When it comes to wedding season, people typically think May - October. We are finding that there is a growing community that likes the "off season" winter weddings. There is something magical about a winter wedding. Perhaps life simply isn't as busy so guest are able to relax and enjoy themselves more without having to worry about all the other places they could be. You don't have to worry about everyone being sweaty or the frizzy hair. Here are a few tips when planning a winter wedding.
Work with your venue about handicap accessibility. Snow and cold can make things slippery. If you have elderly guests talk to your venue about reserved parking spaces or even a drop off location that is close to doors.
Bring boots and blankets for outside photos. While the girls might choose to wear cute shoes for the ceremony, plan to have winter boots if you are planning to go out in the snow for photos. Generally the long dress will cover up the boots and also keep those toes from freezing. Blankets or shawls make cute photos, so stay warm and have them on in your photos. We utilize our "she shed" that is heated as a warming place between outdoor photos. This makes the photos much more enjoyable because you are not as cold.
Have warm food and drinks. You want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere for your guests. We often see warm drinks like hot chocolate or apple cider. You can make them boozy for the adults and plain for the kids. One wedding we even had a hot chocolate bar where you could add fun toppings like marshmellows or chocolate chips to the drinks. Grilled cheese and tomato soup appetizers are always a great hit. This comfort food smells amazing in the barn and you can't go wrong with grilled cheese!
Serve dinner earlier. It gets dark out earlier during the winter months so people tend to eat earlier. We recommend still having an appetizer between the ceremony and dinner to tide guests over but then offer another warm meal for dinner.
Be aware of popular dates. For us, New Year's Eve is always a fast booking. People see it as a great memory to ring in the new year with a wedding. This also gives your family a friends a fun night to celebrate together. If you have a lot of out of town guests be sure to have them make hotel reservations early as there many be other large gatherings in town the same night. While some people may think a Christmas Eve/Day wedding would be unique, it might be hard to find vendors that are willing to work. We choose not to book that date as Christmas if very important for church and family time. However in 2023, December 23 falls on a Saturday so your guests would have a long weekend before having to return to work and could still spend Christmas elsewhere. Just be aware that some may choose not to attend the wedding as they already have holiday plans.
Take advantage of clearance sales. Who doesn't love a good sale??!! The day after Christmas stores typically have deep discounts on all things decor. Get stocked up on lights, and shiny decor that could be used not only for a winter wedding, but anytime of the year. We bought all our lights on clearance for our wedding ten years ago and it saved us a lot of money.
Even if a snow storm comes through on the day of or before your wedding, the atmosphere will be warm and cozy. We always say that we provide the venue and you bring the magic to transform it into your own wonderland.