What's not to love about winter weddings? Roaring fireplaces, bone-warming cocktails, luscious faux-fur wraps, and sparkling snow — is there anything more romantic? If you're going to ask your guests to cozy up for your celebration, we say really go for it and choose a venue that makes the most of the season. Here, some of our favorites.
The Whiteface Lodge - Lake Placid, NY
This Adirondack lodge (above), built with hand-milled timber and full of authentic handcrafted furnishings, is a cozy retreat that harkens back to the region's 19th-century heyday. Nearby Lake Placid, two-time site of the Winter Olympics, will get guests in the mood for winter activities before you say "I do" in the KANU Dining Room between two towering stone fireplaces. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the Whispering Pines Room is the perfect place to watch the snow fall and dance the night away.
Photo: Courtesy of Dunton Hot Springs
Dunton Hot Springs - Dolores, CO
There's nothing quite like winter in the Rockies, and at Dunton Hot Springs, you can have a ghost town-turned-luxury resort all to yourselves. Beside a 40-foot waterfall, the open-air Chapel is a secluded spot for a ceremony amongst the snow drifts before heading to the Dance Hall to celebrate. If snowshoeing and dogsledding (or a heli-skiing excursion!) get you too chilly, take a dip in one of the property's six natural hot springs, ranging from 85 to 106 degrees.
__The Pitcher Inn - Warren, VT
The Mad River Valley has quite a winter reputation, with both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen tempting East Coast skiers north once the snow starts falling, which makes it the perfect place for this charming mountain retreat. The Relais & Châteaux property has only 11 rooms, each decorated in an individually eclectic style inspired by all Vermont has to offer. Once you and the wedding party have settled in, head down to 275 Main, the Inn's romantic locavore restaurant, for an indulgent reception. Dreaming of eloping? How about a five-course tasting menu in the wine cellar after you say "I do" in front of the roaring fireplace in Tracks, the on-site tavern.
Photo: Dziekonski Photography
Planterra Conservatory - West Bloomfield, MI
If you want to get married in the snow without the chill, Planterra might be just the place. This glass-enclosed botanical garden is filled with life, from a dramatic stone archway to a lush wall of greenery and moss. The iron-and-glass structure was built in the 1930s, in the same style as Paris's arcades, and it seamlessly bridges the gap between European elegance and modern stylings. There's no better — or warmer — way to celebrate under the stars, or if you're lucky, softly falling snow.
Icehotel - Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
This dramatic hotel is only available in the winter months because, come spring, the entire thing melts away! With rooms carved out of ice and snow (as well as an adjacent hotel and series of chalets for those looking for a warmer place to sleep), you'll be totally immersed in a winter wonderland. Every winter, the Icehotel also creates a stunning Ice Chapel, with seating for up to 40 guests. After a reception featuring gourmet Swedish specialties, head back into the snow to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. That's not your average sparkler exit!