As if weddings aren’t romantic enough, having a winter wedding is just a double whammy! There is something so charming about this time of year, between the holiday season, cozying up by a fire, and watching the snow fall. Getting married during the winter will add so much love and happiness to an already typically joyous season. Plus, there are a few benefits to getting married this time of year vs the ever popular summer season. Here are four perks of having winter nuptials.
1) Hasn’t Been Overly Done
December-March are not the most common months to get married, so choosing a date during this season is going to make for a more unique celebration
By getting married during the so called, “offseason” you are likely to pay less and have more flexibility with your decisions than you would if you were getting married at a peak time
3) Bonus Decor
Depending on where and when you get married, your venue might have some added seasonal decor such as wreaths, lights, firepits, or even christmas trees that could fit into the vision you might have for your big day
4) No Wedding Burnout
Have you ever experienced a summer where it seems like every weekend is dedicated to attending a wedding? Well, you are not alone! Getting married in the winter will likely mean your wedding will be one of very few that your guests (and you!) get to attend, therefore you won’t feel totally overwhelmed
There are plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to planning a wedding, so before you get started, be sure to take a look at this guide and start off on the right foot!
Okay, now that we have covered some pros of winter weddings, let’s get into the bulk of the winter wedding guide!
Winter Wedding Guide
Choosing your Date
If you are planning a winter wedding, your forever anniversary date will be sometime between December 21st and March 20th. Choosing your wedding date and your venue typically go hand and hand, as you want to ensure your choices align before you can start getting into the bulk of wedding planning. Having a winter wedding means that there are going to be a few dates you’ll need to be mindful of, especially if you are inviting out of town guests, having a destination wedding, or navigating different holidays and religious traditions.
Here are a few dates to keep in mind:
- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
- New Years Eve and New Years Day
- Super Bowl Sunday
- Valentines Day
Location, Location, Location
For the majority of couples, the first thing they decide on once they get engaged is where they want their wedding to be. If you are reading this, you are either already planning for or considering having a winter wedding and the idea of saying “I do!” in a winter wonderland is all you can think of. If you have a specific vision involving snow, mountains, or other idyllic wintery landscapes then thoroughly researching your venue is a must.
Here are a few things to consider when it come to choosing your location for a winter wedding:
- In case of inclement weather, such as heavy snowfall, will you and your guests be able to still easily get to the venue. (Example- driving up a mountain in the snow to a remote location might not be possible)
- Is there an option for both and indoor and outdoor ceremony (weather dependent)
- Does the venue have adequate heating options, so that you and your guests are nice and comfortable despite the chilly temperatures outside
If you are getting married in the United States, there are plenty of dreamy wedding venues to choose from that will likely give you the winter vibes you so desire.
If you are looking for snow and a white landscape consider getting married in Colorado, Upstate New York, New England, Utah, or Montana.
If you are wanting a winter wonderland destination wedding, consider tying the knot in Canada, Switzerland, Iceland, or Norway.
If you want a winter wedding WITHOUT the cold temperatures and snow, then go tropical! Getting married during these months doesn’t mean a beach and sunshine can’t be involved.
Winter Wedding Attire
For many brides, picking a wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses kind of sets the tone for the whole vision of the big day. Getting married in the winter adds a unique element to what the bride, groom, and bridal party can choose to wear. If a strapless, lightweight bridal gown is what you’ve always envisioned then don’t let anything stop you from getting the dress of your dreams. But with that being said, don’t be scared to gravitate towards dresses that might be more suitable for a wedding in the winter. Pinterest will be a great resource for inspiration!
For the bride:
According to Wedding Forward, A-line winter wedding dresses are the traditional wedding silhouettes. Another unique detail for winter brides is having a dress with sleeves, and there are so many different styles/fabrics to choose from for this. There is just something so simple yet sophisticated about a wedding gown with sleeves.
You can also add a faux fur jacket, a shawl, a statement jacket, or even winter boots to your look that will look so fabulous in wedding photos.
For the bridesmaids:
Following the sleeve idea, having your bridesmaids dresses be floor length and with sleeves will really fit the winter wedding vision. Using faux fur jackets, shrugs, or hand muffs is another way to not only keep your bridesmaids warm, but also looking great.
For the groom:
When it comes to a winter wedding, a groom can really choose any color to wear. Black, navy, charcool, dark brown, burgundy, and even white are all suitable (no pun intended) options. If you are looking for a unique style element, consider adding wool coats, or even a wool suit.
For the groomsmen:
The groomsman can pretty much follow the same attire options as the groom. Depending on the formality of your wedding, having the groomsmen wear sweater vests could be very fitting for a winter nuptials.
Colors in all areas of life vary depending on the season, and weddings are no expectation. In the winter we tend to gravitate towards deeper, darker, rich colors. Just to reiterate, you can choose any colors or styles that you want for your wedding, but here are some color ideas fit for a winter bash.
