Weddings aren’t just spring and summer affairs anymore. More couples are opting to marry during what used to be the off-season for nuptials—and why not? Between the romantic ambience of a snowy landscape, the relative lack of competition for vendors and sites, there’s so much to love about chilly weather nuptials. Read on for our top dos and don’ts for having a winter wedding.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment With Color
You shouldn’t feel bound to a palette of winter whites, greens and reds that traditionally surround the holiday season. Why not choose bold, bright colors and create a tropical wonderland of mango orange, key lime green or pineapple yellow? It sounds counterintuitive, but it can actually create a fun, unexpected setting for your guests.
Do Dress Your Bridesmaids in Style…
Throw out the old-school rules that say you have to wear certain fabrics depending on the time of year you’re getting married. It’s completely okay to choose a strapless dress rather than one with long sleeves or silk charmeuse rather than double-faced satin as long as it works for your wedding style and your bridesmaids are comfortable with it. Plus, you’ll probably have the heat on in an indoor venue, so they’ll appreciate being dressed in something a little lighter (especially when the dancing starts up!).
…But Don’t Allow Them to Freeze!
Remember, though, you can’t be overly picky about what they wear when your bridesmaids are outdoors (which they will be, even if it’s just to dash from the car to the ceremony venue). If you’ve opted for glitzy heels that could be hazardous in snow or ice, be okay with them toting along sneakers or boots to get from one place to the next. And obviously, coats are a must—in most parts of the country, it’ll take more than a pashmina to ward off the winter chill.
Do Create a Cozy Reception…
There are plenty of ways to make your reception an inviting space. With the sun setting early, candles will create a romantic glow right from the start of your party. To add ambience, consider bringing in lush, soft textures. Think: velvet ribbon tied around each napkin or chenille pillows and throws in a lounge area.
…But Don’t Let It Overheat
We know it’s cold outside but things may heat up on your dance floor. If it seems like guests are breaking a serious sweat, ask your wedding coordinator or site manager to turn the heat down a notch (or two). Another option: If there are separate thermostats for different areas of your reception space, set the one for the dance floor area a few degrees lower.
Do Be Gracious to Your Guests…
There are tons of winter-inspired ways you can thank your guests for joining you at your wedding. Winter- or holiday-themed favors are always favorites, like ornaments with each guest’s name on them before Christmas or delectable truffles near Valentine’s Day. Another option is to do a late-night snack. We love the idea of giving out hot cocoa with shortbread cookies or mulled apple cider with ginger snaps.
…But Don’t Leave Them Out in the Cold!
If you want to have a receiving line, plan ahead of time how it’ll work so guests aren’t left freezing outside. If your ceremony space has a large enough entryway or vestibule, you may be able to wait there and have guests greet you after the ceremony. To hold a receiving line at the reception, do it inside rather than greeting guests as they enter. That way, when the line starts to bottleneck, guests in the back aren’t left waiting (and shivering) to get indoors.