1. Counting on your guests to come prepared for an outdoor ceremony
Yep, even if you warn them in advance. That's why having baskets of blankets and even gloves or scarves, plus a warm cocktail or drink for your guests to sip on during the ceremony is always a good idea, points out event stylist and designer Rebekah Carey of A & B Creative. This ensures that everyone is comfortable and able to focus on you and your soon-to be newlyweds, as opposed to how cold they are!
2. Leaving out winter must-haves in your emergency kit
You know you need a wedding day emergency kit, but the winter months call for a few extras you may not have thought of. For example, tissues for any running noses in the cold weather, hand warmers that you can actually put in your shoes or even dress for any outside photos and powder for pink cheeks, says Carey.
3. Forgetting to pack an extra pair of shoes for pictures
Flats are essential for sore feet, but winter brides will also want to consider packing an extra pair of boots to weather the elements. As wedding planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events explains, satin in particular is one of the hardest materials to work with when it gets wet, and your beautiful satin heels will be ruined walking around before the ceremony taking pictures outside. "Remember to bring a temporary pair of shoes for pre and post-wedding activities so you don't destroy the ones you wear to tie the knot in."
4. Not taking advantage of indoor photo opps
Even with the proper accessories (shawls, scarves, gloves, leggings, etc.), taking pictures in freezing temperatures is no walk in the park for anyone. Brides often forget how cold it actually is, notes Marissa Levin-Rybalov, Co-Owner of Heyn Photography. "They should look for unique places indoors to use for their photo sessions, as this also helps with the lighting issue," she advises.
5. Not doing a first look
According to Tracie Domino, Founder and Creative Director of Tracie Domino Events, one of the biggest mistakes winter brides make is not accounting for the limited hours of daylight when planning for photos. "If your ceremony is at 6 p.m. for instance, it'll be dark out before it even starts, so if you forgo a first look getting any portraits of you and your husband in the daylight will be impossible."
6. Assuming it'll cost less
In fact, it could cost more for both you and your guests! "Here in Arizona, for example, it's our highest tourist season," says wedding planner Chandra Keel, owner of Chandra Keel Events. The good weather also attracts an influx of major events like golf tournaments and is an incredibly busy time for most wedding vendors, especially in February. "Brides should expect higher hotel rates, higher airfare to Arizona for their out-of-town guests, higher floral costs and a greater chance that their favorite vendors are already booked or charging a premium fee."
7. Failing to purchase wedding insurance
If there's a blizzard and the governor calls a state of the emergency and all roads are shut down the day of your big day, not only can your guests not get there, your vendors can't either, cautions Kelly Heyn, owner of SociaLife. There's a nice "Act of God" clause in their contracts that cover them, but you'll want to make sure you're covered by insurance for all costs associated with having to cancel or change your wedding date. "For example, you'd still be liable to pay for perishable items from the florist or caterer, however, if you have wedding insurance, you're safe."