“To HAVE and to HOLD in case you get COLD.”

If your idea of a perfect wedding includes white and silver hues, cold weather, and lots of sparkles, then a winter wedding is definitely for you.

The dreamy vibe of the bare trees, snow-covered pavements, and woodsy and warm tones and vivid flowers that stand out in stark comparison to the crisp white backdrop — all these make a great wedding aesthetic that’s worth remembering. 

However, planning a successful winter wedding is more than just ensuring the styling aspects. Winter comes with a list of special considerations that couples who get married on a regular bright, sunny day don’t encounter.

How prepared you are in terms of the extreme weather conditions, temperature, and lighting can make or break your event. The overall comfort of everyone present should be a priority too. 

Planning a romantic, winter wonderland wedding? Check out our tips for a successful big day.

1. Timing is key

Chances are that you’re going to plan your winter wedding during the summer or spring. Even if you fell in love with your wedding venue upon your visit, keep in mind that the ambiance will change during the cold season.

Expect that days will be shorter and nights will be longer. It will start to get dark earlier. The blue skies will turn to white or gray. The trees will be bare and some flowers will wilt. 

Timing is key. Find out how your venue exactly looks like during winter and consider the following when picking your wedding schedule: 

  • When does it start to get dark? 
  • Which month of winter would be best for your wedding? 
  • What’s the usual weather during that time of the month 
  • What’s the best time for snow, bright winter days, and for avoiding the rain? 

2. Make sure your venue sparkles in the dark

Some venues look amazing during the daytime but look sleepy and dull after sundown. Other venues, however, transform into enchanting destinations when the night falls. Make sure you go for the latter. 

Visit the venue at night or in the late afternoon of winter to see how it’s lit up. Consider having lots of warm tones, like warm hanging light, wooden details, crackling fire, and earthy hues. 

3. Book a hotel that regularly hosts weddings and events

Outdoor weddings usually make the best pictures — but they may backfire if the weather conditions turn into an unpleasant stormy situation. If you’re looking for a venue that has mastered the tricks of the trade when it comes to hosting events, go for hotels. 

They’ve held multiple weddings in the past, rain or shine. And for sure, they’ve had winter weddings too. They’re more likely to have a weather-proofing plan, like offering their elegant indoor venues with heating systems and large-scale glass walls.

They also have a team of caterers, lights and sounds, event stylists, event planners, and other professionals that’ll cater to all of your wedding needs. 

Just make sure to book a hotel in a picturesque location. This hotel in Carlow Ireland, for example, is set on the beautiful banks of the River Barrow. They can give you a charming woodland and riverside garden setting that looks even more splendid during the winter. 

4. Have a weatherproof plan

Weather-proofing is a must for all types of weddings but it’s even more critical during winter. 

Aside from looking at the history of previous winters in your target destination, the best resource is the venue itself. Ask them what they’ll do if it snows. Do they have an indoor venue or a marquee setup option with heating systems? How experienced are they when it comes to last-minute setups? 

Next to your venue provider, speak to your other suppliers. Ask your photographer about their plans just in case the weather turns out bad. Speak to your transport suppliers too and ask them to allow extra time for traffic.

Lastly, check your makeup and wardrobe aspects to make sure you look comfortable and smudge-free. 

5. Find a venue with heating systems

Ask the venue about how they’re going to heat the place. The temperature of your venue can affect every aspect of your wedding, from the overall comfort of your attendees to what everyone will wear.

If it’s going to be too cold, you can fight off the cold by providing your guests with scarves or shawls, hand warmers, and warm drinks. 

While we love staying comfy and warm when it’s snowing outdoors, make sure they don’t overheat the place either. Ensure they have fire prevention and emergency plans too. 

6. Give your guests something warm to eat and drink

The food to be served should not only be delicious — they should also be perfect for winter. Serving warm and hearty soups isn’t just the only way to combat the cold.

You can also comfort your guests in a fun way by serving hot cocktails, mulled wine, hot chocolate, fondue, and warm desserts. 

7. Check the Christmas decoration situation

Winter goes hand in hand with Christmas. But the last thing you want is to send the notion that you’re having a Christmas party, not a wedding. 

Check your venue for its Christmas decoration situation. Make sure they’re not playing holiday jingles or decorating the area with festive ornaments.

Check with your photographer too and find a nice spot that won’t allow Santa or a Christmas tree to be photobombers. Lastly, avoid themes associated with Christmas, like bright red, green, and gold hues, berries, and pinecones. 

8. Dress for the occasion…and the weather

Expect that it’s going to be cold. With this, make sure your outfits are made from thick fabrics like velvet. They should also come with sleeves. 

Planning to cover up to beat the cold? Instead of making them look like eyesores to your gorgeous wedding outfits, find out how you can make them into accent pieces. Go for faux fur or velvety shawls, scarves, and shrugs. 

9. Pick the right photographer

Can you imagine how miserable you’ll look when you’ve been posing out in the cold for hours? 

Just because your photographer has taken lots of great wedding pictures doesn’t mean they’re the right one. Winter can make everything look pale and dull, from the landscapes to your skin tone.

With this, don’t ask for the best shots in their portfolio. Instead, ask for their shots during dull days, like winter, rainy days, and night, and see if they can pull off. They should also be professional enough to take outdoor pictures in a short amount of time. 

Happy planning and best wishes!