In recent years, fall and winter weddings have become increasingly popular among those deciding the perfect time to tie the knot. And it’s no wonder why – cooler temps, holiday trends, gorgeous color palettes, warmth, and cheer all lend themselves perfectly to a wedding celebration. If you’ve opted for a wedding during a cooler season, or if you’re still unsure about selecting the best date for your big day, here are a few expert tips from Chestnut Ridge on getting the most out of your seasonal celebration.
• Location and Weather. Choosing a location should be at the top of the list. If your ceremony will be held outside, consider the optimal time of day for your comfort and the comfort of your guests. But, keep in mind that it’s your day. Love cold weather? Always dreamed of getting married on a cold, snowy day outside? Go for it! Keep the ceremony short and sweet, or take a look at the portable heaters many vendors now offer. If you’ve chosen an evening outdoor wedding, consider taking photos earlier in the afternoon when the sun is at its warmest. When choosing the time of day for your ceremony, keep in mind the earlier sunsets in cooler months and remember that seasonal lighting, such as Christmas lights, candlelight, or lanterns create a warm, romantic atmosphere – inside or outside – that will enhance photos and help guests cozy up for an event they won’t forget.
• Décor. There’s no doubt that choosing a fall or winter wedding date offers an array of décor choices. Retailers often stock the shelves early (bonus for those early planners!) with seasonal and holiday decorations that are perfect for both ceremonies and receptions. Pumpkins, which can now be found easily in muted, understated colors, can be a staple for gorgeous fall centerpieces – not to mention they’re fairly inexpensive. Fall leaves, branches and sticks, white candles, and flowers harvested at the peak of the fall season are easy to come by and – when put together in an inspired way – create a chic harvest theme. Always dreamed of a Christmas wedding? Look no further than white lights (large bulbs create a vintage look), pine cones, and real trees, wreaths, and pine boughs against white tablecloths for a magical holiday wedding. If you’re considering a fall or winter wedding, keep in mind that holiday décor does offer endless options, but can be utilized without having an obvious holiday theme. Use the decorations available to your advantage and create an ambiance that best suits your personality, no matter what time of year.
• Food. Ah, the aroma of warm apples and cinnamon, fresh-baked pumpkin pie, or delicious roasted turkey. Food is one of the central pieces in creating the wedding atmosphere you desire. Not only should it be yummy, it should lend itself to the overall ambiance of your special day. Fortunately, the fall and winter months offer not only a vast number of food choices, but alsofoods rich with spices and warmth, which guests will appreciate on a cold day. Being able to choose heavier food options allows for later evening weddings, with a true sit-down-dinner feel. Utilize food as an “ambiance agent”, and choose a menu that highlights the best features of the season and your taste.
• Dress. Choosing the optimal dress and wedding party style are essential when getting married in cooler temps. It’s the perfect time of year to think of breaking tradition and doing something new and imaginative with wedding attire. Long-sleeved bridal gowns with stunning features like a low-cut back, a swooping neckline, or a lacy bodice are something warm-weather brides can’t consider. If you’re opting for a formal theme, cool-weather weddings mean bridesmaids can wear floor-length gowns and fur jackets and groomsmen can dress out in a full suit without breaking a sweat. If you’re into a less-formal event, consider things like boots and jackets for the bridal party, which create a fun feel and make for memorable photos. For outdoor ceremonies, remind guests how to dress for comfort. Depending on your wedding theme, fall and winter weddings do offer the chance to allow your guests to dress super-comfy – pulling out jeans, boots, and flannel for the occasion.
Whatever your style, wedding dreams, or favorite time of year, fall and winter weddings are sure to serve as great hosts to a day you’ll never forget. It’s important to remember that each season brings special features that you can use to ‘wow’ guests and make memories that will last a lifetime. When considering a fall or winter wedding, don’t let tradition or convention hold you back from tying the knot when it’s right for you.
In love and good taste,
The Chestnut Ridge Team