Let it snow; let it snow; let it snow! As I look out my office window on this New England winter day, that is exactly what I see. It’s clean, beautiful, and wonderfully serene. Although many people chose to have their wedding during the milder weather of late spring through early fall, I think a winter wedding can be just as beautiful. And if you happen to be lucky enough to get a fresh snow fall on the eve of your wedding, I doubt there is anything that could make your day more magical.
There are a few unique challenges to having a winter wedding; so for those of you who are thinking about having one, I’d like to offer you some planning tips. First the obvious: It will be cold! The typical sleeveless dresses and strappy sandals for the bridal party are probably not the best idea. The good news is there are plenty of dresses that offer more coverage and closed-toe shoes from which to chose. You can also add a wrap or pretty jacket or sweater to wear over dresses. The men of the wedding party will be fine in the traditional tuxes or suits. If you plan on being outside for any significant amount of time, say for photos, you should make sure everyone in the wedding party has a heavy coat to wear while they waiting their turn. You may even want to have an indoor back-up space in mind in case the weather is extreme.
You should also consider what your guests will be wearing. They will probably be arriving with coats and maybe even hats, gloves, and boots depending on the weather. It is important to make sure there is a place for them to put these items when they arrive. Most large restaurants and banquet halls will have a coat check. If your reception site doesn’t have one of these make sure there is an available closet or small room near the entrance that can serve this purpose. If this isn’t possible, look into getting a couple of clothing racks with hangers that you can put near the entrance.
A nice way to comfort your guests during the cold winter months is to offer them something hot when they arrive at the reception. Ask your reception venue if they can provide either hot cider or cocoa to guests during the cocktail hour. You may also want to have a variety of hot appetizers in addition to the usual cheese and veggie platters. Then feel free to carry the winter theme into your meal course by offering foods such as soups, pot pies, mashed potatoes, and macaroni & cheese. Dessert can feature an all-white wedding cake or snowflake-shaped cookies. You may even want to send your guests home with a hot beverage in to-go cups.
A couple of other winter wedding tips: Make sure your ceremony and reception sites can deal with a last-minute storm. It is important that they have the resources to clear the parking area and sidewalks to ensure the safety of the guests. Book a block of rooms at a nearby hotel for out-of-town guest that may not want to chance the weather for a long drive home. Build extra travel time into your wedding day timeline in case roads are slippery. Then sit back and relax know you’ve done everything you can. Take special pleasure in the fact that everyone is going to enjoy your unique winter wedding instead of dreading the fact that is their 5th or 6th wedding of the summer.
No matter the season, from “I will” to “I do” I’m here for you.