Winter Weddings: An Emerging Trend

Winter weddings are an emerging trend in Minnesota and elsewhere. With picture of pristine winter wonderland weddings gracing magazines and websites, it’s not hard to imagine embracing the idea. I’ve received more requests for winter weddings than in previous years, and with our weather, they require additional thought and planning.

First, it’s important to consider how winter weddings impact you as a couple, and your wedding party. Make sure your expectations are reasonable, and that you have contingency plans. For example, while you may be envisioning lovely pictures in the snow with evergreens as your backdrop, realize that there may not be any snow and you’ll be standing on brown, dead grass. Or you may have so much snow that tromping up to the tree line may not be possible. Even if the weather cooperates, you’ll want to have boots for everyone, and some kind of warm wrap or jacket for the women in your wedding party. You will also want to consider the style of your dress – sleeves perhaps, instead of a strapless gown to provide a little more coverage and warmth in the weather, or one of the new gowns with a matching full length coat.

Unless your wedding is limited to you two, your witnesses and a very few, hardy guests, I suggest you plan an indoor ceremony for your winter wedding. Set near a striking fireplace, or against windows with the winter wonderland view beyond can be lovely, but freezing and slipping on snow is not going to be welcomed by most of your guests. And speaking of guests – you will need to be prepared for last minute cancellations if a significant storm chooses your wedding weekend to visit the area. This can impact your costs significantly as final numbers will likely need to be in to your caterer before guests know they can’t make it.

You may also want to consider a single venue wedding – perhaps at a hotel or resort where the ceremony, reception and even guest accommodations are all in the same place. So if your guests can safely make it to the venue they can relax and enjoy the day, knowing that they don’t have to travel further. If that’s not possible, consider providing shuttle services for your guests and wedding party.

If you can live with the uncertainty that winter weather brings to your wedding plans, holding your wedding from November through March will likely increase the choices of venues, musicians, photographers, officiants and all your other vendors. Guests are also less likely to have social conflicts during the slower, winter months, and you might be able to take advantage of family and friends who have traveled for the Thanksgiving or December holiday seasons, too.

If you love the winter season, are timing your wedding with a significant event in your relationship, or if it simply works best with your schedule, embrace the idea, plan accordingly, and have a wonderful, memorable winter wedding.