It’s not super common, but winter is one of my absolute favorite seasons for weddings. Now, I’m not talking about Florida-winters where you still have green grass and palm trees in the backgrounds of your photos; I’m talking about snowy, candle-lit, cold-weathered weddings that are seriously the most magical things ever! Our company is based in Minnesota, so we definitely know a thing or two about the cold and with that being said, we also know how to perfectly prepare for a seasonal wedding! So to help you, we’ve gathered an essential list of winter wedding planning ideas that will ensure your big day goes perfect! …even if the weather is 10 degrees and snowing! From choosing the right color palette to finding the perfect long chiffon bridesmaid dresses, here are the 15 ideas you should definitely consider.
1. Hand out weather-appropriate favors. Seasonal gifts are always cute and extra appreciated. Consider handing out favors such as small blankets, homemade hand warmers, sparklers, cookies, or mini bottles of baileys!
2. Consider the sun’s timing. Have you noticed how dark it gets by the time you’re driving home from work? Make sure to consider the change in the sun’s location if you’re doing anything outdoors. If you’re having an outside ceremony, you don’t want the sun setting right in your guests eyes and for the sake of your wedding photos, you also don’t want the sun right behind the alter.
3. Choose weather-appropriate dresses. As cute as knee-length dresses may be, they just aren’t practical in 30 degree weather. In fact, that would just be kind of cruel. Dress them in something long and heavy that they’ll feel totally comfortable in. Long chiffon bridesmaid dresses are the perfect choice for your girls. The fabric has a light and romantic look, but the length will keep them warm and cozy.
4. Serve seasonal food and drink. From the cocktail hour to the reception, serve foods that will warm your guests tummies! Soups, meats, and potatoes, are great staples for the sit down meal, while hot cocoa bars, s’mores bars, hot totties, and ruled ciders are great desert options.
5. Try to keep the entire wedding in one place. While it’s really common for ceremony and receptions to be held at two separate locations, depending on your location and the severity of your winters, you may want to consider otherwise. For the safety and convenience of your guests, keeping the ceremony and reception all at one location will definitely be appreciates.
6. Use candles and light up the night. During the winter months, it starts to get dark quite early (usually around 3:30 pm) so you’ll want to make sure that your venue has plenty of light. My suggestion? String lighting and candles. It’s super gorgeous and creates soft, dim lighting that’s perfect for a romantic winter wedding.
7. Use seasonal decor. Things such as ornaments, berries, pine cones, logs, and white birch branches will make a gorgeous, wintery statement in your decor.
8. Wrap up in warm, wintery staples. Keep yourself warm by bringing an extra layer such as a fur wrap, shawl, flannel button-up, cardigan, or whatever suits your style!
9. Capture the snowy scenery. One of the prettiest parts about winter weddings is the gorgeous photography that you can get. Take pictures with snow falling in the background or take some fun ones with your bridal party tossing it up into the air.
10. Decorate in festive color palettes! There are so many variations to winter color palettes, but some of the most common are as follows:
11. Go bold with your makeup. Black liner and red lips will look absolutely stunning against a snowy, white background.
12. Be weary of holidays. There are tons of holidays during the winter months so make sure you know if your wedding falls during a holiday weekend. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can definitely cause scheduling conflicts for your guests.
13. Have a coat-room available. Considering it’s going to be cold, possibly wet and slushy, and your guests will most definitely be dressed in layers, it’s going to be super important to ensure that your space has a coat-room available. Not only should there be a place to store outerwear, but someone should be manning the area at all times as well.
14. Use seasonal blooms. Gorgeous flowers like anemones, roses, ranunculuses, and tulips will look stunning in bouquets and centerpieces. Also be sure to incorporate greens like spruce branches and eucalyptus that add a gorgeous winter touch.
15. Wear layers…under your dress. As long as your dress allows for it, it’s totally okay to wear tights, leggings, and/or even boots under your dress! This totally applies to your bridesmaids as well. The men shouldn’t be the only ones who get to stay nice and toasty…
Whether you've attended a winter wedding or are planning your own, what ideas and suggestions would you add to this list? Leave a comment below and let us know what you love most about winter weddings!
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
Waist size: While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.
Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Choosing your correct size
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.