It may not occur to a newly engaged couple to consider the fresh and crisp winter season for their wedding day. Spring, summer, and fall wedding seasons often steal the focus with their vibrant colors and comfortable temperatures. Winter wedding ideas, on the other hand, are endless—from crystal-filled ballrooms to mountaintop ceremonies in the snow. The cold weather creates a romantic backdrop for cozying up inside next to a fireplace, warm lighting, and stunning winter evergreens.
Winter weddings also unlock the option for a holiday-themed wedding. Plan your celebration around Christmas decor or even ring in the new year during your reception. January weddings are also a popular option to snag an amazing venue off of normal wedding season, especially in warmer and tropical destinations. Whenever choose, the winter backdrop welcomes new color schemes, DIY wedding ideas and dreamy wardrobe options, down to the smallest details like your stationery. Explore these 40 winter wedding ideas to personalize your big day.
1. Winter Blooms
Work with your florist to combine the natural flowers of the season to match the crisp weather outdoors. White poppies and roses provide a lovely canvas for deeper hues to pop, especially when incorporating black and gold into your overall decor. Hearty flowers like carnations and lilies are also in season at this time. Winter bouquets allow for a more non-traditional but stunning approach to the floral design.
2. Red Wine Hues
The cozy color scheme of a winter wedding can run the gamut from pale earth tones to holiday reds and greens. If you’re a wine enthusiast or getting married at a vineyard, design your wedding decorations around a wine-inspired color scheme. Combine deep burgundy red with pale pinks and rich grays. Work your colors into your winter bouquets, bridesmaid dresses and table linens.
3. Head For The Sun
Winter weddings are also a great excuse for running off to warmer shores in these cold months. Plan a destination wedding in a tropical location or in a charming southern town. Be sure to give your guests additional time to plan their travels by sending an early save the date with travel information.
4. Snowy Elopement
If you and your partner love the outdoors and aren’t afraid of getting a little chilly, head out in the crisp winter air to say “I do” in a scenic setting. Hike up the mountain on your favorite trail, head into your local city park or even throw on your ice skates for a lake-top ceremony. Be sure to bundle with warm wedding accessories for you and your officiant. Learn how to make your elopement special here.
5. Ring In The New Year
There’s nothing like toasting to the new year ahead just after tying the knot. Begin your ceremony in the evening so your reception just overlaps with the strike of midnight. Gift your guests with personalized champagne glasses as wedding favors to take home and remember the evening.
6. Choose A Versatile Gown
If you’re concerned about staying warm during your winter wedding celebration, explore elegant dresses with long or quarter sleeves. These longer-sleeved dresses provide more options for exploring unique wedding dress designs. Some cuts even allow you to remove the sleeves for the reception before you spend the evening warming up on the dance floor.
7. Catch The Setting Sun
Golden hour—the ideal time to snap those outdoor wedding photos—occurs much earlier in the evening with a winter wedding. Be sure to plan your wedding day schedule around the early setting sun. Choose a venue that overlooks stunning scenery with sprawling windows so you can stay nice and warm inside while still catching those views.
8. Decorate With Crystals
Winter is the time to add glamorous touches to your outfit, centerpieces and overall wedding reception design. Play with crystals and jewel tones to pick up the snowy scene of a winter wonderland. Add crystals to the back of your wedding shoes or in a small tiara for extra sparkle.
9. Fill The Room With Light
Winter designs are always about balancing light with the darker world outside. Fill your ceremony and reception space with candles, string lights and accessories that reflect the light. If it’s temperate enough to build a bonfire outside your reception space, gather around at the end of the evening for the ultimate winter ambiance.
10. Celebrate The Season
If you’re tying the knot around the holidays, utilize the decor already present in your reception hall or restaurant. Weave white, green and deep red into your table linens and balance with flowers of the same hues. Include small Christmas accents like holly and jingle bells throughout your decor. Finally, a classic garland draped around the head table will bring an elegant, wintry
11. Stay Cozy
Brides can add an extra bit of glamour to their outfits with a faux-fur headpiece ceremony and photos. This traditional winter wedding look fits elegantly with any wedding dress style while keeping you nice and warm during the day. If you’re headed outside for photos, be sure the groom has a stylish warm accessory as well.
