I’ve said this in my other forums but we are having a Viking themed wedding and considering a winter wedding! For a few reasons such as it’s less expensive, it’ll fit the theme, and it would be perfect for a bonfire. Has anyone here been to a winter wedding? How was it? Any tips on a winter wedding to make it nice and cozy for guests? Lmk
One of my best friends had a nerd theme the weekend before Christmas. They combined LoTR, How to Train Your Dragon and the Star Wars sequels in the decor and pictures poses. There was no alcohol or dancing in the church but they had a hot cocoa/cider bar. They used cedar and pine instead of flowers for bouquets and centerpieces.
They also did a first look with all formal photos before the ceremony because of the early sunset.
We had a January wedding. Personally I don’t think it was any different than any other wedding. It was inside so we didn’t have any wintery type things. It surprisingly wasn’t too cold. But by the time the reception ended it was cold enough for the rain to turn into a winter mix. This caused guests to leave early. The sun set early, but it worked fine because I’m Catholic and we had to have our ceremony at 2:30 due to Saturday mass. We looked at a venue that only had one wall (think covered patio) and they had tent walls to put down. We would have had to rent heaters and then our guests would have had to walk outside to get to the buffet or restroom. So we choose somewhere else. It didn’t seem like a good guest experience. You mention a fire. Depending on where you live and how cold it gets, as a guest I’d be very uncomfortable with an entirely outside event. I’d probably leave shortly after dinner. If your venue is inside with a patio and fire pit then I think this sounds really awesome!
View Quoted Comment
Yes the event would be inside, ceremony and reception, and yes it does get pretty cold in the winter, snow and everything. I wouldn’t make my guests sit outside in the cold haha as a guest that would turn me off!
View Quoted Comment
Oh yes, the fire would just be there for people who wanna smoke outside and stuff. The event itself would be inside though! I wouldn’t make my guests sit in the cold. I want them to be warm and cozy and relaxed.
View Quoted Comment
Perfect! One thing to think about when having a bonfire outdoors, is the smell. If people go outside to smoke and stand a bonfire, they are going to return smelling like a bonfire! And we all know that is a very strong smell that immediately soaks into your skin, hair, clothes, etc. and could potentially bother the rest of your guests. An alternative would be to rent outdoor heat lamps. Or, if you have a way to transport them, you could purchase them, then use them in your own backyard after the wedding. I purchased two of them for $80 each on Black Friday and use them all the time on chilly fall nights. if you want a bonfire for aesthetic purposes, you could always set one up and use lights instead of flames
To make the inside decor cozy, and stick to theme, you could put blankets or faux fur over the backs of chairs. And you can use nature as your table decor-moss, pine twigs, berries, deer antlers, animal skulls, etc. (cool, easy and cheap!). You could make fruit displays as table decor also- it would be on-theme, plus serve dual purposes as both decor and snacks for guests. If you could find a rustic venue, that would definitely add to both your theme and the cozy factor (think wood and cabin-esque). Bonus points if they have wooden tables! You could always push together multiple smaller wooden tables to create the feeling of a Viking feast. Comfort foods are always great also. And you could add fun things like a hot cocoa/hot cider bar (I have a recipe for a delicious pagan wassail if you want it!!) or serve mead. And having the lights dimmed with lots of candles always sets a cozy mood! I’ll attach some picture inspirations below
Something like this for your seating assignments would be cool and easy to DIY. And you could carve little ruins in them
I'm doing a winter wedding too (Feb 5), and I think you have some great ideas! I, unfortunately, live in a place that barely gets a winter, though, so I couldn't really swing the bonfire, but I *love* the idea so much!