Winter weddings can be absolutely magical, with everything from the sprinkles of snow to roaring log fires adding so much character and personality to your big day. However, there is no denying that planning a wedding for the winter months can also be a bit of a gamble, so take a look at these winter wedding tips to ensure that your special day is nothing but a huge success.
Choosing a Venue
The winter months are also the festive season, meaning that many venues and locations will be booked up so far in advance, not only for weddings but also for other holiday parties. You will likely want to give outdoor venues a miss, but this still leaves you with plenty of options.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a venue for a winter wedding:
- Venue size – venues with a smaller capacity will have a more intimate feel, but, if overcrowded, can get quite stuffy. On the other hand, a room that is too large will only have your guests feeling cold
- Location – make sure that the venue is easily accessible for the majority of your guests, even during bad weather
- All-in-one – a venue that can host the ceremony and reception, while also providing accommodation for guests, is your best bet, as this will save everyone from having to deal with the cold temperatures outside
If you know that weather disruptions could make venue access slightly tricky, you need to ensure that you have a way to easily contact all of your guests, so that you can let them know about any problems as soon as possible.
For those who do decide to hold their ceremony outdoors, make sure that you have enough ways to keep your guests warm, from portable heaters to throws to fire pits. Although this is your big day, you do need to also keep the comfort of your guests in mind.
Choosing a Date and Time
Choosing a date, as well as a time, for your wedding may seem straightforward, but does require quite a bit of advanced planning.
To begin with…
You’ll likely want your wedding to take place in a winter wonderland, meaning that snow would be very much welcome. If you’ve chosen to hold your wedding in the northern hemisphere, the best months to do this would be from December to March. However, the weather has been quite erratic in recent years, so you may need to check average winter temperatures for a few different destinations.
There are also fewer daylight hours during the winter months, which is something you will need to remember when choosing a time for your wedding. The further north you are, the shorter your days will be, with some areas only receiving a few hours of sunlight a day.
The overall color palette for your wedding is something that you will need to decide quite early on in the planning process. Thankfully, the neutral natural colors of the winter months provide the perfect backdrop for so many different color schemes.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Wintry and Icy – this would make use of cool tones, such as ice blues, pale greens and whites
- Black, White and Gold – going for just black and white can be a little boring for a wedding, but adding a touch of gold really glams it all up
- Metallics – these shades actually work quite well in the winter months, with everything from copper to silver to gold adding a rich edge to your big day
- Rich, Jewel Tones – from a deep plum to a rich burgundy, jewel tones are vibrant and so sumptuous
Deciding What to Wear
For the bride, the wedding dress is usually such a big of her wedding day, and a winter wedding does not need to change this.
Nevertheless, you should still try to seek out a dress that covers you up a little more, whether this be with a longer length or longer sleeves. Multiple layers of fabric will also provide you with some extra warmth, while still looking fabulous, as will heavier and more luxurious materials.
While you will likely be indoors for the ceremony, you will still want to take advantage of the winter wonderland outside for your wedding photos. There is no doubt that you will brave the cold at the start, but there is nothing wrong with having a little cover-up to throw on if the weather seems to be especially chilly. Knitted cardigans or a faux fur bolero would be perfect for this.
Don’t forget about accessories either…
Hats, gloves and scarves can all work with your wedding dress, and will enable you to spend more time outdoors.
When it comes to your shoes, winter boots would be best for when you are taking photographs outdoors, which will not really matter much if your dress is long. You can also find so many incredibly chic styles out there, meaning that you will be able to take some really creative photos.
Preparing Your Skin
Since your wedding is going to be in the winter, you do need to pay some extra attention to skin care.
Of course, you will want your complexion to be as naturally glowing and radiant as possible on your big day, so you should start having regular facials about four months in advance.
With the winter weather comes winter skin care woes, and the most common one out of all of these is dryness.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent this from happening to you on your big day:
- Keep your body hydrated from within by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods that are high in moisture
- Make sure that you are moisturizing your skin every day with a rich, thick moisturizer, preferably while your skin is still damp
- Serums that contain humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, will help to draw moisture into your skin
- Make sure that your diet contains plenty of antioxidants, as well as essential fatty acids
- Use a mild and gentle cleanser, as this will not strip your skin’s natural oils away
- If you know that you are prone to dry skin in the winter, it may be worth trying a facial oil
Even though your wedding is taking place in the winter, sunscreen is still essential. The sun’s UV rays are just as harmful in the winter months as they are in the summer. In fact, they can sometimes even be stronger, especially if they are reflecting off white surfaces, such as snow, which can actually double the amount of UV exposure that you experience.
