Is there anything quite as magical as a winter wedding? From holiday music to wintry florals, these seasonal wedding details can add warmth and charm to even the frostiest of days. If you're about to deck the halls of your wedding venue for winter nuptials of your own, these merry winter wedding ideas are bound to inspire you and your guests.
From wearing warm weather attire—nothing says chic like adding a faux fur coat to your bridal style—to crafting an outdoor bar to capture the spirit of the season (or should we say spirits!), here's everything you need to know to throw a festive fête worthy of the most magical time of the year.
Unwrap some of the season’s best in holiday and winter wedding décor. Here are 39 of our favorite winter wedding ideas.
Select a Fitting Venue
When selecting a venue for your winter nuptials, consider your wedding theme. Can you think of a space that will provide guests shelter from the cold? While a barn venue is perfect for a shabby-chic aesthetic, a cozy ski lodge is just about as picturesque as it gets for a destination wedding in the mountains. If you want an enchanting backdrop for a December ceremony, a botanical garden—complete with a holiday light display—can be downright magical.
Embrace the Weather
Skip the humidity and sweltering heat by opting for a winter wonderland wedding. Trust us: Your hair and makeup will thank you. This ceremony took place at the top of Aspen Mountain—at an elevation of 1,212 feet amongst a picture-perfect snowy landscape. There, the happy couple stood before an arbor wrapped in greenery and copper-toned blooms.
Wear Long Sleeves
By tying the knot in colder weather conditions, you'll be able to take full advantage of all the long-sleeve wedding dresses. From illusion sleeves to high-collared lace necklines, there's a dress silhouette for every bridal style. Don't forget to top your look off with a chic sweater or add a fur stole for maximum warmth.
Do a Bold Lip
Yet another benefit of tying the knot during the winter months? Being able to experiment with a bold lip. While light pinks and peachy corals are often in heavy rotation during the summer, a vampy red lipstick (perfect for a holiday wedding) or a deep plum will lend a pop of color to your bridal look.
Before your wedding day, be sure to schedule a makeup trial with your artist to ensure that it's exactly the look you envision. If you plan on experimenting with different lipsticks (matte vs. shimmer), be sure to bring photos as inspiration so that your makeup artist can help recreate the look.
Add Festive Accessories
While your wedding dress may be the main attraction, it's the accessories that will amplify your look. Channel your inner Grecian goddess with a gold hair comb or a seasonal hair wreath that's worthy of any bohemian bride. Shine bright with a patchwork sequin cape or consider adding a faux fur stole if you plan on having an outdoor ceremony.
Rock a Statement Coat
What could be more glamorous than a winter destination wedding set in a snowy locale? For a panache-packed look, add a wintry topper that's equal parts stylish and cozy. Behold, the jacket that inspired this bride's ensemble. "With a deep navy lining and rich wine embroidery, it became the color inspiration for our wedding," this bride says of her Anthropologie outerwear. "The subtle silver metallic threading throughout was a happy surprise that complemented the winter theme and our mixed metal accents."
Throw on a Sweater
Don't let frigid temperatures get you down. If Olivia Palermo's ceaselessly chic bridal ensemble is any indication, a sweater can be the ultimate finishing touch. Yes, there are bridal jackets, boleros, and fur toppers, but there's something so sweet and nonchalant about a sweater that can just be tossed on with ease. Besides knocking down the chill factor, a cream-colored or ivory sweater (to match your gown) is a great way to pile on an extra layer without adding bulk.
Consider a Nontraditional Material
Picking out a suit that fits the groom's personality is just as important as finding a flattering fit these days. Steer clear of a black tux by experimenting with different fabrics, color swatches, and patterns. Consider pairing a tweed blazer with velvet pants for a mismatched look or opt for a subtle paisley print that will pop in your wedding photos.
Decorate With Twinkle Lights
Is it just us or do fairy lights make everything appear more magical? Indoor or outdoor, a string of glistening twinkle lights can help set the tone for your nuptials. Consider dangling them from the ceiling, incorporating them into the tablescape décor, or stringing them into a majestic canopy at the reception. Create a Narnia-esque winter scene by stringing lights around the trees or follow in this couple's lead by renting out the George Peabody Library for an elegant backdrop.
Think Less is More
Sometimes, less really is more. While we love a bountiful bouquet as much as the next bride, there's something to be said about the simplicity of a single stem bloom. A white rose or peony will stand out against a rich jewel tone fabric like velvet.
Experiment with Dried Blooms
The everlasting nature of dried flowers makes them fitting for a wintry celebration. While dried blooms are often used in the place setting, ceremony arch, and hanging installations, they also make great boutonnières. If you're looking for an alternative to flowers, try dried berries.
