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Tiny Winter Wedding by a Log Fire: Something special, intimate and inexpensive

Updated on December 23, 2014
All pictures above from the listed source.
All pictures above from the listed source. | Source

Introducing something special...

Do you want your wedding to be attended by just your very nearest and dearest family members and a few very close friends? Do you enjoy gathering around a fire in the cold of winter and taking time to drink, sing and talk with those same people? Maybe you could have a wedding that incorporates these things as its main features. With the feeling of a white Christmas with your loved ones, this wedding is for those who want their special day to be spent really taking in every moment, and spending quality time with every guest present.

At a glance

Dress suggestions
Ceremony ideas
Wood oven pizza - either cooked on site or made in a hireable wood oven or delivered
Warming alhoholic drinks such as mulled wine, hot cider, mead or spirits
Writing wishes or blessings on paper strips and adding to the fire
Long dresses with boots and stockings, but pretty tops, and warm shawls, coats or boleros, for gents it's easy - just have layers.
Pinecone arrangements with holly or deep red flowers
Highly recommend something spicy such as Christmas cake or ginger cake
Incorporate a wood theme with ring bearer box or log
For a small group roast would be possible
A hot mulled apple juice with spices for those who don't drink alcohol
Adding something special to the fire to burn such as each guest receiving a pinecone or log that they add to symbolise their support
A Christmassy red colour theme with some browns and woodland colours thrown in
Old books and candles
Decorate in rustic cottage style with some holly or flowers on top
Couple could have written vows which are later poked into holes in a wishing log and put in the fire
Christmassy treats such as gingerbread, fruit pies, fruitcake
Tea and coffee
Guest book quilt
Hats and scarves keep you warm and also add a special accessory for photos and dress
Coloured cloth hangings in wedding colours
The couple and guests could all take part in the lighting of the fire as a symbol of working together
Bunting in wedding colours
Could incorporate 'eternal flame' style references
Songs and bush dances
Photos of couple
Have candles lit for relatives who have passed away
Treasure hunt or sardines game

A ceremony by fire and candlelight

There's something special about a flickering flame in winter lighting a special occasion of any sort. A ceremony in front of a candlelit hearth promotes warmth and intimacy in the atmosphere of the room while keeping you warm in your wedding clothes too. There are a few ways you can use the fire or a rustic woods theme in your ceremony too. For example:

  • You and your guests could light the fire; have it partially stacked but invite each guest to add a small twig or branch, and then pass around a candle; you light the first one together, and then pass it to your bridal party who light their own candles from your candle flame. They then pass their candles to other guests. When everyone has a lit candle, specific people could come forward and use their candle to set light to parts of the kindling in the hearth. This would symbolise coming together as one family and working together to initiate comfort and happy times.
  • Candles you light and place on the mantlepiece or on a table in front of you may represent the presence of loved ones who have passed away during the celebration.
  • A theme in any poems or readings of the eternal flame of love could link to the fire
  • A ring bearer could carry a carved wooden box, birds' nest or branch with the rings attached


Food and drink for the cold

It's easy to have a somewhat Christmassy feel to a celebration by a fire indoors. Choose your food and drink to be warming and to feel like a special dinner with loved ones at home, not a restaurant. An easy option if you want your food to be hassle free is to organise wood oven pizza with a variety of topping options. It is possible to hire wood ovens to bring to your location, but if you have a great local wood oven pizza place, getting them delivered wouldn't spoil the atmosphere. If pizza isn't your favourite thing then you could go with a traditional family roast, or even cook things like a damper or potatoes in their jackets in the fire itself. Sweet treats with a spicy edge such as gingerbread and Christmassy fruit mince pies are also warming and for many people, associated with fun and family events. For drinks, you want more warming options; for the non-alcoholic, hot chocolate, coffee, tea and hot spiced apple juice. For those who like a drink or two, hot mulled wine, mead, or cider, and perhaps a few specially chosen spirits.


Favour ideas for guests

What would be a good gift for your guests at this kind of wedding? There are many options that would be relatively inexpensive. Special mugs for hot drinks, adorned with special name tags and painted (by you or a friend) with the wedding date or their name, smores kits for them to toast in the flames, blankets or bottles of cider are possibilities. You want your guests to use the item and to remember the day by it, not put it away on a shelf somewhere and forget about it. All the better if they receive something they can use again, which will then bring back memories of a special day spent with you.

Decorating your winter cottage

What kind of decorations will help you to get a cottage, festive feel? Here are some suggestions:

  • Stacks of old books with candles in jars, set on tables, mantlepieces or windowsills
  • Strips of fabric in your wedding colours (preferably with something bright such as a Christmassy red) hung in drapes on curtain rods and door frames
  • Arrangements of pinecones and holly springs, red flowers and acorns or interesting twigs and dry leaves
  • A photo timeline of the couple/family strung along a wall
  • Hanging strings of paper cutouts can make great backdrops for photos and make plain walls look super festive and exciting - simply cut out lots of hearts in your colours and string them along fishing wire or thread for hanging
  • Bowls of colourful fruit - guests can also eat it!

Things to do when inside by the fire

Your guests might already have been involved in adding things to the fire as part of your ceremony, but if not, they could write wishes or blessings on strips of paper and throw them into the flames. They might like to have a video camera set up so that they can say well wishes for you that they have written down out loud and be recorded before burning their paper. Songs around the fire are a must in my opinion, so find a friend or family member who can play a guitar and provide your guests with some lyrics if you don't think they will know a few good simple songs that you enjoy singing. You could encourage guests to bring instruments if they also have guitars, flutes, whistles or similar. A video of some of this occurring is important! Another great activity that can keep guests going for hours is a photobooth with a few dress ups and a blackboard or similar for them to write messages with which to take their photo. This could occur in front of one of your hanging paper cutout backdrops. A nice cottage-themed guestbook is to give each guest a square of fabric to write and draw on which will later be joined to make a quilt for you to keep. You can choose fabric in colours that go with your wedding theme. If the main room you are all sitting in is large enough, a few simple bush dances that are easy to learn and join in with could be taught, to get your guests up and moving around and keeping warm, as well as interacting with one another. Finally, if there are not too many minors or non-drinkers in your group of guests, drinking games around the fire are a fun option if done responsibly. Guests could also play with easy-to-pack-up board games such as jenga.

Would you try it?

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    • DaphneDL profile image

      Daphne D. Lewis 

      3 years ago from Saint Albans, West Virginia

      What great ideas for an inexpensive wedding. I loved the guest favors, especially the coffee cup and s'mores.

    • PhDancer profile imageAUTHOR

      Sarah Fletcher 

      3 years ago from Adelaide

      Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These are very nice suggestions for a budget wedding! Intimate yet inexpensive. Your pictures and table details are pretty thoughtful and impressive.

      Voted up and thanks for sharing!


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