How to Have an Outdoor Winter Wedding Ceremony

Ceremony & Vows, Planning Tips
How to Have an Outdoor Winter Wedding Ceremony

Photo: Benj Haisch

It's the most wonderful time of year...for a wedding? That's right! If the thought of getting hitched outside during your favorite snowflake falling time of year is intimidating, don't fret. Where there is a will there is a way. Warm your friends and family up to the idea of an outdoor winter wedding ceremony by taking these cold weather tips to heart.

Get hitched in a warmer climate
Because obviously, an outdoor winter wedding ceremony set in Southern California or Miami, is a lot more bearable than say, being stuck in the middle of an NYC blizzard. Yes, it will still be a bit cool out, but more along the lines of early fall (think 50s and low 60s), as opposed to below freezing temperatures. Destination wedding, anyone?

Warn your friends and family
There's nothing worse than showing up to a winter wedding, only to discover it's being held outside and you had no idea. "Give your guests a forewarning so they come prepared," advises lifestyle expert and event designer Jung Lee of Fete NY. If you plan on moving the party indoors after you say, "I do", having a coat check for guests is an absolute must.

Gift your girls a cozy faux fur shrug
It's the least you can do for forcing them to stand by your side in the freezing cold. Kidding! Seriously though, a chic faux fur shrug will not only keep your bridesmaids warm for photos and throughout the ceremony, but it's an item they can definitely wear again post-wedding. Plus, it looks killer in pictures! "I also love the idea of the bridesmaids having warm hand muffs and the groomsmen tucking a flask in their jackets," says Lee.

See More: The Perks of Having a Friday Wedding

Crank the heat up
Like it or not, you're probably going to have to bring in some heaters. Everyone has a different tolerance for chilly weather, but after 10-15 minutes of sitting outside in the cold, most people become uncomfortable, cautions Lee. "Heaters then become a good solution. Remember that some can be loud and others don't provide warmth unless you're in close proximity to them, however."

Provide blankets, wraps or both for guests
They serve a practical need by keeping everyone warm and also make for a cute design opportunity styled up in a cozy corner, points out Los Angeles-based event planner Leslie Kaplan, owner of ENCORE. The softer and bigger the blankets, the better! Bonus points to brides and grooms that incorporate an area for guests to gather and warm up pre or post-ceremony: think a rustic fire pit or a more modern fireplace, suggests Kaplan.

Embrace warm drinks
Upon arrival, Kaplan recommends greeting your guests with a toasty beverage, such as hot chocolate or having a cider bar. Lee, on the other hand, loves Hot Toddies served in a footed glass with a cinnamon stick. "Mulled wine is another great option," she offers.

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