There’s nothing more stunning than a winter wedding as far as we’re concerned—shawls and snow and hot cocoa make for a totally swoon-worthy combination. But, when it comes to winter wedding venues, there’s a lot to keep in mind to ensure you don’t ice your guests out. We’re breaking down everything you need to look for when winter wedding venue shopping. Start stirring that hot toddy and dust off those snow boots—today, we’re talking five things your cold-weather venue should have for ultimate comfort.
1. Indoor and Outdoor Options:
Even if you’re dead-set on getting married outside, winter weather is unpredictable—so you want to make sure there’s an indoor option should your ceremony site be bombarded by a blizzard. Find out what the indoor and outdoor options are for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. You also want to make sure the venue doesn’t book more than one wedding on-location per day—if it does, you might not have access to your indoor backup plan should the weather not cooperate.
2. Portable Heaters:
This one’s a biggie! Does the venue have (or allow you to bring in) portable outdoor heaters? Having these makes a huge difference in how comfortable your guests (and you!) will be on your wedding day. Even if the winter weather in the locale you’ve chosen is relatively mild, you still want to offer a few heaters for guests to huddle under. Keep in mind they’ll be in wedding attire, which—especially for women—isn’t always super warm.
3. Convenient Parking:
Have you ever been to a wedding where you’ve had to schlep through mud or sand or snowy ground for way too long to get to the ceremony site? (Raises hand.) There’s absolutely nothing more frustrating...and, by the time you make it to the venue, you tend to be a little on edge (and not exactly in a celebratory mood). This isn’t the scene you want to set for your guests. Particularly if your venue is located in an area that sees a lot of snow, you don’t want your guests to have to walk far to your ceremony site. Find out all you can about parking options, valet, and shuttles before booking your winter wedding venue.
4. Limited Distance Between Sites:
Again, this one is all about the comfort of you and your guests. Find out how far it is from the getting-ready location to the ceremony site, and from the ceremony site to the reception site. Are there golf carts or other options available to transport guests (especially the elderly)? If not, how long of a walk will people have to endure in the cold to get to each location?
5. Great Indoor Photo Ops:
Outdoor photos on a calm, bluebird day with stunning snow-capped mountains in the background are one thing. Outdoor photos in the middle of a windy snowstorm are a completely different thing. No matter how ready you are to endure the cold temps for a stunning shot, certain weather events might make taking outdoor photos altogether impossible. Even if you’re 99% sure you won’t have to resort to indoor photos on your Big Day, you still want to check out the indoor photo ops at your venue should you be unable to shoot outside. If the weather doesn’t cooperate and you’re stuck shooting indoors, are there spots on the property that are wedding-photo-worthy? You never want to book a winter wedding venue based solely on outdoor photo ops, as those shots might be impossible to capture if the weather doesn't play nice.