24 Ways to Throw the Ultimate Winter Wedding

Photo: Mustard Seed Photography

Make the most of your wedding's date with one or more of these seasonal ideas.

01 of 25
John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Kissing at Wedding
Mustard Seed Photography

If you're having a winter wedding, something likely drew you to the season. Maybe it was the sparkling snow, maybe it was the seasonal color palettes, or even the holiday cheer. Whatever the reason, you settled on throwing your celebration in one of the colder months. Now, it's time to prep for your event. If you love winter as much as we do, you'll want to showcase the special time of year in a number of different ways.

Before you start planning your wedding, get inspired. From considering the logistics to doing all of the fun stuff—like picking the dress and choosing the cake—we're walking you through what it takes to pull off the ultimate winter wedding. Are you marrying your spouse somewhere with unpredictable weather? Are you tying the knot around a certain holiday? Or are you simply stuck on how to best incorporate the season into your ceremony and reception? No matter the case, we've got etiquette, decorating, and style tips to help you throw the party of your dreams.

Ahead, we've provided creative, timeless, and practical ideas for winter weddings. They cover the stationery, the fashions, the menu, the flowers, the favors, and every other major component of your big day. Pick one or two for a subtle seasonal splash, or work as many into your celebration as possible for a full-fledged festive affair. Best of all, this inspiration is pulled straight from our real weddings, so it's all tried-and-true, too.

02 of 25

Go Somewhere Scenic

couple winter
Winsome + Wright

Before you book your venue, shop around for a scenic spot. You'll wow guests will the views while proving that winter's a beautiful time of year to tie the knot. While you're traveling, consider taking your engagement photos, too.

03 of 25

Notify Guests Early

save the date
Jose Villa

Because the holiday season makes everybody busier, it's common courtesy to give guests as much advance notice as possible. It isn't just for them, though—no couple wants a bunch of guests to RSVP "no." Save-the-dates are a great starting point.

04 of 25

Prep Your Skin

groom kissing bride on forehead
Britt Chudleigh - Chudleigh Weddings

Get started on a suitable skincare routine ASAP. The more you hydrate to combat dryness and cracking, the better. Prepping your face beforehand will help your makeup glide on smoothly the day-of.

05 of 25

Send Seasonal Invitations

dark blue wedding stationery suite
Ryan Ray

When you're ready to send out your official invitations, choose a suite that complements the time of year. You can opt for seasonal colors—these jewel tones were stunning—or motifs.

06 of 25

Plan for the Weather

trees snow landscape
Lacie Hansen Photography

Snowflakes are pretty, but snowstorms aren't. Prepare for the elements so that your wedding will go off without a hitch no matter what Mother Nature brings. This means having salt and sand available for icy pathways, making an indoor back-up plan, warning your guests about potential travel hazards, and anything else you, your planner, or your venue can think of.

07 of 25

Wear Long Sleeves

bride groom portrait
Jose Villa

If your dream dress is strapless, so be it. If you're more flexible with your big-day look, consider wearing sleeves. The style is elegant, and, more importantly, it'll prevent goosebumps (from the weather, that is).

08 of 25

Layer Your Look

bride and groom
Brumley & Wells

Don't fret if you want an arm-bearing wedding dress. You can keep warm with chic accessories, like shrugs, jackets, and more.

09 of 25

Choose Your Footwear Carefully

bride wearing winter boots
Emily Steffen

Toasty toes are underrated, and proper footwear will make things so much more enjoyable. If you're trekking through ice and snow, your feet with thank you for wearing weather-ready shoes. You don't have to don them all day—switch into something else when you're inside.

10 of 25

Play with Menswear

Lauren Kinsey

Black suits and tuxes are staples of the season, but they aren't the only options. Patterns and cool fabrics, like corduroy and velvet, are popular come winter.

11 of 25

Consider Timing

ceremony site colorado snow mountain
Lacie Hansen Photography

As the air cools, the days become shorter, so keep this in mind when you're setting your event's agenda. Work with your photographer to make the most of the light for your wedding album, and plan any outdoor portions of the day accordingly.

12 of 25

Keep Etiquette in Mind

Shannon Von Eschen

To ensure that guests enjoy your wedding, be considerate. If you hold your ceremony outside, give out hand warmers or blankets. If you're planning your celebration around the holidays, be as accommodating as possible.

13 of 25

Dress Your Bridesmaids Appropriately

winter bride and bridesmaids
2 Brides Photography

You don't want to freeze, and neither do your bridesmaids. Stop them from shivering by gifting them with cozy accessories.

14 of 25

Pick Seasonal Boutonnieres

lindsey william wedding dc boutonnieres
Abby Jiu Photography

A great way to celebrate winter is by working with in-season materials. Boutonnieres look lovely when made from greenery and berries, for example.

15 of 25

Keep the Kids Comfortable

wedding guests taking photo
Lacie Hansen Photography

Don't forget your ring bearer and flower girl. Kiddos are even more sensitive to the temperature, so style them in adorable, weather-appropriate clothing.

16 of 25

Carry a Wintry Bouquet

red bridesmaid bouquets
Marissa Lambert Photography

Contrary to what you may have heard, there are still tons of blooms available in the winter. When available, choose some in wintry shades, like red, too.

17 of 25

Serve Hot Drinks

apple drinks
Joshua & Rachel Photography

Kick off cocktail hour with a steaming signature drink. Spiked cider, hot chocolate, and coffee are always well-received.

18 of 25

Decorate Festively

britt courtney wedding wreath
Teneil Kable

We love winter décor elements, like wreaths. Use them to spruce up your reception space.

19 of 25

Use Non-Floral Elements

wedding table setting
Lacie Hansen Photography

While you can find in-season flowers, foliage garlands are just as pretty when it comes to your centerpieces. The beauty doesn't stop there, though—you can use leaves throughout your celebration.

20 of 25

Shed Some Light

joanna jay wedding reception banquet table
Nina and Wes Photography

With the sun setting so early, guests will appreciate extra sources of light. Candles give off a gorgeous glow that looks stunning when incorporated into tablescapes.

21 of 25

Warm Things Up

Mustard Seed Photography

Ideally, all venues would have great heating systems. But certain options, like barns, may not. Consider somewhere with a fireplace—they'll provide warmth if it's needed, and they're still pretty, if not.

22 of 25

Spread Holiday Spirit

joanna jay wedding balloon drop
Nina and Wes Photography

Wintertime is brimming with holiday cheer. Bring the joy to your wedding with nods to Christmas, New Year's Eve, or whatever else you and your guests celebrate.

23 of 25

Have a Seasonal Cake

wedding cake
Lavender and Twine

Serve yummy layers with winter flavors, like peppermint, cinnamon, bourbon, and more. You can supplement your main confection with seasonal treats like gingerbread cookies, too. Decorate the desserts with wintry designs for added appeal.

24 of 25

Give Thematic Favors

wedding mugs
Lauren Kinsey

Send guests off with something that'll always remind them of the season you got married in. Mugs, snow globes, and ornaments are a few examples.

25 of 25

Sparkle the Night Away

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Kissing at Wedding
Mustard Seed Photography

Sparkles and winter go hand-in-hand. Decorate with glitter, wear shimmering accessories, or light up the night with fireworks and sparklers.

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