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Winter Weddings: Experts Share the Dos and Don’ts Of Planning Your Big Day


Viktor & Rolf bridal spring 2021. Photo: Vogue Runway

Have your heart set on a winter wedding? It’s an unorthodox choice—nearly three quarters of weddings take place between May and October—yet if done correctly, a beautiful one. The season, after all, arrives with so many emblems of romance: roaring fires, snow blanketed landscapes, cozy yet chic fashion, crimson blooms. . . this writer could go on.

But the question is: how do you execute an ethereal affair during the less traditional—and likely cold—time of year? Vogue reached out to two wedding planning companies that specialize in chic cold-weather affairs: 42 North, based in Northern Massachusetts, and Bluebird Productions, located in Aspen. They had many dos (like heaters) and some don’ts (like skimping on heaters). And they all agreed on one thing, summed up best by Bluebird’s founder Virginia Frischkorn: “Winter weddings are magical.”

Below, their expert thoughts.


Be Flexible on Date—and Plan Ahead

“Although planning a winter wedding has its advantages, the holidays can be a typically busy time for travel. If you’re set on a date surrounding a major holiday, make sure you send your save the dates out well in advance.” -Britt Cole and Francie Dorman, founders of 42 North

Have a Fantastic Backup Plan. . . Or Two

“Have plans A-F ready to go! Winter weddings have the tendency to be higher risk events when one considers travel delays for guests and possible weather issues. We suggest all our clients be prepared for wind, rain, snow and flight delays and think about the ‘what if’s’.” -Virginia Frischkorn

Provide Heaters, and More Heaters

“In the winter, you’ll want and need more heaters should any portion of your event be outside. Tents and venues like barns may not have great heat either—be sure to consult with your planner and venue to make sure it will be warm enough to keep your guests comfortable!” -Virginia Frischkorn

Offer Hot Welcome Drinks and Cocktails

“Serve ​​hot drinks upon arrival and departure. We love greeting all of the guests at our winter weddings with a hot cider, hot toddy, or hot chocolate! This will help keep them warm during the ceremony (if outdoors).” -Virginia Frischkorn

Embrace the Season

“Use your wintery date as an opportunity to embrace seasonal vegetables, wines and maybe even a hot soup for your first course. You don’t need to go overboard with holiday thematics but having a small nod to the season through decor, floral or food will acknowledge the spirit of the season in a tasteful way.” -Britt Cole and Francie Dorman

Set Up a Coat—and Boot—Check

“If your event is in a snowy location or requires guests to walk to the venue through snow, why not offer a boot check upon arrival? Your guests can have their heels and shoes for the party and toes kept warm at entry and departure.” -Virginia Frischkorn

Bring Boots For You, Too

“Bring a pair of boots for your outdoor portraits, if you elect for outdoors. No one will be able to see those Sorels under your dress and you’ll be more comfortable and thus look better.” -Virginia Frischkorn

Help Seasonally Dress Your Guests

“Take extra care of your guests when considering cooler temperatures. Extra shawls for the women, and fire pits or heaters, can not only help with the ambiance but ensure that guests will feel cozy regardless of how they show up.” -Britt Cole and Francie Dorman

“We are big fans of offering hand warmers on a tray and warm blankets on the back of ceremony chairs should the ceremony be outside.” -Virginia Frischkorn

Lean into the Mood Lighting

“Lighting is critical and can transform your wedding into a winter wonderland. This doesn’t mean the wedding must feel like it’s straight out of Frozen (yikes!). What we mean is that you will want to consider really embracing the season and making sure your wedding feels authentic to the season, venue and your design aesthetic.” -Virginia Frischkorn


Take All Your Wedding Photos Outdoors

“Don’t take all of your photographs outside. While they will be pretty in theory, you’ll also have pink cheeks and noses throughout. Working with a top-notch planner and photographer will ensure plenty of indoor locations for first looks and portraits have also been scouted.” -Britt Cole and Francie Dorman

Forgo Guest Comfort for Ambiance

“We encourage you to avoid designing your winter wedding with a particular look and planning the day at the sacrifice of your guests’ comfort! While ice everywhere can be great, your guests may not want to sit outside in the cold forever. Uncomfortable guests lead to a party that is less than fun.” -Virginia Frischkorn

Assume It Will Be Less Expensive or Busy

“Don’t assume that it will be cheaper since your wedding may be ‘off season’ for your geography. It could actually be a high tourist season (think NYC) and make it difficult to procure vendors or room blocks.” -Britt Cole and Francie Dorman

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