Planning an outdoor wedding in winter can be a magical experience, with the crisp air and the possibility of snow adding a touch of enchantment to your special day. However, winter can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to be well-prepared. Here are some outdoor wedding essentials to keep in mind as you plan your winter wedding.
Select Your Venue Wisely
When planning your winter wonderland wedding, selecting a venue that offers special winter-related services and features can enhance the overall experience.
A venue that provides professional snow removal ensures pathways and event spaces remain accessible and safe for you and your guests. It also alleviates the worry of weather interfering with the celebration, allowing everyone to focus on the joyous occasion rather than weather-related concerns.
Additionally, features like indoor and outdoor fireplaces add extra warmth and charm to the ambiance. Whether it’s a grand heath in the reception area or smaller fire pits strategically placed outdoors, the flickering flames create a snug atmosphere. Consider arranging seating around the fireplaces, encouraging guests to gather and enjoy the warmth.
Set a Warm and Cozy Dress Code
There’s nothing worse than shivering and shaking from the cold — much less on your wedding day. Ensure you and your bridal party are dressed for the occasion. Consider long-sleeved dresses, stylish wraps and elegant shawls to keep warm while looking fabulous. Remember to add cozy accessories like gloves and scarves for added comfort after the ceremony.
It’s also wise to set a warm and cozy dress code for your guests. Encourage your guests to embrace the winter weather by going for layers and textures, like velvet, wool or faux fur. Include a note in your invitations that guides them toward cozy elegance, suggesting stylish ways to stay warm.
Whether it’s a chic shawl or a tailored winter suit, setting a suitable dress code enhances the aesthetic of your wedding and ensures everyone dresses comfortably.
Offer Cocktails and Hot Beverages
Warm up your guests from the inside out by setting up hot beverage stations. Serve a selection of hot drinks, like cocoa, tea and coffee. Make it an even more unique experience by including flavored syrups, whipped cream and marshmallows, allowing guests to have fun customizing their drinks. A warm beverage adds a festive touch and helps your loved ones stay toasty throughout the celebration.
Consider offering signature drinks that reflect the season, such as an Irish coffee or a winter apple punch. To enhance the wintry atmosphere, add elements like cinnamon sticks, cranberries and rosemary sprigs as garnishes.
Choose a Venue With Indoor Space
When planning an outdoor wedding ceremony, it’s important to have a backup plan. You can plan every detail of your special day, but you can’t control the weather–especially during the winter. However, choosing a venue that has an indoor ceremony space can save the day in the event of severe weather.
A wedding venue that specializes in winter weddings will be prepared to help you change your plans, so you won’t need to worry about the weather interfering.
Pack Weather-Appropriate Footwear
For an outdoor winter wedding, appropriate footwear is a must. Choose stylish yet practical shoes for yourself and your bridal party, especially if you’ll be walking on snow-covered surfaces. Consider providing a basket of disposable shoe covers for guests to slip on over their shoes, preventing any slips or discomfort.
Show thoughtfulness by providing soft blankets for guests during the ceremony and reception. Guests will be able to enjoy themselves more if they’re comfortable. These can also be a great wedding favor–if they work with your budget–that guests are sure to use long after the ceremony.
Serve Seasonal Foods
Indulge your guests with the ultimate winter comfort by curating a menu filled with hearty and comforting foods. Consider serving creamy soups and freshly baked bread for starters, roasted root vegetables and meats for mains and delectable themed treats for dessert. Include seasonal ingredients on your menu, like:
- Brussels sprouts
These culinary delights will satisfy the palate and add an extra touch of coziness to your winter wedding.
Focus on Warm Lighting
Create an intimate and inviting atmosphere by focusing on warm lighting throughout your outdoor venue. Incorporate soft ambient lighting with string lights, candles and lanterns to cast a warm glow over the festivities. Strategically place fairy lights in trees or wrap pillars with twinkly strands. The right lighting plays a large role in the overall warmth of the day.
Hire an Experienced Photographer
Capturing the essence of your winter wedding requires a skilled and experienced photographer who understands the unique challenges and opportunities the season brings. When selecting your photographer, prioritize those with a proven track record in shooting winter weddings.
An experienced professional will know how to navigate winter landscapes and use creative angles. Look for a photographer who is adept at working with natural light and has a portfolio that reflects their expertise.
Let Guests Check Their Coats and Boots
Provide convenience by offering a designated area for guests to check their bags, coats and boots. Winter weddings require extra layers and footwear, so offering a space for guests to leave their belongings allows everyone to fully enjoy the festivities without the worry of carrying around their cold-weather accessories. Consider hiring attendants to manage the check area, providing your loved ones with a seamless and hassle-free experience.
Consider the Possibility of Extra Travel Time
Acknowledge the potential challenges of winter travel by allowing for extra travel time for your guests. Inform them well in advance about the potential weather-related delays and provide helpful suggestions for navigating the weather conditions.
Plan Ahead for a Magical Winter Wedding
Making the most of the beauty of a winter wonderland for your wedding is a magical choice, but being well-prepared for the winter weather is key to a successful celebration.
Author bio: Cora Gold is a wedding writer and editor of Revivalist magazine. She aims to inspire couples to achieve the wedding of their dreams. Connect with Cora on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.