24 Ways to Throw the Ultimate Winter Wedding
If you're having a winter wedding, something likely drew you to the season. Maybe it was the sparkling snow, maybe it was the seasonal color palettes, or even the holiday cheer. Whatever the reason, you settled on throwing your celebration in one of the colder months. Now, it's time to prep for your event. If you love winter as much as we do, you'll want to showcase the special time of year in a number of different ways.
Before you start planning your wedding, get inspired. From considering the logistics to doing all of the fun stuff—like picking the dress and choosing the cake—we're walking you through what it takes to pull off the ultimate winter wedding. Are you marrying your spouse somewhere with unpredictable weather? Are you tying the knot around a certain holiday? Or are you simply stuck on how to best incorporate the season into your ceremony and reception? No matter the case, we've got etiquette, decorating, and style tips to help you throw the party of your dreams.
Ahead, we've provided creative, timeless, and practical ideas for winter weddings. They cover the stationery, the fashions, the menu, the flowers, the favors, and every other major component of your big day. Pick one or two for a subtle seasonal splash, or work as many into your celebration as possible for a full-fledged festive affair. Best of all, this inspiration is pulled straight from our real weddings, so it's all tried-and-true, too.
Go Somewhere Scenic
Before you book your venue, shop around for a scenic spot. You'll wow guests will the views while proving that winter's a beautiful time of year to tie the knot. While you're traveling, consider taking your engagement photos, too.
Notify Guests Early
Because the holiday season makes everybody busier, it's common courtesy to give guests as much advance notice as possible. It isn't just for them, though—no couple wants a bunch of guests to RSVP "no." Save-the-dates are a great starting point.
Prep Your Skin
Get started on a suitable skincare routine ASAP. The more you hydrate to combat dryness and cracking, the better. Prepping your face beforehand will help your makeup glide on smoothly the day-of.
Send Seasonal Invitations
Plan for the Weather
Snowflakes are pretty, but snowstorms aren't. Prepare for the elements so that your wedding will go off without a hitch no matter what Mother Nature brings. This means having salt and sand available for icy pathways, making an indoor back-up plan, warning your guests about potential travel hazards, and anything else you, your planner, or your venue can think of.
Wear Long Sleeves
If your dream dress is strapless, so be it. If you're more flexible with your big-day look, consider wearing sleeves. The style is elegant, and, more importantly, it'll prevent goosebumps (from the weather, that is).
Layer Your Look
Don't fret if you want an arm-bearing wedding dress. You can keep warm with chic accessories, like shrugs, jackets, and more.
Choose Your Footwear Carefully
Toasty toes are underrated, and proper footwear will make things so much more enjoyable. If you're trekking through ice and snow, your feet with thank you for wearing weather-ready shoes. You don't have to don them all day—switch into something else when you're inside.
Play with Menswear
Black suits and tuxes are staples of the season, but they aren't the only options. Patterns and cool fabrics, like corduroy and velvet, are popular come winter.
As the air cools, the days become shorter, so keep this in mind when you're setting your event's agenda. Work with your photographer to make the most of the light for your wedding album, and plan any outdoor portions of the day accordingly.
Keep Etiquette in Mind
To ensure that guests enjoy your wedding, be considerate. If you hold your ceremony outside, give out hand warmers or blankets. If you're planning your celebration around the holidays, be as accommodating as possible.
Dress Your Bridesmaids Appropriately
You don't want to freeze, and neither do your bridesmaids. Stop them from shivering by gifting them with cozy accessories.
Pick Seasonal Boutonnieres
A great way to celebrate winter is by working with in-season materials. Boutonnieres look lovely when made from greenery and berries, for example.
Keep the Kids Comfortable
Don't forget your ring bearer and flower girl. Kiddos are even more sensitive to the temperature, so style them in adorable, weather-appropriate clothing.
Carry a Wintry Bouquet
Contrary to what you may have heard, there are still tons of blooms available in the winter. When available, choose some in wintry shades, like red, too.
Serve Hot Drinks
Kick off cocktail hour with a steaming signature drink. Spiked cider, hot chocolate, and coffee are always well-received.
We love winter décor elements, like wreaths. Use them to spruce up your reception space.
Use Non-Floral Elements
While you can find in-season flowers, foliage garlands are just as pretty when it comes to your centerpieces. The beauty doesn't stop there, though—you can use leaves throughout your celebration.
Shed Some Light
With the sun setting so early, guests will appreciate extra sources of light. Candles give off a gorgeous glow that looks stunning when incorporated into tablescapes.
Warm Things Up
Ideally, all venues would have great heating systems. But certain options, like barns, may not. Consider somewhere with a fireplace—they'll provide warmth if it's needed, and they're still pretty, if not.
Spread Holiday Spirit
Wintertime is brimming with holiday cheer. Bring the joy to your wedding with nods to Christmas, New Year's Eve, or whatever else you and your guests celebrate.
Have a Seasonal Cake
Serve yummy layers with winter flavors, like peppermint, cinnamon, bourbon, and more. You can supplement your main confection with seasonal treats like gingerbread cookies, too. Decorate the desserts with wintry designs for added appeal.
Give Thematic Favors
Send guests off with something that'll always remind them of the season you got married in. Mugs, snow globes, and ornaments are a few examples.