Tis the season for proposals! Maybe it’s all the celebratory time with family, the fabulous New Year’s kiss accompanied by champagne, or that romantic, hand-held skate around the ice that makes this the time of year that couples get engaged. Either way, jewelry stores are busy and the men are bending down on one knee. So if you’re a new bride-to-be, welcome! And if you are planning on a year-long engagement, well you’re looking at a winter 2011 wedding and we have some ideas to make your wedding dreams become a true winter wonderland.
Winter weddings are beautiful and unique. Because weather dictates your venue location and dress, you can really milk some wintry details to accomplish a frosty fairytale. Some brides feel that the trends in summer and spring weddings are becoming cliché, so this is a perfect excuse to do something different and try to tailor wedding elements to complement the season. For example, many brides who choose to have a candy buffet might pick bright colors and fruity flavors for their confection spread, but winter brides can be dramatic with dark chocolates that won’t melt and peppermint patties that are perfect for cool kisses.
Typically, pricing can be a little more flexible for winter weddings, especially at the end of the year, when vendors want to make their quota. Keep in mind that just because you shoot for winter doesn’t mean a photographer will shoot for free. You have to be reasonable! But it’s likely you’ll get vendors you want because their dates will be open due to a slower season for weddings. Also keep in mind though, since vendors know it’s a slow time, it’s also an opportunity for them to take their vacations! If you know you want a particular vendor, you should contact them immediately so that you can make sure they get booked for your wedding instead of being booked for a vacation to Tahiti.
Your color choices are not stifled by the season! You have a wonderful, traditional palette to choose from! Think about mixing bold colors with whites, creams, and beiges. Dark, romantic winter colors include cranberry, navy blue, eggplant, rust, hunter green, gold, copper, emerald, plum, and black. For lighter touches that soften the theme, you can also use magical colors like periwinkle and lavender. Fortunately, you have many available options for floral design and hanging crystals look great in these colors. Despite the weather outside that’s frightful, these colors are so warm and delightful!
And don’t forget candles! Nothing says sexy winter romance like the flickering glow of giant candles! Leave candles on mantles, pianos, bar counters, and even in the restroom. Your tables would look beautiful with different sizes of candles illuminating their surrounding arrangements. While sprinkling a venue with candles is appropriate for any season, winter weddings will benefit from their visual and physical warmth.
You can even tie the winter theme into your favors! If you choose to offer wedding favors for your guests, consider a classic, vintage snow globe! They can even double up as each guest’s escort card for the seating assignment. Winter time also makes us think of family and food, which makes us think of baking cookies (this is perfectly natural, isn’t it?). Another thoughtful wedding favor idea is to give each guest a cookie cutter with your favorite recipe tied to it. This is visually appealing, but also a unique idea that anyone would love, foodie or not.
Your menu doesn’t need to change much for a winter wedding. However, you may want to incorporate a soup. It can either substitute for the salad or you can add an additional course. But soup is the ultimate winter comfort food, and there are many delicious flavors your caterer may be able to create. You may want to have a cappuccino bar available toward the middle of the reception. Let guests heat up with a frothy beverage before heading out into the cold after a wonderful night filled with warmth and love.
Now, the fun part! What to wear! Indulging in heavy fabrics is a wedding gown dream! Gorgeous silk satin ball gowns or full skirts are more than appropriate for winter weddings. If you love lace, you can wrap yourself up in crowded versions like Battenberg lace (as opposed to Chantilly lace). Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t wear a lighter, more sheath-like gown. When you’re indoors and shaking your groove thang (omg we just said “thang”) on the dance floor, you may not want a big Cinderella gown if that’s not your style. That’s okay. But to capture your winter wedding scape, go big or go home; purchase that (faux) fur stole or cashmere wrap and relish in its timelessness. It is such a gorgeous classic look, and you will be a total Betty in such a dashing accessory. When it comes to the dress details, make like a snowflake and sparkle with a piece adorned by crystals, pearls, and beads. This is your opportunity to glam it up to the extreme because when during winter, when it rains, it snows!
And when it’s all over, do the exact opposite. Toss your bathing suit into your suitcase and enjoy a tropical honeymoon on the beaches of your favorite island or coast! That’s the beauty of the season: you can go from winter weddingland to honeymoon paradise, just like that.