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Planning a Winter Wedding

120213-winterweddingWe think winter weddings are beautiful and romantic: The crisp air, the warm glow of candles, the sparkle of newly fallen snow. But before you jump head first into a winter wedding, be aware of some of the unique aspects of marrying in the winter.

Timing is Everything

From Christmas to Valentine’s Day, winter is a busy time of year for many people. Plus, the weather can make travel more difficult in some areas of the country. Be sure to give your guests plenty of notice, whether you’re looking at a wedding near Christmas, New Year’s, or Valentine’s Day or over a long weekend like Martin Luther King Day or President’s Day. Send save-the-date cards as soon as you have a date nailed down, and include travel and lodging information if you can. Guests need time to work your wedding into their holiday plans, book hotels and flights before they fill (and get expensive), and request any needed time off from work.

Think carefully about the date you’re getting married on. Choose a date too close to Christmas, and you risk many guests being unable to come. You might also lose guests if you plan a New Year’s Eve wedding – that’s a big party night for lots of folks. If you have your heart set on a Christmas-themed wedding, think about a date earlier in December. You can still plan a Christmas-themed wedding even though it’s before Christmas.

Mother Nature, Uninvited Guest

What kind of havoc might Mother Nature wreak on your happy day? Even if you don’t live in a place that gets a lot of snow, bad weather other places will affect guests’ ability travel to your wedding. Advise guests to build extra time into their travel plans, and talk to your venues and vendors about backup plans if the weather causes problems on your wedding day.

Location and Vendor Availability

Book vendors as soon as you can – you will probably have to plan more than a year out. During the holidays, you’ll be competing with holiday parties and company parties as well as other weddings. Reception halls (especially those with fireplaces) are going to book fast. Many churches have special holiday services and events that you might need to work around.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

As the temperatures fall, the pretty strapless dress you chose months ago can look less and less practical. Not to worry – there are lots of options for brides to stay warm and look stylish on her wedding day. Capes, stoles, and bolero jackets are just three options available to you and your bridesmaids. It’s helpful for guests if you include information about the weather at your location so that they can pack the appropriate clothing.