by Shawna Schofield

The holiday season can bring about feelings of nostalgia; time spend with family, curled up by a fire sipping hot cocoa, and waiting for Santa. November and December are both months were we spend the most time surrounded by those we love, with everyone already together it can make for a good time to plan your wedding, and also an opportunity to use the season to theme your special event. Give your wedding a bit of winter magic with these unique ideas.

Stunning Wedding Photos

Setting a wedding in winter can give you a number of amazing photography options. You and your partner cuddled close together in the snow, sitting by the fire sipping hot chocolate, outside surrounded by falling snow; working with a skilled photographer, the possibilities can be endless, especially depending on your venue and surroundings. You can do sharp photos in the snow, or photos with a cozy rustic feeling. A winter wedding give you options that a summer wedding just can’t. While beach weddings are popular, you can stand out from the crowd by flipping the tables completely.

A Cozy Atmosphere

At your wedding venue you can also decorate to fit the season. Having the reception at a rustic style lodge can offer you a cozy and revered tone that other places can not. Use this opportunity to forgo the typical flowers in place of greenery, winter berries, mistletoe, and mini Christmas tree center pieces. Bare branches can also add a unique touch, especially when entwined with fairy lights. These can be placed in vases, used as decorate frames for photo displays, or as an alternative center piece. It is that subdued, rustic theme that can boost the cozy atmosphere. Additionally, the use of candles as opposed to heavy bright overhead lights can make the reception seem more intimate and romantic.

Think of rich browns, golds, reds and greens when considering your color scheme. These deep colors help boost the depth of the surroundings and can really be conducive to capturing that cozy warm feeling.

If you have a designer, talk to them about how to incorporate these elements into your venue, and if you are taking care of the decor yourself envision what would look best in the space you have reserved. Even small touches can go along way, don’t be intimidated into thinking more is better. Go with what you feel is best!

A Cool Atmosphere

As opposed to rustic and cozy, you can also theme your wedding around cool icy tones of white and blue. Hanging icicle and snow flake designs and dangling fairy lights in blue and white can open up the space and help convey the icy winter atmosphere. For this design try and keep to the cool side of the color spectrum when picking out flowers, table decor, and other design items.

Think white, gray, and light blues punctuated by deeper blues for contrast. Using a deeper colour to break up the lighter shades can add focal points to bouquets, center pieces, and other displays. The same colors can even be carried though into the bride and bridesmaid’s dresses. If rustic isn’t your style, but you still want to capture the essence of winter this can be a good option to keep in mind when planning your wedding.

Festive Decor Options

For a wedding themed around winter you have the option to use all manner of festive decorations, and that isn’t saying you need an inflatable Santa out front. Mistletoe, garlands, wreaths, and winter berries can be used as eye catching and unique decorations. Additionally, a fun idea could be to have each guest sign an ornament that you can then hang on your actual Christmas tree. This activity is a fun twist on having guests sign a book, and can last give you nostalgic memories for many Christmases to come.

Center pieces can also be created by wrapping candles with sticks of cinnamon, or setting floating candles in blows surrounded by holly. There are a slew of possibilities to be taken advantage of when it comes to making your winter wedding unique and unforgettable.

Credit: Alicia King via 100 Layer Cake

Ditch the Bar and Serve Hot Drinks, and Seasonal Food

While many weddings have drink stations, whether pay as you go or open, consider shaking it up by adding a hot drink station. Hot cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and teas can warm up guests, and add to the cozy atmosphere. Hot chocolates can come in a wide variety of gourmet flavors, and teas are plentiful in different flavors, meaning every guest can find something they’ll love. (However, this doesn’t mean you can’t serve other drinks, this can be a main feature, or a fun extra options to treat guests too.)

Additionally, the food you serve can be based on traditional holiday fare. Hams, turkeys, and other roasted favorites can work as a main course everyone can enjoy. You can also dress gingerbread cookies in bride and groom themes for a fun twist on a Christmas treat.

Extend the Design to Your Dress

As touched on earlier, if you want to go all out in a cohesive design, consider following through with the theme to your wedding dress, and bridesmaid dresses. Touches of green, red, or brown can fit into cozy theme; while icy blues, and grays can fit with cooler designs. Faux fur can also be utilized as a staple in your gown or reception dress (If you plan on changing). A fur shawl can add an upscale flare that will certainly set you apart from the crowd.

This can even extend to your hair as well. Threading an updo with greenery, like holly, can help you fit in with the theme, and look amazing while doing it.

Thousands of Opportunities

The above ideas serve only as a base on which you can build off of. If your family has a holiday tradition that is special to you, you have the option to incorporate those elements into the ceremony as well. Winter can be an amazing and memorable time to tie the knot, and while many forego the a winter wedding for more summer themes, it’s worth considering the possibilities that this time of the year can offer as inspiration. If you are looking to a unique time to have a wedding, November through December can offer the perfect opportunity. In many instances families are already coming together for the holidays, so it can work to get everyone together a little bit easier. Talk it over with your spouse to be, and see if a winter wedding is right for you.