Planning a Winter Wedding? 5 Tips for Making the Most of the Holiday Season

Planning a Winter WeddingFor brides with November 2014-February 2015 dates, winter 2013 brides needing last-minute ideas, and dreamers who love looking at wedding ideas, here are five tips to make your winter wedding a wonderland. Despite the affinity for summer weddings, I find a certain dreaminess in snowfall, hot chocolate, and cuddling. The romanticism of winter provides the perfect backdrop for a happily ever after; these ideas will fill in the foreground. Wedding planner Beverly Farrell shares how to make your frosted fantasy come to life:

Romantic sleigh rides, snuggling by a roaring fire, sipping mulled cider — there’s something magical about the holidays, making them an extra special time to get married. According to the, nearly 10 percent of weddings took place in the winter months of 2010. If you’re planning on tying the knot during the holiday season, these five tips will help make your winter wedding truly the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Consider Mother Nature to be your guest of honor

Winter Wedding DecorIf you don’t take Mother Nature into consideration as you’re planning your wedding, she can end up being the worst possible kind of wedding crasher. Make sure you have a contingency plan for inclement weather including an indoor venue with ample heating. Keep in mind some guests may not be able to attend due to inclement weather. In that case, using an app such as Ustream allows you to stream your wedding live online so family and friends can still watch the ceremony.

2. Embrace the spirit of the season

You can save quite a bit of money on decorations if you’re willing to go with the holiday flow. Churches and other popular venues such as hotels and convention centers are usually already decked out in their holiday finest. However, if you’re trying to avoid Christmas cliches, event planner Matthew Robbins suggests combining classic ivory or elegant white with metallic tones such as pewter, copper or antique gold. Don’t forget to add plenty of candlelight!

3. Take advantage of Cyber Monday deals

“Cyber Monday” and “wedding planning” are not normally two phrases found anywhere near each other. However, Macy’s and other high-end department stores offer unique promotions that can help you cross certain items off your wedding shopping list, such as your going away outfit and accessories or jewelry to complement your wedding finery. The best part is you can visit their site to get deep discounts without setting foot outside your home or fighting against crowds.

4. Ask for vendor discounts

Because winter is considered an off season for many wedding vendors such as photographers, videographers, caterers and DJs, ask for discounts. You may be surprised at just how much you can save. The one exception to this rule is florists. Most traditional wedding flowers are out of season, so if you’re not happy with holly, poinsettias, or a lot of evergreen, you may wind up paying higher prices than you would during spring or summer.

5. Play with your food

Holiday weddings are the best time to get really creative and have fun with your food. Warming food and beverages are perfect for warding off cold temps. Try some of these festive ideas for your reception:

  • A hot chocolate bar. Provide a variety of fun toppings and garnishes such as marshmallows, crushed peppermint candy or chocolate shavings.
  • A s’mores bar. Small fuel cans (the kind caterers use) are perfect for roasting marshmallows. Just add chocolate and graham cracker squares.
  • Mini comfort food. Stick-to-your-ribs foods such as homemade mac and cheese or meatloaf are tasty comfort foods that tend to lie in your stomach like lead. However, downsize these familiar faves into bite-size pieces for the perfect cold weather appetizer. Give desserts the same treatment with mini pumpkin and pecan pies.

Beverly Farrell is a party planner for weddings and events. She started her own business in a cabin in the woods.

For more winter wedding inspiration, check out 19 DIY Ideas for a winter wedding.

In what season is/was your wedding? If you’re not there yet, in what season would you like your wedding to be?


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