Mix in Modern Accents
We're big advocates for mixing in contemporary elements into your winter wedding décor. Try juxtaposing a rustic wooden table with clear acrylic chairs for a hint of modernity or swapping out flowers for fresh greenery. Simplicity is key here. Alternatively, a wedding cake with modern details or table cards featuring a geometric design will help to balance out more traditional elements.
Consider a Muted Palette
While winter weddings are often synonymous with rich jewel tones like emerald green and ruby red, don't be so quick to rule out a muted color palette. Imagine a lineup of slate grey bridesmaid dresses against a snowy backdrop or an array of mismatched gowns in the color of your choosing (think along the lines of dusty blue and icy periwinkle).
Serve Up Hot Chocolate
Can you count the ways to serve up hot cocoa at your winter wedding? Think outside the box with a hot chocolate station bar stocked with homemade marshmallows, peppermint sticks, and whipped cream. Come cocktail hour, a signature frozen hot cocoa-inspired specialty drink is guaranteed to hit the spot.
Dress the Part
While the weather outside may be frightful, colder temperatures can actually work to your advantage. When determining a dress code for your entire wedding party, be sure to keep style and function in mind. Whether it translates to an added faux fur topper for your bridesmaids or a cozy sweater for a special pup, coziness never goes out of style.
Line the Aisle
Ready for a swanky entrance? This candle-lit aisle led to a stunning floral chuppah made up of roses, hydrangeas, garden roses, and white cherry blossoms. And that's not all. Ivory curtains parted to reveal an aisle edged in sprawling seasonal greenery.
Marry in the Round
Create a feeling of intimacy by marrying in the round. Being surrounded by your closest loved ones as you say "I do" will make your moment all that more special. Halfway through the ceremony, feel free to switch sides to give friends and family members from all directions a front row seat.
In the planning stages, make sure that your venue has enough room to accommodate this type of seating arrangement. Industrial loft spaces work best as they're cozy in design and spacious enough to fit a ton of guests.
Create an Indoor-Outdoor Feel
Don't let Mother Nature stop you from planning the ultimate wedding reception. Bring the outdoors inside by renting clear tents that can be used by guests as they mix and mingle throughout the night. An indoor fire pit accompanied by a canopy of greenery or artificial snow will prove to be a cozy addition.
Natural details can help to create the feeling of a winter woodland forest. Handmade paper escort cards were finished with soft calligraphy and displayed on split birch logs, tucked among moss, grass, and branches.
Hang Glass Orbs
Transport guests to a winter wonderland by using glass orbs to decorate the wedding lounge. We love the clean aesthetic of this all-white area featuring rustic furniture, vines of greenery, and candles galore. The addition of hanging glass orbs (fill with tea lights to mimic stars) could not be more elegant.
On the hunt for that picture-perfect backdrop? Say no more. Keep the magic alive by interspersing garlands of greenery with string lights to a minimalist venue. Take it a step further by adding a table garland and candles for a wintry touch.
Accentuate a Fireplace
Having a charming fireplace to decorate is definitely a benefit of tying the knot during the winter months. You can create a hygge vibe (a feeling of well-being) inspired by the Scandinavians by accentuating your mantel with candles and greenery garlands. Another idea is to transform your fireplace with a bountiful floral arrangement or decorative wreaths if you're getting married over the holidays.
Add Festive Touches
'Tis the season to add festive touches à la your wedding favors, décor, and even signature drinks. Something as simple as a plaid tablecloth, pine cone place cards, or customized napkins featuring fun wordplay can help to spread the holiday cheer. Set the tone for your reception with a celebratory drink such as a cranberry champagne cocktail or pink peppermint cocktail.
Incorporate Baby's Breath
Though often overshadowed by bigger, bolder blooms, baby's breath can be just as impactful on its own. The cloud-like quality of these little white flowers is not only ethereal but also incredibly dramatic when incorporated into a winter wedding installation. A chandelier of baby's breath flowers has the ability to completely transform a rustic reception space and elegant table setting.
Don't Rule Out Blush
Tickled pink? While blush may not be the first color that comes to mind when you think of winter weddings, this feminine hue can add warmth to an otherwise neutral palette. For this outdoor reception, each place setting paired a white plate with a pink menu and printed napkin for a harmonious look. The final touch? Leather luggage tags that doubled as place cards.
Add Layers of Velvet
Don't stop at crushed velvet dresses and accessories for your bridesmaids. This sumptuous fabric is beckoning for a prime spot in your reception table décor. At this wedding, simple wooden tables were topped with velvet runners, antique candlesticks with blue candles, and cups with figs and pomegranates.
