In the movies, everyone seems to get married in June. But a winter wedding can be terrifically glamorous, cinematic and magical. With the right elements, your winter wedding will be a wonderland.
Attire for Your Winter Wedding
Think about you and your sweetie in the elegant look of old Hollywood; the groom in tails, and the bride in a white long silk dress with a white fur or faux fur wrap. Evoke the season with "ice" -- diamond or diamond-like jewelry.
90% of wedding dresses are strapless or sleeveless, but that's not so practical for a bride who wants to take pictures outside or needs to walk any distance. Look for wraps, shrugs, and capes, or dramatic coats. The look of a bride in a white dress and a large red shawl huddled against her groom who has a red boutonnière makes a striking contrast. And don't forget your bridesmaids! An attractive wrap to wear on the day of your wedding and beyond makes a great bridesmaid present.
Where to Have a Winter Wedding
Look for an inn with a fireplace for an intimate winter wedding. For a larger affair, you may be able to use a historic mansion or private club that will still have intimate warmth. Unless you're getting married in a state that will have guaranteed snow during your wedding date, avoid a room that has a large picture window. You may imagine drifts of beautiful snow, and end up with a gray rainy day.
Be sure to ask what seasonal decorations they use -- you'll save money as many sites are already heavily decorated. Also, check to make sure your site will be adequately heated during the winter months; old churches can be especially drafty.
Planning the Menu
You can have all of your favorite food but add some winter touches like a squash dish, or warm pumpkin soup.
Consider serving eggnog, spiced wine, or hot chocolate (alcoholic or non-) as special treats. Look for an all-white cake, decorated with snowflake patterns, silver embellishments, or sugar sculptures. Ask your caterer about using a decorative snow globe as a cake topper.
Winter Wedding Flowers
Decide whether you want to go for a silver and white elegant look, or celebrate the season with reds and greens. For those who like silver, look for dusty miller, silver-dollar eucalyptus, and baby blue eucalyptus, mixed with white flowers such as roses, football mums, crocus, lilies, and stephanotis. If you're looking for a brighter bouquet, consider red roses with holly and pine-tree greenery. In season flowers such as tulips, roses, and ornamental berries generally will be less expensive choices. (Talk to your florist, as your region may have different availability)
Décor for Your Winter Wedding
Decorate your tables with simple and inexpensive white poinsettias, or fill the room with light by arranging pillar candles on a bed of pine branches At the after-Christmas sales, stock up on strands of small white lights, then string them decoratively around doorways, over tables, and on archways. Bright red cranberries in a bowl surrounding floating candles make an easy and inexpensive holiday themed centerpiece.
Or, decorate a pre-made gingerbread house for each table, and center it on a bed of greenery with candles around it.
Favors for Your Guests
If you and most of your guests celebrate Christmas, an ornament makes a perfect favor. An inexpensive homemade favor is a pretty tin of spiced hot chocolate mix or hot cocoa mix with marshmallows. Also consider a snow globe, with a bride and groom inside, or a holiday cookie cutter with a cookie recipe attached that says your names, wedding date, and "truly cut out for each other".
Special Finishing Touches
- Have the bride and groom travel by horse and carriage to the reception, complete with a fur throw to keep them warm of course!
- Decorate the reception with miniature and life-size Christmas trees.
- Commission an ice sculpture to decorate the reception hall
- Use a crystal bouquet for that extra wintery feel. As a bonus, you'll get to keep your bouquet forever.
- Greet your guests with warm coffee or hot chocolate as soon as they come in the ceremony or reception site.