Winter Wedding Styling in The Cotswolds

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Why I had a winter wedding when I hate the cold…

When my now husband and I got engaged in August 2017 I think it’d be fair to say that most of my family and friends assumed we’d be planning a summer wedding. Why? Because I am notoriously (and dislike being!) always cold. So when we announced we’d chosen to get married the following winter, there were some raised eyebrows.

When we first started looking for venues, I don’t think we had any particular season in mind, we were just trying to decide what we liked and disliked and what did and didn’t matter. I’m always asking my couples those same questions, you can learn as much (sometimes more), from what you don’t like as much as what you do.

We knew we wanted to get married in the Cotswold’s, having gotten engaged there, so started the search for a venue. We fell in love with the first and only one we saw, Cripps Barn.

What we particularly loved about Cripps was its versatility. It really is a year round venue, having both stunning garden grounds with outside ceremony possibilities and being just as beautiful inside too. It’s so suitable for winter with an epic indoor fireplace.

As you do, we started extensive online research – Pinterest became my best friend. I was blindly pinning away anything that fell under ‘wedding’ and ‘pretty’ until I had a board full of a million and one different themes and styles.

When working with my couples who say they just don’t know where to start, I explain social media can be both your best and worst friend. It’s brilliant for the sheer amount of imagery you can get your hands on and no one will ever explain anything better than a picture can. But, you can find yourself lost down a rabbit hole thinking you need to incorporate anything and everything you’ve seen.

Although I had an endless supply of inspiration in front of me, when I sat back to truly look at the style and themes that were coming through, there was a common denominator. Winter. Who knew!

I’d saved imagery including working fireplaces, endless foliage, sparklers, blankets and of course an abundance of candlelight. It was only when really focussing on what was coming through, that I realised the most important thing to me was to have a warm, cosy and inviting wedding.

My husband took a bit of convincing because he’d never been to a winter wedding and was struggling with the vision. We took another trip to Cripps on a cold, windy Autumnal day and that was the turning point for him. Suddenly standing in front of the roaring fire and seeing the candles flickering he could see how amazing it’d be. We booked it there and then for the following December – Christmas has always been our favourite time of year.

There were definitely some confused looks and questions including ‘but you love the summer’, ‘what if it rains?’ when we told family and friends we’d booked a Christmas wedding. And rain it did! In fact, we woke up on our wedding morning to a storm named Deirdre!

Did it matter? Not one bit, it actually made the warmth of the barn and its Christmassy ambience all the more special. Even some of the biggest doubters came to say it was one of the best weddings they’d been to and I just know we couldn’t have achieved the same type of atmosphere on a blinding hot summer day.

It’s also where the seed was planted for me to take up wedding styling professionally, so it’ll forever remain my favourite day for a couple of reasons!

So, if you’re stuck on which season to get married in, think outside the box – you might just surprise yourself!

With love,

Hannah x

Photography: Adam Drake Photography