Planning a Winter Wedding in Minnesota

Minnesota's winter wonderland provides a magical backdrop for couples who want to exchange their vows in a snowy, serene setting. Winter weddings are both enchanting and unique, offering opportunities for cozy celebrations and breathtaking photography. However, planning a successful winter wedding in Minnesota requires careful consideration of the weather and specific details that will ensure your day goes off without a hitch. In this comprehensive guide, we'll share several tips to help you plan a memorable and seamless winter wedding in Minnesota.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

1. Choosing The Perfect Date:

Choosing the perfect date for your winter wedding in Minnesota is a pivotal decision that will influence the entire atmosphere and experience of your special day. Three critical factors demand your attention: weather, holidays, and venue availability. The fickle nature of Minnesota's winter climate calls for a careful assessment of weather patterns and predictions to ensure the comfort of both you and your guests. Additionally, the holiday season can bring enchanting festive vibes, but it also warrants strategic planning to accommodate busy schedules and increased costs. Venue availability, another crucial consideration, will determine the setting for your celebration. Balancing these factors harmoniously is the key to orchestrating a successful winter wedding that will leave you with heartwarming memories and a picturesque winter wonderland as your backdrop.

Consider these factors when choosing a date for your winter celebration:

Weather Predictability: While Minnesota winters can be unpredictable, try to choose a date that is typically not in the midst of severe winter storms or blizzards. Late December through February can be challenging, so early winter or late winter (March) might be more predictable.

Holiday Considerations: Keep in mind the holiday season when selecting your date. While a winter wedding near Christmas or New Year's can be charming, it may require more advanced planning and could impact guest availability.

Venue Availability: Winter weddings are less common, so you may have more flexibility in choosing your date. Popular venues might offer discounts during the winter months.

2. Finding the Perfect Venue:

Winter celebrations in Minnesota offer a picturesque canvas of snowy landscapes and frosty wonder. The triad of weather, scenery, and a cozy atmosphere holds the power to transform your winter wedding into a breathtaking affair. Asking about on-site accommodations when touring venues is a considerate way of keeping your guests in mind while planning a winter wedding. The venue plays a crucial role in a winter wedding's success. Here's what to look for in a winter wedding venue in Minnesota:

Indoor Options: Given the cold temperatures and potential for snow, it's essential to have indoor spaces for the ceremony and reception. Look for venues with ample indoor seating and heating systems.

Scenic Locations: Take advantage of the winter landscape by selecting a venue with picturesque views, such as those overlooking a frozen lake or nestled in a snowy forest.

Cozy Atmosphere: Find a venue that offers a cozy ambiance with fireplaces, wood beams, and warm lighting, ensuring your guests stay comfortable.

On-Site Accommodations: If available, consider venues with on-site accommodations for the bridal party and guests to minimize travel on potentially hazardous winter roads.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

3. Winter Wedding Attire:

You cannot overstate the significance of the wedding party’s attire when planning a winter wedding. The winter season brings its own set of challenges and unique opportunities, from the potential for picturesque snowy landscapes to the need for warmth and comfort. Every choice, from the bride's gown to the groom's attire, and the wardrobe of the bridal party, plays a pivotal role in not only enhancing the visual appeal of your winter wedding but also ensuring the comfort and well-being of everyone involved. Here are some considerations for wedding attire:

Bridal Attire: Choose a wedding dress with sleeves or opt for a warm wrap or shawl to stay comfortable. Consider looking for a dress with a shorter train or hem if you’re concerned about it dragging in the snow.

Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Select suits or tuxedos in heavier fabrics and warm colors. Don't forget about warm accessories like scarves, gloves, and hats.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Consider long-sleeved or heavier bridesmaid dresses, and provide them with shawls or wraps to stay warm during outdoor photos.

Footwear: Warm, comfortable footwear is essential. Brides may choose boots for outdoor photos and then change into dress shoes for the ceremony.

4. Winter Wedding Decor and Themes:

Each season paints its own unique canvas for couples to craft their dream day, and winter, in all its frosty splendor, provides a particularly enchanting backdrop. Details like theme, lighting, fabrics, and elements from nature come together to create a captivating experience. These elements help make your winter wedding an unforgettable celebration. From cozy themes that transport your guests to a winter wonderland, to the warm and welcoming glow of carefully chosen lighting, the luxurious touch of winter fabrics, and the earthy charm of pieces from nature, these considerations will infuse your special day with the magic and charm that the season has to offer.

Enhance the beauty of your winter wedding with these décor and theme ideas:

Winter Wonderland Theme: Embrace the winter season with a "Winter Wonderland" theme. Use icy blue and silver color schemes, shimmering crystals, and plenty of white accents.

Candlelight and Warm Lighting: Create a cozy ambiance with candlelight, lanterns, and warm string lights. These elements add a romantic glow to your wedding.

Faux Fur and Velvet: Incorporate luxurious textures like faux fur and velvet into your decor. Think fur wraps, velvet table runners, and fur-lined aisle runners.

