I hate to admit it, but I’ve always been a chronic wedding planner. I’ve mentally created my ideal day and it would’ve been just what I wanted, had I not suggested most of my “brilliant” ideas to my sister to be used ahead of time. As disappointed as I was that my day would no longer be unique to me, I learned to accept it. The more I’ve been looking around at weddings, the more my ideas of the perfect day have shifted.
In my mind, a summer wedding seemed perfect. My bridesmaids would have cute, knee-length summer dresses and I would wear a strapless, sweetheart cut dress with the keyhole backing. It would be an outdoor wedding in a field and the weather would be flawless. None of that can ever be guaranteed, we all know. But my heart was set on a nautical themed, boat and anchor accented, unique, perfect wedding day.
I opened my planner to see what was in store for the year, and I found that my June weekends were completely booked with wedding after wedding; July was spotted with them too. While I love the excitement and celebration of a beautiful summer wedding, I find myself taking notes of what’s been done and what’s similar to the others. With Pinterest and hundreds of wedding sites, it’s hard to do anything really unique these days. That’s not to say it can’t be done but it takes a very creative mind to contrive a summer wedding day that is different from the rest. Although my heart was once set on a perfect June weekend, the more I think and research, the more my eyes have been opened to the possibility of more.
Photo by: Ciara Richardson
Maybe I’ve been inspired by the beauty of the immense amount of snow this winter, or the deep, earthy colors I’ve seen in the trees; regardless of the cause, winter weddings have been on my mind. I thought a lot about the biggest stresses of summer weddings and found that winter can essentially (for lack of a better concept…) “freeze” those frustrations. Here’s how:
- The Venues: Finding a location that you like during the summer months feels impossible at times. All the places you like are already booked, and have been for at least 8 months in advance. When you finally find something you like, the prices seem outrageous. From a business perspective, it makes sense. Summer holds some of the busiest months for venues. Businesses capitalize on these times, holding venues at their highest prices. Many of those same places are much more willing to work with Brides in winter months because there are fewer weddings and many more venues to choose from.
- Attire: With summer weddings, you never know what they day will bring. There might be a cool breeze, or stagnant heat; there might be scattered showers or even thunderstorms. It’s difficult to plan dress as a guest and even for bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you put groomsmen in suits in the middle of July, they might sweat through their clothes. Maybe the pictures will reveal sweat beads across their foreheads. You Groom might even pass out from heat exhaustion! In winter, you can plan with the confidence in knowing it will be cold. Your guests will know they’ll need a jacket for travel, but will soon be welcomed by the warmth of an indoor ceremony.
- The Guests: Just as my June calendar is booked with wedding after wedding, other guests’ may be as well. There is no guarantee that your day will work for the guests you’ve invited because they’re not only juggling multiple weddings, but vacations, home projects, or summer events. Having a winter wedding creates a greater possibility for higher attendance… Not to mention the fact that a wedding will seem much more exciting apart from the mass wedding summer.
- Themes and Decorations: Winter opens the door for different themes and decoration options. You can keep a wintery feel or (depending on the time of a winter wedding) use holiday decorations. There are so many different kinds of crafts and projects to make for winter decorations that would be more unique to an indoor, cozy wedding as opposed to a hot summer day.
- Food: It’s cold outside. What better way to warm up than eating warm, holiday foods? Turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans… A feast! It’s much easier to please a bunch with a holiday inspired wedding meal than it is to come up with multiple cool summer meals that pleases the masses. Let’s not forget about the fact that you can throw in fun things like a hot chocolate or coffee bar!
- Photography: From a photographer’s point of view, winter is an ideal time for photographs. Grey skies sound blah and bland but in reality, it’s providing enough light to create perfect contrast while eliminating the burn of the sun on eyes. There’s less squinting in grey skies and if you’re blessed with a fresh coat of snow on the ground, your pictures will look absolutely magical!
- Less people take the time to make big vacations in off-months. Having a winter honeymoon not only gives you a warm break from the chilly weather and snow frustrations, but it creates more availability for destinations and less crowds to work around. (And let’s be real here, what girl doesn’t like to feel a little tan in the bleak of winter?)
So if you’re planning a wedding and you think summer is the only option, as I had, take some time to consider your options. You might even feel inspired by a cozy cabin wedding feel! If you need some ideas for winter weddings, follow Jenz Carli Consulting for some cute winter weddings!