A wedding’s a bit of a high-altitude experience to begin with … but your heights can only get higher when you put on a ski-theme reception. If you’re a lover of the downhill rush, here are some ideas for setting the stage at your ski-theme wedding. Don’t forget to schedule plenty of after-party resort time so you can celebrate your new union indulging in your favorite high-speed pastime.
Send each guest an adorable ski pass — and to add to the feel, a safety pin.
The Guest Tables
Name them after the biggie resorts: Aspen , Vail, Whistler, Sun Valley, Breckenridge, Telluride, Jackson Hole, Beaver Creek, Banff, Snowbird, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Taos, Copper Mountain, Big Sky.
Try to find a venue that does a lot of your work for you: tall, chateau style windows, and lots of interior wood and stone. Big, loosely-grouped overstuffed chairs say “ski resort.” So does a giant faux-fur rug, if you can get your hands on one.
If a projection screen’s available, try treating your guests to some of the many hypnotic ski footage movies on the market (turn off the sound). It’ll give ski-loving strangers plenty to talk about! For the dining area, ice sculptures are great. Try the “ice luge” type which chills the drink on the way down. Or a glittering snowflake, set off with backlighting.
Now scatter white candles everywhere, and use mirrored coasters to spread the light more. String white twinkle lights dressed in tulle over ceiling and walls. If your venue doesn’t offer a towering stone hearth, consider a fake fireplace. Sprinkle fake snow, or even consider renting a snow machine that blows dry snow into the air (it evaporates before impact). You might be able to find one at a local rental agency for $300-400 a day.
Ski Theme Centerpieces
Skip the plastic “cheap party” look of foil snowflakes and search eBay instead for fascinating retro winter gear (try looking for vintage ski boots, vintage skates and old wooden snow shoes. Watch for leather lace-up boots and funny old hats. Deck the walls with pastel vintage ski posters (absolutely gorgeous), vintage skis and vintage ski suits. For classical centerpieces, stick with white roses, stephanotis or calla lilies.
Or get wilder: try Martha Stewart’s glowing snowball topiaries. For another unique idea, create your own tabletop topiaries using floral balls. Cover the foam balls entirely with white carnations (real or silk) for a snowy look, then accent here and there with sparkling crystal pins. You can also make extra-large versions to light up the corners of your venue.
Honor the bride and groom with special “fur-lined” chair covers. Make them yourself with a few yards of marabou boa from a craft store. Swank up the cake and guestbook tables the same way.
Alpine Feasting Favorites
Raise a toast to your winter wedding with hot chocolate in crisp snowflake mugs, personalized with your wedding date. Hot mulled wine. Old-style swiss cheese fondue paired with cubes of French bread. Substantial mountain entrees like beef stew (with plenty of red wine) and warm spinach salad. Your cake can boast a cascade of spun-sugar snowflakes and stars, or glitter with embedded Swarovski crystals.
This is a great opportunity to don a beautiful, fur-lined winter wedding dress — don’t miss it. Having a really loose and relaxed type of wedding? Try having your cake artfully stacked from an enormous collection of Hostess Snoballs! Finally, don’t forget to end your ceremony with a stroll “under the sabers” — but instead of raising gleaming swords above your heads, have your groomsmen create an arch out of ski poles.