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Can You Have an Outdoor Ceremony During the Winter?

With these tips, you absolutely can.

Contributing Writer
couple in snow
Photography by: Christie Graham Photography

With a fresh snowfall and a cool breeze, having an outdoor wedding ceremony during the winter is a dream many cold-loving couples just don't know how to make a reality. But if you and your snow bunny love want to make it official in the great outdoors, we're here to help you make it happen. To ensure your guests also enjoy the experience, here are a few key tips to follow.

 

Things to Consider Before Planning Your Winter Wedding 

 

Avoid extreme weather conditions.

It should be obvious, but a wedding outdoors during a winter blizzard or record-setting cold isn't ideal. If your wedding will take place at a venue that allows winter weddings on the slopes, a backup plan for inclement weather is a necessity.

 

Let guests know the plan.

Most guests will assume your winter wedding is going to be hosted indoors, unless otherwise advised. To be sure they're comfortably dressed for the elements, it's important to let guests know in advance that they'll spend 20 to 30 minutes outside during the ceremony.

 

Keep it short and cozy.

If you decide to host your ceremony outside in a snowy environment, providing heaters, fire pits, comfy blankets, and warm drinks are a must. Keep the ceremony short—say, ten to fifteen minutes—and plan to head indoors for cocktails and the reception.

 

Have something warm waiting inside.

Once guests get back indoors, they'll need something to warm them up on the inside. Have a few waiters stationed with trays of hot toddies or spiked hot cider. Soup shooters and mini grilled cheeses can also be passed at this time.

 

Bring the indoors out.

A clear-span tent with walls, flooring, and heating is a simple solution that will allow you and your guests to have the feeling of being outside in the winter without the crazy temperature concerns.

 

Select a venue with a good alternative.

When selecting your venue, be sure to ask about the ceremony options. If a venue has big windows overlooking the snowy landscape, you may be able to trade vows inside and still get that feeling of a cool winter ceremony.