7 Rules for Hosting a Super Chic Winter Wedding

Straight from the professionals

Updated 01/24/17

Hannah Hardaway Photography

What is it about winter that makes it perfect for a wedding? Maybe it's the indulgent food, the way the holidays bring family and friends together, or how great it is to be cuddled up in front of a roaring fire with the person you love. Or maybe it's the festive urge to celebrate, with champagne in the fridge, glowing candles on the table, and twinkling lights hung from the ceiling. Whatever it is, winter is totally romantic, and it's a wonderful time to say "I do"! But of course, you want to make sure your winter wedding isn't mistaken for a Christmas party, so we've asked some of our favorite wedding planners to share their totally chic winter wedding ideas.

Stay Warm in Style

"Be sure to think about how you and your bridesmaids will fend off the chill," says Lindsey Nickel, owner of Lovely Day Events in Jackson Hole. "Faux fur shrugs or wraps look luxurious and timeless, and will also keep you warm." She recommends outfitting your 'maids in mismatched faux fur stoles, where the varying hues will add depth while the similar texture and silhouettes will create a cohesive look.

"You could also top your gown with a really beautiful wool coat that you can wear for extended outdoor photos. White is an unexpected choice for a winter coat that adds a chic touch and won't fight with your gown — plus it makes flowers, hair, and makeup pop!" Nickel adds. Anne Book, owner of Anne Book Event Design in Washington, D.C. loves layering luxe fabrics and accessories. "Look for cashmere gloves, faux fur mufflers, and faux fur capes or boots," Book suggests. You can still embrace the season (and bundle up!) while looking totally chic.

Winter Wedding Neutral Color Palette

Angie Silvy

Keep the Palette Austere

"Unless you're having a holiday-themed wedding, leave the red and green for Santa," says Book. "A palette of warm whites, creamy ivories, oatmeals, caramel, and butterscotch would be gorgeous and cozy." From there, you can go boho with the addition of greenery and twine, glam with the addition of lucite, metallics and sparkling accents, or timeless with lots of candles, lush white flowers, and soft gold accents.

Winter Barn Wedding

Hannah Hardaway Photography

Pick a Seasonal Venue

A beautiful ballroom is always a great choice, but why not opt for a venue that really embraces the season? "Find a venue where guests need to ski in or arrive on horse-drawn sleighs," suggests Teissia Treynet, founder of Firefly Events in New York, Los Angeles, and Jackson Hole. "We love the journey to Pine Creek Cookhouse in Aspen!"

Taper Candles in Metallic Wine Bottles

Sonya Khegay

Forget the Holly

There's much more in season, flower-wise, than you might think! "Look for flowers that are grown indoors from sturdy bulbs, like paperwhite and amaryllis," says Book. "Fill a massive glass vessel with clear crystals and just enough water to support the blooms, then give your guests bulbs of the same flowers as favors."

You could also skip the flowers entirely for a modern and warm take on centerpieces. "There's nothing more romantic than a table runner made entirely of candles," says Treynet. "We use pillar candles in varying heights to add dimension to the table. The key is to make it very dense with as many candles as you can fit!" That glow will really warm up your space, and everyone looks better in candlelight!

Winter Wedding Drink Bar

Megan W Photography

Get Creative With the Bar

Whether it's during cocktail hour or for the after party, a bar serving up wintery drinks will definitely get guests feeling cozy. "Hire a piano player to croon Billy Joel and Elton John while your guests sip mulled wine or Brandy Alexanders," Book suggests.

Treynet also loves turning the beverage station into an interactive element. "Make the drinks customizable with dark and milk chocolate, peppermint, and whipped cream alongside bourbon or rum to add to cocoa and cider," she suggests. And what's more festive than champagne? "Set up bottles of bubbly and juices and liqueurs so guests can create their own cocktails," says Book.

Photo by Sara Wight Photography

Add Some Fun

"For a holiday wedding, elegant silver ornaments make beautiful favors and escort cards," says Nickel. "You could also set mugs personalized with each guest's name at the coffee station, or drape pashminas on ladies' chairs to keep them warm." A little personalization helps turn these everyday items into a sophisticated detail.

Want to wow your guests and put a smile on their faces? "I once set up a snow machine over a lounge area at a New Year's Eve wedding," says Book. "The photos were beautiful, and it was such a delight for the guests!" She recommends sticking the snow machine near the bar instead of over the dance floor so guests don't slip.

Winter Wedding Hot Chocolate Bar

Peter Van Beever

Remember Your Guests

What's more chic than taking great care of your guests? "Especially in winter, book transportation for your guests so they don't have to endure long walks or taxi cab rides to get safely home," says Book. Outfit the powder rooms with scented candles, rich hand cream, and some static and hair spray to fend off winter wind. Your guests will thank you!

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