It seems like the majority of weddings take place between the spring and summer months. However, if you ask around, you’ll find that a large number of couples tie the knot in the colder months of December through February. Due to weather, holidays, and scheduling there are certain perks and drawbacks to getting married in the winter season. We asked around and got some great feedback from winter brides.
Here are some tips, perks, and hacks for winter weddings:
For Your Venue
There are several things to consider when picking the perfect venue for your winter wedding. For one thing, if you live in an area with unpredictable weather, you should absolutely discuss a backup plan in case of a blizzard or storm. It’s also a good idea to secure insurance on your venue so that you don’t lose any money in the worst case scenario.
Consider having the ceremony and reception in the same place so that guests do not have to go out into the weather. If your ceremony and reception are at different venues and guests have a long way to walk to their cars, you can provide either valet or limo service.
Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature of the church or building where you are holding your wedding. Make sure you chat with the venue coordinator beforehand to ensure that the room will be warmed up before guests arrive. The last thing you want is for your guests to be shivering and miserable during the ceremony.
For Your Photographer
One of the biggest obstacles in having a winter wedding is that you are dealing with much shorter days. Why does this matter for your wedding? Your photographer will want to capture as many photos as possible using natural lighting. Natural lighting always makes for better pictures. It is extremely important that you have a conversation with your photographer before you set a time for your wedding. You will also want your photographer’s input on the venue you choose. Let them explore and decide what is the best location to capture your special day.
Some brides want to have the “first look” with the groom before the ceremony so that they can have a shorter transition between ceremony and reception. Others are adamant that the first look take place when the bride first walks down the aisle at the ceremony. Whatever your preference, you will need to plan for the majority of photos taken while there is still daylight.
One of the perks for having a winter wedding is that certain props and scenes can be used that have no place in a spring or summer wedding. A backdrop of snow, for example, allows for things like bright scarves, blankets, and vintage fur stoles to be used. These statement pieces really enhance the “winter” aspect of your wedding theme and make for striking photos.
For Your Decor
Most churches will be decorated for Christmas so if you have a December wedding this will need to be factored into your decor plans. Some brides opt for red and gold, or black and red weddings because they work well with Christmas colors. If this is something you want to do you can save money by planning and purchasing discounted Christmas items after Christmas, and then save them for your wedding next year.
Remember that many flowers will be either unavailable or very expensive due to the cold season. Additionally, weddings planned near the infamous Valentine’s Day will be faced with exorbitant flower costs. This is something to keep in mind when planning your colors and theme. The best thing to do is embrace the cold season and emphasize it in colors, florals, and décor. Make your wedding a winter wonderland! There are plenty of options that are cost effective and absolutely beautiful like pinecones, spruce, and holly.
For Your Wedding Party
When dressing your wedding party remember your bridesmaids! If they are wearing strapless, or short dresses provide a way for them to stay warm with either a shrug, stole, or boots. If you are going to have photos in the snow, have a room with towels, blow dryers, and makeup on hand so that they feel warm and recovered. You should also have a supply of warm drinks and snacks to keep them from getting cranky. Wink.
If you are planning to take photos in the snow, consider using a clear vinyl sheet to layer between the snow and your wedding party. You want to keep them as warm and comfortable as possible. Keeping their feet dry is an absolute must! Additionally, you can have a stash of Hot Hands hand warmers for the groomsmen to keep in their pockets, and bridesmaids to hold next to their bouquets.
For Your Guests
Some of your guests might show up unprepared for the cold. If you are having an outdoor wedding, rent heaters so that your guests are not forced to leave early or wrap themselves in toilet paper. *kidding* Another nice thing you can offer is complementary blankets. These can serve as favors, or you can borrow blankets from friends and family to cut down on cost.
Another great way to keep guests warm happy is to serve hot beverages during your reception. Have a hot cocoa/coffee bar set up for people to warm their hands and tummies. This is also a really cute feature to incorporate in your reception décor, and will only enhance your winter wedding theme.
Ultimately, a winter wedding makes for a magical event with spectacular pictures. With a little forethought and planning you can have a beautiful and fun wedding that all will enjoy. We hope these tips, tricks, and hacks help you make your event truly superior.