Here are 8 Winter Wedding Ideas to create a magical wedding day experience for you and your guests!
If you want to plan a really unexpected, extraordinary wedding, then a magical winter wedding is the way to go! Hosting a winter wedding allows you so much flexibility with planning and creating a full wedding day experience. Yes, it’s considered the “off-season” but that comes with many, many advantages! Winter is the perfect time to host a “black tie” wedding without your guests melting. And you also have the added chance of an unexpected snowfall on your wedding day! Which, if you are brave enough to venture outside with your photographer is a guaranteed photo op of a lifetime! But if you really want to create an unforgettable winter wedding day experience, we are going to show you how!
1) Live Trees as Your Ceremony Arbor
Fragrant scents play a big role in creating any experience! All too often we associate smells with certain memories or places. Incorporating seasonal florals and live trees into your winter wedding is an amazing way to transform your guest’s experience. Filling your ceremony space with the aroma of towering pine or fir trees, will, quite literally, delight your guest’s senses! If your friends and family spent their childhood cutting down a fresh Christmas tree with their family, chances are it will transport them back to that moment in time.
And if this is their first time experiencing the wonderful scent of a fresh-cut tree, then they will always be reminded of your beautiful winter wedding each time they experience that aroma! We personally love the idea of using fresh live trees at the altar of your ceremony! In addition to their amazing scent, it will create a wondrous backdrop to fill your wedding day portraits. If you decide to go with live trees for your ceremony altar, be sure to pick up some “cuttings”. You can grab cuttings or branches from the same tree farm. The branches and cuttings can be used to line the aisle of your ceremony. Or as an accent between any floral arrangements you’ve already ordered from your wedding florist!
2) Candles & Twinkle Lights
After the stage has been set with fragrant trees and aromatic blooms of the season, you’ll want to evoke your wedding day experience even more. With lighting! Dimly lit spaces create a warm and intimate atmosphere, perfect for the winter wedding season! However, we’re sure you want your guests to be able to dance, mingle, and hit the photo booth without incident. If you want to achieve the whole dimly lit vibe for your wedding while still creating a space where your guests can interact, then candles and twinkle lights are going to play a heavy role in bringing that magic to life!
Safety first though. Before we get into the details of how to create this ambient lighting to enhance your wedding day experience, we do want to mention this. If you plan on having lit candles at your wedding, most venues will require that the candles be enclosed in glass (lanterns). Or that the glass holder is higher than the flame of the candle.
Typically candles are not enough to carry the lighting of a wedding on their own. But paired with gobs of twinkle lights you have a recipe for a winter wonderland. We’re not talking head to Target and stocking up on boxes of lights either. We are talking about hiring an event or rental company that can hook you up with curtains and drapes of twinkle lights or cafe lighting! Yes, it’s a thing! Working with a professional event or rental company will help you achieve the ambiance needed for a magical wedding day experience for you and your guests. Pair that with white candles in a variety of lanterns (for your aisle & sweetheart table!). And long white tapers at your family-style guest’s seating. Your guests will think they’ve just walked into a real-life snowglobe!
3) Jingle Bell Toast
Do you know that distinct clinking sound that you hear at weddings? It usually happens when a guest has decided to pick up the nearest piece of flatware and tap it to the side of their champagne glass. Other guests catch up and suddenly the wedding reception is filled with the magnified sound of clinking, all in the hopes of getting the newlyweds to share a kiss in front of their adoring fans! We love winter wedding ideas that take provide a modern take on an old tradition!
Here’s an amazing winter wedding idea that will have your guests ditching the clinking of the glasses for something much more festive! Jingle Bells! Have your planner or day-of coordinator place a jingle bell at the dinner setting of each guest, and if your guests want to catch a glimpse of you locking lips with your brand new husband or wife, they’ll have to shake the jingle bell instead! Create a note on the Message Board of your Guestie event alerting the guests of your fun winter wedding take on the traditional clanking of the champagne glasses!
