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Winter Weddings

Winter Weddings

Posted by Katie Duncan on 31 March 2016

It’s daylight savings this weekend but do not despair!  Let’s focus on the silver linings (rather than grey and dark…).  First of all, winter wardrobe, yay!  I’m a sucker for a dramatic coat, my knee high boots and a big encompassing scarf.  Secondly, slow braised meats and mashed potato, warm puddings and whiskey macs.  For the uninitiated, a whiskey (or whisky if you prefer) mac is half whiskey and half green ginger wine, it warms the cockles of your heart.

Best of all, this can all be a feature at a winter wedding.

Winter weddings are quite rare in New Zealand, we tend to focus on November to March as our wedding time, dreaming of a long, hot day, strapless wedding gowns and Pimms in the garden.  But such is the nature of our South Pacific gem, the weather is a truly unpredictable thing.  So have you thought about winter?

For a start, a lot of venues have winter rates – take the beautiful Pemberton for example in Prebbleton.  It’s significantly cheaper in winter as it’s their off-season but it has two stunning roaring gas fires, a grand, dreamy chandelier over a glossy wooden dancefloor and allows candles all around the venue.  So as a winter wedding location, it ticks all the boxes financially and aesthetically.

You can also serve cheaper menu options that have much more context on a winter’s day.  Eight-hour braised lamb shoulder or fall-apart beef cheek, double cooked pork belly or a steaming bowl of a Provencal fish stew, these kinds of dishes use more cost effective cuts than a summer menu.  A sensational, interesting soup is also a wonderful entrée for a seated dinner and again, more cost effective than a summer style entrée. 

Frocks, coats, shawls, GLAM.  Winter wedding fashion options are so glorious, it’s one of the reasons I did it myself.  (That and I wasn’t allowed time off in summer because of the aforementioned busy period).  My guests were advised to dress warm on the invitations and so they did, they wrapped up in beautiful pashminas with lovely winter boots and gloves.  The groom wore a velvet tuxedo jacket (because when else in his life would he ever have the chance?!) and I wore a long sparkly gown with my nana’s old stole.  We have done epic winter weddings where the brides have included floor-length caped gowns with their dresses – why not when you’ve saved so much on the venue and menu!

And fires.  Beautiful, warm, mesmerising fires.  I had two at my wedding, a roaring log fire inside and a large bonfire outside.  After dinner we served homemade marshmallows on sticks for the guests to toast over the fires alongside old-fashioned enamel mugs of a boozy, decadent hot chocolate.

It was a classic Canterbury winter day – cold and frosty in the morning, clear and crisp in the afternoon which was a bonus because I hadn’t organised my wedding around a beautiful day, I hadn’t even bothered with the MetService 10 day forecast.  The impact on our clients’ stress when weather isn’t a factor, is significant. 

Winter weddings are memorable because they are rare.  Your venue will be available, no one else will have your date.  Your costs will be significantly down.  Your guests will most likely not have a clash of engagements.  AND it’s the cheapest time of year for a Pacific island honeymoon.  Honestly, where is the downside?!

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