I reveal the rise in popularity for winter weddings and how you can really look your best, from professional dental care to aesthetic treatments, before your big day! I also hand-pick five top wedding venues in Suffolk for a truly magical, seasonal setting…
Traditionally, weddings have been synonymous with the summer months. May, June and July are usually peak wedding season, and it’s understandable why. There’s more chance of sun, less chance of rain, and exterior wedding venues look stunning in full bloom. Cue fabulous (though often fairly derivative) photos.
However, in recent years, winter weddings have been growing in popularity – with good reason. Cost and availability are the two key practical factors. Wedding venues, and all the associated wedding suppliers, tend to have more availability during the winter. So if you’ve set your heart on a certain Saturday, or simply don’t want to wait three years, winter works. And because it’s not peak wedding season, you’re more likely to bag a bargain. All of which makes a winter wedding perfect if your budget is tight.
Lastly, winter weddings are different, in look, feel and atmosphere. This helps to make them more special, for everyone involved. That’s probably why certain celebrities (think Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter) chose to tie the knot in winter. Guests don’t have ‘wedding fatigue’ from back-to-back summer nuptials. They’re also less likely to be ‘double-booked’ at this time of the year. You can even create a memorable seasonal ambiance that embraces Christmas, lot of sparkle – and maybe even snow!
Let’s talk about teeth
Everyone wants to look their best at a wedding. A bride’s first priority is probably The Dress and, further down the line, her hairstyle, plus a selection of beauty treatments. But first and foremost, whether you are bridge, groom, guest, matron of honour, family or friend, think about your smile. Weddings are happy occasions, that involve laughter, kissing – and hundreds of photographs. So don’t be let down by your teeth.
Let me begin with the basics. Is your oral hygiene all it should be? Are you brushing thoroughly and flossing regularly? A wedding is no place for bad breath or toothache, so take action now to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Prevention is always better than cure.
All white on the big day
Winter weddings and white are a perfect match – and that goes for more than just the bride’s dress. I think stained or yellow teeth are most definitely not welcome at the feast! There are three main types of teeth staining: intrinsic, extrinsic and age-related. They are caused by a range of factors, including smoking, natural wear and tear, tooth trauma, and certain foods and drinks.
But there is a solution, in the form of teeth whitening or bleaching. Now, don’t be tempted by an over-the-counter DIY kit that could damage your teeth ahead of the big day! Invest in a professional treatment instead. Look for bespoke whitening trays that are both safe and comfortable to use.
Conceal versus reveal
Keeping warm is important at a winter wedding. So choose glamorous yet practical garments such as a cape, faux fur stole, or velvet blazer for the groomsmen. One thing you shouldn’t want to cover up, however, is your smile. It’s hard to beam brightly at any happy occasion – especially a winter wedding – if your teeth are crooked, broken, or missing. If that is the case, help is at hand. Consider cosmetic dentistry services to ensure you can smile with confidence throughout the big day.
Look and feel your best
If you want to really look and feel your very best, perhaps this shouldn’t just be limited to teeth and smiles. There are a whole host of popular aesthetic treatments, including dermal fillers and anti-ageing injections out there! So, if you (or your guests!) want to put your best face forward at your winter wedding, consider some professional ‘tweakments’. There’s no drastic plastic surgery involved, and no lengthy downtime.
Dermal fillers (also known as facial fillers) are very versatile, I hear. They are used to lift and plump skin, replace lost volume, and recreate youthful contours. They’re an excellent choice if you’re concerned about loose, saggy skin, especially on the lower half of the face.
If you’re happy with your teeth, don’t let thin or uneven lips stop you smiling at your winter wedding. Lip Fillers can instantly create a plump shapely pout, so you’ll have kissable lips for your wedding day and beyond.
When we smile, our face naturally wrinkles, even in our 20s and 30s. If you’d prefer to look younger and fresher – both in the flesh and in your wedding photos – anti-wrinkle injections are ideal. These reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by paralysing certain facial muscles, usually around the eyes and forehead. They can smooth existing lines, and help prevent future wrinkles from forming.
The golden rule with aesthetic treatments is to choose your practitioner wisely. Avoid the beauty spas and so-called ‘botox parties’. In the UK, anyone can perform injectable treatments, even with no specialist training or qualifications. So make sure you look for experienced medical staff who will administer injectable treatments, within a safe and sanitary environment.
Planning and preparation
It goes without saying, but where any wedding is concerned, don’t leave things until the last minute. I suggest you do your research. Make a list. Timing is everything – and not just for the obvious things. For example, it gets darker much earlier in winter, so adjust your official photography schedule accordingly. Allow enough fittings for your wedding outfits, too!
Suffolk winter weddings
If you’re keen to hold your winter wedding in Suffolk, you are truly spoilt for choice. There are so many fairy-tale venues to choose from, all of which can create a magical seasonal setting for your special day. Think stately homes with big hallways, sweeping staircases, open fireplaces, mulled wine receptions – and a Christmas tree or three! Holding both your ceremony and reception in one venue makes even more sense where winter weddings are concerned. Minimal transport logistics are always a bonus if the weather is bad!
- Woodhall Manor, in Woodbridge, offers exclusive-use weddings that can accommodate an intimate gathering for 50, or a lavish extravaganza for 200. There are a variety of beautiful spaces to choose from, within the manor house itself and its beautiful grounds.
- Priory Hall, located in the ancient market town of Hadleigh, is another great location for winter weddings. You can even helicopter in if you so desire – although that might play havoc with your hairdo! A great bonus for Priory Hall brides? You can celebrate your anniversaries there at no extra change.
- Seckford Hall, also in Woodbridge, is nestled in its own private valley within an area of outstanding natural beauty. It’s licensed for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies, and can accommodate both small and large celebrations. This is where I got married and I loved every minute of my special day!
- Need some professional help with your winter wedding? Milsom Weddings has over 60 years’ experience in wedding planning. Its Suffolk venues include Milsoms Kesgrave Hall and Hengrave Hall.
- Hintlesham Hall is a stunning Grade 1 listed building that dates back to the 1400s. A historic building with traditional décor, it’s just ten minutes from Ipswich, and an hour from Stansted airport by car.