Later this week, we thought we’d dive into the how-to-pick-a-date wedding dilemma. But to get started, we thought we’d talk about the ways that an off-season wedding can be rad. One of the most fantastic ways to not sell the family farm to have a wedding is, of course, to pick a slightly less popular time for your wedding. It turns out that those times can have unexpected gifts. I’ve written about the wonderful things about having a morning wedding, and today Cindy is here to write about the joys of the winter wedding. Both David and I have parents with anniversaries in December, and our families are huge fans of the winter wedding (my mom will tell you, “The church was still decorated for Christmas. Amazing decorations for free! Do it!”) So I’m thrilled that Cindy is here to share her winter-wedding-empowerment. You’ll remember her from her post about how you WILL remember your wedding, her inspiring Reclaiming Wife, and her post about choosing to stay mostly at home. And now she’s here, doing winter weddings. Here we go:
I always pictured myself an autumn bride, but, because of the nature of Matt’s work (he owns a lighting production company), we had two months to choose from: August or January. I chose January because I did not want to be a sweaty bride, and it turned out to be so wildly awesome, I’m glad it ended up happening this way!
We figured this timing would work great because January is typically a slow season in the industry but little did we know the political event of the century and the Ravens/Steelers championship game would be happening that very same weekend. Oh, and we’d have a cold snap with temperatures down in the single digits.
Oh well, the show must go on!
Matt spent the entire week before our wedding working 16-hour days getting shows ready for inaugural events. Then, we found out the NFL Eastern conference championship game (whatever you call it) was on our wedding day and our hometown was in it! Oh, and then Matt got sick the day of our rehearsal dinner because he was overworked and was sick on the day of our wedding! Did he care? Nope. He put on his tux and met me at the altar sucking on a Ricola.
Lesson learned? Plan all you want, right down to the tiniest detail thinking you’ve got it in the clear but something will always go a little awry. Does it matter? H*ll no, because your friends and family love you and they will BE THERE.
Your overworked, sick fiance? He will BE THERE, and you’ll get married and it will be awesome.
So, with that little bit of background, here are some major bonuses for winter weddings:
- Honeymoon deals, especially if you love the snow! We went to Winter Park, Colorado, and our timing worked out so that we got buy-two-get-one at the ski-in-ski-out lodge. We had so much fun cuddling by the fire and chasing each other all over the mountain and being active. Hot tubs, beer, and truckloads of snow!
- BIG savings on reception venues. We saved thousands of dollars because we got married on a Sunday in January. We didn’t even have to ask, we just did. We were so stoked that we were able to afford the location we really wanted because we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
- You get to wear fun tights, or knee highs, or even leg warmers (one of my bridesmaids wore leg warmers and it was awesome)! I think these things should totally become the next fashion statements for weddings!
- You can wear fur or a fun wrap! I wore my great grandmother’s fur, which was warm and cozy and just so perfectly me, and it was my way of paying tribute to those that had past without calling too much attention to it.
- People will come, even from Southern California, they will come. They will come when it is 8 degrees outside with a wind chill of -5 and they will not care. They will come in the ice and snow and they will party like rock stars and they won’t care that they can’t feel their toes and that their noses are running all over the place.
- You get to have a big, warm breakfast the morning of your wedding! I got up at 6:00 and cooked breakfast for a bunch of my friends and it was the highlight of my day having everyone there with me, hanging out in their pajamas chowing down on eggs and bacon and coffee cake like it was just another day but deep down we were all so effin’ excited!
- Winter ales! Glorious, wondrous, winter ales!
- Spiced cider! Coffee!
- Warm, toasty artisan breads and piping hot meats and vegetables!
- When picking a dress, I opted for one without a train, which was so light and free and I didn’t have to worry about it dragging it through any possible snow slush and muck. Bonus? Matt picked the dress out of three that I liked. It was nice to let him be a part of “how he would see me” on that day.
- Since it’s winter, flowers are limited without importing and costing a fortune, so I got creative with our centerpieces. I also wore a corsage so that I could keep my flowers with me all night and when the night was over I zinged it into the crowd for anyone to catch. Go figure the only single girl in the crowd would. Fate?
- People will dance because they want to warm up. I mean it. Even my DAD danced. If you knew my dad, you know that this would be considered a miracle.
- Legitimate reason to wear a tuxedo. I’m such a sucker for a sharp-dressed man and a winter wedding simply screams, “Go formal!” Yummy, yummy, yummy!
- The possibility of snow! We had a one-day break between our wedding and honeymoon and it snowed that day. We were out and about and smiling and holding hands and throwing snowballs at each other and were just so f*cking happy! I even made a snow angel and Matt drew horns on it. It was such a perfectly wonderful thing to wake up to and to spend out day moseying about in and barreling through the snow in our ancient Subaru. We still have that car and can’t bear to part with it!
- And the best thing for me, every year, during what could be considered the dreary, long, cold winter, I get to snuggle up to my love and say, “Happy anniversary. Do you remember how sick you were? And when Meg walked into the bathroom and my aunt was standing in there with her ass exposed for anyone to see? And all of the champagne in the limo and taking those pictures outside at night with my brother holding the flash umbrella and we are all so hysterical with laughter none of the pictures turned out?”