Ok, so you have made the emotional decision to postpone your dreamy summer wedding, and switch to an Autumn/Winter wedding due to Covid-19. But what might you need to do differently to ensure your wedding is a roaring success? How do you switch your Summer wedding to an autumn/winter wedding? Of course, you may wish to literally just transpose your exact wedding plans to a later date but my advice would be to consider these following points. You may not wish to include them all, and with some clever planning you will be able to pick the slight tweaks which appeal to you and will help you make your new wedding date even more memorable for the RIGHT reasons. I also think that it is worth really thinking outside the box on any changes you may want to make because in my mind, it would be a mistake to try and replicate the vibe and plans of your summer wedding. It is no longer a summer wedding so I don’t think it would feel right shoe-horning your summer plans into an autumn/winter day. Make new memories, recreate it but only better and use this extra wedding planning time to have a thorough think about how you can adjust plans, make some styling adjustments and make sure your logistics are 100% for the new time of year. Make your day your own for the new time of year, don’t try and recreate what would have been the bittersweet memories of your previous wedding date.
So here are12 ways you can easily switch your postponed Summer wedding into a perfectly planned Autumn/Winter celebration!
Ok, so your idea of peonies may no longer be practical but don’t be downhearted, there are still loads of choices of seasonal flowers. The likelihood is that these would be imported flowers so you wouldn’t be completely limited for choice. Dhalias are gorgeous in the autumn and roses will still be available. Maybe consider opting for a slightly darker, or rust coloured foliage to nod to the season. By introducing a darker shade into your arrangements you will find it really makes your flowers sing and creates an opulent depth. If you are opting for a date closer to Christmas then maybe you would like to embrace evergreen foliage and a more Christmas twist on your flower arrangements. Your florist will be able to guide you on what will be available and will make the most of your flower budget.
Rebecca from The Botany House give us her advice concerning switching your flowers from summer to later in the year.
“It’s so easy to tweak your Summer colour palette to feel more Autumn/Winter appropriate. You can switch out your light pastels for more dusky tones so rather than lilac, you could go mauve or for baby pinks you could opt for a more muted blush instead.
If you don’t want to change the colours of your flowers, adding a dark ribbon within the same colour family as your flowers, brings the depth of winter darkness without you having to compromise the colour scheme you already love. Burgundy, navy, rusts, mustards or forest greens will all work beautifully with lighter or brighter bouquets in the cooler months.
Something you will need to be open to is changing some of your flowers to more seasonally appropriate options. Peonies, for example, have a very short late spring, early summer season so it’s likely you will need to forgo them if you’re moving your wedding to Autumn/Winter. Fortunately there are some beautiful alternatives out there to soften the blow. You have access to a plethora of gorgeous Dahlia varieties from late August to the first frosts in October and Winter is positively overflowing with ‘spring’ flowers from November onwards. Anenomes, Ranunculus, Tulips, Fritillaria and Hellebores are certain to push peonies to the back of your mind. There are even Tulip varieties grown to look like beloved peonies so you won’t be missing out. Luckily, due to different climates all over the world, lots of flowers can now be available all year round.”
Oh my goodness! This is the best bit of switching to an Autumnal/Winter wedding. In the Summer you had longer days but with less hours of daylight as we head towards the winter solstice you can light your event in a whole new way. To add a decadence and romantic air to your wedding think about adorning your venue with delicate fairy lights and candles. You can really go to town! You can use candles in lanterns or cylinder vases in clusters. Dining by candlelight creates a completely different atmosphere and the more the merrier. Think about using different heights of candles and coloured candlesticks to tie in with your floral colour scheme. You can also make great use of fireworks or sparklers with the darker evenings and to add a memorable ‘wow factor’ for your guests.
Images courtesy of Fuller Photography and Christine Wehrmeier.
From a more practical point of view; if you are lucky enough to have a venue where you don’t need to use the outside space and there are lots of interesting areas inside to use as backdrops then think about what time would be best to use that space, some rooms might get glorious afternoon light for example. It would also be worth reviewing the light and lighting inside your venue, perhaps ask your photographer to do a site visit bearing in mind your venue will now be used for a winter wedding so they can advise on lighting. In some cases it may be worth hiring in some additional discrete lighting to even out the light for your photographer.
