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Clandeblog 10 tips for planning a winter wedding in Northern Ireland

Crisp weather, twinkling lights and cosy receptions filled with the warmth of loved ones makes winter one of the best times of year to host your wedding. Our wedding team provides 10 top tips for planning your Northern Ireland winter wedding.

1. Choose the right venue

Blackwood suite ceremony Christmas styling

Choosing the right venue is essential for any wedding, but it becomes particularly important when planning a winter wedding in Northern Ireland.

The weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, so it’s a good idea to consider a venue that offers everything under one roof, including the ceremony, reception and overnight accommodation. Additionally, it’s good to consider a wedding venue that offers plenty of photo opportunities inside!

If possible, visit the venue around the time of year that your wedding will happen. Experiencing the Christmas atmosphere at Clandeboye Lodge is magical!

2. Embrace the season with your decor

Viceroy suite Christmas wedding styling

Embracing the season with decor is a perfect way to create a cosy and enchanting ambience for a winter wedding in Northern Ireland. The winter season offers a range of decor options to incorporate into your wedding:

  • Choose winter colours such as whites, silvers, blues, reds and greens

  • Add cosy elements such as faux fur and blankets

  • Incorporate natural elements such as pine cones, evergreens and winter berries

  • Twinkling lights, candles and lanterns can provide a lovely atmosphere

Clandeboye suite Christmas wedding styling

Why not consider working with a wedding decor stylist such as Mood Events who can help bring your vision to life?

3. Consider the weather when planning outfits

Dani & Gareth's wedding, Lit Photography NI

When planning a winter wedding in Northern Ireland, it's important to keep in mind that the weather can be very cold and if we’re lucky there may be a chance of snow!

To stay warm and comfortable throughout the day, brides and bridesmaids can opt for long-sleeved dresses or add a faux fur shawl for extra warmth and style. Meanwhile, grooms and groomsmen can look sharp and stay cosy by wearing a tweed suit or velvet blazer.

4. Make the most of natural light

Wedding cake table styling, Esther Irvine Photography

During winter in Northern Ireland, the sun sits lower in the sky, creating soft, warm light that gives your wedding photographs a beautiful golden tone. However, keep in mind that daylight hours can be limited during winter, with sunset as early as 4pm!

One of the best ways to make the most of natural light is to schedule a photo session during the golden hour, which occurs an hour before sunset.

5. Serve seasonal food and drinks

Homemade Christmas pudding

Embrace the winter season by incorporating warming and indulgent options into your wedding menu. Seasonal delights such as roast turkey and ham, root vegetables, mince pies, and mulled wine can make excellent choices.

At Clandeboye Lodge, we offer a variety of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes for you to choose from for your wedding. If you have specific requests or preferences, our chefs are more than happy to create exclusive dishes just for you.

6. Plan entertainment suited to the season

Santa Claus sitting by the fire

If you're planning a winter wedding, there are plenty of fun and festive activities you can incorporate to make your big day even more memorable:

  • Christmas themed photobooth props

  • Winter-themed cocktail bar

  • Ask your DJ to play Christmas music

  • A visit from Santa for the little ones

  • End with a sparkler send off

7. Opt for seasonal flowers

Sarah-Lousie & Antoinette's wedding, Mark Barnes Photography

Choosing seasonal flowers for your wedding can enhance your winter wedding theme. Some popular winter flowers include red roses, amaryllis and poinsettias. Give a festive flair to your arrangements by adding winter greens or seasonal berries.

Consider working with a florist, such as floralearth, who has experience with winter weddings to help you choose the perfect flowers for your special day.

8. Prioritise guest comfort

Fire pit in the terrace area

Prioritising guest comfort is essential when planning a winter wedding. Make sure your venue has cosy areas for your guests to mingle. At Clandeboye Lodge, you’ll find a roaring log fire inside as you come in from the cold. There’s also an outdoor firepit on our covered terrace, leading in from the Sheridan suite.

To make sure everyone feels warm and welcomed upon arrival, why not offer delicious hot drinks like mulled wine and hot chocolate for that extra bit of winter bliss?

9. Plan ahead for December dates

Michelle & Darragh's wedding, Christine McIlroy Photography

If you’re dreaming of a Christmas wedding in December, make sure to send your save the dates out well in advance. This will ensure everyone has the date in their diary and has time to book their accommodation. Christmas can also be a busy time for vendors, so it’s important to book well in advance to make sure you have enough lead-time.

10. Consider winter-themed wedding favours

Christmas themed wedding favours

Winter-themed wedding favours are an excellent way to show appreciation to your guests and incorporate the winter season into your wedding theme. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • Winter-scented candle

  • Christmas crackers

  • Personalised Christmas ornament

Winter weddings at Clandeboye Lodge

Snow at Clandeboye Lodge

Experience the undeniable magic of a winter wedding at Clandeboye Lodge. Nowhere else gives you the variety, individuality and sheer eclectic stylishness that you’re looking for. Match this with our exclusive, secluded location and our choice of three wonderful suites and you need look no further.

The bright, crisp days of winter gently mellow to the warmth of festivities by the crackling log fire, and the long evening of celebrations with friends and family is sure to be unforgettable.

Explore our range of wedding suites online or book a personal showaround with our team to explore our wedding venue.

Travellers Choice 2023 Good Hotel 202324 1 Green Tourism 9.3 Superb - Booking.com Georgina Campbell Award 2023