Winter weddings are so beautiful but planning one requires thoughtful work. In order to get the celebration that you really want and to ensure that your big day is both comfortable and accessible for your guests, you'll need to ask the right questions while touring venues. Here, eight important points to address with a potential winter wedding venue.
Where do you hold outdoor ceremonies?
If you're dreaming of making it official outdoors (followed by an indoor reception), be sure to take a good look at the space the venue uses for al fresco vows. Is there enough room for guests to sit or stand? Is there an awning? Will the venue provide heaters and blankets? Find out what the contingency plan is if weather conditions force you indoors. Hopefully the backup space has big windows overlooking the snowy landscape.
Will you set up a hot cocoa bar for when guests arrive?
Hold the booze—the best drink when guests come in from the cold is a mug of steaming hot cocoa with a few marshmallows floating on top. If this isn't a standard offering, will the venue worth with you to make it happen, or to set up another warming drink of your choosing?
Where are the best places to take outdoor wedding photos with our bridal party?
You obviously like winter so take advantage of the bright white snow and any visually pleasing locations on the venue's grounds. While touring properties, make sure there are plenty of spots to pose for photos.
If it snows, how often will you shovel or plow the venue's walkways and parking lot?
They should have a well-thought-out snow removal plan they can share with you. This is to ensure your guests' comfort and safety from the moment they arrive at the wedding until the moment they leave.
How do you prepare for inclement weather?
The venue should have a generator if the electricity goes out during a storm, heaters to warm up the rooms, and plenty of wood to keep the fireplace going for hours. If they don't have a good answer to this question, it's time to consider another property instead.
Under what weather conditions would you close down the venue?
A blizzard might cause a shutdown, especially if conditions are dangerous and employees can't make it in, but that doesn't happen often. Ask how many times they've had to close the venue entirely over the past few years and what would happen should it be necessary on the day of your wedding.
What do you do for holiday décor?
If you're getting married around Christmas but you don't celebrate the holiday, you probably won't appreciate a red-and-green color palette and a seven-foot pine tree decorated with shiny ornaments in the lobby. If you love the seasonal look, any decorations the venue does put up could be seen as added décor.
Can the coatroom accommodate big coats and boots?
You don't want your guests' belongings to be thrown haphazardly in a backroom. Even if there's not a dedicated coatroom, there should at least be plenty of coat racks.