20 Affordable Winter Wedding Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

Bring on the snow!

affordable winter wedding ideas

James x Schulze

While your nuptials will be a celebration to remember no matter the season, there’s something particularly magical about a winter wedding. The crisp air, the snowy scenery, how cozy it feels to be gathered together with friends and family—it all adds up to an evening no one will soon forget.

As an added bonus, marrying outside the bounds of wedding season may also help you save a few bucks on your wedding budget. But why stop there when it comes to cost-effectiveness? Read on for our favorite affordable winter wedding ideas that’ll help you marry in style without breaking the bank. 

01 of 20

Go Small

Affordable winter wedding ideas Moose Lodge Colorado reception

James x Schulze

Ask any wedding planner, and they’ll tell you the same: The number one way to save money on your wedding is to minimize the guest list. Brett and Ryan’s Colorado wedding had just 17 attendees, which allowed them to pamper guests with a gourmet dinner. 

02 of 20

Send Graphic Invites

affordable winter wedding ideas minimalist white invitations


A simple black and white design looks especially striking for a more formal winter wedding. Added bonus: If you’re creating your invitation suites yourself, it can also cut down on printing costs because you won’t have to use any color. 

03 of 20

Select a Gown With No Embellishments

affordable winter wedding ideas minimal gown

Kate Headley

Dresses with layers of intricate beading are typically more expensive than those without. Luckily, silk crepe styles are sleek options for a winter wedding—particularly for city brides. For her D.C. wedding, Jordan Quinn chose a classic dress by Oscar de la Renta, but simple and elegant wedding dresses come at every price point. 

04 of 20

Give Bridesmaids Greenery-Filled Bouquets

affordable winter wedding ideas greenery bouquet

Laura Gordon

Some real talk on bouquets: Beautiful as they may be, you’ll only interact with them for your ceremony and a few portraits. If you really love the look but want to save a bit on blooms, invest in florals for your bridal bouquet, then round out the grouping with greenery-forward bouquets for your ’maids. (Shown above: a pretty combo of mint, olive branches, maidenhair ferns, and Andromeda vines!) With a variety of leaves and textures, plus a ribbon tie, they’ll be a gorgeous complement to your bouquet in photos.

05 of 20

Take Engagement Photos at a Christmas Tree Farm

affordable winter wedding ideas christmas tree farm engagement photos

Lindsay Connors

If you adore the holiday season but don’t want your entire wedding to feel like it stepped out of a Christmas movie, consider posing for engagement photos at a Christmas tree farm—and maybe even using one of the images on your save the date card! That way, you can hint at what’s to come without having to go overboard with themed décor.

06 of 20

Rock a Bold Lip

affordable winter wedding ideas red lipstick

Ryon Lockhart

A matte red lip might seem a touch out of place for a spring garden wedding, but the substantial choice feels right at home at a colder-weather celebration. It also instantly dresses up any bridal look, which means you don’t have to spend on a veil or elaborate hair accessories to feel fancy from the neck up. 

07 of 20

Pose in Faux Fur Stoles

bridesmaids wearing fur stoles

Laura Gordon

Faux fur stoles are a pretty way to keep warm during outdoor portraits and add a bit of that explicit winter vibe to your photos. Not only are they infinitely more animal-friendly, but they’re also a fraction of the cost of the real deal. 

08 of 20

Swap Ceremony Chairs for Benches

affordable winter wedding ideas bench ceremony seats

Al Gawlik

Want a custom ceremony without having to shell out for specialty chairs for every single guest? Couples that love the minimalist look may want to try swapping individual seating options for long and sturdy bench rentals, then pop on a few faux sheepskins to keep things nice and cozy. You just may save money because you’ll have to rent fewer pieces. 

09 of 20

Take Pictures in the Snow

affordable winter wedding ideas snowy wedding photos

Travis J Photography

The biggest perk of a winter wedding is also one that comes completely free of charge: magical portraits in the snow! Pro tip: If the flurries are coming down hard, be sure to save these pictures for after the ceremony. That way, your hair and makeup styles will stay preserved for your grand debut, as well as any first look photos you may take in advance.

