September 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
The unpredictability of the British weather means that couples are looking beyond the key wedding season for their big day, opting for an autumn or winter date instead.
Low lighting, cosy venues and warm comfort food, can make celebrations at these times of the year more appealing to some brides and grooms, despite the shorter days and lower temperatures. So, as we head towards the end of summer (or what was supposed to be!), we thought it was high-time for some autumnal wedding inspiration, which comes courtesy of our fabulous Sponsor, award-winning hospitality and event management company Dine.
Established in 1998, Yorkshire-based Dine caters for more 200 weddings a year as well as offering exclusive private dining. Through its stunning portfolio of venues, the team provide event services for organisations ranging from English Heritage and the National Trust, to the owners of some of the UK’s most notable private houses, providing a varied choice of beautiful big day settings.
For this afternoon’s post, we’re welcoming Dine’s Managing Director, Matt Jones, to the blog to share some of his top tips for planning a wedding at the most colourful turning of the seasons.
Matt says: With the right forward planning, marquees can be a great year-round alternative to an indoor venue. With cooler weather in prospect, your event planner will include heating and flooring in your marquee to ensure you and your guests are warm and comfortable, even if the weather isn’t ideal. While Dine boasts spectacular sites for a marquee, an at-home wedding can be the perfect option to enjoy an intimate and relaxed day.
With a marquee being the ultimate blank canvas, an at-home wedding often feels more informal and rustic and vintage themes can be used to create an even more welcoming atmosphere. Encouraging your guests to get involved and create decorations or provide flowers can also make your day, and venue, feel even more special.
With the leaves turning red and gold, an indoor venue might not feel like the right space to take advantage of the gorgeous colourful backdrop. However, choose a venue set in acres of parkland with large picture windows and you have the perfect compromise between taking the guesswork out of the weather and making the most of spectacular views and autumnal scenery.
With extensive views across the 700 acres of Leeds’ Roundhay Park, photo opportunities at Dine venue, The Mansion are in abundance. The Greek Palladian style, Grade II listed building offers several ceremony and reception rooms, all with large windows offering fantastic vistas over the park. The private terrace is the ultimate spot for the bride and groom to steal a few minutes together and take in the autumnal colours.
Autumn menus are all about taste and satisfaction. Warming, layered flavours incorporating plentiful seasonal ingredients are fundamental to ensure your guests are left feeling satisfied. This is even more important as the weather turns colder.
If you’d like to carry the autumnal theme through to your menu dishes, seasonal British produce is at its best just now and an autumn wedding is the perfect opportunity to showcase the very best in the larder. Rich meats like venison, duck and beef are versatile and readily available. Try them in a terrine of duck confit to start, and beef wellington or roasted fillet of venison for a hearty, seasonal main that are sure to delight your guests.
British fruit and vegetables are also in abundance in autumn, fantastic for a side to your flavoursome main or as the star of a dish. Perfect with strong cheeses, apples can be used in any course. For a twist, why not incorporate this classic British fruit into your starters with a Yorkshire blue and leek terrine with a Granny Smith jelly. Or if you’re looking for a richer vegetarian dish, why not take advantage of the abundance of mushrooms available in the UK and treat your guests to a brioche of creamed wild mushrooms with a garlic and shallot hollandaise.
Although often overlooked, cocktails can be a wonderful way to incorporate seasonal flavours. Hot, mulled apple ciders, sloe gin and whisky sampling take the chill off, while nut-based liqueurs like amaretto provide a seasonal base for autumnal cocktails.
Whatever weather autumn brings, the season conjures images of turning leaves and breath-taking sunsets. It’s the optimum time to theme your wedding around a deeper and more sumptuous colour scheme. Warm earth and jewel tones are ideal, harmonising with the changes in nature and providing a fantastic backdrop to your ceremony and reception. Look to shades of browns, oranges, reds and darker greens for a traditional autumnal colour palette.
As the season renowned for Halloween, create some magic of your own through the creative use of lighting. Carve pumpkins with stars, swirls or other patterns to shed light on a terrace or walkway. Mason jars filled with dried corn kernels, coffee beans, broken cinnamon sticks or cranberries make a rustic and seasonal candle holder table centrepiece. If you’re looking for a more informal source of lighting, and a way to keep your guests warm when the night starts closing in, a fire pit is often a great addition to your autumn wedding.
Florals and foliage are an important part of any autumn wedding. Working with harvest elements, including cornstalks and sheaves of wheat, help to bring the outside in while keeping links between the season and your wedding inside. Grape vine, hop garlands, gourds and raffia are all plants that can be used to give your autumn wedding an unmistakable style.
Choosing the right florist is vital in ensuring you are happy with the results on your wedding day. Studio based florist Twisted Willow, recommended by Dine, are highly experienced in creating spectacular displays for any season. With a brief in mind they can recommend the perfect plants for your autumn wedding bouquets and centre pieces.
Autumn can be perfect Goldilocks weather – not too hot and not too cold so whether you’ve chosen an indoor venue or a marquee, your day is going to be enjoyable. The colours of autumn, whether seen through rain or shine, will make stunning backdrops to your wedding both to enjoy on the day to your photographs.
It’s important to remember that whatever the weather it will have an impact on your photography. While you may assume that a sunny day is the best weather for your photographs, this is not necessarily the case. If your big day turns out to be a rainy one, the light tends to be softer which can make for a better photograph as there is no glare from the sun. The rain can often make images more atmospheric, and if you are carrying an umbrella this can make a fun prop.
Hiring an experienced event organiser, such as Dine, will ensure good photography through its relationships with outstanding suppliers. If you have style and a brief in mind for your autumn wedding photography, Dine can recommend the perfect photographer for you.
However, whether it showers or shines on your big day you should make the most of the moment and enjoy the celebrations regardless. With the right venue and suppliers your day should go off without a hitch, no matter what nature throws at you.
For more information on Dine, and to view some menu examples, visit the website at www.dine.co.uk.
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Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...
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