For clients on a budget or who prefer seasonal touches, a winter wedding could be ideal. We highlight some options
Tying the knot in summer might not be everyone’s cup of tea, with some clients opting for the most wonderful time of the year to say “I do” instead.
Those who decide to get married abroad in a destination’s low season will also benefit from lower costs, says Malcolm Davies, product manager for Funway Holidays. “Off-season dates mean off-season rates. Site fees for venues and hotels can offer significant discounts for dates that would otherwise stay empty. Plus, off-season means more venue availability so couples can have their first-choice wedding date.”
Here we round up several wedding options that make the most of the winter season.
While famous for its greenery, Vermont becomes a winter wonderland in the colder months, making it a romantic and picturesque time for clients to get married.
The wintry weather also makes it a great, romantic destination for an extended, activity-filled stay after the wedding, says Davies. “Extended stays are popular with our clients, especially wedding guests looking to explore winter sports beyond the wedding celebration. There are many options available, with alpine skiing being the most popular. Vermont has some of the best skiing and snowboarding
for all levels.”
Book it: Funway Holidays offers one night in Boston at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and six nights in Vermont staying at the wedding- friendly Mountain Top Inn & Resort in Killington. Prices start from £1,180pp including car hire and flights. Travel based on two sharing, departing 4 December 2020.
Edinburgh’s rolling hills and rustic buildings are even more enchanting in winter, with high chances of snowfall creating the perfect winter wedding backdrop. There are also plenty of extra activities to enjoy around the city before or after the wedding, including a leisurely stroll up Calton Hill to admire the panoramic views or window shopping along the Royal Mile, says Tom Gibson, hotel manager at The Glasshouse hotel.
He recommends highlighting the reduced cost and flexibility of weddings and hotel stays in Edinburgh during the winter months. “Accommodation pricing is lower during December in Edinburgh, making it more affordable for wedding guests. There is also better availability, with a greater choice of dates and days of the week to hold the ceremony on.”
Book it: The Glasshouse offers its Monart Package at a reduced rate in winter, priced at £5,000 based on 40 full-day guests. Additional guests priced at £125pp. Includes a red carpet arrival, a piper, celebratory post-ceremony drink for all guests and dedicated wedding planner.
For a fairy-tale winter wedding, the 17th-century Ballygally Castle on the northern Irish coast offers a seasonal package in December. The special day can feature several small nods to the festive season such as mulled wine and mince pies, fairy lights and Christmas-themed wedding favours.
There are a number of indoor options for weddings and receptions at the hotel, so guests can escape the chill while still enjoying the scenery, says Katie Jackson, Ballygally Castle’s wedding specialist.
“The Kintyre Ballroom offers panoramic views over the Irish Sea, while the hotel also has a unique wedding pavilion set within the gardens where couples can hold their wedding ceremony. The Belvedere Suite is a separate garden structure accommodating up to 120 guests and offers superb views of the gardens and trout stream.”
Book it: Ballygally Castle offers its Sparkling Festive wedding package priced at £80 per guest for December weddings. Includes exclusive complimentary use of the Kintyre Ballroom all day, four-course menu, evening buffet, complimentary Bridal Suite and two additional bedrooms for guests.
Central Park is one of New York’s most iconic landmarks and it becomes an even more magical place to tie the knot in winter. The park offers a number of locations across its 843 acres for wedding ceremonies.
“Gapstow Bridge has a unique view overlooking the city skyline, while the Ladies Pavilion provides a stunning view over the lake,” says Paul Ingram, product and category manager for weddings at Kuoni. He adds: “Kuoni’s weddings team can provide all the elements required for an outdoor winter wedding ceremony in the park.”
Kuoni offers additional winter wedding packages, many of which are in Canada. They include Banff, Bow River, the Tunnel Mountain Reservoir and Lake Louise, which is one of the most photographed locations in Canada thanks to its snow-covered mountains, glaciers and vast lakes.
Book it: Kuoni’s package to New York is priced from £1,143 per couple. Includes pre- wedding meeting and wedding assistance with wedding specialist, outdoor scenic Central Park wedding location of clients’ choice and a Central Park permit fee.
Clients who don’t fancy risking the temperamental UK weather but still want to retain those traditional festive touches could find the ideal compromise in Mexico in winter.
Introducing seasonal elements helps keep the winter theme present, says Calum Findlater, If Only’s product and commercial manager for the US, Canada and Caribbean.
“There are a number of options available to clients wanting to add authentic winter touches to their wedding. They can choose seasonal flowers for their centrepieces, request festive tunes from the jazz band or opt for a more traditional winter colour scheme.”
Book it: If Only offers a 10-night Unlimited-Luxury All Inclusive stay at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya from £2,139pp. Includes accommodation in a Preferred Club Junior Suite Swim Out room, complimentary Secrets Wedding in Paradise package, flights, private transfers and airport taxes.