The Ultimate Guide to Planning an Elegant Winter Wedding

Dreaming about saying “I do” in a magical winter wonderland? You’re not the only one. With its glistening snow, holiday lights and stunning panoramas, the winter season is arguably one of the most stunning times of the year to tie the knot. 

And to think we haven’t even touched upon the other incredible benefits of getting married in the off-season. We’re talking cheaper rates, greater flexibility with timing and the most delicious winter comfort food you’ll possibly ever eat.

So, are you officially sold on the idea of gorgeous winter nuptials? Read on to learn everything you need to pull off the elegant winter wedding of your dreams. 

Booking a Winter Wedding Venue

A winter wedding practically begs for a warm and cosy venue with a romantic ambience and, ideally, a great view of the winter wonderland outside. If you want to book a venue with this winning trifecta, your best bet is probably a winter lodge or a romantic hotel that oozes rustic elegance.

Of course, winter lodges and romantic hotels are far from your only options for a suitable winter venue. There are also elegant ballrooms, gorgeous estates and loft wedding venues with floor-to-ceiling windows to consider for your stylish cold weather nuptials.

Regardless of which venue you’re leaning towards, be sure to ask yourself the following questions before you book:

  • Does the venue allow portable space heaters in case our guests get cold?
  • What is the distance between the getting-ready suites and the ceremony site?
  • Will guests have a difficult time getting to the location? What is parking like?
  • Where can you take wedding photos in the case of inclement weather?

In addition to these specific winter wedding venue questions, don’t forget to ask your wedding venue questions that apply year-round. You still need to know about pricing, availability, cancellation policies—you get the picture. 

Choosing Wedding Colours to Fit the Season

Another underrated benefit of getting hitched in the winter? The gorgeous winter wedding colour palettes! From rich reds to dusty blues, you’ll have no trouble choosing wedding colours to evoke the magic of the season.

Need some winter wedding colour inspiration? Here are a few classic colour schemes to set the mood for your wintry nuptials:

  • Silver and Gold: If you want to play up the holiday cheer all around you, consider sticking with a festive colour palette. Since many wedding venues are already decorated with holiday décor, you can take full advantage of the free décor!
  • All-White Wedding: Nothing is more gorgeous than an all-white wedding to match the blanket of snow outside. When styled just right, this monochrome look is classic, clean and utterly enchanting.
  • Rich Moody Colour Palette: Rich hues such as deep plums and rich reds are perfect for cold-weather weddings. Add in a sprinkle of gold to give your colour palette a glamorous feel.

Staying Warm in Style

A snowy landscape provides the ultimate backdrop to showcase your stunning bridal style. Why not take full advantage by choosing wedding accessories that are equal parts stylish and practical?

To keep warm in chilly temps, consider a stole or a shawl for you and your bridesmaids. Stoles and shawls instantly add an elegant touch to your bridal party while keeping their arms and shoulders warm—a win-win for everyone!

Speaking of arms, you and your bridesmaids might want to choose dresses with sleeves to add more coverage and warmth. Complete your bridal style with a chic pair of closed-toe shoes (winter booties, perhaps?) to help you stay warm and toasty as you brave the winter weather.

Crafting a Winter Food Menu

The colder months are marked by rich foods that leave everyone feeling warm and cosy. Take advantage of the chilly weather by creating an indulgent menu laden with roasted root vegetables, moist meats, decadent treats and festive drinks. 

Need some winter wedding menu ideas for your cold weather nuptials? Here are a few crowd-pleasers that your guests are sure to love:

  • A Festive Cocktail Bar: Evoke the spirit of the season with a playful cocktail bar serving spiked hot cocoa, Moscow mules, mulled wine and other seasonal favourites. For a festive touch, be sure to deck out your bar in winter greenery and berries.
  • Classic Comfort Food: Warm your guests up with classic winter staples such as butternut squash soup, venison or pheasant, roasted vegetables and rich pastas. Your guests will be raving about the food at your wedding for years to come.  
  • A Seasonally-Inspired Wedding Cake: Winter is the perfect time for decadent desserts with rich and festive flavors. From bourbon caramel pecan cakes to brown butter spice cakes with frosted cream cheese, don’t be afraid to explore options other than vanilla and chocolate.

Making Your Guests Comfortable

Even though your winter nuptials will likely take place indoors, keep in mind that certain guests—especially the older crowd and little ones—may need some additional accommodations to stay warm. If your venue has an outdoor area, make sure that you have portable heaters set up to keep guests comfortable.

Providing guests with blankets and hand warmers is also a good idea—especially if your ceremony will be outside. You don’t want to hear your guests’ teeth chattering during your vows!

Additional Tips and Considerations

As gorgeous as the snowy scenery may be, there are a few challenges that come with hosting a winter wedding. To pull off the elegant winter wedding of your dreams, here are a few additional tips and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Consider Timing: With days becoming shorter, make sure to schedule wedding photos at a time where the photographer has enough daylight to work with.
  • Winter-Proof Your Venue: Consider having bags of sand on hand in case you need to de-ice the walkway to your wedding venue.
  • Inform Guests of Travel Hazards: On a similar note, you may want to give guests a heads-up that poor weather conditions may be an issue. Also, be prepared for some guests not being able to make your cold weather nuptials due to snow. 
  • Prioritise Your Skin Care Routine: Winter weather can lead to flaky and dull-looking skin. To combat dryness, start prepping your skin now with a regular skin care routine and the occasional facial treatment.
  • Wear Tights Under Your Dress: To stay warm, consider donning a pair of cosy tights underneath your dress. Find yourself a thick pair—no one is going to see them anyway!
  • Embrace Luxe Details: Winter is the perfect season to add some shine and glamour to your nuptials. Consider choosing gold bridesmaid dresses for your leading ladies or have your groom wear a tuxedo in luxe velvet.

Winter Wedding Planning Made Easy

From the sparkling snow to the unbelievably decadent foods, the cold season is ripe with opportunities to make your winter nuptials truly magical. Consider this guide as your jumping off point to create an elegant affair that your guests will remember for years to come. Happy wedding planning!


Contributed by The Professionals At Dessy.

Victoria Curtis
WeddingDates Contributors
From Bands of Gold to Silverware, this couple won big!

They won big on a mild, early December day in 2022.