Styled Shoot: Winter Cocktail Party

What could be more beautiful then the intricate patterns and superb colours revealed in handmade stained glass windows? And how they provide the perfect visual backdrop to our indulgent winter wedding cocktail party?


To complement the beautiful glass, tightly held within its dark-grey led casings, place a designer wreath of winter-inspired blooms and foliage. Then, as the evening closes in, the curtains are drawn against deep grey walls, the wine is decanted and cocktails are served. A winter cocktail wedding is lavish, indulgent and totally memorable.

Inspired by the 2015 Pantone colour of the year, marsala, the colour palette widens to reveal deep burgundy, black, gold, purple, blue and grey. And, like this gorgeous hue, your winter wedding cocktail party will draw your friends and family into the warmth of your celebration. Think of dark winter clouds, the silhouette of trees against a blackened sky, and icy cold winds. Then contrast this with the indulgent home comforts of a blazing fire at hearth, platters of delicious hors d’oeuvres and fabulous wines.


To truly warm the hearts of your guests, serve delicious glasses of mulled wine. It is a beverage often served at Christmas, Halloween and particularly popular in northern Europe, during their long, cold winters. It is also much-loved in Australia, during snow season, where skiers will often enjoy a glass of hot mulled wine at the end of an exhilarating day on the slopes.

Offer your guests a varied selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres (small, savoury finger foods that can be eaten in one bite) which may include: almond-stuffed dates, mini gourmet burgers, haloumi and vegetable kebabs, arancini balls, goat’s cheese and asparagus vol au vents, feta and baby spinach filo parcels, tempura vegetables with a spicy dipping sauce, artichoke and cheese puffs, baked ricotta in vine leaves, and lentil kofta with saffron yoghurt.

Then present a range of delectable desserts, like our mini chocolate doughnuts, that feature a dark chocolate drizzle and are the perfect sweet indulgence to follow such a varied and interesting selection of savoury offerings.


Finally, to complete our sweet offerings, chocolate ganache tartlets, are topped with walnuts, cherries and blueberries with a pistachio sprinkle. We love how our stunning bouquet, seated upon one perfect wooden chair, features every shade of our theme colours, from the deepest burgundy, marsala and reds, through to plum-coloured foliage with deep grey highlights.

And, thinking about seating, make sure you arrange the furniture so that your guests can move throughout the space easily. While most guests will remain standing, you need to provide seating for older guests and people who prefer to sit down. You may also want to scatter a few bar-height tables so that your guests can rest their glasses, plates and napkins. Lighting will set the ambience of the evening so try to avoid overhead lights where possible. Candlelight is so much softer, or you could utilise table and floor lamps.

Finally, music will be the backdrop to your wonderful winter wedding cocktail party celebration, so choose carefully. Cocktail parties are designed so that all guests can mingle and chat freely, therefore don’t play music too loudly. A soft, romantic, selection of music in a genre you both love, will undoubtedly become the playlist of your wedding.


The centrepiece of this winter celebration is the most amazing single-tier, three layered black forest sponge cake, topped with a profusion of cherries and dark chocolate shards. In some recipes, sour cherries are used in-between the layers and also on top, while traditionally, kirsch (a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries) is added to the cake.


Photography The Evoke Company, Theme & Styling The Bride’s Diary®, Flowers Affair With George, White Cake Plates, Large Grey Plates & Dessert Forks Robert Gordon Australia, Red Wine Glasses & Balloon Wine Glasses Waterford, Water Glasses Mario Luca Giusti Synthetic Crystal ‘Dolce Vita’ in Ruby

Join The Bride's Diary to plan your perfect wedding. Use our interactive planning tools and build your wedding inspiration scrapbook. Share this exciting journey with thousands of other members in our Bridal Buzz forums. Welcome...

Register Now Sign In

Preview our

Current Issue


The Bride's Diary Partners