Winter weddings pack plenty of unexpected charm. An unplanned snowfall, a chic seasonal ceremony, and a festive menu are just a few of the elements that can turn your celebration into an appealing winter affair. But in the midst of finalizing your day-of design, don’t forget to keep your guests in mind when it comes to supplying a nearby source of heat. For all they have going for them, winter weddings can get cold after all!
For the best advice on cold weather necessities, we asked the experts for winter wedding ideas guaranteed to keep your guests warm. From cozy seat covers and fireside dinners to warm, custom cocktails, these ideas are both charming and will keep everyone comfortable on you big day.
Here's how to create a warm welcome for guests at your winter wedding.
Embellish Your Seats
Photo by Roey Yohai Photography
Sometimes the most innovative designs can be disguised as decor. “For this outdoor event, heaters were used in a very discreet way,” says Meredith Waga Perez, co-founder and creative director of Belle Fleur, adding, “In this case, we took warmth one step further and added Mongolian Lamb seat cushions which of course matched the tablescape of feathery Astilbe.”
Get Creative With Cozy Details
Photo by Jose Villa
“For our early spring wedding in Santa Barbara, there was a chill in the air even in the afternoon,” says Jill Remy, owner of Jill & Co. Events. Rather than having heaters at the ceremony that would show up in photos, pashminas were rolled up around the site for guests. “We placed pashminas in baskets around all the lounge areas so if guests needed an extra layer while they weren't on the dance floor they were easily accessible,” Remy adds.
Provide Chic Blankets
Photo by Jen Rodriguez Photography
Nothing says "cozy" like a blanket and soft pillow to curl up with, even if it's for watching a beautiful wedding ceremony—but don’t disregard your wedding aesthetic when finalizing textiles for your warm accessories. “Not only will blankets draped across seating keep your guests warm, but they'll add texture and softness to your design as well,” adds Vanessa Vierra, owner of Vanessa Noel Events.
Allocate Necessary Rentals
Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, confirm that your wedding venue has outdoor gas flame heaters. “If not, consider renting them for your big day,” suggests Demi Meeker, senior event sales manager at Cannon Green. “These heaters are as stylish as they are effective, and both you and guests will be thankful for the additional warmth,” Meeker adds.
Opt for a Fireside Dinner
Photo by Tec Petaja
Nothing says cozy like a fireside dinner! “Wherever possible, make a roaring fire and provide radiant mushroom heaters for 100% warmth,” suggests Calder Clark, owner of Calder Clark. Indoors next to a cozy hearth, or outdoors near a bonfire, set up events throughout your evening that follow the warmth and charm of a real fire.
Adorn Your Bridal Party
Photo by Hannah Hardaway Photography
To add a festive element to both your wedding photos and your bridal party’s day-of look, consider cold weather accessories for your bridal party to don. “Don't forget your wedding party while they're standing outside in the cold taking photos,” says Lindsey Nickel, owner of Lovely Day Events. “A warm faux fur wrap is the perfect accessory to keep them warm, stylish, and smiling,” Nickel adds.
See more: 7 Common Winter Wedding Mistakes Brides Always Make
Serve Warm Drinks
Photo by Adonye Jaja
Consider greeting guests with a hot chocolate or spiced cider bar. “We love including housemade marshmallows, peppermint sticks, and a variety of other mixers when serving warm beverages for a winter wedding,” says Virginia Edelson, founder of Bluebird Productions. “Guests enjoy having something warm to hold during a ceremony or pre-ceremony gathering time,” Edelson adds.