The fabulous Tatum Reid gives us her advice on things to think about when you are switching from your summer wedding date to later in the year:
1). Photos will have a different look/feel
Be aware that your photos will have a very different feel or look in the Autumn/winter compared to Spring/summer. The scenery will be completely different, so your photographer may use different areas to take photos than planned. A rose garden in summer would have been in full bloom, but it may not be the best location for winter photos as it may be a bit bare. Trust your photographer to make the right decisions on what will look best to show off the different season to its best potential.
2) Be prepared with a wet weather plan
There is a good chance the weather will be a bit more unpredictable and rainy. Your photographer can discuss “wet weather” plans with you in advance. I usually advise brides to pack in a pair of wellies, and have a number of white umbrellas in my car boot at all times. If your photographer does not provide umbrellas, I suggest buying either white or clear umbrellas for you and the bridal party. Colour brollies, or those with logos can clash with your chosen colour scheme and also casts shadows over people’s faces.
Also consider where larger group shots can take place indoors if it’s raining. It’s worth discussing this with your photographer as usually large groups will be much trickier to light and may not always be practical. If indoor space does not allow bigger groups, consider reducing the number of people in one given formal photos.
Don’t be put off by an overcast or wet day. Sometimes they make for some wonderful images and create unique backdrops. Embrace whatever the weather throws at you! Remember if it does rain, it doesn’t usually hang around for long and after the rain you usually get some amazing sunsets and Norfolk skies!
4) Be flexible
With winter weddings my top tip is to be flexible. You will have 3-4 hours less light than available in the summertime, which means you may have to re-shuffle when photos are being taken. Your photographer will be working twice as hard to get all the photos needed done while natural light is available. Communication here is absolutely key to understand which restrictions your photography may face dealing with a winter wedding. Get creative with your venue, there may be some area inside which are perfect for some couple shots to save you spending to much time outside if the weather is inclement. The overall feel of your photos may also be different due to the change in light conditions (you may, for example, receive more images lit with flash photography, which may not have been what you envisioned, but may be necessary).
Wedding Day Timings.
Probably one area to really go through in a lot of detail as you postpone your event are your existing timings. You will first need to rebook your ceremony. Carefully consider the time of this though, before you just plough ahead with the exact same time as you had for your summer wedding. As the days are shorter (and get increasingly shorter towards Christmas) there will be less light so consider what you need to fit into your day and when things need to happen. For example, if you were planning an outside ceremony followed by a couple of hours of reception drinks outside you may wish to curtail the reception to prevent guests getting too cold and chilly. Maybe you love the idea of saying your vows against a dramatic sunset or under a twinkly star-filled sky? So schedule your day accordingly. Speak to your photographer and get their input on sunset times and when they consider to be the best time for group shots or couple shots, if you wish to make the most of any outside space you have. Also speak to your photographer about any additional lighting they may need to bring with them to light some stunning shots. If you would like some help with working out what your new timeline should be then do get in touch.
Image courtesy of Rob Dodsworth Photography
Autumn/winter Wedding Colour Pallets.
While you can absolutely keep your summer wedding colour pallet, you may wish to think about adding some richer, more seasonal tones. This can be done with subtle accents such as ribbons, flowers, candles or candlesticks, stationery, napkins or linens. I would definitely advise you create a day that feels relevant to the time of year, and you tweak some of the shades of colours to reflect the season. If you didn’t want to switch your colours completely then this example below shows you how each of your key shades can be adjusted slightly to give a more seasonal feeling.
Examples of how a summer wedding colour pallet can be switched to become more autumnal, images from Pinterest.
A Seasonal Wedding Breakfast Menu.
The cooler temperatures will mean that lighter summer flavours and dishes are less appropriate. Your guests are more likely to favour something slightly more hearty and warming. There are so many ways to switch your menu and your caterer will be able to advise you on some simple adjustments. Alternatively, if you have a little more time on your hands, you may wish to redesign you whole menu but discuss your ideas with your catering team before you get too carried away. You could have warm canapés like warmed sausage rolls or sausages, chicken satay skewers, mini yorkshire puddings or mini soup shots. Sharing platters are massively popular and it is easy to switch your summery salad sides for warmer, hearty options such as dauphinoise or roasted potatoes, hot vegetables with melted butter, roasted vegetables, ratatouille or baked sweet potatoes for example. Puddings can easily be switched to hot options like fruit crumbles, hot chocolate fudge puddings or fruit pies.
