Jamie and Francesca originally planned for a summer wedding pre-Covid. When plans had to change, the idea of a winter wedding in Guernsey became increasingly appealing to the couple.
“I don’t think many people think to have a winter wedding, we certainly didn’t, but after our summer wedding fell victim to Covid, then our spring date wilted away, we started to play with the idea of getting married in December – our 10-year anniversary. We weren’t sure at first, but the more we got into the theme of it, the more exciting the idea became."
“It was winter so the sun hadn’t risen before we started getting ready but when it did we were presented with the most beautiful, sunny, crisp winter’s day.”
With travel restrictions finally lifted, around 40 UK guests were able to join local family and friends to celebrate Jamie and Francesca at St Matthew’s Church; a traditional 19th-century parish church that overlooks the Island's west coast. The day was cold, as expected, but the sun was shining, making for the perfect winter’s day.
After their ceremony, Jamie and Francesca, ventured to St Saviour Reservoir to have their photos taken in the pine forest, in keeping with their wedding's woodland theme.
Guests were transported 10 minutes away to Sausmarez Manor, a stately home which has been in the same family for over 800 years, where they were treated to a private woodland of their own in three adjoining Nordic Tipis. The space was a winter wonderland, with live music, the smell of a log fire and mulled wine, fairy lights and giant hanging floral structures provided by local florist Simply Bespoke.
Whilst Jamie and Francesca had originally planned for their summer reception to be in a light Sperry tent, the more winter-friendly Nordic tipis allowed the couple to still have their reception outdoors, whilst providing shelter from the cold.
“With it being so close to Christmas Day, we wanted to add hints of festive cheer throughout the day.”
A winter wedding is perfect for those who love the holiday season. Jamie and Francesca chose hymns featuring festive classics, incorporated Christmas trees at the entrance to the tipis and used rustic bell baubles in their seating plan, with their tables named after the 12 days of Christmas. Even the food and drinks had a festive element to them, with mulled wine served and mini candy canes used as embellishments for the champagne flutes. The menu for the day was based on a traditional Christmas dinner and mince pies were served later on.
Jamie and Francesca's advice
“Our advice for anyone planning a wedding is not to rule out the autumn or winter months. If you like getting creative and want something different to the norm, it could be for you.”
Many people rule out a winter date for their wedding, opting for the warmer weather and the hope of no rain that the summer months bring. The truth is, rain can come at any time of year, with no guarantee of a dry day even in the middle of summer, so a wet weather contingency is always needed - all you need to do for a winter wedding is to factor in the cooler temperatures. Guernsey is a perfect location for a winter wedding as our climate is milder than the UK, with warmer average temperatures all year round.
Jamie and Francesca made clever accommodations for the cooler weather, including ordering matching umbrellas for the bridal party, adding faux fur shawls to the bridesmaids’ attire, ensuring the tipi was heated well and even planning an indoor backup location for their photos, just in case.
They recommend that anyone planning an outdoor winter wedding in Guernsey chooses a location with good drainage or solid ground, as fields and other locations with lots of grass can become muddy due to the winter rainfall. A local wedding planner or tent supplier will be able to help you find the perfect spot.
Jamie and Francesca created a perfect winter wedding on the Islands of Guernsey, filled with unique touches and nods to the festive season.
You can find out more about getting married in the Islands of Guernsey here.
List of suppliers:
Ceremony: St Matthews Church
Flowers: Simply Bespoke
Hair: Hair by Sophie
Makeup: Lauren Amy Studio
Photography: Lucy Dennis Photography
Catering: Cooked by James Ferguson
Bar: Ben’s Bar
Wedding Cake: The Cake Lady
Transport: Island Coachways
Venue: Sausmarez Manor
Decoration & Tent Hire: Bonita Events
Videographer: Elliot Mariess
Band: Youthe, and Jacques Evans & friend.