15 Do’s and Don’ts of Planning a Winter Wedding
15 Dos and Don’ts of Planning a Winter Wedding
According to Priceonomics, spring and summer are by far the most popular seasons for weddings. 80% of all weddings happen in the six months between May and October. That leaves very few couples planning a winter wedding.
However, if the romance of having a cozy, candlelit wedding ceremony on a chilly winter evening appeals to you – there are a lot of advantages to going against the grain and getting married this time of year.
In fact, winter can be the best time of the year for a wedding. Many venues offer lower prices and better availability. Also, you’ll be more likely to get your friends and family together, as many people have time off from work and school.
Here are fifteen of our favorite do’s and don’ts to consider when planning your perfect winter wedding.
1. Do Embrace the Season
If you are choosing to have a winter wedding, you’ll want to embrace this time of year and make your wedding reflect the reason. Winter weddings are all about creating a magical, cozy vibe that is perfectly appropriate for the season.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a winter wedding is to try to make it the same as a summer wedding. If you’re stuck on wearing light and breezy clothing, serving up refreshing cocktails, decorating with tropical flowers and having an outdoor ceremony – it would be better to have a summer wedding.
2. Don’t Let the Bridesmaids Be Cold
If the weather will be chilly, your bridesmaids need another layer to wear over their dresses so they can be comfortable yet still look stylish. It can be anything from a faux fur coat to a cashmere wrap to a big, luxurious jacket – it all depends on the look you want.
Also, don’t forget about what they wear under their dresses as well. You might want to encourage the group to wear leggings or tights to keep warm!
3. Do Factor In Extra Travel Time
Winter weather means that getting to your wedding venue and to the reception venue later (if they are in separate locations) can be tricky. The roads might be treacherous and might require very careful driving.
It’s always a good idea to factor in plenty of extra travel time during the winter. Plus, you may want to also have an alternative route planned in case the roads are closed or dangerous.
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4. Don’t Be Limited to Christmas Colors
Just because you are having a winter wedding doesn’t mean that you have to stick to decorating with reds, greens, golds and silvers. Your wedding can have a huge range of color palettes – so use your imagination!
For example, imagine winter wedding decor themed in soft grays, pastel blues, pinks, purples and bright whites. It would mirror the pure, freshly fallen snow and the tones of the sky. Or, stick to jewel tones like emerald, ruby and sapphire. It’s up to you!
5. Do Embrace Your Paleness
If it’s the middle of January and you live in the Northern Hemisphere, chances are you haven’t been out in the sun in a while. But don’t beat yourself up, or feel self-conscious that you don’t have a tan!
Heading out to the tanning salon in the middle of winter will look a bit out of place. Instead, embrace your natural winter look and choose something to wear that will complement your winter complexion.
6. Don’t Overdo the Heating
You don’t need to blast the heat to compensate for the cold outside. Your guests may appreciate the cooler temperatures while dancing and mingling in a room full of people!
Too much heat can cause lightheadedness, dry skin, frizzy hair and general discomfort. Make sure that the interior temperature at the venue is set at a normal level – you might even need to turn it down a few degrees because having plenty of people in a room will make it even warmer.
Some large reception spaces will even have individual thermostats for different areas of the room – so you (or your wedding planner) can set the one for the dance floor area a little bit lower.
7. Don’t Choose Flowers That Are Out of Season
Don’t make the mistake of choosing florals that are out of season for your big day. Orchids, hydrangeas and other tropical blooms are not a good fit for a winter wedding. They will be expensive to get ahold of, will not handle the cold well and may look strange and out of place.
Instead, go for classic winter flowers such as amaryllis, French Tulips, gerberas, roses and poinsettias. You can also opt for other, more holiday-themed arrangements, such as mistletoe, white-tipped pine cones, conifer branches, holly and red berries.
