There's a lot to love about winter weddings: The cozy, romantic occasions celebrate the love a couple shares while embracing the best of the season. And, when there's little else to do but cuddle up on the couch, your friends and family will be excited for a special night. As excited as everyone will be to dress up and toast the newlyweds, there are a number of winter-related qualms that can dampen guests' good moods. Before you finalize your big-day plans, take note of the items that may throw off the vibe at your winter wedding, plus get our tips to avoid any issues from the start.
Since many couples have friends and family members who live all over the world, it's important to think about traveling guests and any logistical issues they may run into. It's often more expensive to travel during the holiday season, and bad weather can make flying and driving downright impossible at times, especially if you're planning to marry in a location where snow is common. When selecting your wedding date, steer clear of busy holiday weekends, and make sure you provide transportation options to help guests get from their hotel to your wedding venue. It's also a good idea to pad your wedding-day timeline with a few extra minutes to allow for guests stuck in weather-related traffic.
Shorter Daylight Hours
It's no secret that the sun sets earlier during the winter, so if you're set on outdoor photos, discuss your timeline with your photographer. You may want to move your ceremony start time up, or plan for a first look session instead. If you choose the former, think about what this means for your guests and plan accordingly. If you swap vows in the early afternoon, but still plan party late into the night, remember that this will be a very long day for your loved ones. To keep everyone happy, plan a party that's about six to eight hours long—if you want the festivities to go late into the night, plan keep things going with an after-party that guests can attend if they're feeling up to it.
If you're having any portion of your wedding outdoors, talk to your venue about adding extra heating wherever possible. Even if you live somewhere temperate, standing outdoors in a dress in 60-degree weather for cocktail hour can leave your guests feeling chilly. You'll have less to worry about if your entire party is taking place indoors, but you'll still want to ensure the venue is properly heated, especially if you know the temps dip low in your locale.
Many couples choose heavier meal options during the winter, but it's not always great for guests. While certain rich choices, like a pasta course or soup starter, are welcomed options, most people don't want to eat rack of lamb before hitting the dance floor. Instead, bring seasonal flavors into lighter dishes, or serve smaller portions of your heaviest picks.
The Added Expense
The holiday season is an expensive time of year for most people, filled with gift purchasing and entertaining. Adding the expense of attending a wedding just before or just after this time can tip some peoples' budgets over the edge. Be mindful of how many guests will have to travel, and understand if anyone has to decline your invitation—it's very unlikely that it's about you!