When you think of wedding season, you probably think of June and October, which is why I, as a winter bride, want to explain to you why we chose December and all the winter wedding pros and cons. Winter is an amazing time to get married
WHY WE CHOSE DECEMBER 2
Had we had a large wedding, I would have likely wanted an April or May date — black tie, a band, lots of white and blue hydrangeas, a navy and white color palette. But, since we decided on a smaller group for our celebration, there was no doubt that an intimate, cozy, and candlelit dinner party was the right decision. And, cozy and candlelit clearly lend themselves to winter.
Once we’d narrow our time frame down to the winter months, we decided on December 2 for a few reasons. December is an inherently festive month. People are ready to over-indulge and have a good time. You can’t beat the addition of holiday cheer to a wedding! Plus, we knew that whatever venue we chose would likely be decorated for the holidays, meaning we would spend less on decor.
When it came to the actual date, we didn’t want to inch too close to Christmas. A. We wanted to respect people’s travel schedules and B. I (I’ll take the full responsibility here) was insistent that we take our honeymoon immediately after the wedding.
So, we were looking at one of the first 2 weekends of December and, honestly, I just liked the way 12.2.18 sounded. It has a nice, even ring to it. And, as a native Virginian, I’ve been through enough Virginia winters to know you often get one last burst of warm air right at the beginning of December. That gamble definitely worked out for us because, while we had beautiful weather in the 60s, 12.9.18 brought 25 degrees and 9 inches of snow to Charlottesville.
PROS AND CONS OF A WINTER WEDDING
First, let’s dive into the pros of choosing what is, in theory, an “off-season” wedding.
- Personally, winter is my favorite season. Winter is dreamy and cozy. (I mean look at these amazing photos Lauren Louise Collective took! Are you going to get this in June? No!) I absolutely love everything about candles and fur and evergreen garland. I would live in a nordic Christmas town if I could. Now, imagine being able to incorporate everything about that hygge vibe into your wedding. Or going the opposite direction and doing a sleek, urban black-tie affair in winter!
- You’re not competing with other weddings! How many of you have had a double-booked wedding weekend in spring? Probably not going to happen if you’re a winter bride.
- You may be able to negotiate lower pricing with vendors. While this definitely didn’t work out for us since we got married in a popular wedding region, I have heard that other winter brides have been able to ask for discounts on flowers, rentals, and even venues.
- Think fur capes, red-stained lips, rhinestones, tartan. Your bridal look is going to be on point — and definitely different from every spring, summer, and fall bride — when you decide on a winter wedding day. I was just a little bummed when I didn’t even have to wear my fur until the sun began to set!
- If it is snowing, just imagine the photos.
And, because I’d be remiss if I didn’t address both sides, here are the cons…
- Depending on where you are, the weather can be unpredictable. If a bitter cold front comes in, your outdoor ceremony may not happen. Of course, you can prepare with blankets, space heaters, and strong drinks (we made sure our bar was open before the ketubah ceremony started, just in case it happened to be chilly!). Regardless, make sure you like your indoor backup plan if you’re bold enough to plan an outdoor winter wedding (this was not us…we booked our venue for the outdoor options and I would have been somewhat devastated had we moved our wedding inside!).
- On the topic of weather, a snowstorm can easily derail travel plans. It hits before your wedding and your guests can’t get there — it hits during your wedding and you may end up entertaining loved ones for a few extra days.
- If flowers are your thing, you may pay a pretty penny to get anything that’s not in season. Our florist worked mostly with evergreen garland and magnolia leaves, which are 100% in season during a Virginia December, and punctuated them with white roses and inexpensive ivory flowers.
- If you’re dreaming of your first look occurring as you walk down the aisle…that may not happen in the dead of winter unless you’re willing to give up your cocktail hour entirely. And, you will probably need to move your ceremony up to mid-afternoon. The sun sets early — and you just have to work around it. We did a 3:30 PM ceremony * and a long cocktail hour to try to push back dinner as late as we could.
Of course, there are pros and cons for weddings in any season — and weather-related issues that can arise any time of year. So, all this is to say, that if you’re dreaming of a glittery, cozy, intimate celebration, you should 100% consider winter. I have no regrets about choosing an atypical date and I’m looking forward to a lifetime of reasons to plan a warm-weather anniversary trip in early December.
*An ex-boyfriend’s grandmother once told me you should always get married on the half-hour so that the clock hands are moving up rather than down during your ceremony and that stuck with me years later.
Photos by the amazing Lauren Miller of Lauren Louise Collective