Sometimes the smallest and most private weddings can be the most beautiful. There's something about being asked into a family's home to photograph a love story, especially at Christmas, that really puts into perspective our love of this art form. We aren't entirely ready to let the holidays go just yet, but who could blame us with such festive photos like these!
Generally when someone mentions the word “wedding,” you immediately picture a spring or summer outdoor affair with lots of sunshine, flowers in bloom, and strapless gowns. But what if I told you that there is a wholly forgotten wedding season where just about everything is less expensive, with readymade décor, and a warm glow in everyone’s hearts. Hearing “Jingle Bells” yet? That’s right – winter weddings. Here are a few reasons why you should consider one.
Cost-Efficient for the Budget-Savvy Bride
The most popular months for weddings are May through October, so during the winter off-season you have the chance to negotiate better prices with venues, vendors, even your honeymoon. Ask if there is some wiggle room in the rates or if they can waive certain fees if they require them. We’ve heard that the venue of your dreams might offer a Friday discount for a Saturday wedding during the off-season – this can shave off thousands of dollars for some!
You also have the better luck of choosing the date you want at the venue you want. More availability equals less competition for you. I mean who wants to wait five years out for a June 6th wedding at The Plaza (you’ve seen Bride Wars, right?).
Winter, for me, is all about the holidays and you certainly do not have to incorporate them into your big day, but your piggy bank might thank you if you did. Think about it – that is a whole bunch of free decorations for you: twinkling Christmas lights, glittering ornaments, fresh pine, and bright red poinsettias – what a gold mine! And most of those things come standard at venues, churches, and hotels during the holiday season. I say – embrace it! Winter weddings, themed or otherwise, are rare in the glossy pages of all the bridal magazines.
*And if you choose a date right after December 25th shout out for the clearance prices on all that Christmas swag!*
Menu, Flowers, and Favors
Planning the menu should be fun for this time of year. Keep the chilly weather in mind, and think about serving warm soup, winter squash, and a variety of yummy drinks like spiked hot chocolate, eggnog, and spiced wine (set out candy canes as drink stirrers!). You could use gingerbread houses as edible centerpieces.
Flowers this time of year could get costly. Instead prepare arrangements with flowers and plants that are in-season: garland, glittered branches, pinecones, and fresh berries. Just grab everything off your fireplace mantle at home and carry it down the aisle!
Send your guests home with their own do-it-yourself hot cocoa mix in mason jars, or an ornament that commemorates the day. We’ve seen jingle bells used too!
Remember that it gets dark earlier in the winter. If you want your wedding portraits taken outside, be sure to plan accordingly. Opt for a pre-ceremony photo shoot. And if you’re imagining snow-covered trees in the background, stock up on fake snow spray or choose a destination wedding to Colorado – because Alabama.
Scout out public decorations and light installments. Colored Christmas lights will make for gorgeous bokeh-filled backgrounds and these can be found at public parks or even your local zoo (Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham Zoo). Train stations, hotels, ice-skating rinks, window displays at malls and toy stores, and roaring fires all make for fantastic winter-themed photos!
There are tons of ideas out there to make your winter wedding a truly spectacular event. No matter how cold it is outside, all that love in your heart will fill you with warmth (but maybe supply your guests with hand warmers, just in case)!