It might not be the warmest time of the year to get married, but a winter wedding can be a truly magical experience. Between all the holiday cheer and the dreamy effects of the snow, couples who have a winter wedding always do a good job of utilizing the whimsical and charming nature of the season and putting together a gorgeous ceremony. Plus, why pass up an opportunity to use twinkly lights, right?
While winter weddings are becoming increasingly more popular, it’s important to keep in mind that the cold weather and the chance for snow can create issues that other brides don’t have to deal with. Don’t worry–we have the advice you need to make sure your day is picture perfect. An easy way to do that is to do your best to avoid these 12 mistakes when planning your winter wedding.
1. Assuming it's Cheaper
Don’t assume a winter wedding will cost less. In fact, it usually ends up costing more once you factor in all the added details you need, says Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics. "Sticking to your budget can be hard but going beyond your means before your even married can lead to a rough start to married life."
2. Scheduling Too Close to the Holidays
Brides sometimes schedule their wedding or wedding-related activities, especially bridal shower and bachelor and bachelorette parties, too close to holidays, says Shelley Grieshop of Totally Promotional. "They need to steer clear of dates that could coincide with get-togethers for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s — three of the biggest holidays of the year. A bridal shower could easily be held in late summer prior to a December through April wedding.
3. Making Guests Go Outdoors
Guests do not want to be outside in cold weather, so if you intend on having any part of your event outdoors, you need a tent for coverage, as well as adequate lighting and heating.
4. Failing to Pad the Schedule
More often than not, you might experience some inclement weather on your wedding day and it may not necessarily be accounted for when you plan your day-of itinerary ahead of time, says Heather Jones of Wente Vineyards. "Give yourself, guests, and staff alike some form of a cushion when it comes to arrival and setup, that way your day will go off without a hitch."
5. Using Holiday Decor
Try to keep away from Christmas decors and colors, unless it is a Christmas concept wedding, says Rui Mota Pinto of Belief Wedding Planners. "It is your wedding and you don´t want your guests to think they are at a Christmas party."
6. Booking Multiple Locations
Long distances or too much venue changing during the day in bad weather, and traffic will stress out both you and your guests, says Pinto. "Having one venue for everything allows you and the guests to make a safer trip to the venue and then only worry about enjoying the day."
7. Forgetting about Sunset
In the wintertime, the sun can set super early and will impact your photography, says Jenny DeMarco of Jenny DeMarco Photography. "Compare your ceremony time and the sunset time on your wedding day and work with your photographer to understand how this impacts your photography timeline. Do you need to consider having a first look? Are you getting married in a location with beautiful outdoor views that you would like to take advantage of? Or even before you hire a photographer--if you are not doing a first look and will be taking portraits after the sun goes down, be sure to hire someone who can still give you a wow factor with night and indoor portraits which takes a great skill set."
8. Choosing the Wrong Flowers
“I would say that one of the biggest mistakes we see our brides make is that they sometimes have their heart set on a flower or color scheme that isn’t currently in season," says Meridith Lowe, Director of Sales at Larkspur Events & Dining. "One of the best things about a winter wedding is the seasonally-relevant colors and floral arrangements available. You can’t be thinking peonies and dahlias when roses and lilies are in season, it just doesn’t work.”
9. Not Bringing a Coverup
"Depending on your wedding's location and venue, you may want to consider a warm cover-up or accessory for any outdoor photos on your big day," says Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers. "Many brides often forget this and feel too uncomfortable in wintery weather that they skip on some great shots to add to their wedding album."
10. Serving the Wrong Foods
You need a heartier menu than in the warmer months. Guests will want more comfort foods than the lighter fare they might enjoy in the summer months.
11. Offering Only Cold Drinks
One of the great things about the winter is you can get creative by serving an array of hot beverages that guests will love.
12. Skipping Insurance
Make sure you are covered in case of bad weather, or in case of problems with the venue or some supplier due to bad weather conditions, says Pinto.
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