Going hand-in-hand with greenery wreaths, artificial snow, and pine cones, branches will lend a rustic-chic vibe to your reception space. When planning out your table setting, twigs can be presented in flower arrangements or vases as an elegant accent. Better yet, go big by incorporating entire branches into the centerpiece—a nod to nature without having to trek outside in the elements.
Have a Champagne Tower
Keep the bubbly flowing with none other than a champagne tower. Perhaps you're hosting a New Year's Eve wedding or maybe you're channeling a black-tie Gatsby-inspired affair. Either way, such a grandiose display at your reception is guaranteed to elicit a wow-worthy response from guests.
Make a Fitting Escape
Whether by a scenic gondola ride, a horse-drawn carriage, or a sleigh decked out in holiday cheer, be prepared to make a memorable exit. Your wedding send-off can be as epic as you want it to be. Ultimately, your venue will influence the method of transportation that you choose. While a gondola ride makes perfect sense for a ski resort wedding, a sleigh equipped with fleece blankets is fitting for a wedding set in the idyllic countryside (bonus points if it's snowing).
Rethink the Centerpiece
Bring the outdoors inside by transporting guests to a fairytale-esque setting, starting with a dreamy tablescape. It's the details that truly bring a venue to life, after all. By covering large columns in trees, this couple was able to create the illusion of guests "sitting under the trees" during dinner. By incorporating them into the centerpiece, it almost looks as though the trees were "growing up the tables."
Set Up a DIY S'mores Station
Variety is the spice of life... especially when it comes to the dessert table spread. For an outdoor reception, guests can gather around a fire pit and roast marshmallows on skewers. Escape freezing temperatures altogether by setting up a DIY s'mores bar stocked with graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and custom fillings.
Provide Blankets for Guests
Once the temperatures drop below 60 degrees, an extra layer (or two) may be in order to knock down the chill. Keep everyone in good spirits by offering fleece blankets as they arrive at the venue. Attendees will be able to snuggle up throughout the ceremony and then take the blankets home as a wedding favor.
Have the Bridesmaids Carry Greenery Wreaths
For a classy Christmas wedding, have your bridesmaids coordinate their red dresses with greenery wreaths. Doing so will make for an unexpected touch that's seasonal but not overly fa-la-la-la. The bride shown here holds a bouquet of red flowers against a woodsy backdrop.
Embrace a Winter Palette
There's nothing quite more magical than a winter wonderland theme inspired by a seasonal palette (and we're not just talking red and green). Give your venue an icy aesthetic by bringing in white-flowered trees, artificial snow, and modern lucite chairs. For a hint of color, weave in evergreen accents in the tablescape and escort cards.
Choose a Seasonal Wedding Cake Flavor
Just as pumpkin spice is synonymous with fall, there's no shortage of seasonal cake flavors to take into consideration for your winter nuptials. This festive gingerbread with pear compote and vanilla buttercream cake from The Cake & The Giraffe not only looks exquisite, but its rich in flavor. Other flavor combos to consider include gingerbread and eggnog creme, chocolate peppermint, and chai spice.
Add Pine Cones for a Touch of Whimsy
If you're seeking another way to bring nature inside, then look no further. When incorporated into the tablescape, decorations, and even escort cards, pine cones can serve as a chic accent. You can DIY glistening snow-covered pine cones or opt for a more natural look by incorporating them into a garland runner.
Play with Textures and Patterns
Winter is the perfect time to experiment with a variety of textures and patterns. “We added warmth to this winter wedding by layering cozy textures like velvet and Pendleton plaid,” says Lynn Easton, founder and creative director of Easton Events. A rich and saturated color palette of green, brown, and auburn were included throughout both the décor and floral details. Lastly, don't forget to add candlelight or even the glow of a fireplace if you're inside.
Create a Cozy Atmosphere
You don't have to downsize your guest list to keep things cozy (although, that's certainly one option). From selecting an alternative venue to seating everyone at one long table for a family-style dinner, it's the details that create a feeling of intimacy. If you're working with a bigger space, you may want to consider installing overhead arrangements of greenery alongside soft light bulbs.
Showcase Seasonal Blooms
Don't for a second think that flowers can't be incorporated into your winter bash. Use them to adorn your reception space or to greet guests as they walk in. Who could say no to a stunning bouquet of blooms? The key here is selecting an arrangement of winters blooms (think: amaryllis, pomegranates, carnations, garden roses, and seasonal greenery) that match the aesthetic of your ceremony.