A unique winter wedding has the ability to truly dazzle all in attendance. Everything from seasonally splendid bouquets, to cozy bonfires and decor taking a cue from nature works to create the feeling of a sincere and loving gathering. When it comes to making your wedding truly reflect you, it’s all about the details. Sometimes, what seems like the smallest thing can make a huge impact on the ambiance and personality of the event.
Here are some ways to add an extra wintery touch, and transform your event space to encompass the aura of your dream day. With these inspirational ideas, your winter wedding is sure to be the hottest event of the season.
Go Beyond White (And Cool Color Schemes)
Just as fall wedding color schemes evoke warm autumnal hues, let the shades of winter inspire your décor. Don’t worry, white isn’t your only option.
Start with the core color you desire (even if it’s a warm hue!) and build out from there. Bold red is beautifully paired with silver, sand, and spruce tones. Dark ivy purple will shine when coupled with pewter grey, champagne, and warm berry pinks.
Wedding Paper Divas has dozens of color schemes on their website, to help you match a winter palette with your main accent color.
Transform Your Venue into an Enchanted Forest
Picture a woodland clearing in the middle of winter: tall, stately evergreen trees tower overhead, dusted with a light coating of snow; the sun catches the snowflakes as it shines through the branches. Now, take this outdoor inspiration and bring it indoors. Spruce and pine boughs arranged as centerpieces, or over doors and archways, can transform your venue into a magnificent, natural affair. If it’s the light glittering in the snow that you really love, dust your tables with a sprinkle or two of white sparkles, or glimmering table runners. The use of pine cones and exposed wood will nicely complement this look.
Create a Candlelit Atmosphere
Short winter hours require you to think about lighting earlier in the day than you would at a summer wedding. To boost the brightness and coziness of your venue, consider candles. We’re not talking about a single candle per table — rather, incorporate tower candles of various sizes, or tall tapered candles in gold candlesticks, to master this look. The warm aura given off by your candles will help guests battle the winter chills, no matter the temperature. Besides, there’s nothing like candlelight to make a space feel romantic.
Incorporate Your Favorite Winter Activities
If you chose a winter date for your wedding, chances are you may be fond of activities in the snow. Consider including props from these sports, as a fun way to give a nod to yours (and your fiance’s) hobbies and pastimes. Vintage ski and snowshoe décor adds personality to any venue, and can be used to display photos, seating lists, or other wedding signage. Get creative with it!
Stand Out in the Snow
One of the many perks of planning a winter wedding is that you’re bound to stand out — literally. When opting to take wedding photos outside, the background is often made up of nothing but white and green, meaning all eyes will be on the couple. Enhance this effect by choosing outer apparel with bold bursts of color: pashminas in deep reds for your bridesmaids, forest green bridal shoes that match the pines, or a chic, faux fur shawl to accent the bride’s gown.
Bouquet and Boutonniere Add-Ins
Bouquets and boutonnieres have evolved to include more than just beautiful summery flowers. Once you’ve selected flowers that fit your winter color scheme, consider adding some seasonal touches to the bouquets: grey brunia berries, and fuzzy pussy willows work well for this. Hanging greenery can also be a great way to dress up an event space, and tie in the décor with the greenery in your flower arrangements.
When you’re inviting guests to a winter wedding, make sure your event offers a way for them to warm up. Choosing a venue that has both indoor and outdoor areas is the easiest way to do this; though, there are other add-ons you may wish to consider to help combat the brisk winter air.
Heat lamps can be rented in most American cities — and if not, there’s always the good old fashioned blanket. Having a basket of cozy throws available for guests is an excellent and aesthetically pleasing way to ensure everyone is comfortable. Choose blankets in a neutral tone, or have them knit in the color scheme of your wedding. If the fancy strikes, you can arrange them alongside this popular and timely quote: “to have and to hold, for when you get cold.”
If your wedding ceremony takes place outdoors, consider building a bonfire where guests can fend off the chill, and toast marshmallows while they wait for you to walk down the aisle. This is also a unique way to make your day unforgettable — we’re willing to bet your friends and family haven’t been to many weddings featuring a bonfire at the ceremony.
Why limit transportation options to four wheels? Planning a wedding in a place with ample snow means you can get creative with how you get from Point A to Point B. Forget the limo — there’s nothing more romantic than taking a horse drawn sleigh. Decorate it with evergreen boughs, berry adorned branches, and a “just married” sign, and your guests will be wonderstruck as they watch you ride off with your love.
Large tractor-pulled sleighs can also be rented to carry groups of guests at once — from the ceremony location to the reception, for instance.
If you’re a couple that enjoys winter activities, consider going for a short ski or snowshoe during your photoshoot. Not only will this create a natural, easy-going environment for photos; it’ll also make your shots extra original!
Food and Drinks
Bring on the Comfort Food
Winter weddings make great opportunities to serve a fancy version of the food you’d want to eat while snuggled up by the fireplace. Imagine steaming bowls of soup that incorporate winter vegetables (such as asparagus, onions, and peas), grilled cheese sandwiches, quiches, and small pastry pies.
Heat Up the Booze
Many couples serve signature cocktails on their special day. Why not winterize those options, and add some boozy hot drink options to the menu? Irish coffee, hot apple cider, mulled wine, and spiked hot chocolate (bourbon or Bailey’s, anyone?) are guaranteed to warm the bones of your guests. You can even have a make-your-own hot chocolate station for younger guests — nonalcoholic, of course — complete with whipped cream or marshmallows to top it off!
If you’re looking for a seasonal chilled cocktail, consider a winter citrus sangria, incorporating the freshest of grapefruit available during the winter months.