How to Create a Romantic Winter Wedding

The wedding of your dreams doesn’t have to take place during the popular wedding months. A winter wedding can be spectacular, and you’ll enjoy significant financial advantages.While the summer months remain the most popular time of the year to say “I do,” many couples are choosing a winter date for the big event. According to the Society of American Florists, 13 percent of weddings take place in the winter, with 11 percent of those being Christmas weddings. Summer weddings account for 35 percent, spring weddings 29 percent, and autumn weddings 23 percent.

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Décor that appeals to the senses is important when trying to pull off a romantic winter wedding. The glow of candlelight will add warmth and ambiance to your ceremony and reception site. “Choose colors of rich jewel tones such as purple, forest green, and navy. Or you could use sapphire blue, ice blue or powder blue, and silver and white if you want to steer clear of the traditional Christmas colors,” suggests Lynette Gamble, senior coordinator of Affairs of Grandeur.

Iridescent or frosted glass balls and pine cones can adorn your guests’ tables. Snowflake ornaments and glittery ribbons may be placed on the food tables or hung from the ceiling. For a simple touch, only decorate with red and white Poinsettias. Since many locations will already be lavishly decorated, your décor budget will be minimal.

To keep floral costs to a minimum, use flowers that are already available during the winter months. Popular choices include poinsettias, roses, amaryllis, and lilies. Evergreens are tried and true for “sprucing” up large areas, while holly branches and other berried plants make merry floral accents. A cozy cottage or bed-and-breakfast makes a perfect location for your wintry theme. Picture your guests warming themselves in front of the fireplace during cocktail hour, sipping hot chocolate or wassail. Imagine them overlooking a frozen pond, or catching a glimpse of a deer drinking from the pond just outside the window … or a family of rabbits scurrying over fresh snow.

To add a little creativity to your dinner menu, ask your bridal party to send your caterer some traditional family recipes for the reception. Or if you don’t want to serve the traditional Christmas fare, ask your caterer for alternatives and create a unique meal for your guests.

As for favors, Gamble recommends candles of course. “Cinnamon Apple, Pumpkin Pie, and Vanilla are all pleasant scents that remind you of being a kid in your grandmothers’ kitchen — and they’re nice this time of year,” says Gamble. “Spiced teas, coffee mugs, snow globes and Christmas ornaments imprinted with the couple’s new name and wedding date also make great favors.”

Want a memorable getaway? Hand out mini bells, and ask your guests to ring you on your way as the two of you ride off in a horse-drawn sleigh decked out with silver bells and Christmas foliage.