Hosting a winter wedding day, if executed well, is a special kind of heaven. There's nothing so romantic and idyllic than snow covered ground, holly and little red berries, with the scent of campfires burning in the distance as you and your beloved say "I do."
But leaning into this wintery wonderland is not at all without its challenges. Terrible weather, bad traffic, and bone chilling temperatures are among just a few of the obstacles you might need to control for on your big day. The unpredictability of winter weather and conditions might seem insurmountable, but there are a few things you can do to lessen.
These are the things we have loved encountering at gorgeous winter weddings.
Photos from Intimate Weddings, and Pinterest.
Invest in a whole whack of mittens. Especially if your wedding is outdoors and in tents, or open air, you will want to provide your guests with a way to keep their hands warm. They also make an adorable wedding favour—something specific but useful. It can't get much better. We also love the idea of sending mittens around for photographs, too, as your guests will all be wearing the same adorable accessory.
Portable heat lamps
If you're outside, portable heat lamps are an absolute must. We hate to say it, but if you are inviting a lot of smokers, a lamp could save them throughout the evening too. Portable heat lamps obviously are intended to warm the space and make the entire venue more comfortable, but they can also function like little gathering places as people huddle around the warmth and can chat.
Weddings are like long flights. You're liable to be chilly, but you can't leave. You're in it for the long haul. So take a page from the book of international airlines, and provide blankets for your guests. If you're hosting your wedding at a venue like a hotel, or somewhere that specializes in winter weddings, they will likely be able to rent blankets for you to give to your guests. No fuss, straightforward rentals, and everyone will be very happy to be cozy all evening long.
This is especially important for your ceremony if you are married outside! You can't have grandma freezing in the front row.
For especially winter-y weather, always have a coat check. Your guests will arrive bundled to the max, and they will not want to hang two coats, a scarf, a toque, and gloves off the back of their chairs, especially if they're wet. Having a coat check will keep everyone's belongings safe and organized, so they can really settle in and enjoy themselves.
Photos from Oh Best Day Ever.
Instead of a signature cocktail served in a highball glass, go for a spiked hot chocolate or coffee drink. We love a nice hot toddy, which will be an absolute hit with folks wanting a lighter but still warm (and strong!) drink. Run this by your bartender for their input!
Serving warm drinks as your guests arrive to your venue is also a thoughtful and effective way to keep spirits high.
A thoughtful schedule
With winter weather comes traffic. With winter light conditions, the sun goes down early. Your schedule should reflect these facts.
Ideally, you'd have only one venue, so no one would need to travel between your ceremony and reception. But if you do have two locations, ensure you budget enough time between each event for people to navigate traffic and potentially bad weather without getting stressed out about being late.
If you're having outdoor portraits done, which we always recommend, keep this in mind while scheduling with your photographer. While you shot at 7pm for golden hour engagement photos in the summer, golden hour in winter is at 4:30. Don't leave your portraits too late, or you will be totally without light!
Keep your bridal party in mind
If you can't take care of all of your guests, at least be sure to keep your bridal party in mind. Dressing groomsmen in velvet blazers, or with scarves and gloves, will not only look fabulous in photos, but will keep the gents happy all evening.
Similarly, your bridesmaids would never turn down a faux fur shawl or matching scarves and gloves. If you're wearing long dresses, pick up thermal tights for the whole crew—no one will be able to tell, and you'll be so much more comfortable all evening.
Are you planning a winter wedding? What are your must haves? Did we miss any tips? Let us know below!