June weddings have a lot going for them. The weather is warm and inviting, the roads are free from snow and ice, and the world is ripe with vendors and venues vying for your attention. However, that being said, there are a host of couples who opt for a stunning winter wedding instead. These winter weddings are both magical and exceedingly budget-friendly, as they are considered “off-season.”
Carried out correctly, a winter wedding can impart a warm sense of togetherness among guests, provide fabulous, snowy photo ops and furnish an enchanting atmosphere. In fact, Game of Thrones themed weddings are a thing, and did you know that most are performed in winter? By supplying your guests with the proper setting, entertainment and other essentials, such as warm, cozy blankets, you can turn your nuptials into an extraordinary, wondrous event. Here are just a few winter wedding ideas that’ll warm you up from head to toe.
Have a Winter Carnival Wedding!
Create a plethora of warm memories for friends and family alike by choosing a winter carnival as your theme. While it may be chilly outside, the experience is sure to enliven them with warm, glowing hearts. Winter carnivals or festivals are celebrated the world over and enjoyed for their good food and drink, atmosphere and entertainment.
Hosting a winter carnival wedding is an excellent choice for those of you planning a weekend wedding as you are free to be as creative as you’d like. Consider hiring carnival entertainers, an ice sculptor, or a food truck or two. You can even incorporate a children's station, which includes games, treats, toys, and a puppet show. Don't forget the hot food and beverage stations which help keep your guests toasty as they leave the comfort of warm, heated tents. If the idea of planning a themed wedding in winter interests you, then a wonderful winter carnival is an excellent choice!
Create a Vibrant Color Palette
Sharon Naylor is a celebrated wedding planner who has written over 30 well-received books on the subject. She believes that dazzling your nuptials with color is absolutely essential for a winter wedding; “Bright jewel tones are in, such as sapphire, purple and navy”. Indeed, amid the backdrop of frosty winter snows, deciding to have a technicolor wedding, one bursting with brilliant bright colors, shimmering orbs, and glittery accessories may be just the thing.
Winter wedding palettes are absolutely gorgeous, so go ahead and warm up that wintry setting with a rich raspberry, silver and rose gold palette, or opt for a regal selection including deep purple, charming cherry, with a hint of pale lilac. The metallics go exceptionally well in winter weddings, as they reflect the time of year accordingly, and they also blend well with the seasonal flower offerings. Just pictures it – rich berries with silvery ribbons, nestled amid a sea of crisp, white Gardenias and Oriental Lilies.
Hot Chocolate Bar
There's nothing quite like the taste of a cup of hot chocolate when you come in from the cold. This is why installing a hot chocolate bar in the middle of your festivities will thrill and delight your wedding guests. With a hot chocolate bar, your guests will not only enjoy a delicious mug filled with a hot, fresh beverage but also be given the option to create their very own special drink, just as they like it. Place various hot cocoa flavored packets, toppings, candy canes, marshmallows and chocolate chips on a beautifully decorated table for your guests to mix and match. Having a good assortment of decorated ceramic mugs available will also give your guests a lovely favor to take home with them.
Winter Wedding Candlescapes
Candles, candles everywhere! For those of you considering having an evening or late night wedding, incorporating candlescapes into your overall design will create a warm glow and give off a pleasant scent, enhancing the overall atmosphere. You can include traditional tapers, tea lights, LED or floating candles, with golds, purples and creams being the winter colors of choice. By creating candlelit centerpieces as well as having intricate, creative candlescapes surround the room, you'll find that candlelight weddings convey a warmth all on their own. Feel free to place candles along aisles, as tabletop centerpieces, or in outdoor hanging lanterns, for that magical glow at your wedding.
Gingerbread Wedding Cake
When it comes to traditional winter flavors that inspire nostalgic feelings and charm, you’ll find that gingerbread is quite the seasonal favorite. Gingerbread has a long history of being a staple flavour to be enjoyed around the Christmas table. It’s for this reason that some couples choose an elaborately designed gingerbread house wedding cake. This is a wonderful idea, especially if the couple already has children of their own attending the wedding. But these are not your grandmother’s gingerbread cakes. Today, professional cake designers can create a cake as simple as a small, adorable gingerbread cottage, as monumental as a gingerbread castle, or even an entire village. Professionally crafted wedding gingerbread cakes come with a delicious, spicy aroma and flavor, and will definitely furnish your nuptials with a classic, traditional feel.
