Maybe some of y’all are busy getting ready for autumn—aka the time of scarves, football (or so I’m told), and pumpkin spice all over the place—but for me winter is everything. Given that, it’s probably not a surprise that I am a big fan of the off-season winter wedding, and my husband and I eloped in mid-February. I find winter sunsets to be some of the dreamiest and moodiest to behold, crisp-to-cold temperatures make me feel alive, and long nights scream romance to me.
If you’re similarly minded, and contemplating ditching the spring and summer wedding standard in favor of something a little more… chill, it’s time we start chatting about what you need to know about planning a winter wedding.
what to keep in mind when planning your winter wedding
Winter doesn’t mean everything has to be white: You can totally incorporate a wide palette of colors into your winter wedding, and there’s no reason to go all white (or holiday-themed) unless you want to. Experiment!
Relevant: If you’re getting married in a church around Christmas and do want all things merry and bright, you don’t have to worry about décor, because the church will be all decked out… for free, free, free!
Go with romance: I mean, you don’t have to, but to me winter is more romantic than any other time of the year. If you want to go all in with candles and twinkle lights, warm shrugs and blankets, fires and dark drinks—just do it.
When it comes to your guests
People might not make it: Remember that winter = holidays, holidays = extra travel and money spent, and the two paired together might mean not everyone can make your wedding. That said, people might be really ready for a party during the cold days of February, so who knows!
Also, they might be late: Consider that winter often brings winter storms, so some of your guests might be delayed by minutes, hours, or possibly a day or two. Keep times flexible if possible, but be prepared to get married whether or not others have flight delays.
Your guests want to be warm, too: Whether this means renting space heaters for a lofty reception hall, keeping (fashionable? Or just warm?) blankets on hand, or offering hot beverages when guests walk in, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping potentially low temperatures and/or disagreeable weather in mind. If you’re planning to be outside, you definitely want to rent a tent (and our guide to doing so is mighty handy). P.S. Serve warm food!
On photos, timing, and other wedding moments
Remember the light: Winter also means early sunsets, so if you’re hoping for ultra-romantic sunset photos, those might need to happen at 2 or 3 p.m.
But also keep your ceremony in mind: If you’re opting for an earlier ceremony time but still want everyone to party all night, make sure your timeline accounts for all those hours.
oh, and about you…
Consider your ensemble: This is especially important if you’re getting married outside or plan to go outside for photos or any part of your wedding. If you’re getting married in the winter, you’ll probably want to find a wedding dress with long sleeves (or even better: bridal separates), a super fab faux fur wrap (or real, if that’s your thing), or (if you’re especially bold), a winter wedding cape to pair with your gown. Bonus: You can also wear an extra layer of lined tights or leggings under your dress if you have a long skirt!
Boots are a good idea: Speaking of what you’re wearing, a winter wedding may necessitate expanding your wedding footwear options. This doesn’t mean you’re stuck with rubber rain boots or whatever weatherproof option is easiest (though you can be, if you want)—there are tons of options. Examples: one, two, three.
Think about your face: If your skin is prone to drying out, you’ll want to pay extra attention to your lips and face. The wind can be harsh, and cold air is drying in general.
real-life winter weddings you’ll love
How We Planned an Amazing Wintery Wedding in Four Months
This Is Why You Should Have a Winter Wedding
We Rocked Our Snowy Wedding with Hot Cocoa and a Carriage Ride
How Our 140-Person, $32K Toronto Blizzard Wedding Was Everything We’d Hoped for
How We Created an 80-Person Wintery Wedding in the Middle of LA
Did you have a winter wedding? What advice do you have for future winter WEDDING-planning couples? where did you succeed (and where did you fail)?