8. Do Serve a Seasonal Treat
Treat your guests to something warm, comforting and delicious at your wedding. For example, you could offer hot chocolate or mulled wine, as well as tasty desserts such as ginger snaps and shortbread cookies. Or, you could set out special macarons that match your wedding color scheme. These types of traditional winter treats will put them in a happy, festive mood.
If you are having a Valentine’s Day wedding, something sensual and romantic like champagne and a chocolate fountain with fresh strawberries would be perfect.
9. Don’t Get Cold Feet
Metaphorical cold feet are a danger at any wedding, but in a winter wedding your toes might literally get chilled! Instead of wearing dainty high heels, you can wear a pair of stylish boots that will keep you so much more comfortable. (Plus, you’ll have better grip when walking across icy sidewalks.)
Make sure you encourage your guests and wedding party to wear warm shoes as well, especially if they are going to be outside for any length of time. If you think your boots will be too warm to wear inside on the dance floor, you can always bring another pair of ballet slippers or flats to change into when it’s time to boogie.
10. Do Use Plenty of Sparkly Lights
Twinkling lights are an absolute must for any winter wedding! The magical atmosphere they create is irresistible. Plus, they will light up a dark winter night!
You can also try mixing up the small twinkly lights with larger lanterns and bulbs to create more visual interest. You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to lighting for your wedding, though. Too many flashing lights can be overwhelming and tacky. Subtle yellow or white lights strung up overhead or wrapped around support beams can be very pretty and effective. Usually a steady glow is best. If they flash on and off, it can get annoying.
11. Don’t Forget About Sunset
During the winter months, the sun can go down as early as 4pm. So, if you plan on taking photos outside, you’ll need to schedule them earlier in the day so that you can take advantage of the sunlight. (Consider taking them during the “golden hour” right before sunset, to capture that soft, glowing light.)
Don’t worry too much if the day is overcast and not very sunny. A good photographer will be able to create beautiful, moody and romantic photos even on a cloudy day. In fact, sometimes chilly winter weather can add a certain element to your photos that you wouldn’t have at any other time of the year. Ask your photographer to take some black and white images – the stark winter landscapes can look incredibly dramatic without color.
12. Do Have Spare Umbrellas
This is not just a winter wedding tip – it works for all seasons! Have a supply of extra umbrellas on hand for any guest who has forgotten theirs. They don’t have to be too fancy, but your guests will really appreciate them.
Or, you can give your guests umbrellas as their wedding favors. Transparent umbrellas can be a great option, as they will not look too heavy or imposing in the photos.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Black
One of the hottest trends at the moment in winter wedding decor is black paired with metallics and jewel tones. This dark dramatic color is edgy and stylish and it pairs extremely well with shiny elements such as gold and silver.
There are so many ways to use black in your wedding decor. You could use matte black plates for your table settings, or black candlesticks as a centerpiece. A black tablecloth can be elegant and dramatic, or you can use a runner if you don’t want to completely cover the table.
14. Do Set Up a Romantic Fireplace
When the weather outside is frightful, having a cozy fire at your wedding will be so delightful! Okay, that was cheesy BUT it’s true! There’s something so romantic about a roaring fireplace. Not only will it keep your guests warm, it will also set a magical and welcoming mood.
If this appeals to you, look for a winter wedding venue with a fireplace. Make sure that you have permission from the venue to use it, and that you have someone who knows how to operate it. Assigning someone to be responsible for keeping the flames stoked throughout the evening is a must, be it your wedding planner or a loved one.
15. Don’t Hold Your Wedding Too Close to Christmas
Your guests will have their own Christmas plans with their families. Some might even be out of town visiting relatives during the winter months. Having your wedding at this time of year means there is a good chance that many people won’t be able to make it.
You could have the wedding in November or early December, before the holiday rush really begins. Or, you could plan it for January or February – when guests might be in the mood for a celebration to add some brightness to the cold, dark months.
Start planning your magical winter wedding!
A winter wedding will be an unforgettable event that will light up the cold dreary months. For expert help planning your wedding and coordinating discounted group travel for your guests, contact Traveler’s Q.