Rent a Fireplace or Two
If you can't afford to move the entire wedding party to a Swiss Chalet or sky lodge for the big day, then know that there are plenty of companies which are more than happy to rent out vintage furniture, props, and tabletop accessories. Not only do these companies offer gorgeous classic furnishings for rent, but many also offer electric fireplaces which will definitely add a touch of elegance and warmth to your wedding. Most event companies are stocked with such a variety of styles, that you’ll have no trouble finding anything from Alpine-inspired furnishings, to medieval and postmodern.
Heated Canopy Tents
Heated, clear top canopy tents offer you and your guests the best of both worlds: the ability to enjoy the starry winter sky while in the comfort and warmth of enclosed, heated tents. These waterproof tents come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, enough to suit your number of guests, as well as your budget. Depending on your taste, you have many choices when it comes to the style of tent, tops, and side panels. Pole tents, for instance, are reminiscent of circus tents, and will provide you and your guests with expansive space and ceiling height. Also, depending on how frosty the weather is, consider renting portable flooring. These are installations which provide your guests with insulation from any cold, frozen ground, and make for a great dancefloor too!
Don't Forget the Lighting
Having appropriate lighting may not be the first thing on your mind when planning a winter wedding, but it can be among the most important when it comes to creating a perfect environment for the reception. For instance, by simply integrating strands populated with hundreds of twinkling lights you are sure to create a magical atmosphere for your guests. You can also hire companies which specialize in transforming venues into winter wonderlands using high tech, theatrical equipment. Proper lighting is sure to enhance your reception by infusing it with creative and colorful light shows and professionally designed digital video projections. If you're truly ambitious, then adding some fireworks or sparklers to the mix will definitely create an experience you and your guests will remember for years to come.
Hot Food and Beverage Stations
One very satisfying way to keep your guests nice and toasty during your wedding is to add one or more hot food and beverage stations. Also known as food bars, these areas can be set up to serve anything from savory, hot soup and sandwiches, to warm cookies, smores, pretzels, donuts and coffee. Winter beverages that you should consider including are mulled wine or glogg, which will definitely warm up your guests as they sip these spicy, enticing holiday favorites. Food stations allow you to be as creative as you’d like, offering your guests their favourite culinary delights. It helps to get to know the particular palates of your guests before you prepare, and make sure you cater for any food intolerances!
In 2018, Preston Bailey was named one of the best wedding planners of 2018 by Vogue magazine, and is known for his gift of turning any dance floor into an immersive, theatrical experience by creating fabulous light-driven patterns. While he might be a bit out of your budget, take a page out of his book and use strobe lights and disco balls to give your dancefloor that fun, inviting atmosphere. Compliment your festive dance floor lighting with a good list of high tempo songs, designed to keep your guests glued to the dance floor. Line dancing is a particular favorite at receptions and is guaranteed to get most guests to hit the dance floor. Request your DJ or band perform crowd favorites such as Michael Jackson's “Thriller”, Gloria Estefan's “Conga”, Van McCoy's “The Hustle” and the Rocky Horror Picture Show's “Time Warp”. Upbeat in tempo and familiar to most guests, these songs are guaranteed to enliven the reception and keep everyone warm.
A Holiday Wedding Favour Tree
Last but certainly not least in the idea of having a holiday wedding favour tree. These trees are not only fun for adults but also children who attend your wedding. Decorate the tree with lovely items such as festive ornaments and small stuffed toys. Instruct your guests that they are free to choose their favourite favour from the tree to take home with them. These ornaments may be anything from simple holiday tree baubles to personalized trinkets with you and your partner’s initials on them. If it’s a small wedding, you may opt for personally creating small favor gifts addressed to each guest. Whichever way you go, a holiday wedding favour tree will be certain to create a pleasant, long lasting memory for your family and friends.