As lively as spring and summer weddings can be, sometimes it seems that weddings were made to take place in winter.
The white dress matches the images of snow we see everywhere, and people celebrate love and family during the holidays just like they do at weddings.
If you're considering a winter wedding for these or any other reasons, one of the first places you'll want to start is finding the venue that suits your wedding needs the best and will take care of you and your guests' comforts.
Here are some things to consider when you're looking for a winter wedding venue...
When you're choosing a winter wedding venue, first thing's first: where do you want to get married?
Are you going to stay in your hometown, or do you want a destination wedding in another state?
Or maybe you want to get married abroad in a cozy little church in the snow-covered Alps.
Because you have the freedom to choose where you want to marry, winter weddings are not much different than other seasonal weddings. However, there are some differences to consider:
- Keep in mind that geography greatly affects the weather you will experience during your wedding week and on your wedding day. Though many locations like Boston or even Ireland lend themselves well to a spirited holiday wedding, they also are prone to very cold temperatures.
- If you choose an area with snow, you'll need to make sure the venue is accessible and snow and ice are cleared away so guests don't have any problems showing up.
- Make sure the venue has nearby parking and that guests have local and very close lodging options; having guests unable to attend your wedding because they are 30 minutes away and a road is closed will cause unnecessary stress.
Picking a general area for where you want to get married will help you narrow down your winter wedding venue choices. In some areas, these may be more numerous than you realize.
Once you have an idea of where in the world (literally) you want to get married, start making a list of all your favorite wedding venues in that area.
Type of Establishment
It's time to go through your list of winter wedding venues.
Hopefully, you've figured out what the theme of your wedding is by now, or what style you're aiming for. Winter wedding venues can vary in impressions and looks just as much as spring or summer venues can.
And you don't need to be limited to traditional wedding locations, such as hotel ballrooms, churches, or event halls. Because most weddings don't take place in the winter, it's the perfect time to consider breaking some more rules and consider alternative options, such as:
- Estate or mansion wedding venues
- Classic movie or stage theaters
- Ice castles (though these are usually in far-away locations!)
These would undoubtedly create that extra "wow" effect with your guests.
If you're going for a cozy winter wedding, obviously you'll want to avoid any venue that feels too large for the occasion - aim for something like a lodge, cabin, or barn. Alternatively, you'll want to look for a posh location if you're hosting a large, fabulous wedding with all the holiday trimmings.
You have plenty of options during the winter, including having an indoor or outdoor wedding!
Indoor vs. Outdoor Winter Wedding
It may seem silly to consider an outdoor wedding during the winter, but again, depending on where you are choosing to get married, it's actually not that far-fetched.
If you plan to get married in a warmer state, you have the luxury of choosing pretty freely between an indoor or outdoor venue (or both!).
- For example, getting married during the winter at a California estate in Napa Valley will not be nearly so cold for yourself and guests as it would if you were getting married in the Midwest or East Coast where there are high chances of blizzards.
- Even in warmer climates, you can get chilly temperatures during the evening. Be sure to warn guests about this on your wedding website or with a "bring your coat" note in your wedding invitations.
- Getting married in an area prone to higher temperatures will definitely keep things simpler for your wedding planning, but don't feel that you need to choose an indoor-only venue if you're in a snow zone.
- If you've found a wedding venue that has a gorgeous patio you want to utilize, ask the staff if it's possible to include patio lamps or table warmers. These can actually solve lots of cold weather problems, and they may be included with your venue (otherwise you can rent them from elsewhere).
- You can also consider having a tent put up where the lamps can easily spread their warmth. Tents would also provide protection from snow flurries or windy conditions while still allowing you to be outside.
You're still going to be taking a risk that there's not a blizzard happening on your wedding day, but if the weather is mild, clear, and crisp, patio heaters can make an outdoor winter wedding possible.
Last but not least, you always need to ask yourself this question: what did you set aside for your venue?
Normally, wedding venues take up quite a bit of your overall budget, but if you're getting married in the winter, there are a few more expenses you need to consider.
- One major factor in the price of any winter wedding venue will be, as previously mentioned, any heating elements that may be needed.
- Though indoor facilities will most likely include fireplaces and heaters in the price of your rental, you may have to shell out some extra cash if you're planning to rent and heat an outdoor tent or patio.
- Additionally, consider how snow and ice will be dealt with on the premises. Does the location take care of putting down salt to melt the ice or do you need to purchase your own?
- Flowers need to be protected in cold weather, so you may need to buy or find covers for them when you carry them outside.
- Normal drinks with ice in them, like punch or tea, may not be what you want to serve on an already cold day. Factor the price difference into your budget if you want to serve coffee, mulled wine, hot cider, and hot chocolate instead.
Time to Search!
Now that you've got the entire winter wedding venue low-down, you should be all set for finding your location.
Remember that just because you're not getting married in spring or summer, your wedding won't be memorable. With the right winter wedding venue, you and your guests will be sure to hold your special day in memory for a long time!
Do you have a favorite Winter Wedding Venue or any questions regarding winter weddings?
Please share any thoughts or ideas you have in the comments below...