5 Tips to Planning a Winter Holiday Wedding in Raleigh
The winter holidays are a great time to get married. This is especially true if you have family who will be traveling in for your ceremony and reception because the children will be out of school, and many people can sneak away for a few extra days during the holidays. Before you plan your winter holiday wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind. We asked Owner and Lead Planner Barbara Gautier at Set the Date Event Planning & Design and here’s a little of what she had to say:
With temperatures often reaching a daily high of 48 degrees during the winter, it is essential that you pick a wedding gown and bridesmaids outfits that will keep everyone warm if they must venture outside. Consider closed-toe shoes with great tread for the slippery winter weather that may occur. Consider stoles or shawls or other items to help keep the bride and her wedding party warm while still looking stylish. Additionally, guests are likely to be wearing coats, so make sure that you have checked with the venue to see that they have a coat check area. Hosting your wedding and reception at the same location allows guests to not have to face the cold again for different parts of your wedding. You may also want to consider offering blankets to guests who may get cold during your ceremony. Keep the groom and groomsmen warm by allowing them to wear velvet vests or fashionable wool socks.
Some couples like to have outdoor activities even in the winter weather. Consider renting some outdoor patio heaters so guests can go outside without getting too cold. -Barbara
Many couples spend a lot of money on their wedding flowers. The great news is that many venues are already lavishly decorated for the holidays. This allows you to add a few special touches while taking advantage of what the venue already has in place. Discussing this idea with your wedding venue and your florist ahead of time helps keep everyone on the same page. Think about investing the money that you save on decorating the venue into a special bridal bouquet featuring Christmas berries, white roses and lots of greenery. In addition, some couples may choose to get married under an evergreen arch with a sprig of mistletoe hanging down from its center. Since it gets darker earlier in the winter, ponder using romantic candles to give a special ambiance to your wedding or reception.
Remember that flowers are seasonal and choosing flowers that are out of season can be quite costly. Consider using in-season flowers along with the venue decorations to save a few dollars. Your florist will be able to tell you the best flowers to get during the winter season. -Barbara
Serving soup at your wedding reception is a great idea during the winter as it gives everyone a chance to warm up. Think about offering a hot chocolate bar featuring all their favorite toppings. If you will be serving a complete meal, then consider serving ham or turkey with all the trimmings in order to complete the holiday wedding. If your wedding will feature lighter fare, then consider cutting cheese into the shape of Christmas trees or holiday wreaths.
Consider having coffee & hot tea available during cocktail hour and with the cake cutting. Another option with food is to have it served family-style if you have a holiday wedding. This will allow your guests to feel the warmth of the holidays during your wedding reception. Finally, consider using cake balls or cupcakes to spell out seasonal messages. -Barbara
Since sunset occurs about 5 PM in the winter, talk to your photographer about moving your wedding photos to earlier in the day. Taking photos before your ceremony is often a great idea because everyone will look their best. Additionally, talk to your photographer about fun ways that holiday themes can be incorporated into your wedding photos. Alternatively, consider having wedding photos taken after your reception at the Christmas light displays at the American Tobacco Campus, or at Lake Myra. Local photographers often have very creative ideas for Christmas wedding props. An event planner can also assist you in finding a photographer and venue that suits your creative tastes.
Many wedding venues offer reduced pricing during the winter holidays so they can fill their empty dates on the calendar. This is a great way to save money on the venue you really want and it allows you to put the extra savings into another part of your budget. Also consider having your wedding on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon. This can often provide an additional savings on the venue. As long as you don’t have a specific date in mind, allow yourself to be flexible. If there is a venue that you really want to get married at, but they don’t have your date, consider another date that they do have available. If you are okay with getting married in the winter months, you could save on your budget! -Barbara
The winter holidays can be a great time to get married as many people can afford extra days away from their normal routine. Since venues often have lavish holiday decorations, taking advantage of these is a great way to be able to spend more on the bridal bouquet. Think about hosting the wedding and reception at the same venue while serving delicious wintertime favorites like hot chocolate and soup to help everyone stay warm. Keep in mind that it gets dark earlier when planning your wedding photos.