What to Consider When Planning a Winter Wedding

Photo by Corey Ann

Engagement is an exciting time, but soon the same question keeps popping up:

"So when's the big day?"

You start your initial wedding planning research and discover that you like the idea of a winter wedding.

A lot.

But before you and your fiance settle on a winter wedding date, you need to make sure you've considered the pros and cons. Review this list of the top five concerns about (and some reasons for) a winter wedding!

Weather

Weather is, and always will be, the number one concern when planning a winter wedding (yes, even in warmer areas).

If you would like to get married in a colder climate that tends to get snow and ice, like many New York weddings, decide right now if you are willing to deal with that and everything that could happen.

For example, you'll need to entertain the idea of purchasing wedding insurance should you need to cancel or postpone your wedding because of a blizzard. You'll have to talk to every single one of your vendors about this possibility, too.

And in warmer climates, you may not have to worry about snow or ice, but often times these regions deal with their own problems, like heavy fog or rain.

Make sure that you know these hazards are not something you can control. However, there are many options you do have power over, such as...

Planning a Winter Wedding

Photo by Dade Freeman

Location/Venue

Location obviously affects the weather you will have at your winter wedding, and the truth is that many wedding planners and websites will tell you to stay away from winter weddings because of the fickleness of the weather.

But there's a plus side to winter wedding locations and the venues you can pick from.

If you have always loved the idea of having a lavish indoor wedding, like at an estate or mansion, there's no better time to do so than during the winter. Guests will love feeling cozy and warm indoors, and you won't have to worry as much about the weather outside other than making sure guests can actually get to where they need to be.

There's also the benefit of having some venues already being decorated in your wedding's intended themes or colors, especially if you're going to stick with a holiday-inspired theme. You can save a lot of money this way.

You actually have quite the wide range of choices for winter wedding venues, and if you go with one like an estate, you're most likely going to have a wedding your guests will never forget despite the weather outside.

Wedding Wedding Ideas

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Comfort

The comfort of your guests as well as your own is a big consideration when choosing to have and plan a winter wedding.

This goes hand-in-hand with the weather issue. No one wants to be too cold, too wet, or too frustrated because of the weather.

As long as you plan ahead, though, you should be just fine.

You'll need to be ready to provide whatever amenities necessary to keep everyone happy. For you and your bridal party, this means having appropriate attire on (like close-toed shoes and coats) as well as providing hydration due to the dry conditions.

For guests, this means you may need to bring blankets or pashminas for guests who get cold, put down lots of mats to catch tracked-in snow, and provide coat racks and chairs for easy garment removal and donning.

You even want to make sure your venue also has good ventilation so guests don't get too stuffy or warm!

Your best bet is to pick one venue where you can host both the wedding and the reception to avoid having guests go outside to their cars and driving somewhere new on potentially dangerous roads.

Also, you'll want to consider how far away the nearest lodging is - closer hotels ensure more guests will be able to come despite weather concerns.

Winter Wedding Planning Ideas & Tips

Photo by BZ Events

Timing

Winter is usually the time when people make travel plans to see relatives. So a winter wedding makes it easier on them, right?

Not necessarily. Consider these situations:

-- Some guests, especially elderly or disabled ones, will decline to come because they are worried about the weather conditions and their comfort.

-- Others will not like that your wedding interferes with their previous travel plans, and will not want to come.

-- Finally, some people simply may not be able to afford to come to your wedding if their budget is tight (it is an expensive time of the year what with flights and gifts and all).

When considering a winter wedding, you should look at your guest list and decide just how many people you actually want to come. If you don't care that over half will possibly reject your invitation, go right ahead with your planning.

However, if you are worried that even 30% of your guests will certainly say no because you're having a winter wedding, you need to reconsider the time of year you host your wedding.

What to Consider When Planning a Winter Wedding

Photo by Corey Ann

Pricing

This is usually the most celebrated and most popular reason for getting married in the winter.

Because most couples prefer to get married in the spring, summer, or fall, vendors tend to have lower prices during the winter time, or they could be willing to reduce costs because they'd rather have you booked than not have work at all.

If you're excited about this prospect, just remember to ask your vendors before you book them what would happen should you need to cancel or reschedule due to weather.

However, not everything is cheaper during the winter. Many times flower prices can skyrocket because many are not in season. You of course have wedding bouquet alternatives, but this is something you still need to think about in advance.

Also, because winter travel can be expensive, decide if you're okay having a honeymoon take place a week or maybe even a month after your wedding. Ticket prices will be cheaper, and you'll enjoy your time in French Polynesia far better knowing you saved another $1000 for waiting.

How to plan for a winter wedding

Photo by Impact Sounds

Your Turn...

As long as you realize that these five elements can make or break a winter wedding, you can set your date and move ahead with proper winter wedding planning!

Are there any other winter wedding planning concerns we have missed here?

Why did you decide to have a winter wedding?

Let us know in the comments below!