10 of 20

Keep Cocktail Hour Simple

affordable winter wedding ideas simple white cocktail hour


Most venues will have gold chairs and white linens in their repertoire, which means you won’t need to spend money on bringing in specialty rentals. If the options are available for your winter wedding, grab ‘em! It’ll create the perfect sophisticated seasonal moment, and look elegant without being expensive. 

11 of 20

Serve Mulled Wine

affordable winter wedding ideas mulled wine


Batch cocktails and punches can be more economical than crafting every drink fresh from scratch. Served warm with delicious spices, mulled wine is the perfect way to kick off a cozy winter wedding cocktail hour. Get a recipe for mulled wine here.

12 of 20

Take Advantage of Holiday Décor

Affordable winter wedding ideas holiday decor

James x Schulze

If you’re marrying around the holidays, chances are there may be a wreath or evergreen tree already adorning your event space. Leaning into the décor is an easy way to hit a festive note without spending a ton extra. This is especially true in moments such as the ceremony, where the warmth of being surrounded by friends and family—exactly what the holidays are all about—feels especially palpable.  

13 of 20

Choose an All-White Palette

affordable winter wedding ideas white palette

This Modern Romance

A classic all-white wedding is truly season-less, which means you’re guaranteed to find a wide range of affordable décor options in this palette. For a modern twist for a winter wedding, go minimalist and select cool-toned accents. Think silver, not gold. The pared-down look will help save on costs, but still look chic.  

14 of 20

Top Tables With Dried Centerpieces

affordable winter wedding ideas dried centerpieces

Anja Schneemann

Floral selection can be more limited come winter, which means you’ll pay more for lush, live blooms in your centerpieces. A sparser sprinkling of dried florals across your reception tables mimics the bare beauty of winter, saves you money, and allows for easier communication between guests across their dinner plates.  

15 of 20

Set Out Pine Cone Place Cards

affordable winter wedding ideas pine cone place cards


So simple, so sweet, and plucked right from the world outside your door! Pine cones are a wonderful seasonal note to add to your reception tables, and their spiky outsides work perfectly for holding up place cards. 

16 of 20

Drape Greenery Garlands Across the Tables

affordable winter wedding ideas greenery garlands

Photo: Adam Barnes; Design: Grit & Grace; Florals: Sweet Root Village

In lieu of spending on individual centerpieces filled with blooms, drape vines of greenery across your dinner tables. When dotted with tea lights, the effect is cozy and romantic—perfect for a winter wedding.  

17 of 20

Embrace the White Box

affordable winter wedding ideas art gallery wedding

Marisa Albrecht

Plenty of couples opt for art galleries or other studio venues because they can be transformed into pretty much whatever your heart desires. But blank walls can also make a statement on their own, particularly when paired with white chairs and white linens. When all done together, the effect is stylishly spare and intentionally minimalist.

18 of 20

Add Blankets to Your Décor

affordable winter wedding ideas blanket decor

Kati Mallory Fine Art Photography

Does anything feel more instantly cozy than blanket décor at a winter wedding? For a seasonal touch that won’t break the bank, drape two of your favorite shawls over your reception table seats. This is an especially fun way to signify the couples’ chairs if they won’t be sitting at their own private sweetheart table

19 of 20

Let Your Venue Do the Heavy Lifting

winter wedding terrain at styer's

Haley Richter

You won’t have to spend much on additional décor if your venue is already winterized! Located just outside of Philadelphia, Terrain at Styer’s is one the coziest places to wed during cold weather months on the East Coast, but there are plenty of other stunning winter wedding venues across the U.S. 

20 of 20

Embellish Your Cake With Natural Accents

white winter wedding cake with pine cones

James x Schulze

While sugar flowers make for a beautiful wedding cake embellishment, they can be a costly addition. For something simpler but just as pretty, look to the natural elements of the winter season. Pine cones and snippings of evergreen tree branches are the perfect touches to add. 

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