A Winter Wedding Ceremony Masterclass
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the weddings sure are delightful! Winter weddings are festive in their own right, but when paired with Yuletide decor, fashion and experiences, these merry little nuptials become unforgettably magical. Consider this deep dive guide your comprehensive blueprint for planning a winter wedding ceremony. From the aisle ideas and bridal bouquets to the bridesmaid dresses and musician set lists, these winter wedding ideas are sure to spark some creativity for your own!
How To Create A Showstopping Winter Wedding Ceremony Backdrop
No matter what kind of venue you choose for your winter wedding ceremony – outdoor or indoor, grand or intimate, minimalist or maximalist – your mission is to uplevel the hygge vibes. Creating a cozy ambiance for your guests will reassure them that you have their comfort top of mind and set the stage for a laidback and fun-filled party to come. So consider the lighting, create textural interest, play up existing architecture/views, incorporate warm fuzzies as part of the decor… whatever you do, craft meaningful moments for this most important chapter of the day.
Spruce Up The Mantle
Swag is back in the form of eye-catching garlands festooning fireplace mantles and stairwells! Tie them up with ribbon, adorn them with dried fruits, use baubles + bells in lieu of evergreen leaves… this is the ultimate way you can literally deck your halls for an indoor wedding ceremony.
Put Christmas on a Pedestal
Another idea for your fireplace ceremony backdrop is an oversized floral arrangement to sit atop the mantle (or a duo placed on free standing pedestals to frame yourselves + the officiant). This idea works just as well outside as it does in, and we encourage you to go bold with your color palettes here! Create mountains and valleys through shapes, textures and light to muddy hues of your green, red or wintery white floral arrangements. The starter ideas below offer beautiful real world examples of how you can get multi-dimensional with tall urn floral arrangements that can even be repurposed in the reception thanks to their ingrained portability.
Fit To Be Tied
Holiday wreaths are another festive way you can theme your winter wedding ceremony to the season without feeling gauche. Work with your event and floral designers to come up with elevated wreath arrangements garnished with dyed baby pine cones, dramatic velvet bows, fragrant botanicals + cinnamon sticks or even uncluttered ornaments that feel classic + clean.
Glistening Winter Wonderlands
If your wedding venue feels anything like Bedford Falls, WhoVille or Central Park during NYC’s heiday, then it only seems fitting to take advantage of the postcard worthy views! Light up the snowcapped firs, draw the eyes up + out with a grounded floral crescent, embrace the ski country landscape, lead your aisle towards the edge of a cliff where the mountains shine brightly in the distance… there are tons of ways you can play up the natural scenery and panoramic vistas in locations obviously frequented by Hallmark movie scouts.
True, it’s hard to beat the grand ole’ arch. Particularly when a classic green + white palette is so suitable for wintertime! Whether lush and voluminous or spartan and branchy, floral arches are another classic look for an elegant end-of-year fête. We particularly love the opportunities these structures give you for color gradients and transitional palettes, so talk with your designer + florist about how you want that color balance to feel overall. You might like an ombre effect, a wild + unruly spirit or a more symmetrical distribution of textures and hues – be specific or hold your peace!
Classic Winter Bridal Bouquets with a Modern Twist
There’s no contesting the radiance of winter bridal bouquets – particularly when they’re hallmarked by interesting shapes, textures and color gradient! With ruby red being the grand dame of winter floral pigments, vanilla cream merits a silver medal – not only for its coy versatility when it comes to layering, but for its harmonious approach to balancing the bold focal hues with grace, softness and fluidity.
Branches, Berries and Sugarplum Fairies
The two examples above are a perfect real world example of how much range exists between hues of the same color. While the bouquet on the left evokes a more old world romantic feeling, the gathered blooms on the right feel modern and flirtatious – almost a hint of summery brights in the midst of a sometimes tired season.