12. A Wash Of White
When choosing wedding colors for a winter reception, design a black-tie event with complementary shades of white and gray. The white wedding scheme follows the crisp and clean look of the snowy world outside. Spread bright white accents throughout your floral design, table linens and bridal party wardrobe.
13. Aromatic Decor
Consider all the popular evergreens of the season, including aromatic herbs and plants like rosemary and eucalyptus. Spread greenery across your bar display, cake design and centerpiece. Utilize dried branches to fill the room with seasonal smells while saving money on fresh flowers.
14. Rustic Holiday
Celebrate the simplicity of the season with a rustic-inspired wedding theme that pulls in the imagery of the holidays. Fill a heated barn with natural wreaths, garlands and Christmas tree decor. Create simple centerpieces with vintage ornaments and string lights. The look will emulate an old-fashioned Christmas with your family gathered around the table.
15. Snowflake Settings
Escort and table setting cards are fun excuses to incorporate small winter accents into your decor. Create DIY place cards by adding each guest’s name to a hand-cut snowflake. Add names and table numbers in gold glass paint to miniature snow globes. This approach is an easy solution for wedding favors as well. Invite your guests to take their homemade place card home as a souvenir from such a special day.
16. Glitz And Glam
Even if you’re marrying in the heart of winter, choose a vibrant color or texture to spread throughout your wedding design. Pink, gold or silver sequins reflect the light throughout the room, adding to the warm winter glow. Choose glitzy bridesmaid dresses and table linens to balance out the soft white throughout the rest of the room.
17. Winter Cocktails
The cool weather gives you the excuse to serve rich and aromatic cocktails. Choose one to two signature drinks with red wine, champagne, whiskey or rum as your base. You can even serve a warm cocktail with heated apple cider or mulled wine. Pop in a garnish that matches your wedding color scheme.
18. Red And Gold
Winter is the time to tap into dark, romantic colors like deep red, black and gold. Arrange sprays of bright red roses against a black and white wedding scheme and weave reflective gold accents throughout the room. Set candles in mercury glass for a natural gold touch and include gold font in your wedding stationery.
19. Naked Cake
Rustic “naked” cakes are all the rage for year-round weddings. They work particularly well at winter celebrations, reflecting the simple and classic look of winter colors. Add fresh seasonal flowers like roses and lilies to pull in the natural elements around the room.
20. Candle Aisle Runner
In the season of lights, line your ceremony aisle with real or electric candles to fill the space with a warm glow. Set your candles in an assortment of different containers like white and black lanterns and mason jars. Intersperse each candle with evergreens for texture and color.
21. Pine Cone Decor
Explore all the small natural details that can accent a winter wedding such as pine cones. Keep them natural for a rustic look or dip them in white, red or green wax to match your holiday colors. You can place them within the centerpieces or even on the center of each plate to hold your place cards. String pine cones together on decorative twine and wrap with twinkle lights for easy wedding garland.
22. Holiday Backdrop
Stage your ceremony in front of a festive backdrop inspired by the holiday season. Line up a collection of small Christmas trees, wreaths or garlands to act as a focal point for your ceremony. Cover each piece in string lights and simple ornaments to tie into your wedding color scheme.
23. Gilded With Gold
Luxe wedding design works well in the crisp winter season, especially when you’re marrying in an elegant wedding hall. Accent a white wedding with gold gilding throughout your design. You can include this look on a white wedding cake, in your stationery design and in table accessories like place settings and tableware.
24. Evergreen Tiara
Emulate the classic look of a Christmas celebration by donning an evergreen tiara with your bridal wardrobe. Create the wreath with winter greens, holly or a few sprigs of white flowers. Speak to your florist about building the crown from your floral design to match the rest of the room.
25. Christmas Cookies
If you follow the Pittsburgh cookie table tradition, incorporate family cookie recipes from your collection of Christmas goodies. Lay them out on a dessert table with your cake and package them in small bags for guests to take home. You can even set up a holiday cookie decorating station for the kids.
26. Pastel Wedding Gown
If you want to stand out against a white snowy ceremony backdrop, swap out the traditional gown for an off-white or pastel-toned dress. Pale pink or blue create a balanced look with a white winter wedding. Pair with complementary wardrobe accents in the flowers and groom’s outfit.
