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In South Africa, many brides-to-be fantasise about a summery outdoor wedding. And why not, with our great climate and abundance of beautiful settings?
But in many parts of the country, the winter months are not much colder than summer, and in some areas winter is actually more pleasant than summer for one reason or another. So don’t rule out the option of a winter wedding – it may well be a better fit for you.
Here are just a few reasons to choose a winter wedding instead of one in summer.
Because most people opt for summer to hold their events – not just weddings, but company functions, fundraisers and, of course, seasonal parties – many venues are booked up for summer well in advance.
Those that do still have space available may require their guests to work on a tight schedule – in and out quickly so the next event can set up. For this reason, especially if you’re having a short engagement with not much time to plan, a winter wedding is an excellent solution.
If you’ve been mentally planning your wedding for years and already have your dream venue picked out, you might be disappointed when it comes actually making the booking, especially if you plan to get married in peak season.
However, aim for two or three months later, and not only will your venue be available, but you won’t have to share it with two other brides on the same day!
In addition to having more options available to you, you might actually save some money by getting married in winter. Those in the events industry sometimes struggle to get enough work in the off season and may be willing to negotiate a discount to get your business.
This goes not only for venues, but also for vendors and service providers, such as florists, makeup artists and décor companies. When you enquire about a booking with your chosen vendor, be sure to ask about the possibility of a discount.
While we don’t regularly get snow in most parts of South Africa, you can easily evoke the romance of a snowy European winter with a few careful touches in your décor and catering.
One of the best things about a cold winter evening is snuggling up in front of a blazing fire, wrapped in a warm blanket. Some venues have indoor fireplaces that they use in winter, and this can create a wonderfully cosy atmosphere for your wedding.
Consider providing your guests with soft blankets as favours, and use decadent fabrics such as velvet and brocade for your décor. You can use deeper, richer colours than would be suitable for a summer event; dark reds and purples – colours that evoke a good red wine – are particularly romantic and work well in this season. Serve a thick stew for dinner, along with spicy Glühwein or rich hot chocolate for a truly memorable evening.
Finally, remember that the days are shorter in winter. You can start the proceedings an hour or two earlier than would be traditional in summer, which means that you can enjoy a lengthy reception with your guests and still get an early start on your honeymoon!
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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