While fall and spring tend to be the more popular wedding seasons, there’s something attractive and intriguing about a winter wedding. Fur shawls covering brides’ shoulders, snowflakes sitting pretty on bouquets and guests cozied up by a fireplace all make for an atmosphere that is as romantic as it is warm and welcoming. Today, then, in the spirit of the temperature-dropping season, we wanted to break down our five favorite swoon-worthy winter wedding venues. So, pour yourself a warm whiskey and slip into your coziest of sweaters. Here are five venues are sure to light your wedding planning fire.
You’d be hard pressed to find a dreamier venue for a winter wedding than a castle, and this particularly grand estate does not disappoint. Located in Tuckasegee, North Carolina, we are head-over-heals for this fairytale-worthy winter wedding venue. Built in the architectural style of a Scottish Castle, what was originally a private estate is now an event venue, hosting everything from private parties to weddings to corporate events.
Guests can stay at the venue itself or opt to spend the night in the adjacent Fable Village, a medieval-themed village that houses 12 guest rooms. Depending on the winter weather, you can choose to hold your ceremony inside the castle, or outside (in the garden or on one of the breathtaking lawns overlooking the river). You can rent Castle Ladyhawke for just a few hours, or an entire weekend, and, with over 60 acres to work with, the winter wedding possibilities are seemingly endless.
(2) Thunderbird Lodge
Sticking with our castle theme, number two on our list is another oh-so dreamy stone spot to host a winter wedding. Located on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, the chances of catching some solid winter weather here are high, making the Thunderbird Lodge a perfect spot for couples looking for that quintessential snowy winter wedding. This 70-year-old historic stone house is located right on the shore. The unmistakably blue Tahoe water rimmed with the snow-capped Sierras is a perfect backdrop for your ceremony. Ceremonies and receptions can be held on the lawn or inside in the Lighthouse Room if weather doesn’t permit an outdoor affair.
Built for a wealthy San Franciscan in 1936, few expenses were spared during construction of Thunderbird. One of our favorite photo-worthy spots: Thunderbird Yacht. Tahoe’s most famous (and arguably most beautiful) wooden speed boat can whisk couples away for a fairytale reception exit.
(3) Hacienda Sarria
There’s just something about brick that’s so cozy, warm and full of winter character, which is why we chose the Hacienda Sarria in Ontario, Canada as number three on our list. This Spanish-style estate is great for a wedding anytime of the year, but we think it’s aesthetic--the balance of dark woods against light brick--would be particularly breathtaking for a winter celebration. Grand wrought-iron accents, mosaic tiles, breathtaking stonework and, yes, that brick, make for a combination that can quickly warm up any winter-wedding guests. If weather permits, ceremonies can be held outside on a reflecting pool, or indoors in the stunning courtyard or intimate ballroom.
For number four on our list, we’re taking you to Richmond, Vermont, where we’ve selected a quintessential barn venue. Barns are often thought of as lending themselves to summer and fall affairs, but we love the juxtaposition of holding a winter-wonderland-like wedding in this charming and classic red barn. Muted (and even stormy) winter skies against the brick-red of the barn’s exterior make for killer wedding photos, and the rustic interior of the barn lends itself perfectly to market lights, s’mores for dessert, charming lanterns and other winter-inspired wedding touches. We also love the fact that your caterer is welcome to source local produce from West Monitor’s organic garden and your florist can purchase local organic flowers from West Monitor as well.
While numbers 1-4 on our list have focused on classic winter settings, we’re rounding off our top five by peppering in a little industrial charm. We love the idea of warming up a space that’s naturally meant to feel a little cold and mechanical, and The Gray Matter Museum of Art in Costa Mesa, California--with its striking white interior--is the perfect place to do so. The space is both clean and modern, ultimately acting as a blank canvas, allowing you to turn it into a sparkling, snowy wonderland for your winter wedding. The venue can host up to 132 guests and ceremonies can be held on the roof, which, with the touch of some sparkling market lights, is about as dreamy as a winter venue can get.
Use the comments section to tell us what qualities you think a winter wedding venue should have.