Artfully tangled clusters of berries are another fabulous way to call on the season. There’s an instant jammy-ness to this festive December bouquet, altogether cementing the bouquet as a primary reference point in the visual narrative that will immerse the couple in this very place + time years down the road.
Even with all the popularity of captivating reds and dripping berries, we’re seeing wintry whites becoming canon as we speak. The global supply chain for flower markets has made it all the more possible to access a variety of blooms that can be layered to perfection – even in a monochrome palette.
Another way you can achieve interest in your winter bridal bouquet is to employ flowering branches or meandering vines. Such accents draw the eyes exactly where you want them to go, in exactly the path you want them to take. They also have a way of grounding an arrangement – giving it a raw and authentic energy that an organic wedding style so often calls for.
Of course, we’ve seen our fair share of muddy, earthy blooms make their debut in winter weddings too. Hellebore, fritillaria, sweet pea… the beauty of modern day florals is that seemingly endless plant cultivars exist within each category, making us all spoilt for choice when it comes to finding that perfect aubergine or caramel colored bloom.
Winter Floral Varieties for Elevated Bridal Bouquets
Florals that thrive in winter are our bread + butter. You may want to bookmark the following list of winter blooms for future conversations with your florist + planner!
- White Majolica Spray Rose
- Mocca Amaryllis
- Purple Lilac Vine
- Sweet Pea
- Blooming Euphorbia
- Quince Branches
- Roses (Quicksand, Combo, Alabaster)
- Pussy Willow
- Green Viburnum
- Star of Bethlehem
- Dried Seed Pods
- Chocolate Cosmo
- Flannel Flower
- Tallow Berry
- Scented Geranium
- Rex Begonia Leaves
- Angel Vine
- Grape Ivy
- Copper Beech
- Cedar Branches
- Heuchera Leaves
- Bottle Brush Foliage
- Lindera Branches
Snazzy Bridesmaid Looks for Winter Weddings
We fall prey to velvet bridesmaid dresses all. the. time. Whether it’s the bold jewel tone sheen or the fit + flattering silhouette, we’ll never know. What we are confident about though? Velvet bridesmaid dresses are the epitome of romance for winter wedding fashion.
You don’t have to be a lone ranger when it inevitably comes to battling the winter chill either. Call upon tasteful trimmings like faux fur shawls to unify mismatched bridesmaid ensembles or simply push the cozy to the max.
Long sleeves can do wonders in more transitional months or in locations where the frost doesn’t bite as deep… and in some of those cases, you can certainly get away with silky smooth dresses in dark neutrals to fit the season.
Shop Red & Pink Winter Bridesmaid Dresses
Shop Green & Sage Winter Bridesmaid Dresses
Shop Printed & Metallic Winter Bridesmaid Dresses
Santa’s Little Helpers
We’d never forget the little ones! Crown them with berry-garnished halos, thick satin bows, stockings, smocks and navy cardigans – whatever it takes to feel them feel like the Nutcracker’s Clara pirouetting through the party.
Shop Festive Flower Girl Dresses for Winter Weddings
And if you find yourself liking dogs better than most people (come on, it’s a thing!), we’ve got some handsome embellishments for your fur babies too. Gossamer ribbon in crisp icy blue, a ruffled collar + satin bow the color of fresh out the fridge key lime and a blanket adorned sled to pull your Dog of Honor down the aisle. Does it get more darling than this?
How darling would it be to pull your Dog of Honor down the aisle on their own fleece wrapped sled? “If the setting fits, I sits” has never rung truer.
Just Around Our Merry Little Corner
Keep an eye out for our dedicated post on winter bridal fashion. You know Yuletide bridal glamour is deserving of its own runway! Plus, our roundup of winter wedding groom attire was getting lonely. C’est la vie!
Also in the horizon is a full how-to for creative + fun approaches to your wedding reception. Believe me when I say that we’re rearing up for a holly jolly good time. Stay tuned!
Cover photo by Perry Vaile with planning + design by A Southern Soiree and florals by Watered Garden Florist Raleigh