So you’ve decided a wedding in winter is the perfect time to celebrate your love with friends and family. Now, you get to begin planning your winter wedding, including choosing a good winter wedding venue.
There’s no shortage of other decisions you’ll need to make for your special day (Like what should winter wedding bridesmaid dresses look like? Are winter themed wedding cakes a thing?) so we’re here to deliver a list of do’s and don'ts to keep you sane and keep your guests safe, comfortable, merry and bright.
Here are some helpful tips for creating an elegant winter wedding that your family and loved ones will always remember.
First, our “do”s for your wedding in the winter:
Do keep your guests warm. This is the biggest difference between a successful winter wedding and a miserable one. If you’re having an outdoor wedding ceremony in the cold winter months, be sure to set up the space with plenty of outdoor heaters. Having hand warmers, hot drinks, or blankets on guests’ chairs is also a good idea.
Do keep outdoor ceremonies short. For the reason mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s best to keep the wedding ceremony short for your outdoor wedding in winter.
Do have a plan B (and maybe a plan C). Winter weather is always a bit more volatile and unpredictable than summer weather, which is why most weddings happen from May to October. You may have chosen the perfect venue for the ceremony and reception, but be mindful that last-minute weather changes might derail guests’ travel plans. Have a backup plan for the possibility that guests might have to cancel travel plans at the last minute.
Do inform your guests of your wedding date well in advance. We all know how busy the holiday season can be, and not everyone celebrates the same holidays at the same time. If you’re planning a wedding for December or January, be sure to send your winter wedding save-the-date cards out well in advance of the season.
Do dress and prepare for the weather. Just because it’s your wedding day doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it to look amazing. Your winter wedding gown (if you’re a bride) might be pretty traditional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t leave room for underlayers like leggings, long socks, or even winter boots. Wedding shawls for winter are another great choice for those wearing dresses, and grooms should choose a sharp outer layer to compliment their outfits with warm socks and slip-proof shoes. The more comfortable you are during an outdoor photo session, the more stunning your winter wedding photos will be.
Do take advantage of outdoor scenery for photos. Speaking of outdoor photo sessions, imagine the winter wedding photo opportunities! Make sure your wedding photographer does a little pre-wedding survey to determine where the best shots will be on your big day. This way, you can have beautiful wedding photos without freezing in the process.
Do keep the guests’ and wedding party's comfort in mind. Remember that not everyone appreciates the winter months as much as you might. The cold can make people irritable, uncomfortable, and tired, quickly. Remember your guests’ comfort when the wedding party is having photos taken, when guests are trying to warm up after the ceremony, and during the ceremony itself. This is your big day, but your loved ones will appreciate your consideration.
Do have a snow removal expert on speed dial. Remember that things happen during the winter months, and it’s best to be prepared for changes in the weather. If your wedding venue doesn’t already have a snow removal expert on call for your event, be sure to make that connection before you need it. It can even be a good idea to check the availability of more than one snow removal and de-icing expert.
Next, our list of don'ts for winter weddings:
Don’t be afraid of an outdoor wedding in winter! Too few people appreciate the magic and sophistication of a winter wedding done well. Your winter wedding is a wonderful opportunity to explore different themes, cocktails, and treats that summer weddings simply skip over. From the beautiful photo opportunities to the winter wedding greenery, floral arrangements, and color schemes, you can create a truly magical experience for your winter wedding guests.
Don’t overheat your guests. Choosing outdoor winter weddings means couples need to worry about overheating their guests as much as they do about a too-frigid ceremony experience. Once indoors, be sure that someone knows how and where to control the temperature in the room. One common mistake made at winter weddings is overheating guests once they come inside.
Don’t set a late start time for your wedding. Remember that the sun sets earlier in the month before and after December 21st than any other time of the year. This means beginning your wedding ceremony at 4pm might mean ending it in the dark. Plan accordingly, especially for an outdoor ceremony. Finishing your vows and sealing them with a kiss as the winter sun sets is our idea of romance.
Don’t forget warm drinks for wedding guests. Warm drinks during winter weddings can change the whole experience for guests. Choose and serve a winter cocktail (like hot toddies or spiced cider) or hot chocolate to keep guests warm and content before, during, and after the ceremony. It can be an excellent opportunity to put a special winter touch on your event.
Don’t be too strict about winter wedding guest attire. Chances are, guests won’t know what to wear to an outdoor winter wedding, and their outfits shouldn’t matter as much as the celebration itself and the comfort of your guests. Not everyone has warm formal wear to pull out for the minority of weddings that happen in the winter months, and having loved ones present is really what matters.
Don’t be afraid to explore colorful winter wedding themes. Winter wedding color schemes don’t have to be all reds, greens and golds. If you like these colors, feel free to use them, especially in conjunction with white florals or accent pieces as a backdrop. Winter may not be the est time for a tropic themed wedding, but feel free to explore rich color palettes for your attire, winter wedding centerpieces, venue decorations, and winter wedding favors. Don’t let the season box you in creatively; it’s your day!
Don’t plan a wedding during major holidays. Remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays, at the same time. Check ahead for holidays during the weeks leading up to and following your wedding. If you choose to plan your wedding on a holiday week, expect fewer people to be able to attend, even with plenty of notice.
Don’t skimp out on your winter wedding venue. This goes without saying, but the success of your indoor or outdoor wedding in winter relies heavily on the venue you choose. The temperature, comfort of your guests, food and cocktail selection and presentation of your winter wedding cake will all depend on the venue and the staff that runs it. Be sure to choose a venue that allows you the space and creative authority you need for your perfect wedding, and don’t settle until you find the one that’s right for you.
Looking for winter wedding venues near you?
Look no further than Casa Del Rey for the perfect space, menu and service for your upcoming winter wedding. Our customer service is unmatched and we’ll work hard to make your winter wedding vision come true.
We offer several different sized event rooms with a variety of menu options for all of your wedding and other celebratory needs. Get in touch with us today for package pricing, venue availability, and more.