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Denae Brennan Events is a boutique full service wedding and event planning firm creating events filled with thoughtful details, refined beauty and joyful experiences. 

5 tips for planning your winter wedding

As a Minnesota-based wedding planner, I am all too familiar with the bitter cold of the winter here in the upper midwest. But along with the cold can come snowy backdrops, sunny blue skies, and the opportunity to embrace a unique wedding style. Read on for five helpful tips for planning your winter wedding!

Minneapolis winter wedding planning tips
Winter weddings provide dreamy, snowy shots like this. Photo by Marit Williams

Consider the Light

When booking your venue for a winter wedding, don’t forget to take into consideration the daylight! Winter days are short. The sun will set much earlier than on a summer’s wedding day, so your timeline will need to adjust. If you want to brave the cold for outdoor photos, make sure you allow ample time earlier in the day to capture photos in daylight. “Be sure to allow time to take breaks inside to warm up!” said photographer Marit Williams.

Speaking of light, if you want natural light for your portraits make sure your venue or getting ready space has ample natural light or Williams recommends you consider renting a space that does (like a studio).

winter bride and groom
Erin & Derek chose to not only get ready but also do their first look in their hotel room, as the natural light was much brighter than at the venue. Photo by Marit Williams

Build a Delicious Seasonal Winter Menu

Craft a winter-themed menu featuring hearty and warm dishes. Consider options like roasted root vegetables, comforting soups, and indulgent desserts. Be sure to include seasonal favorites like pumpkin or apple-flavored treats. And don’t forget about the drinks! Create a hot beverage station with a variety of warm drinks like hot chocolate, mulled wine, and spiced cider. It not only adds a comforting touch but also helps your guests stay cozy during the celebration.

Machine Shop winter wedding planning tips
Early sunsets allow for this romantic, glowing setting during dinner. Photo by Eyetography

Cozy Attire

Opt for bridal and wedding party attire that keeps you warm while still looking elegant. Consider long-sleeved dresses, faux fur stoles, or even a stylish cloak. Grooms can go for textured suits or add winter accessories like a cozy scarf or a tweed jacket.

Minneapolis winter wedding bride and groom
Photo by Eyetography

Also consider warm footwear – go ahead and wear those Uggs when you’re sneaking out in the cold for portraits. Your photographer can make sure they don’t show up in the photos and you’ll be more relaxed if your toes aren’t freezing!

winter bride and bridesmaids
Don’t forget about keeping your bridesmaids warm as well! Photo by Marit Williams

Take Care of Your Flowers

No need to skip the flowers of your wedding dreams just because it’s cold outside! But there are some things to keep in mind when working with your florist on your floral design.

“Outdoor winter photos are so beautiful, but MN weather can do a number on delicate flowers! If the temperature is below freezing, consider taking outdoor photos after the ceremony so your bouquets are fresh, or consider getting a second bouquet,” said Christi Poppler of Studio C Floral.

Most flowers are available in the winter, but Poppler said to be sure to keep in mind that holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentines Day can affect pricing and availability.

winter wedding white flowers centerpiece
Photo by Eyetography

Practical Considerations

Be mindful of potential winter weather challenges. Arrange for guest and wedding party transportation that can handle snowy conditions, and have a plan for keeping walkways clear for guests. Keeping wedding events in close proximity to each other will be helpful for guests so they don’t have to venture out into the cold as much. Consider hosting the rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch at the room block hotel. Also keep in mind that there is a chance that you might have to accept that some guests might not be able to make it due to weather.

Finally, outside of the major winter holidays, people’s schedules are likely much lighter in the winter, making it easier for guests to be able to make it to your celebration. In addition, you’re more likely to be able to book your top-choice wedding vendors who have a slower “off-season” in the winter months.

So winter lovers – embrace the season! Reach out today and let’s plan some cozy winter magic together.