- Red, Burgundy, Navy Blue, Emerald Green, Chocolate Brown
- All White
- Frosty Blues and Greys
- Metallic Gold and Silver
- Black and White
- Champagne and Maroon
Winter Inspired Decor
There is no denying the fact that the winter months make people long for coziness, warmth, and festivities. Adding these elements to your venue will make your wedding day one that people will talk about for years to come. You can add details such as pinecone table settings, candles that match your chosen color palette, cozy blankets for guest to use during the ceremony if it is held outdoors, having a fire pit or heating lamps, having dried flowers, little twinkle lights everywhere, or even playing holiday inspired music during the cocktail hour.
Whether you get married in the summer or winter, choosing flowers that are in season is a great way to save your budget, while also supporting local nurseries and florists. Don’t think for a minute that you will have limited options to choose from, there are actually quite a few beautiful flowers that bloom in the winter months. Roses are of course a classic, romantic, and timeless option, but you might also consider:
- Holly Berry
A fun new-ish trend that couples are doing at their weddings is having a signature cocktail that either the bride and groom choose together, or they each have their own designated drink that guests can pick. If you are having a winter wedding, consider choosing a cocktail that fits the overall vibe of your big day. Here are a few ideas to help you get started!
Coffee with Baileys
Hot Apple Cider
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Similarly to picking your flower arrangements, creating your menu around foods that are in season will not only be delicious but it will also be a good way to save some money while supporting local farmers.
In the winter months people tend to crave more comforting and rich foods. If your vision for the big day includes cooler temperatures, and/or snow, then take advantage of that and base your menu around seasonal, warming, and delectable foods.
Here are some ideas for cocktail hour and dinner:
- Tomato soup shooters with little grilled cheese bites
- A mashed potato bar with all the fixings (yes please!)
- Cranberry and brie crostinis
The Main Course
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Risotto with Seasonal Greens
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Beef Wellington
- Buffet with different comfort foods
Note: Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to skip having salads or fruits served with dinner, there are plenty of ways to “winterfy” those classic wedding sides!
Winter Flavors to Incorporate
The decadence doesn’t stop at dinner. You and your new spouse need a cake (or any dessert) to cut into, and your guests will gladly participate in eating a sweet treat. To go with the theme, there are so many delicious flavors to choose from that will have your tastebuds rejoicing. These flavors can be incorporated into drinks, dinner, your wedding cake, or any other sweet treat you and your spouse want to have available for your guests.
- Toasted Marshmallow
- French Vanilla
- Dark Chocolate
Another fun option is to have a Hot Cocoa Bar set up, this is a creative (and tasty) way to warm up your guests if it is cold outside. You probably wouldn’t see this at a summer wedding!
When it comes to wedding favors, the jury is out on whether or not it is a necessity. But if you and your spouse decide to send your guests home with a little trinket to commemorate your special day, try and make it something that they will actually want to grab when the night is over. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- A pinecone ornament (that can double as decor during the reception)
- Hot cocoa bombs
- Tea or coffee infused with wintery flavors
- Pine scented candles
- Keep it really simple with a peppermint candy cane with a little “thank you for coming” note attached to it (this could also be a way you have your guest find their table, especially if your wedding is around Christmas)
Things to Consider
While Pinterest, Instagram, and Google might be showing off swoon worthy winter wonderland wedding pictures, the reality is weather is completely unpredictable and anything can happen in the winter! If you envision snow on your big day, there is no guarantee there will be any, and the temperatures during this time of year can be all over the place depending on the location you decide on. If having a powdery white backdrop during your nuptials is a non-negotiable for you and your spouse-to-be, then be sure to choose a venue/city that typically has snow around your desired date.
Another thing to make note of when you first start planning your winter wedding, is whether or not your venue has a plan b option based on the weather. If you already know you want an indoor ceremony and reception, then this won’t apply to you, but if you have dreams of walking down the aisle outside it is important you know what your other option is in case that can’t happen.
As briefly mentioned above, having a winter wedding doesn’t automatically equal snowy weather and cold temperatures. In fact, if you are someone who has dreamed of a destination wedding, then tying the knot during the winter could be an amazing option for you. With the winter months typically comes less busy beach resorts (or other popular destination wedding locations), and more affordable venues. If you are interested in knowing more about ways to save money while planning a wedding, be sure to check out this blog that covers it all in detail.
No matter what time of year you and your partner get married, creating a prenuptial agreement is always an option for you. If you are intrigued by what having a prenup could mean for your marriage, but you aren’t quite sure if it is “applicable” in your relationship, referring to this article will help guide you through all the ins and outs of the process.
Winter is filled with holidays, festivities, coziness, and some say it is the most magical time of year. Summer weddings have always been popular, fall weddings are gaining a lot of traction lately, but winter weddings aren’t super common yet, making them an event people will talk about for years to come.
Once you have your date, location, and wedding dress picked, be sure to visit HelloPrenup and get the ball rolling on creating your prenuptial agreement. Our promise to you is that it will be an affordable, collaborative, and enjoyable process for you and your partner.
Nicole Sheehey is the Head of Legal Content at HelloPrenup, and an Illinois licensed attorney. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to prenuptial agreements. Nicole has Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. She has a deep understanding of the legal and financial implications of prenuptial agreements, and enjoys writing and collaborating with other attorneys on the nuances of the law. Nicole is passionate about helping couples locate the information they need when it comes to prenuptial agreements. You can reach Nicole here: [email protected]