5 Reasons to Have a Winter Wedding

By The Boat House - at The Riverhead and Maria Yeonhee Ji

You may have to travel south in New Zealand to find snowfall, but winter anywhere brings a whole lot of wedding perks. From the availability of alternative seasonal textiles that add glamour to any bridal wardrobe, to lower venue costs that mean you don’t have to forgo other pleasantries (like the honeymoon getaway of your dreams), there are benefits for every kind of bride-to-be. Of the myriad of reasons to set a wedding date in the winter months, here are five of our favourites.

1/ Fashion Choices 

Images by (clockwise from top left): Perry Trotter Photography, Bayly & Moore, Lace & Luce, and The Kitcheners (cover image by Snowflake Photo)

Winter really opens up the options when it comes to bridal wear. Furs, satins and silks, brocades, or heavy lace detailing are sartorial choices that help refine and distinguish your wedding aesthetic. These sorts of alternative textiles (especially in non-white or as an accessory to white) look particularly stunning against moodier wintry backdrops. The cooler temperatures also mean you won’t be at risk of perspiring through the whole day and being photographed with melting makeup. But it’s not just the bridal party that benefits from a winter wedding; it’s the men who will really be most thankful for not having to endure a sweltering day trying to look sharp in a traditional three-piece suit and tie.


Image by Perspectives Photo + Cinema

In New Zealand, you’re not limited to just one type of winter scene. With a variety of seasonal flora, you can opt for either the more stereotypical winter wonderland look featuring bare-trees and general bluster, or the lush woodland wedding aesthetic. Winter weather can also be an asset when it comes to setting a pretty scene in photos and videography – embrace the crashing ocean waves, drops of rain, and puddle reflections that make for amazing records of your big day.


Image by Snowflake Photo

Lighting maketh the photograph, and light is never more beautiful than in winter. The light from the sun, which is positioned at a lower angle on the horizon, brings life to texture, and elongates and deepens shadows for striking images. Pastels take on an otherworldly look, while bold colours are accentuated in winter light. But from the wedding photography point of view, the biggest advantage is that in winter, the golden hour (the best time of the day for wedding photos) is longer. Do a bit of planning with your photographers so that you can make the most of the extra time with the softly diffused light that yields magical photos.


Image by Perry Trotter Photography

With Christmas, New Year’s, family holidays, and countless weddings squeezed into the warmer New Zealand months, it’s likely that your wedding guests’ schedules are pretty tight at that time of year. Marrying in the winter means that more of your guests are likely to be available to share your special day with you, making the event that much more meaningful. A wedding date between May and September also means that if any of your guests need accommodation, ideal places near the venue are more likely to be free and available at better rates. Making the journey to your venue easier and more comfortable for guests is just one of the many elements of thoughtful wedding planning, but it’s definitely one you shouldn’t forget!


Image sourced from The Riverhead

Couples often need to book popular wedding venues over a year in advance for summer dates. If you want to move ahead with your vows sooner, there’s a much higher chance that your dream venue is available in the winter time. Lucky for New Zealand brides, our country has a reputation for being a top international wedding destination and boasts many world-class venues. Booking one of these in winter means you get the dream venue for lower hierage costs, giving you a lot more room in the budget to invest in the trimmings that will make your wedding stand out from the rest.  

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