Drinks for Your Autumn/Winter Wedding.
Top drink’s choices for a summer wedding are likely to be chilled beers and ice-cold fizz, but you may wish to consider some more seasonal options for your guests. Champagne is always popular so I wouldn’t suggest foregoing that but perhaps look at Winter Pimms or warm Mulled Wine? What about hot toddies for later in the evening or seasonal cocktails using Autumn fruits? You may also want to increase the amount of hot drinks you are serving after your wedding breakfast, perhaps by offering some speciality coffees or hot chocolates?
Autumnal Wedding Cake Ideas.
Imogen from Sugar Buttons Creative, shares her advice for switching your Summer cake flavours and design to an Autumn/winter Wedding Cake: “if you’re faced with turning your summery, berry laden wedding cake into an autumnal delight, think about keeping your flavours and decorations seasonal. Swap summer strawberries, raspberries and red-currants for rich jewel toned figs, glossy blackberries and indulgent pomegranates. Add in some herbs like rosemary and trailing thyme. For flavours consider switching Champagne & Strawberry or Raspberry & White Chocolate for Spiced Caramel Apple or Warming Cherry Bakewell. Embrace the gorgeous colours and tones of the cosy seasons!” It all sounds so delicious!
Image courtesy of Camilla Andrea Photography.
Appropriate Wedding Outfits.
I am sure you already have your wedding dress all arranged but consider any accessories which may be appropriate to add such as a cape or a stole to keep your shoulders warm. Perhaps think about a shorter veil if you are planning on spending time outside – you don’t want to be worrying about a long veil being caught in muddy puddles and sticks! Winter weddings are also a great excuse to up the sparkle so perhaps add a sparkly tiara rather than a flower crown? You may also want to think about your best ladies as well and maybe consider if your bridesmaids need pashminas or stoles adding to their outfits. Or maybe coordinate you and your best girls with bespoke matching leather jackets, like these ones from Etsy.com.
Are you planning to have much time outside? If so, maybe consider investing in, or hiring, some patio heaters or some fire pits. Perhaps add a basket of pashminas or blankets for your guests to throw around themselves to keep off the chills? If you are having a marquee wedding then you will want to add some heaters into your hire order with your marquee company – just make sure you, or your on the day wedding manager knows how to turn them on and off!
Make Up and Beauty Regime.
Laura, a Skin Health Specialist, from Beauty Hobo, has given some top advice for ways to perfect your skin regime for the Autumn/Winter climate to ensure you have the best complexion for your new wedding date.
“As the seasons change, so does the condition of our skin and what worked for us in the summer isn’t often as effective in the winter. Typically, in the winter months we suffer a dryer more dehydrated skin as a result of moving from extremes of cold to warm as we go from outside temperatures, into the home with central heating etc. Leading up to your winter wedding, it is always good to change up your skincare for products that can help to deliver hydration for longer to help support our skin. This could be adding an extra hydrating boost to your regular moisturiser in the form of a hyaluronic acid serum, which when applied to damp skin under a moisturiser, can help to provide extra hydration, without adding extra weight or oiliness to your skin. Another great hydration tip is to use a hydrating facial mist throughout the day, over your moisturiser and even your make-up. Look out for ones that contain hyaluronic acid, glycerine and soothing ingredients such as green tea, aloe vera or allantoin to help reduce redness. Also, our lips often suffer in the winter and can easily become dry and chapped. The skin on our lips is very different to that on our faces, in that it is much thinner and has no oil producing glands of its own. Help keep them hydrated by investing in a good quality hydrating lip balm which you can apply frequently throughout the day.
SOME RECOMMENDATIONS: A great humectant facial spray – La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Face Moisturiser Mist. This great lightweight facial mist can be used day and night and contains glycerine and allantoin for long lasting, soothing hydration. A fantastic hydrating and soothing lip balm – Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Lip Balm. This rich lip balm contains shea butter for hydration and liquorice for soothing the most irritated lips.”
Quite possibly the biggest stress about switching your Summer wedding across to an Autumn/Winter wedding is going to be the weather. It is impossible to predict if you are going to have bad weather for your wedding but, that said, you aren’t 100% guaranteed great weather in the summer either! If you want to read more about putting contingency plans in place for the weather then this blog post will help.