ceremony, and book their makeup artist and hairdresser to arrive as early as possible so they can make it to the ceremony in good time. Five minutes late is the brides prerogative, but if you stretch beyond that you could be missing out later in the day.
Another excellent time saving measure is to request an announcement from your priest, minister or officiant for your guests to travel straight to the reception venue as you’ll have your traditional lineup/meet-and-greet at the venue rather than in the doorway. Given the colder temperatures, your guests will most likely be very happy to hear this! Your venue coordinator will be more than happy to gather everyone together for your arrival, and as you’ll have your family and couples session all finished up there will be lots more time for fun images upon your arrival.
There are some other, slightly more controversial options for cutting down on time, but as I type I can’t help but feel terrible for even putting them out there as I truly feel the ceremony itself is sacred. However, if you have booked a reception venue that’s a bit of a journey away, maybe cutting back on music options and even removing Holy Communion (eek) can help you.
The fastest option of all is to actually have your ceremony in your reception venue. The Galgorm in Ballymena has the stunning Phantom House, and it always looks at its absolute best in all its twinkly fairy lit glory come winter. You can also add beautiful fairy lights to your top table to light up your speeches in the absence of natural daylight, and add further ambience with candelabras.
Last but not least, keep everyone warm so they aren’t shivery and uncomfortable. Bridesmaids look so chic in little fur shrugs, and velvet tuxedo jackets are so much cosier for the boys. Bring along some blankets which match your scheme and ensure your drivers keep the car warm as they wait, a flask of something hot in there isn’t a bad idea either. I have seen some very stylish little monogrammed hip flasks handed around too!
So there you have it, my top tips for the colder months. Embrace the stunning winter light, make sure your family are briefed on where they need to be for the family photos so nobody disappears on you, and cuddle in tight to keep warm with your nearest and dearest. It looks adorable in photos!