Winter Destination Outdoor snow greenery cozy

Photo: Pepper Nix Photography

We asked some of our favorite wedding professionals and recent brides for their best advice for planning a winter wedding. From décor to music, photography to food, check out these words of wisdom from the real experts!

From the Pros

The DJ: “Don’t play holiday music during the reception – instead you can pick modern songs that have a wintry vibe. ‘Winter Rose’ by the Bees makes a nice first dance song, and ‘White Winter Hymnal’ by Fleet Foxes is great to play during dinner.” - Gary Hoffmann, 74 Events, Brooklyn, New York

The Florist: “During the winter months I love to use evergreens like boxwood, magnolia, cedar, and even arborvitae. When fresh beautiful romantic flowers are added into evergreens the look is magical and transcends from holiday to winter. Flowers look fresh, crisp, and clean during the winter months because they have not struggled on hot tarmacs or over heated delivery vans.” - Holly Heider Chapple, Holly Heider Chapple Flowers, Leesburg, Virginia

The Planner: “For me, the holiday season is as much about visual holiday decor as it is about those distinctly holiday aromas. Pepper in a few scented candles with regular candles so that the scent is subtle and not overwhelming. Alternatively, add a bit of eucalyptus or other fragrant greenery to your floral arrangements. Guests will remember how wonderful the room smelled when they walked in and it's a great way to add just a hint of the holidays to your wedding without feeling that your decor needs to be red and green!” - Rebecca Shenkman, Pink Bowtie Events, New York, New York

The Ceremony Music Pro: “If you’ve decided to use the romantic glow of candles and little else to light your wedding ceremony, be sure and inform your musicians so that they can bring lights for their music stands! All of that preparation goes up in smoke if the players can’t see their arrangements.” - Wendy Goodwin, Effesenden Music, Portland, Oregon

The Planner: “Everyone thinks of a white-winter wedding - and usually gold/silver/red go hand-in-hand. Thinking of interesting ‘winter-esque’ color schemes outside of that - navy and purple go beautifully for a winter color scheme, especially with a silver accent. Our favorite color scheme for winter-weddings is a classic black and white (or ivory/champagne) with accents of gold!” - Christine Viola, Exquisite Affairs Productions, New York

The Photo Pro: “Snow can cause quite a glare, but don’t let that stop you from heading outside and taking advantage of it! Simply head out when the sun has past its peak - after 3pm is best. Slightly overcast skies make for the best photos, but sunset is the best. The beautiful soft colors playing against a pure white canvas make for some absolutely stunning portraits.” - Kat McOwen, The Pros Weddings, Nationwide

The Cake Baker: “Winter is all about big flavors. Go for the seasonal favorites your guests have been anxiously waiting for! Try blood orange filling and cinnamon buttercream or fig preserve and pistachios.” - Juliana Starzyk, Juliana’s Bakery & Cakery, Lafayette, Colorado

The Caterer: “Focus on a menu that’s seasonally available. Cranberries, squashes and root vegetables for example are all available through the winter months. Incorporated in appetizers, they’re a nod to classic holiday dishes without serving your guests a full-fledged Thanksgiving feast. And remember there are lots of “winter foods” other than the first that come to mind – citrus and other tropical fruits are in their prime, and will provide your guests a break from the winter weather.” - Chef Nick Lacasse, Pure Kitchen Catering, Chicago, Illinois

The Makeup Artist: “Add a little sparkle to your wedding day look! Using holiday glitz and glam as your style guide, there’s nothing more eye catching than little extra shimmer this winter! The key is making it wearable and wedding appropriate. To keep glitter or shimmer products in place (and off of guests or your groom), use a primer lotion. Pick one feature (we recommend a neutral color on the eye lid, a highlight on the cheek bone, or a pop of color in the center of your lip), and work it!” - Ryan Krasney, Blend, Washington, DC

The Hair Stylist: “If hair tends to get flyaways, is a little dry, or doesn’t act quite right in the wintertime, I recommend a Brazilian Blowout - it will cut your styling time in half! I love Brazilian Blowout’s Acai Daily Smoothing Serum, a leave-in styling protectant. It will ensure that your hair is in top-quality condition for your wedding day.” - Mary Frances Blomme, Phillip Michael Studio Bridal, Baltimore, Maryland

The Transportation Expert: “Allow for extra time while traveling that day. You'd rather be early and relax in the limo than late and upset. Also, remember that the larger the limousine, the slower that it moves. A 15 minute trip in a car may take 30 minutes in a Limo Bus.” - Daniel Baxter, Absolute Dream Limousines, Oak Forest, Illinois

The Officiant: “The Unity Wreath Celebration is a nice way to combine the holidays with a wedding ceremony. During the ceremony the wreath, undecorated is attached to an easel near the altar. After the vows and ring exchange the couple walk up to the wreath and decorate it as the guests watch. This is a tradition that is easily adapted to religious and non-religious ceremonies.” - Rev Barry Kolanowski, Chicago Weddings, Chicago, Illinois

From the Real Brides

“If you make the decision to have a winter wedding you have to be good with two main factors. One, you can’t control the weather so don’t even begin to worry about it. Two, if you are going to make your bridesmaids stand out in a field for photos, buy them cute Hunter Boots to make it worth it!” - Molly, married January 28 in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I took advantage of sales after Christmas for generic decor items like candles and ribbons from craft stores. I would always suggest looking in the holiday sections for items that can be repurposed.” - Monica, married December 29 in Rockland, Maine

“Brave the snow (it makes for awesome pictures!) but have a warm car waiting nearby!” - Julie, married December 30 in State College, Pennsylvania

“Take advantage of the design aspects that only suit a winter wedding, like sparkle, deep colors and dramatic lighting.” - Kat, married December 3 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Take a honeymoon! Especially in the wintertime, it’s wonderful to jet off to a warm beach to enjoy your new spouse and get away from the cold and snowy weather.” - Megan, married December 11 in Indianapolis, Indiana
From Our Forums

“White or ivory scarves are a great budget alternative to boleros and can keep you warm in colder weather. Simply drape across your back and your shoulders and tie in the front!” - sundaycupcake

“Be creative! Just because you get married in the winter doesn’t mean you need to have a winter ‘theme’ filled with snowflakes, snowman cake toppers, Christmas ornaments and wreaths. Use pussy willows, spray Epsom salts on branches, and light up the room with romantic candles!” - LetItSnow

“I’m telling all of my guests that the wedding starts 30 minutes earlier!” - Robin