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TL;DR: Not only is winter a special time of year for families, but it’s also a magical time for couples in love. For those planning a winter wonderland wedding, TheKnot.com is the go-to resource.
Did you know 7 percent of couples had a winter wedding in 2013? According to The Knot 2013 Real Weddings Study, which consists of more than 12,600 U.S. brides, that’s 2 percent more than 2012!
Forget spring, summer or fall — make way for winter. There are TONS of advantages to having a winter wedding, and Jamie Miles, editor of TheKnot.com, was kind enough to share her insider secrets for making the day as perfect as possible for you and your guests.
“The holidays and winter in general create the opportunity to have a really warm, intimate event,” she said.
One of the biggest perks of having a winter wedding is couples don’t have to book the venue, caterers and photographers as early as those having a summer wedding, but Miles still recommends getting a head start.
Plus you’ll save some money because businesses are more flexible with their prices during this time of year.
“You might also be able to get a deal because winter is considered off season or off peak for many venues,” she said.
Miles’ #1 tip for couples having a destination wedding is to not only think about your travel plans, but take into account what it will take for your guests to get there. Make the process as easy as possible for them, and keep the lines of communication open.
“People love the excuse to have a little vacation and a little sunny getaway,” she said. “The holidays are a time to get all of your family together. It actually may be more convenient to have a wedding around that time, especially if you have guests travelling from out of town and the timing works out.”
It’s true the venue is a great way to set the scene for a winter wonderland, but don’t stop there!
According to Miles, one of the biggest trends of 2014’s Bridal Fashion Week was cardigans and sweaters, which she said provide contrast to the white dress and fits with a winter wedding theme.
For bridesmaids, try cozy separates like long-sleeve blouses with tulle skirts or bold colors like dove gray or metallic lace.
“Also, blue wedding dresses are in this season, so it’s a modern take on the traditional white gown,” she said. “I think that hue would look especially beautiful with an all-white backdrop in a snowy setting.”
But Miles doesn’t forget about the groom and his pals. While you can’t go wrong with a traditional tux, try to mix in some fun options like plaid bow ties.
“Grooms are also enjoying colored suits at the moment,” she said. “We always encourage them to play up their personalities.”
Yes, it’s possible to have an outdoor ceremony in December, January or February, but the key is to be creative and plan, plan, plan (and maybe make it a quick one)!
Consider draping blankets over the chairs, or see if your venue provides heated lamps.
If you don’t want to brave the cold, look inside for a big window that you can have the ceremony in front of, and then you can just take a few group photos outside.
“Make sure your groom has a jacket. Make sure you have some cute cardigan. Even grabbing a plaid blanket would be cute. Also, make sure you time it appropriately so you have a plan and your photographer is aware,” Miles said. “There’s something gorgeous about snowy wedding photos.”
According to Miles, couples are inviting fewer and fewer guests to their weddings than ever before. However, they’re also spending more money on the guest experience … so much so the team at TheKnot.com coined 2013 as “The Year of the Guest.”
“Obviously it’s all about the couple, but it’s also about creating a personalized, memorable experience their guests are going to remember,” she said.
So how do you do that? Let’s start with the decor.
Miles’ decorating advice is to work with what’s already available at your venue. If they have seasonal lights and trees around the property, add a personal touch by including items that reflect your personality
“A lot of venues are already spruced up for the season, so you can play off some of the decor they already have,” she said. “It’s all about your personality and what kind of look you’re going for.”
But what about the food?
Miles suggests serving hearty comfort foods like smaller portions of filet medallions or Cornish hen in a broth-based soup, as well as getting creative with the drinks by providing mulled cider or a hot chocolate bar.
When it’s time to say goodbye to your guests and the winter wonderland, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the spirit going. A wintertime honeymoon is often just what the wedding doctor ordered!
“If you are planning a winter wedding, you have a warm honeymoon to potentially look forward to as well,” Miles said
For more winter wedding tips and more, visit TheKnot.com, the most popular one-stop wedding planning site. The wedding of your dreams is just one click away!