Glistening branches, white accents, sparkles – there is more to a winter wedding than a holiday or winter wonderland theme. The cold weather sets the stage for natural rustic elements, warm, dim lighting and weddings that radiate charm and elegance.
While winter in Chicago can be taxing, it can also be a fun and romantic time for couples to celebrate their love for one another. Indulge in these ideas to celebrate a winter wedding in a tasteful and inspired way.
1. Wintry Table Décor
Create a seemingly snowy tablescape with a collection of cool, frosted glasses. Use aerosol paint or dripped wax over the bottles to create the illusion of icy frost across your tabletops. Add white candles for dim, opaque lighting creating a truly romantic ambiance.
2. Natural Branches
Bring the outdoors, in with tree branches lining your path down the aisle. The bare wood, painted white will give the illusion of a snow-covered woodland. Adjacently line the aisle with candles and dim lighting for an upscale, elegant setting.
3. Seasonal Cocktails
Use the time of year to inspire some signature cocktails. Incorporate seasonal flavors like eggnog or mint into classic drink recipes for a treat your guests will surely remember. Serve them in gold-rimmed glasses for a fun, decorative touch.
4. Cheerful Cake
Accent rich flavors and smooth white fondant with berries, pinecones and piney greens. Incorporate earthy textures with twines and tweed around the layers of the cake and display it on a tree stump stand to achieve a nature-inspired, rustic look.
5. Festive Invitations
Invitations give your guests the first hint of your wedding style. Set the stage for a winter wonderland with shimmery ivory cardstock artfully covered in snow. Torn edges and hand stamped and painted details create a finished, rustic look. Have your names written in decorative calligraphy for a whimsical addition to the design.
6. Woodland Boutonnieres
Instead of flowers, try a more woodland-inspired boutonniere. For a simple, wintry look, pair sprigs of dried natural cedar with tiny pinecones and little groups of baby’s breath. Wrap tightly in twine and finish with a soft white bow around the stems.
7. Themed Escort Cards
Use old, wooden sleds to display escort cards at your reception. Guests can find their name and seat strung from delicate white yarn across the standing toboggans. These pieces will double as unique, vintage décor for the remainder of the party.
8. Merry Wreaths
Wreaths are a time-honored symbol of the winter season. Incorporate them into your décor by tying together with wooden signs painted with “Bride” and “Groom.” Hang the wreaths behind your seats at the sweetheart table for a chic, seasonal touch.
9. Green Garland
Line wooden tables with lush garland runners. The earthiness of greens against the glossy tabletop will create an elegant, inspired setting. Incorporate white blooms and candlesticks throughout the length of your tables for an intimate display.
10. Joyful Mistletoe
We associate mistletoes with both winter and love. Instead of hanging just one, incorporate many into your wedding as decoration for your venue. Adorn your reception site’s chandelier with these holiday greens to spread an ambiance of romance around the room and create a fun photo opportunity for the newlyweds.
11. Metallic Place Settings
Use metallic tones to inspire your tableware. Place printed menus on plates with a glistening finish. Pair with lustrous wrapped napkin to elegantly complete each setting.
12. Whimsical Pine Cones
Pine cones lend themselves perfectly to the natural beauty of the winter. Incorporate some onto your table décor alongside ornaments in rich reds and gold. Continue to scatter these elements throughout place settings to achieve a whimsical effect.
13. Winter Bouquet
For a winter-inspired bouquet, surround crisp, white roses with leafy evergreens and eucalyptus. Add fuzzy lambs ear to introduce some muted grey coloring as well as a textural element and finish with a few berry fillers. Wrap the stems with a thick, cream yarn and attach a crystal broach to add just a touch of glisten.
14. Sweet Hot Cocoa
Having a ceremony in the cold? Use some vintage décor and shutters to create a hot chocolate station. Your guests can stop here before taking their seats for a warm treat. Serve a variety of flavors to keep their taste buds happy and their hands warm while you exchange vows.
15. Warm Favors
For a cozy twist on wedding favors, wrap warm blankets for your guests to take. If there is an outdoor space involved in your wedding, station them near the entryway for easy access in case the weather gets bitter. Incorporate your monogram or date in a subtle way and your guests will remember your elegant, winter affair each and every time they bundle up.
16. Elegant Candles
Set a tone of warmth and romance with an assortment of candles across your tables. Use them in excess and at varying heights to create a beautiful low-lying display next to taller centerpieces. The dim lighting will make for a truly intimate ambiance at your reception.
17. Fireplace Ambiance
Nothing will create a cozy winter ambiance quite like a fireplace. Whether it is the backdrop to your ceremony or an intimate addition to your reception, a winter wedding isn’t complete with a fireplace setting. Light a display of candles around the face for an extra touch of warmth and decoration.
18. Romantic Horse Drawn Carriage
In lieu of the traditional getaway car or limousine, use a horse drawn carriage for your wedding transportation. This will create a unique opportunity to enjoy the weather as well as each other’s closeness in the cold. Affix a “Just Married” sign to the back for a romantic photo opp as the two of you trot away as husband and wife.
19. Pearly Headband
For a sophisticated yet seasonal look, accessorize with a unique headband or headpiece. Pearl and crystal accents with creamy whites and gold are the perfect complement to a winter-inspired dress. Style with soft, muted make-up and loose, unstructured hair for a romantic finish to the look.
20. Dreamy Lighting
Wash the room with blue uplighting. The resulting ambiance is cool, elegant and dreamy. For an even more wintry vibe, consider lighting in snowflake motifs. Any glass or crystal details will sparkle with each movement of the lights.