Incorporate sweet festive fragrances into your winter wedding.
Credit: Kate Headley

Sweet cinnamon, crisp pine, freshly baked gingerbread cookies ... nothing beats the cozy aromas of the holiday season. If you're getting married in the winter, try one of these seven ideas to make your ceremony and reception smell festively fragrant.

1. Spice Up Your Centerpieces

Winter fragrances can be worked into your centerpieces at the wedding reception, so guests get a burst of sweet scent as they talk and dine. Try placing a few cinnamon sticks in between your flowers and greenery. Or, for a more potent smell, tie cinnamon sticks around the base of a candle and light the wick. The warmth of the flame will transfer to the cinnamon, releasing the spicy aroma.

2. Make a Delicious Potpourri

Create a potpourri-inspired centerpiece by mixing several strong-scented winter items in a vase. Choose objects that look pretty and match with your decor and color scheme. Some suggestions include pinecones (hint: adhere cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves to them for an extra boost of fragrance), fresh pine, and dried orange peels. Scatter vases of potpourri throughout your venue to get a cohesive fragrance.

3. Add Christmas Flair with Garland

To add a blast of Christmas nostalgia to your ceremony or reception, try making a garland with fresh pine. Lay the garland over the sides of ceremony benches, wrap it around your wedding arch, or attach it to the back of chairs at the reception. The fresh fragrance will permeate the entire room, making your venue smell like a Christmas tree. You can also make a wreath with fresh pine to hang on the walls.

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4. Whip Up Some Pomanders

For an easy DIY project, whip up some odor-masking pomanders to scatter around your reception site. Simply poke holes in a citrus fruit, like an orange or grapefruit, and fill the openings with cloves. Try arranging the clove studs in a pretty pattern, like a heart, straight lines, or even your wedding monogram. Let the fruit dry before displaying. You can also place several pomanders in a bowl to use as a centerpiece.

5. Burn DIY Oil Candles

Instead of buying candles from the store, make your own with a mason jar, oil, a wick, and Christmas-inspired aromatics. Spices like cinnamon and clove, natural elements like pinecones and acorns, and fragrant pantry items like vanilla and dried fruit combine to make a long-lasting scent, which will burn throughout your reception and long afterwards.

6. Carefully Curate Your Beverages

Warm up your guests with a piping hot beverage, which can also double as a festive fragrance booster. Mulled wine is typically made with an infusion of strong-scented ingredients like cinnamon, cloves, orange zest, and nutmeg. When placed in a warm pot on your dessert table, the mulled wine will spread its sweet aroma throughout the air. Similarly, hot chocolate and warm apple cider have comforting scents reminiscent of the winter season.

7. Spritz Your Fabrics

For a subtle perfume, spritz your tablecloths, napkins, and other fabrics with a DIY spray made from essential oils. Peppermint essential oil smells like candy canes, but vanilla, anise, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and spearmint also work well. The spray will linger on your fabric throughout the night, but it won't be strong enough to cause a headache.

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