1. Stalk the Weather
Obviously, one of the main concerns with planning a winter wedding is the weather – and here in Utah we definitely experience unpredictable weather changes. One of the best pieces of advice we could give a couple hoping for a winter wedding is to keep your eye on the weather. Check it in advance as well as in the days leading up to the wedding. You’ll also need to be prepared to have a contingency in place, i.e. if you need to rent a tent if you have an outdoor space at your wedding. The rule of thumb is that if there is a 40% likely chance of weather, you should make contingency plans and if it is a 60% chance, its going to come down – so make sure you adjust your schedule and rentals if needed.
2. Embrace the Season
Winter is a beautiful season and there are so many inspirations you can take from it to incorporate in your day. Think about the festive elements, glistening snow, the fresh smell of pine, and the cozy feelings you get from seasonal food and drink – which we love, of course! Really embracing the winter vibes and bringing it into your day is a great way to get guests in the winter mood.
3. Work With What’s In Season
Not only do we suggest using what’s in season within the decor, especially if you are trying to work within a budget, but you can also really make your menu come to life with seasonal foods. Pomegranates, citrus, pears, winter squash, etc. Using these flavor powerhouses not only embrace the tastes of the season, but also create a truly delicious dining experience.
4. Dress Accordingly
If you are getting married in the winter, you also need to think about your attire. We want to make sure you are stunning on your big day as well as warm. Whether you decide to wear a dress with sleeves, which can totally be amazing, or you get a dress with a beautiful stole or caplet, there are so many options to add a little something extra to your wedding day look – that will also keep you cozy and warm.
5. Plan Extra Time
During the winter, another concern is the additional time it takes getting around – especially if it storms. You’ll want to make sure you plan in buffer time just in case it takes a little longer to get from point A to point B, for both you and your guests.
6. Only Have 1 Location/Venue
On the same note as the previous tip – having your wedding at one venue or location can be a stress saver. Look at places that have options to add a tent to their outdoor spaces, so you have a weather contingency plan, or spaces that can host all of the happenings of your wedding. Whether it be in separate spaces at the same venue or in the same space with a room turn during the cocktail hour. Also, if you are hiring transportation for your guests, it’ll be easier to get them to one location rather than multiple ones.
7. Photographs & Lighting
One other thing to keep in mind is that the amount of daylight during the winter is much more limited than in the summer. You’ll want to make sure that you plan your formal and bridal portraits either during the daylight hours or make sure that your photographer can handle the low light for those portraits if they are taking place during the darker hours. Another thing that can help is adding accent lighting to help bring more brightness into the spaces. Plus it really adds to the festive vibe!
8. Comfort Food & Beverages
Back to the food (our favorite)! Not only do we love creating seasonal menus, but in the winter, we love treating guests to comfort food and warm beverages which, if it’s cold outside, they will really appreciate, we promise! Whether you serve hot toddys, coffee, hot chocolate, or wassail, there are SO many fun beverage options to offer your guests as they arrive to your wedding. Plus, this also allows you to get the guests really excited about the food offerings to come. As far as comfort food goes, think warm and cozy favorites like butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter, pumpkin soup, roasted vegetables, etc. Plus, dessert can be another way to get winter-y! So many beautiful flavors and fun ways to decorate!
9. Coat Check
Another practical tip? A coat check for your guests to store their winter coats because they will absolutely be wearing one in the cold weather.
10. Careful About Holiday Dates
Lastly, because the winter has so many holidays, make sure that you consider those dates when you are thinking about when to host your wedding. That’s not to say you can’t have it on (or near) a holiday, but you do need to be aware that this might add to your bottom line, price-wise, and that some vendors might be unavailable, either because they are booked out or because they are taking time off for the holiday. Also, if you are hosting a destination wedding, your guests might be looking at higher prices for travel since it’s prime season or they’ll have conflicting plans. On the other hand, it might be easier for your guests to travel to your wedding, since they will potentially have more time off, but you’ll need to plan far enough in advance that they can join you.
We hope this helps you plan your amazing winter wedding! And, remember, Culinary Crafts is here to help if you need a caterer or any more advice to make your wedding perfect! Happy planning!