4) Trim the Tree
We are a huge fan of snacks and late-night bites at weddings. If you want winter wedding ideas that include fun snacks or late-night bites to create a memorable experience for your guests, take advantage of your magical winter wedding and trim the tree with goodies!! Your guests walk into your reception space and immediately be met with the vision of an oversized tree that is positively lit to perfection.
White lights or multi-color, we’ll let you decide! But the tree is trimmed with gobs of goodies, just for them! Maybe you trim the tree with individually packaged gingerbread cookies flanked by candy canes. Or, you gift each of your guests an ornament that says something (figuratively!) about your wedding day. It could be an ornament created out of your wedding color palette or something that is a nod to your college, hometown, or where you had your first date! How fun would it be for your guests to walk up to a tree and pluck off a goodie or a gift that was placed there, just for them!?
6) Wraps, Blankets, and Scarves
Is your winter wedding being hosted in a town that is known for its brash harsh winters? If you want a winter wedding idea that will really go the extra mile for your guests, here it is! Have an available selection of wraps, blankets, or even scarves available for your guests! This will help them keep warm and cozy in their formal wear while also providing them with a completely out-of-the-ordinary winter wedding “favor”! Because who needs a candle wrapped in cellophane when you can give your guests a super soft and chic pashmina!?
Post a quick note on your Guestie event Message Board letting your guests know that there will be gifts for them at your wedding. Then work with your planner or day-of coordinator to place them under the tree. Your guests will be excited at the idea of something special waiting just for them! Not having a tree? Which we totally recommend you do, but hey it’s your call! Your planner or coordinator can organize a decorative basket full of wraps blankets and scarves. Pair that with a sign that says “To Have & To Hold, In Case You Get Cold” and we guarantee the basket will be empty by the end of the night!
7) Hot Chocolate Service
Nothing says winter quite like hot cocoa! Warm mugs filled to the brim with hot chocolate and topped with pillowy marshmallows or whipped cream. We’ll let you decide! It’s like a hug in a mug! How fun would it be to have a hot chocolate service for your guests, at your wedding? We are going to provide you with two ways to make this happen! The first would be to work with your catering vendor to offer the option of hot chocolate with your cake service.
The second, and more fun way if you ask us, is to have a hot chocolate bar. Set this up for your guests at your reception and they’ll be in winter wedding heaven. A hot chocolate bar will give your guests a wide variety of options. Because who doesn’t have their special recipe when it comes to making a hug in a mug? Your guests can ladle their creamy chocolatey goodness into a mug and top it off with all the trimmings! The key to a successful hot chocolate bar at your wedding is to include all the toppings! Marshmallows, candy canes, cinnamon, chocolate chips, butterscotch pieces, cookies, the sky is the limit! It will be a huge hit with your guests. And a fun way to keep them warm for your winter wedding!
7) Carols by the Fire
Are you planning on having your wedding at a historic manor or estate house? Historic manor houses and estate wedding venues are known for their ambiance and their old-world charm. They are also typically known for opening their doors to one event per day. Meaning that if you hold your wedding here, you and your guests will have the venue all to yourselves! That includes any rooms of the venue that are not closed off. More often than not you’ll find a library or a sitting room that has a picturesque fireplace! If your family and friends are the holly-jolly caroling type, how fun would it be to grab that mug of hot chocolate and meet them by the fireplace to sing classic holiday tunes together? It will be a wedding day experience that will have your guests recalling the moment for years to come!
8) Santa Claus
You’re never too old to believe in the magic of Santa Claus! How fun would it be to finish off the night of your wedding with a surprise visit from Santa Claus? After all, he is always the last person to make a grand entrance at any parade! Whether you have the man in red hit the dance floor for the last dance of the night or you ask him to lead the way for your epic wedding exit in front of your guests, his appearance is sure to be a hit! If you want your guests to stick around long enough to catch a glimpse of Kris Kringle, be sure to set up a text alert on your Guestie event. This will keep your guests informed and excited about the arrival of your very special surprise guest!