5th December 2018
By Becky & Jodie
As we’re waking up to regular frosts on the ground now and winter has definitely set in, it got us thinking about what makes a winter wedding so special. Here are our top tips for why a winter wedding is a smart choice!
Don’t worry about the weather…
Let’s face it, if you plan a winter wedding, the chances are that you’re not going to be able to spend your entire drinks reception outside having photos taken and mingling with your guests. It’s probably going to be cold. Although this shrieks alarm bells for many, just have a little think about how much time the average couple spends checking the weather forecast and praying for dry, warm weather in the lead up to their wedding, and think about how better you can spend that time!
Just assume it’s going to be cold. Anything warmer will be a bonus, right?! The good news is that we’ve got the indoor wedding thing all covered here so there’s no need to worry about back up plans; we’ve got plenty of space inside to conduct your whole wedding, from the morning preparations to the evening celebrations… it can all happen inside a warm cosy castle with no need to step a foot outside unless you want to!
Bring on the romance…
Winter weddings are undeniably romantic. That dusk light and pinky-orange glow to the sky make everyone feel warm and fuzzy. Add some open fires, candles and lanterns into the mix and you’re suddenly living the winter wedding dream. A dusting of fresh snow too (disclaimer – we can’t promise this, sorry)… and yes you get the idea, it’s all about creating the magical Winter Wonderland scenes worthy of a Pinterest prize!
It’s all about supply and demand with winter weddings. They’re just not as popular at summer weddings so use this to your advantage when negotiating with suppliers. Venues and suppliers will have more dates available in the winter so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount or special deal… most suppliers will be glad of the winter work when it’s normally quiet so will welcome the booking at a discounted rate. Some venues, us included, offer a discount for holding your wedding mid-week too so take a look at those dates between Christmas and New Year when the majority of your guests will be off work meaning a full guest list at a less-than-normal rate!
Who doesn’t love a glorious, twinkling Christmas tree?! Every year, around the beginning of December, we create all the festive vibes when a 20ft Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree arrives in the magnificent Great Hall and is professionally decorated with baubles and lights to within an inch of its life. Add in some super festive garlands down the stunning staircase and glorious festoons above the fireplace and you’ve suddenly got yourself a fully-decorated venue! Apart from some simple table centrepieces and candles which you can provide on a minimal budget, you’re good to go!
Two words… Hearty Food! Sometimes the heat of a summer wedding can impinge on the appetite of your guests. At a winter wedding, your guests will appreciate a delicious, hearty menu. The menus at Eastnor Castle are designed in collaboration with the happy couple and cooked by our talented in-house chefs, using locally sourced produce. Popular winter menus include Fillet of Herefordshire Beef, Rack of Welsh Lamb and Cotswold Chicken Supreme. A firm favourite for evening food is the traditional hog roast served on the Upper Terrace next to a roaring fire pit! Is your mouth watering yet?
If nothing else, your winter wonderland wedding will always be remembered, your wedding day will stand out from all the others held during the spring or summer and provide your guests with a reason (other than snow and Christmas!) to be excited about winter!
Find out more about Winter Weddings at Eastnor Castle or call us on 01531 633160 to arrange a viewing.
We are not in the coldest area of the UK, but it is quite cold enough here at the moment. A blanket of snow covers the roofs except where our insulation is not up to standard, and the lake is frozen over. Otherwise, it is business as usual.
My grandfather installed most of the central heating in 1932, but it was only put on for special occasions when I was a child. Instead, we had wood fires, wood burning stoves, imported from Denmark, and an AGA in the kitchen. There were old ceramic hot water bottles and a strange caged light bulb to warm the beds, each hazardous in its own right if not removed in time by unsuspecting visitors. We dressed in warmer clothes then, shut doors and excluded draughts with black tape etc wherever possible. In due course, my parents installed a straw-burning boiler, which had a voracious appetite for bales, but did a good job and saved large oil bills..
In the big freeze of 1963, my father drove a Land Rover, rather tentatively, on the frozen lake. As the snow thawed, we all went onto the roofs to shovel the snow out of the valley gutters so the melted snow could run uninterrupted to the drains. The wrong sort of snow, familiar to recent users of Eurostar services, also blew through the gaps in the slates to lie on the ceilings below. It had to be shovelled out before it melted and came down into the rooms below.
Now, we have extended the central heating and installed new and more efficient boilers. Most of the roofs are insulated and the wood fires still help, although their effect is more cosmetic.
But when the thaw comes, we will still have to shovel the snow from the valley gutters, but in the meantime our guests feel snug and warm. JH-B 8th January 2010