Although a winter wedding isn’t everyone’s first choice, saying ‘I do’ during the colder months can hold a very special charm. The results can be breathtaking, especially when your special day is set against an urban Jozi backdrop.

Anybody getting married in winter, needs the perfect venue to make the most of the season, especially if they’re planning to tie the knot in the city. Etienne O’Connell, head of events at Radisson Blu Sandton shares his top urban winter wedding tips:

While the country has been the go-to location for brides for years, the city of gold holds a distinct attraction

“Johannesburg is a melting pot of cultures and it offers a lively, pulsating and cosmopolitan setting in which to exchange your wedding vows. The city wedding allows for meaningful simplicity, whilst wowing your guests with signature skylines and a sophisticated edge,” says O’Connell.

So where do you start? O’Connell shares his top tips to plan the perfect urban winter wedding, both calmly and cost effectively

Venue

When selecting a venue, begin by determining your budget and the look and feel you’re after. Then consider some practical and comfort requirements for you and your guests.

If you’re tying the knot in the city, you may as well select a venue with gorgeous city views for your guests to enjoy, and of course for your photographs.

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Finding a venue that’s centrally located, with facilities such as in-house catering services and accommodation in one place, will mean less to worry about on the day. Some locations also offer special packages during the colder months, so keep a look out for specials to make your budget go further.

There’s nothing nicer than being warm and cosy indoors during winter and looking out over an idyllic urban landscape, so if this is something you’d enjoy on your wedding day, find a venue that offers comfort and views.

Planning

There are numerous wedding planners in Johannesburg who offer an experienced and professional service, an extensive network in the wedding industry and mountains of creativity and passion to help you realise your vision for your wedding day.

Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton offers a Something Blu wedding package where a wedding expert is devoted to creating a bespoke experience for every bride and to guide couples on decisions such as wedding cake styles, room and table décor, menu selections and budgets.

Theme

A winter city wedding is the modern version of the fairytale wedding, so choose iconic, stylish and sophisticated decorations that really represent you as a couple. The simplicity and sophistication of a city venue will allow for many themes to sit comfortably, including delicate pastels and florals or dramatic deeper hues and metallics to reflect the city lights.

Remember to discuss with your venue coordinator what is available in terms of décor (e.g. tablecloth/napkins colours/chairs & chair covers, etc.,) as there may be options available to you at no additional cost and which are a great foundation for adding other elements.

Lighting

Nothing transforms a space quite like the right lighting. Candles, string lights, light bulbs, coloured lights and lanterns all create ambience and add warmth to your urban winter wedding.

Don’t be afraid to use subtle hanging lamps or Edison bulbs instead of strip lighting as these contribute to an intimate and cosy atmosphere.

If your venue boasts a view of the cityscape, play up the display of twinkling lights that already surround you by using less draping and dimmer lighting options such as indoor candles

Photography

With a city wedding, the options for gorgeous backdrops to your wedding photography are simply endless. Your personal value of photographs will determine how much you spend, but do your homework and set up interviews to make sure your photographer will be able to accurately reflect your special day.

If you’re having your wedding in the city, set up meet-and-greets with your short-listed photographers at the venue. This will eliminate the need for a site recce down the line, which will save you time.

Entertainment

It’s good to book your entertainment early, taking into account your budget and venue space. Bear in mind the timing of your day, and remember to allow time for your special first dance. To really embrace the city vibe, why not choose a local band, and dance the night away to your favourite tunes whilst sipping local beers and wines, or even a warm cup of coffee.

Favours

Your wedding favours should be practical and meaningful. Let your inspiration be the height of sophistication and embrace the winter theme. Go with whatever it is that you really love. A great place to look for gifts, or elements to make up or package gifts is your closest China Mall.

Enjoy your day

If you fell in love in the city, it is only natural to celebrate your love by getting married in the city. Embrace Jozi’s contemporary culture and never let go of your perspective and sense of humour. Time flies, so make sure you allocate enough time to get ready, eat and enjoy yourselves.

Need help planning your perfect city wedding? Visit https://www.radissonblu.com/en/weddings to find out how you can achieve your unique day in your unique way, with the Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton’s Something Blu service and customised wedding packages.