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WEDDING BLOG

Ask the Expert – Planning Your Winter Wedding

December 18, 2014 | nicole

Nicola-David-Jason-Mize-Photography-25-600x400 photo by Jason Mize Photography

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Winter weddings are all about highlighting the beauty of the changing season, but they also come with unique wedding planning needs to keep guests comfortable and to make sure that your I Dos are as magical and festive as you’ve always dreamed. Hailing from Seattle, wedding planners and designers Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley & Co. know a thing or two about planning a winter wedding, from what to wear to the best venues for your cold weather celebration. We’re so lucky to have their expert advice on planning your winter wedding! Take it away, Aleah and Nick!

winter-wedding-at-fairmont-banff-springs-photo-by-gabe-mcclintock-17 photo by Gabe McClintock

What Makes Winter Weddings Special

Winter weddings can be so special as you are inviting guests to celebrate with you during a magical and intimate time of year. With the weather being chilly and the holiday festivities gone, guests will love a reason to celebrate, especially if involves two favorite people tying the knot.

If you are considering saying We Do in the winter, think carefully about where to get married at. This will set the tone for your weekend and whether your wedding is a weekend-long festivity or getaway or a single-day soiree. Do you love the slopes or prefer a city ballroom? Do you envision an outdoor ceremony in the elements? Consider what your guests will be experiencing during the wedding {will they be indoors in the warmth with beautiful views of the ocean or will you be asking them to trek through a field in the snow?} to be sure your vision matches up with reality.

rustic-mountain-wedding-at-the-dunton-hot-springs-in-colorado-photo-by-Chowen-Photography-36 photo by Chowen Photography

Choosing Your Venue

A winter wedding venue should have ample power {for back-up generators}, sufficient parking, a warm ambiance, and ideally a central location to make travel easy for guests. If you envision a destination getaway nestled in the snowy mountains, be sure that you venue can accommodate all of your guests for lodging. If your venue is out of town, check first to ensure they will be amply staffed in the off-season {unless it is considered peak season for the venue, like a ski lodge}.

snowy-kiss-wedding-photo-by-Daniel-Moyer photo by Daniel Moyer Photography

Your Winter Wedding Timeline

Keep in mind that the sun will set around five o’clock in the evening. Think about what this means for your ceremony time and whether you have a backdrop that requires the natural light or has a sweeping view. Add extra travel time to get to your location{s} and in between in case of traffic delays or inclement weather. Work with your photographer and planning team to map out a timeline that works around the sunset and late afternoon winter light.

intimate-warm-cozy-winter-wedding-photo-by-alison-conklin-photography-6 photo by Alison Conklin Photography

intimate-warm-cozy-winter-wedding-photo-by-alison-conklin-photography-9 photo by Alison Conklin Photography

Winter Wedding Fashion

Tulle can be fun and fresh for bridesmaids, especially when paired with cashmere cardigans and pearl cluster necklaces or big brooches. A bride can really have fun with patterns: why not don a plaid flannel stoll or scarf or even fun galoshes for photos? Consider the tone of your skin during the winter months and accentuate that accordingly – some bright hues can make one look washed out in photos, whereas others can be quite complementary.

intimate-warm-cozy-winter-wedding-photo-by-alison-conklin-photography-35 photo by Alison Conklin Photography

rustic-mountain-wedding-at-the-dunton-hot-springs-in-colorado-photo-by-Chowen-Photography-37 photo by Chowen Photography

Choosing Your Winter Wedding Color Palette

Crisp and clean winter color stories with tones of silvers, pale icy blues and shades of cream and white, are some of our favorites as they feel so fresh after the holidays. But we also love to see deep romantic palettes that draw in dramatic hues like cranberry and deep enchanting pinks. For an unexpected color pairing, we can’t get enough of mustard, cream, silver, and evergreen. Totally fresh and a classic pairing.

intimate-warm-cozy-winter-wedding-photo-by-alison-conklin-photography-40-copy photos by Alison Conklin Photogrpahy

Keep Your Guests Cozy

Guest comfort is really key in creating a warm and memorable winter wedding. If you’re anticipating a crisp outdoor ceremony, set up a crackling fire for guests to cozy up around pre- and post-ceremony. Stock the ceremony seating with plaid blankets, wool hats and cashmere gloves, and welcome guests to nestle in together on vintage pews or velvet couches. Add authentic s’mores fixings and you have instant winter fun!

A tea and espresso cart, manned by a pro, would warm up guests when they arrive. Pair the beverages with freshly baked cookies or biscotti. Warm cocktails like hot toddies, spike cocoa, egg nog, and mulled ciders served in copper mugs would be a big hit!

Thank you so much to Aleah and Nick for all of this extremely helpful advice! If you’re planning a winter wedding, check out Bridget and Tom’s Cozy Winter Wedding for more inspiration for your big day.

xoxoNicole

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2 Comments

  1. I love winter weddings!! Unfortunately I live in Australia! So no winter for me :)

  2. Very nice planning for winter wedding. Looks gorgeous.

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