Winter is a magical season for a wedding. The cold outdoors provides a fantastic contrast and backdrop for a warm and welcoming wedding. In the UK winter is the season of love and giving - everyone is in a good mood, looking ahead already to the New Year and the fresh start that comes with spring.
While wedding planning way in advance is definitely the best thing to do, it doesn't always happen that way. If your winter wedding is fast approaching, don't panic! Here are a few last minute winter wedding planning tips to ensure you take care of the little details and you end up having a wonderful celebration of love.
Give your budget a check
First, check how your wedding is looking in terms of your budget. You should have most major expenses signed and sealed by now, so you have a much better idea for what you can still spend. It will also give you time to readjust if you seem to have lost sight of your budget and find that you've gone way overboard without realising.
If you are still negotiating last-minute solutions such as photography or flowers, be upfront about what you can afford. Ask for discounts or special rates as much as possible - hiring a wedding planner can often help, though at this late stage it might seem like just another expense.
Ensure the paperwork is sorted
You also want to make sure the paperwork is sorted and you are cleared to marry. You can't just walk into the church or registry office and do it! Make sure you sort out the documents now to avoid problems.
If you're heading off to your honeymoon right after the wedding, make sure you also deal with the paperwork for the trip. You need to ensure you have applied for the right visas (depending on where you're going), that your passport is up to date, and that you know where it is! Remember that some places require the passport to be valid for six months after you enter - even if you stay for a week!
Focus on a few finishing touches
You should focus on adding a few finishing touches to your wedding venue. You don't need to have elaborate décor at the reception - often the simple things create the most magic. For a winter wedding, small tea lights in glass jars or placed on top of mirrors will create fantastic, glistening warmth inside your wedding venue.
If you haven't booked a florist and you can't get one hired for a good price, think about doing your own installation. Buy a few winter wedding flowers like buttercups and speedwell and add a few individual flowers in small vases. The vases don't even need to be similar - it can add to the charm to have them in different shapes and sizes.
Pick winter-themed entertainment
Wedding entertainment is another thing many people leave 'til last. Don't worry if you have, as there are plenty of options for winter wedding entertainment. Pick a smooth house band to play jazz or folk music to create a cosy feeling of an intimate venue. These are perfect for creating an illusion of sitting near a fireplace even if your wedding venue doesn't have one.
If you don't mind having a bit of cheesy fun, hire a Santa Claus to pop by and hand out the wedding favours to your guests. This can be especially fun if you have many children as wedding guests. Finally, a wedding photo booth is a fun and simple entertainment idea. You can print out winter props online and let everyone snap a few shots.
Planning a winter wedding at the last minute is not the end of the world. Just take stock of what still needs to be done and keep your head calm. A beautiful atmosphere doesn't require many bells and whistles. You can have a wonderful winter wedding without extravagance!