While you will likely want to add a few new products into your skin care routine before your wedding, make sure that you do this well in advance.
Because you do not want your skin to have an unexpected reaction to anything new on your big day.
Choosing a Hairstyle
Just like your skin, your hair will likely also experience dryness in the winter months, so you will need to turn to regular deep conditioning treatments, beginning a couple of months before your big day.
When it comes to the actual hairstyle that you choose, an updo is always reliable for a winter wedding. This way, your hair will be kept in place throughout the day, and you will not have to worry about the winds messing up your tresses, or a halo of frizz forming around your head.
Need some updo inspiration? Here are a few styles that you could look into:
- A swirled chignon
- A sleek beehive
- A wavy low bun
- A French twist updo
- An embellished twisted bun
If you do decide to go with an updo, make sure that you choose a style that will work with what you are wearing. For example, if you are bringing along a faux fur shawl with a high collar, make sure that your low bun is high enough so that it does not keep grazing against your outfit.
Want to add some flowers to your hair?
This always looks so pretty at a wedding, but you need to make sure that the flowers that you choose can withstand the colder temperatures. Winter blossoms, such as winter aconites or snowdrops, are your best bet.
If you want to accessorize your hair with something other than flowers, you have plenty of options available, from pearls to feathers to tiaras.
Deciding on a Beauty Look
In addition to worrying about your outfit and hair, you also need to think about your makeup.
Neutral colors tend to be best, as you do not want your makeup to look over the top, but there is nothing wrong with a pop of color, as long as this is kept to a minimum.
When it comes to the actual products that you use, you should try to have a mix of cream and powder formulas.
Well, creamy formulas are so much more moisturizing and nourishing in the winter months, and also look more natural. They are also easier to touch up, in case you happen to shed a tear or two. However, you should still top off your cream-based makeup products with a light dusting of powder, as this will help to hold everything in place.
If you know that you are likely to have wet eyes throughout the ceremony, waterproof formulas are a must. This is the time to really invest in quality products, as you definitely do not want any makeup smudges while you are walking down the aisle.
When it comes to your nails, neutral colors will always work well, but a punch of color in a bold burgundy will also never hurt, and will really help to brighten up your photographs.
Choosing the Menu
While the food for a summer wedding should be quite light and refreshing, you can go slightly heavier and richer when it comes to a winter wedding.
Let’s begin with the welcome drinks…
Rather than a cold glass of champagne, how about some mulled cider or wine, or a spicy winter cocktail instead?
For the food, warming and seasonal dishes are key. Here are a few ideas:
- Soup shooters in mini mugs
- Bacon-wrapped scallops
- Roasted winter vegetables
- Meat or game pies
- Roast pheasant
- A hot chocolate toppings bar
- Chocolate lava cakes
- Mince pies and homemade cookies
Make sure that you have tasted each dish that you choose in advance, and have communicated all of your needs to the chef.
That Little Something Extra
In order for your wedding to really stand out, you should try to include a few creative “extras” throughout the day.
Have you always dreamed of riding up to your venue on a beautiful white horse? There is no reason why you cannot make that happen, especially since it will look even more spectacular with a winter wonderland behind you.
If you have pets that are like members of the family to you, you could even work out a way to include them in your wedding, even if this is only for the photos.
Another way to make your wedding really memorable is by having a video booth at which guests can leave you messages, or a guest book that requires guests to quickly snap a Polaroid of themselves before writing a message.
For those looking for an alternative to confetti, which many venues do not actually allow any more, rainbow sprinkles, lavender buds, or even bottles of bubbles for your guests to blow at you, are all fantastic options.
While a winter wedding does present a few challenges, these are easy to overcome with enough advance planning. Take advantage of all that the season offers, and your reward will be a wedding that is truly magical, and one that your guests will likely never forget.