Winter weddings are a fantastic change of pace from the typical spring or summer celebration. While some may shudder at the thought of cold weather, it's hard to deny that the winter months are a magical time of the year. The warmth of a crackling fireplace and the serenity of fresh snowfall provide the perfect ambiance for romance that you and your guests won't soon forget.
If you're planning to tie the knot in the winter, the magic is in the details. Be sure to consider the following when planning your winter wonderland:
Choose a venue apt for the season
The first step to planning the ultimate winter wedding is locating a suitable venue. Venues come in all varieties so it's important to consider the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve for your celebration. Mountain, woodland, and lake settings all offer a beautiful backdrop that is even more stunning when blanketed with ice and snow. Similarly, a traditional castle venue with open fires provides a romantic contrast of warmth and cold. If you're looking for something a bit more extravagant, some venues offer once in a lifetime experiences that are sure to impress. You could say "I do" in Sweden at the Ice Hotel, a stunning full-service venue constructed entirely out of snow and ice. Being in the polar region, this venue offers an unforgettable evening under the Northern Lights. If this magnificent sight doesn't set the mood, then nothing will.
Decorate with warm colors and features
As far as color schemes go, lean toward rich colors with bold accents. Ruby red, maroon, grey, and gold are quite popular for this theme. Don't be afraid to have dark colors with a glitter accent as they tend to convey a strong feeling of warmth to your guests. Roses, poinsettias, pine cones, and evergreen sprigs pair nicely for your floral arrangements. Similarly, add an accent of mistletoe above your altar where you and your significant other will share your first kiss as husband and wife. Fireplaces or outdoor fire pits are great for gathering your guests around to share stories because they remind people of the holidays and tend to put most in a positive mood. Even though it might not be Christmas, it's considered good taste to have a Christmas tree as part of the decor as well. Guests could places gifts, or sign ornaments and place them on the tree as well wishes for you. If you're craving a dramatic memory, be sure to arrive to the venue in style. Nothing says winter wonderland more than a horse drawn sleigh. Add some ribbons and bells to help get your guests in the Christmas spirit.
Dress for the weather
When looking for a dress, think long sleeves, ballgown, lace, and faux fur. These accents do well to accentuate the winter theme. Bridesmaid's dresses should be long also and decorated with crystal floral arrangements. Groomsmen should go for black or grey tuxes to fit the cool temperature of the season. Adding a top hat to the outfit can be a particularly festive addition to your Winter Wonderland theme. To complete your winter wonderland look, consider having your bridal party carry baskets of red roses rather than traditional bouquets. Don't be afraid to use long winter coats for photos or accent your dress with a bold ribbon. Showing your guests you are warm and love the weather will help them embrace your theme.
Satisfy with food and drinks that warm the soul
Apple cider and eggnog are a great way to kick off your celebration and loosen up the crowd. Nothing makes one feel more warm and in the Christmas spirit than a hot cup of apple cider or some brandy spiked eggnog. For food, think of dishes that would be served at a traditional Christmas dinner. Appetizers can start with a hearty cheese soup and salad followed by main dishes of turkey, chicken, or ham. Accompany your entrees with by potatoes and vegetables to ensure nobody leaves the table hungry. The food should be filling and leave guests feeling warm and satisfied. Cake is the traditional dessert of choice, but feel free to spice up the night with some warm pie as an alternative option. Make sure to serve hot chocolate as an accompaniment to your pie as well. This combination will make your guests want to cozy up under a blanket next to the fire.
Keep guests entertained with winter activities
Entertainment is key in themed weddings. Kick off your winter wonderland by having carolers walk around your reception singing Christmas tunes and encouraging your guests to join in the fun. Allow guests to take sleigh rides in a horse drawn carriage with hot cider to keep them warm. If close to Christmas, have Santa stop by for a special surprise and hand out gifts. Offer your guests a unique experience that they won't find at any other wedding. If the venue permits, an ice rink or ski trail is great for getting guests on their feet. For a more classic winter activity, join your guests outside to build a snowman. Regardless of how much your guests enjoy winter, the memories they have from your winter wonderland will leave them feeling warm and happy.
Give themed gifts to show gratitude to your guests
For themed gifts, keep Christmas in mind. Ornaments make excellent winter wedding gifts because they're a simple way to show exactly why you care about someone. Put a personal twist on your ornaments by getting them personalized to the color of your wedding. You can decorate with your name, date, and a special message to signify the celebration. Guests will be delighted to hang these on their trees for holidays to come. Another idea would be to hand out small wreaths or crystal snowflakes. To help remind your guests of their warm, fuzzy experience send then home with a gourmet hot chocolate kit. They'll be able to sip this drink on a cold night by a hot fire. Keeping with the cozy theme, blankets make an excellent gift as well. Get personalized blankets with color and embossed with the date for guests to take home for a cold winter's night. No matter what gifts you choose to give, each should be wrapped and presented to guests as a christmas present.
If you want your wedding to stand out from the rest, then a winter wonderland theme just might be the way to go. Separate from the traditional sunny celebration and warm your guests with hot drinks and a cozy venue. Not everyone likes the cold weather, but your guests will surely love being a part of your special day.
Let us know of any other tips for planning the ultimate winter wedding!