Evergreen Accents: Use evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as part of your décor. They add a touch of natural beauty to the winter scene.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

5. Seasonal Flowers and Bouquets:

Introducing seasonal flowers and bouquets into your winter wedding is a delightful way to harmonize your celebration with the natural beauty of the season. The choice of blooms can profoundly impact the overall ambiance and aesthetics of your special day. Winter weddings in Minnesota provide a unique opportunity to embrace the elegance of nature's winter palette, with flowers and foliage that capture the essence of the season. From pristine white roses to the deep red hues of amaryllis and the delicate charm of ranunculus, seasonal florals can transform your wedding into a winter wonderland. Consider the following tips:

Winter Blooms: Choose seasonal flowers like white roses, amaryllis, ranunculus, casablanca lilies, gardenias, holly, jasmine, orchids, and forget-me-nots for your bouquets and centerpieces.

Winter Foliage: Incorporate winter foliage like the different varieties of eucalyptus, holly, cedar, and fir for a touch of greenery in your arrangements.

Non-Floral Elements: Include non-floral elements like pine branches, pinecones, mistletoe, and winter berries in your bouquets and decor.

6. Seasonal Menu and Drinks:

While the snowy backdrop and cozy ambiance of winter weddings set the stage for a truly magical celebration, the right food and beverages can enhance the experience even further. As temperatures drop, warm and comforting dishes take center stage. Craft a seasonal menu and beverage selection that not only reflects the spirit of the season but also ensures your guests leave with fond memories of your winter wonderland wedding.

Winter weddings offer the opportunity to serve hearty and comforting dishes. Pinterest is also a great place to get winter-themed wedding menu inspiration, or ask your caterer what their suggestions might be. Here are some of our ideas for your winter wedding menu:

Warm Appetizers: Start with warm appetizers like butternut squash soup, mini quiches, and stuffed mushrooms to keep guests cozy.

Comfort Food Entrees: Consider serving comfort food entrees such as beef stew, chicken pot pie, or gourmet mac and cheese.

Hot Chocolate and Mulled Wine: Offer a hot chocolate bar or mulled wine station for guests to enjoy during the reception.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

7. Transportation and Safety:

Introducing the importance of transportation and safety for guests is a critical aspect of planning a winter wedding. Winter conditions can be unpredictable and potentially challenging for your loved ones. Providing safe transportation options and addressing potential weather-related issues are considerations for your guests that are not just logistical details but vital components of creating a successful and memorable winter wedding experience for everyone involved. Ensuring that you and your guests can fully enjoy the magic of a winter wedding without any worries.

Guest Transportation: Arrange transportation for guests, especially if the venue is in a remote location. Ensure they arrive safely.

Winter Tires: If you're planning a wedding in an area with heavy snowfall, consider using vehicles with winter tires to ensure safe transportation.

Emergency Kit: Carry an emergency kit with essentials like blankets, hand warmers, and first-aid supplies in case of unexpected weather challenges.

8. Weather Contingency Plans:

Weather contingency plans are an absolutely essential aspect of planning a winter wedding. While the serene beauty of a winter wonderland sets a picturesque stage for your special day, the weather during this season can be highly unpredictable, especially in Minnesota. It's crucial to acknowledge that snow, ice, and frigid temperatures can pose unexpected challenges to the logistics of your wedding. To ensure that your dream winter wedding goes off without a hitch, preparing for weather contingencies is paramount. Having a plan in case the weather doesn't cooperate will take the stress off of you, even when you can’t control the weather.

Tent Rental: If you're planning an outdoor wedding, consider renting a tent with sidewalls and heaters in case of snow or rain.

Backup Ceremony Space: Ensure you have an indoor backup space for your ceremony in case of extreme weather conditions.

Communication with Vendors: Maintain open communication with vendors about contingency plans and flexibility in the event of inclement weather.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

9. Capturing the Day:

Winter offers a unique canvas for photographers and videographers to work their magic, and the results are often breathtaking. The soft, diffused lighting of the season, particularly during the golden hour, can infuse your wedding album and video with a dreamlike quality that's simply unparalleled. So, as you embark on planning your winter wedding, remember that photography and videography are not just about documenting the day but about crafting a visual story that captures the romance, the intimacy, and the enchantment of your winter wonderland celebration.

Golden Hour: Take advantage of the early sunset by scheduling your ceremony or photoshoot during the golden hour for beautiful natural lighting.

Snowy Portraits: Capture the charm of winter with snowy portraits. Be prepared with boots, blankets, and a sense of adventure.

Indoor Options: Choose venues with beautiful indoor spaces that can serve as elegant backdrops for your wedding photos.

10. Keeping Guests Warm:

The chill in the air may add to the enchantment of your snowy celebration, but a shivering, uncomfortable guest is not what you want to remember about your special day. To create a memorable and enjoyable winter wedding, consider various strategies to keep your loved ones warm and cozy throughout the festivities.

Blankets and Heaters: Provide blankets and space heaters for outdoor portions of the wedding to keep guests warm.

Hot Drinks: Set up a hot drink station with options like hot cocoa, coffee, and tea to keep guests cozy.

Winter Wedding Favors: Offer winter-themed wedding favors such as personalized mittens or hand warmers to your guests.

Photography by Lexi Ranae Studios

If you’re planning a winter wedding in Minnesota for the enchantment of the season, it will require careful consideration of the unique challenges and opportunities that the season presents, but it’s so worth it. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can create a magical ceremony and reception!

The A&Co. Team

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