27. Velvet Wardrobe
Chilly weather also offers plenty of wardrobe options for the groom. If he wants to make a statement, choose a burgundy or deep blue velvet suit for the wedding. Balance his color choice with a faux fur shrug for the bride. The plush fabrics are ideal for staying warm and looking sharp.
28. Winter Brunch
To catch all the precious winter daylight, throw your celebration in the daytime with a wedding brunch. A daytime wedding avoids the coldest temperatures of the day and takes advantage of great light for photos. Hold your ceremony in the late morning and head to your celebration for a midday winter feast.
29. Matching Wraps
If you need great gifts for your bridesmaids, surprise them with matching scarves or stoles for their walk down the aisle. Play with different colors, fabrics and designs to tie your ceremony look together. Be sure to grab a miniature stole to keep your flower girl cozy.
30. Vintage Gloves
Be sure to keep you and your bridesmaids’ fingers warm during a winter wedding as well. Break out the vintage gloves—either wrist or elbow length—and add a retro touch to your wedding wardrobe. You can even make this your “something borrowed” if a relative has a classic pair passed down through the family.
31. Mountaintop Honeymoon
Just like any destination wedding, stay nearby for a relaxing weekend right after the wedding crowd heads back home. If you’re marrying in a mountain or ski town, head to the best suite in the lodge to take in the scenery. Speak with your wedding venue about event and honeymoon packages to simplify your planning.
32. Winter Winery
Though autumn is the peak season for stopping by the vineyard, the winter can be a stunning time to hold an event, especially for wine lovers. Soft snow covers the rows of grapevines in the outdoor landscape, perfect for stunning pictures. Set up a tasting with the winery of their best reds for winter.
33. Guest Blankets
Head out into the snow for a bonfire or send-off after the reception and have cozy blankets for your guests to grab on their way out. You can also include other warming items as wedding favors such as gloves, winter hats and hand warmers. If you’re braving an outdoor ceremony, keep all your warm items close for your family and friends.
34. Wishing Tree
If you have a live Christmas tree at the center of your reception or cocktail hour space, encourage your guests to leave notes on your tree in lieu of a guest book. Include paper tags on twine, colorful pens and instructions for writing a note. They can even include wedding advice for you to read together after your big day.
35. Bridal Cape
All lengths and sizes of elegant capes are making their way into the formal wear scene. You have more freedom to play with layers in the winter months, welcoming velvet or pearl-covered wedding capes. This is also an easy accessory to transition a wedding dress from the ceremony to the reception.
36. Pre-Wedding Photo Shoot
If you’re enjoying the whole wedding weekend in a beautiful winter location, plan a photoshoot the day before out in the snow. Don your best cozy winter flannel and head out with your photographer for a hike. They can catch all the pre-wedding excitement as you explore the beautiful winter landscape.
37. Ceremony Wreath
Oversized wreaths are an excellent way to keep your ceremony design simple while still making a statement. In the winter season, choose a large evergreen wreath with minimal decoration to hang just above your ceremony altar or the door to the space. You can spread smaller wreaths throughout your wedding decorations to create a more elaborate theme. Mix and match wreath colors, playing with natural grapevine wreaths or flower-adorned arrangements.
38. Christmas Photos
Throwing a holiday-themed wedding? Personalize your wedding by filling the space with framed photos from childhood Christmases. You can include them in your centerpiece design, as escort cards or throughout your reception area. Include small notes on each frame about the year and who is present in the photo.
39. Poinsettia Display
The iconic red flower of Christmas is also an easy option for filling a church or reception hall with vibrant arrangements. Base your floral design around the poinsettia plant, interspersing pots throughout your aisle, alter and reception space. Since they remain in their planters, invite guests to take a poinsettia home as a wedding favor for an eco-friendly option.
40. Winter Venue
Choose a destination venue that embraces winter adventure. Hold your ceremony and reception at a popular ski resort or cozy winter lodge. Be sure to tell your guests to prepare for a weekend of activity around your celebration. Meet by the lodge fireplace at the end of the night to unwind after the festivities.
One of the many perks of throwing a winter wedding is looking forward to a winter wedding anniversary. From here on out, you can celebrate your anniversary around a roaring fire, with festive anniversary gifts or on the off-season at your favorite resort.