11 Things All Guests Love at Winter Weddings

From warm cocktails to nostalgic details, here's what guests look forward to most at cold-weather celebrations.


Photo by James + Schulze

There's nothing like a cozy winter wedding in a snow-covered locale, but if you're planning wintertime nuptials yourself, there are a few extra things you may want to add to your to-do list to ensure that your guests are happy (and warm) during your celebration. Whether you're hosting your wedding in a place known for its freezing temperatures or a locale with milder weather, here are 11 things your guests will be thrilled to see at your winter wedding.

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A Sense of Nostalgia

Framed Family Photos at Wedding on White Table with White and Green Flowers

Photo by Austin Gros

According to Lea Stafford, owner of Lea Stafford Events, winter weddings are the perfect time to play up that sense of connection or nostalgia—after all, the festive season is when we generally gather with loved ones, and a wedding affords the perfect opportunity to recreate the feelings we all have during the holiday season. Displaying family photos, serving cherished recipes, and bringing in your favorite traditions are some great ways to add a little nostalgia to your big day.

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An Outdoor Fire Pit

Fire pit
Photo by Sarah Kate Photography

Another detail Stafford says all guests love at winter weddings? Warmth. If your venue allows it, having an outdoor fire pit is a great option for guests. Not everyone wants to spend the entire night on the dance floor, and a cozy space where they can enjoy quiet conversation and a cocktail will always be appreciated.

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A Cozy Lounge

Photo by Greer Gattuso

Having an outdoor wedding in the winter may be something you've always dreamed of, and if so, it's important to also have an indoor alternative. Even if you have a heated, tented reception, having an indoor spot attached to it that people can warm up in is key if it's freezing or snowing out.

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Hot Beverages

hot cocoa
Photo by Ruth Eileen Photography

In addition to an open bar, it may be a good idea to serve a few warm signature cocktails. Stafford's top pick? Mulled hot cider. Hot chocolate and coffee are two other great options.

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Shawls or Blankets

Blankets for Guests
Photo by Perry Vaile Photography

An extra-added layer of comfort throughout the night is essential at a winter wedding, whether it's indoors or out. Some guests may be colder than others, so having a pile of extra shawls and blankets for them to grab is a nice touch, Stafford explains.

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DIY S'Mores

Photo by Dawn Charles

If you're getting married in the winter and are looking for a fun dessert to serve, a DIY s'mores bar is always a hit. This is a great addition to a fire pit (see above!).

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A Dusting of Snow

Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows in Snow-Covered Forest

Photo by Travis J Photography

Yes, your guests want to be warm, but who can deny the beauty of freshly-fallen snow? While it's not possible to control the weather, you can bring in details that will remind guests of soft flurries. A dusting of fake snow on your escort card table, sugar-rimmed signature cocktail glasses, or frosted décor are all ways to bring snow vibes to the big day. And, if you really want to go all-out, Stafford loves the idea of a "faux snowfall upon guest arrival."

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Comfort Food

Rebecca Arthurs

Keep guests warm with the kind of comfort food they are used to indulging in during the cold winter months, from hot mac n’ cheese to appetizer tomato soup with mini grilled cheese. There’s nothing like a warm meal to make them feel full and comfortable at cocktail hour.

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Cinnamon Sticks


There’s no better winter scent than the scent of cinnamon. Incorporate cinnamon sticks into centerpiece decorations, napkin holders, floral arrangements, or even with cocktails.

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Twinkle Lights

Photo by David Bastianoni

The winter way to make your wedding a hit on Instagram is to have a wall of hanging twinkle lights so that people can snap a picture in front of it and use your wedding hashtag.

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Caramel Chocolate

chocolate favor
Photo by Jessica Blex; Design by Lovestruck; Calligraphy by Miranda Writes; Wax Seals by Wax Seals; Ribbon by FrouFrou Chic

When it’s time to cross party favors off your to-do list, consider packages of caramel chocolates as a sweet and wintery way to send your guests home after your wedding comes to an end.

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