When planning ‘the big day’, I have known people to pour over the past decade’s weather records attempting to find the safest week of guaranteed sunshine. But there is certainly a richness and sense of luxurious comfort that is unique to a wedding in the cooler months. Whilst the majority of Australian winter weddings won’t feature a backdrop of snowcapped pines, there is still much fun to be had with a frosty day, a wintery palette and charming and romantic décor to warm the soul. Winter weddings are becoming increasingly popular and are a great excuse to hire that elegant indoor space and indulge in sumptuous fabrics, delicious food and sparkly shimmering decorations.
While in the old times, brides would begin planning their big day 6-12 months in advance, these days there seems to be a shift towards less preparation time, sometimes only leaving weeks not months to prepare for the special day. Being a Melbourne girl and knowing it is still cool until October/November (and often rains most of this month) I thought to celebrate the winter months I would share a Whimsical Wintery Wedding Wonderland theme with you. This post is an example of current international winter trends, as well as some learnings I have collected along the way, to ensure ‘big day success’ for any winter brides out there.
Keep Warm but Stay Fashion Forward
While many brides imagine strapless couture to show off their incredibly shrinking wedding figure, the latest catwalk trends of draping lace, cap and long sleeves and beautiful embellishments are certainly at the forefront of the international runways – just in time for winter weddings. Take inspiration from Elie Saab, Reem Acra, Osca De La Renta, Liz Martinez Couture, Marchesa and Alice Temperley to name a few.
Whilst you should wear the dress of your dreams and can probably rely on adrenaline to keep you cozy, you may have a long day of shivering if you don’t consider something to keep you warm. Faux fur capes, jackets and cashmere wraps are a perfect alternative to blue lips.
Just because it’s winter it doesn’t mean you need to miss out on all the beautiful flowers that go along with spring and summer weddings.
White weddings have always ruled in winter, but an all-white colour palette doesn’t have to mean harsh, stark white floral arrangements. Stylish brides are opting for a soft, “antique” white effect, made up of flowers in creams, ivories, and even very dusty purples and pale pink hues.
As for the blooms themselves, consider a mix of classics like white amaryllis, calla lilies, orchids, tulips, and anemones. This combo can create an effect of gently tempered colour and texture that will look both elegantly monotone and lavishly romantic. You can also use roses just add a little greenery to the mix to match it a little more to the weather.
Beyond Floral Bouquets
Think outside the flowerbed and bring in a few non-flora elements, such as oversized paper couture flowers. It’s a unique, modern take on the traditional bouquet – it lasts forever, no wilting and can add an element of texture and fun to the big day.
While summer invokes the feeling of being casual and carefree, winter weddings allow for more structure, beauty and imagination.
Nothing beats classic soft curls, but teamed with a messy braid can take your look from good to great. Keep hair simple by curling it away from the face, and plait two braids, which will eventually join at the back of your head. Secure it down well, and spritz some finishing spray to keep it all in place.
Taking a note from the 1920s, why not keep your hair in a sophisticated low-bun which is sure to look amazing. You can make this look feel really romantic by leaving some loose strands of hair our, and also clipping some crystal encrusted accessories into the bun.
Wear your hair parted down the middle, then slicked back into a bun to keep a minimalist look. You can now accessorise with a classic tiara which is timeless A sultry red lip is a must-have since it adds some drama to this very minimal hairstyle.
Mind the Weather
Prepare for winter weather, but don’t stress about it. It’s a great idea to invest in umbrellas for your guests, especially if there is an outdoor component or walking from ceremony to reception. There are many beautiful and tasteful vintage lace or polka dot patterned designs out there so ensure your guests remember the beautiful elements of the day and not being caught out in the rain.
Capture the Season
Take cues from winter for your décor and colour palette as well – there are so many gorgeous tones, textures and symbols from which to draw. I have seen faux furs, pinecones and evergreen, icicle lights and fake snow, homemade ice bucket centerpieces, whites, greys, reds, greens, blues, pastels – you name it. Every season has an abundance of beauty, so let the frosty landscape be your muse! Now is the time for adding those finishing touches to your table centerpieces and gifts.
Muted greys and silvers, touches of French lace, vintage crockery, warming candlelight, antique glassware, calligraphy themed stationery in thick textured stock, romantic candlelight and vintage décor accents and furniture reflect a world of wonder, enchantment and beauty in the colder months.
The days of the crockenbush are definitely over and these days there is an abundance of modern, clever cake ideas to suit any bride or theme. Nude cakes adorned with winter flowers or something more extravagant by using real sugar or fake embellished brooches or cake toppers are a beautiful alternative. Macarons on cakes or indeed macaron cakes are an increasing trend too. Unbirthday Bakery, the Cake Diary and Sweet Bakes are a few of my favourites.
Wintery Wedding Favours
I challenge you to go beyond the candied almonds and again take the opportunity to embrace the season. Here are some easy ideas from the Cristina Re store, and a couple more you can find elsewhere…
- Signature High Tea Mug ($14.95 each) for a cosy winter indulgence.
- A selection of gourmet teas already packaged in a pretty box, this warming winter treat really couldn’t be easier ($14.95 each)
- Signature Cutlery spoon, tied to a bag of hot chocolate shavings ($7.50 each from a pack of 4 at $29.95)
- Macarons in a tea cup
- Engraved knife or cake server
Now, back to my Winter Wonderland theme -the idea is to capture the natural beauty of the wintertime landscape here in Australia. I have fully embraced the grey palette for which June-November are known, and infused the whites and colours of some of my favourite winter flowers, while casting an accent of shimmering metallic throughout, reflecting the warmth and glow of the fireside.
Winter often sees organic growth so I’ve tried to capture the freedom and somewhat rustic nature of this time. Timber and also fabrics like linen, burlap and faux furs also help to create this rustic effect.
The overall effect is obviously wintery, but far from gloomy. Here you can see how I’ve kept the theme running strongly through from the calligraphy themed invitations, to the tables on the big day, right through to the take home gifts and thank you cards. This theme can work for any wintertime occasion or party.
As ever, I would love to know what you thought of my Whimsical Winter Wonderland and hear what you are planning for your special day! Please post and share your creative and DIY pictures on my Instagram @cristinaredesign
If you are getting married this winter, huge congratulations, and enjoy every minute of your special day. Remember: regardless of rain, wind or hail—if at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, everything went perfectly.
Love and warm hugs,
Images via of The Lane, Margaret Zhang, Bergdorf Princess, Miss Zeit, Style.com