Category Archives: winter wedding ideas

winter wedding venue feature wall with beads and uplighting

7 Tips for Planning a Wonderful Winter Wedding in Milwaukee

A winter wedding in Milwaukee is an opportunity—a beautiful one! Our cold Milwaukee winters provide a wonderful opportunity for couples to plan a memorable event with a stunning seasonal décor and gorgeous once-a-year details. (Plus, this “off-season” is a great time to book beautiful Milwaukee venues and vendors!)

So where do you start planning an extraordinary winter wedding in Milwaukee? You can start with this list of tips that help you make the winter wedding of your dreams a reality.

Wedding Planning Tips

Think about your favorite parts of winter.

The first step of planning a beautiful winter wedding is to brainstorm with your fiancé. Think about what you love most about winter, such as a favorite holiday play, seasonal dish, or beautiful winter scene. If you want to tie it all together, select a winter wedding theme and make it your own.

Choose the perfect date for a winter wedding.

Generally, winter weddings span from December to February. Narrowing down your perfect wedding date depends on a number of options; you can use our guide for choosing the right date for your Milwaukee wedding. In addition to the typical factors, there are a number of other factors that play into choosing the right date for a winter wedding. If you want snow in your winter wedding photos, there is typically a better chance for snow in January or February. Another way to choose a winter wedding date is to select a date on or around your favorite winter holiday, such as Christmas, New Year’s, or Valentine’s Day.

Ask potential venues about parking.

Once you’ve chosen a wedding date or month, don’t forget to ask your Milwaukee wedding venue about parking. It’s particularly important during winter when guests don’t want to tromp a long way in the cold and snow. Besides parking, make sure you ask wedding venues these other wedding venue questions.

Consider your guests’ comfort.

It’s no secret that Wisconsin winters can be incredibly cold, which is why you should start looking for ways to warm your guests up as you plan. Fortunately, there are many ways to warm guests at a winter wedding, such as a cozy fire and warm drinks.

Don’t forget about your wedding party’s comfort.

Beautiful pictures in the snow or at a scenic Milwaukee landmark are one of the most wonderful perks of a winter wedding. When planning your wedding day, dress up your pictures—and keep your wedding party cozy—with soft blankets and shags for you and your wedding party.

Look for beautiful spots for wonderful winter pictures.

Milwaukee is full of beautiful spots for wedding pictures, plus there are always photo opportunities at your wedding venue. As you tour wedding venues, look for perfect locations for photo opportunities—both indoor and outdoor. You can also use lighting and décor to create breath-taking scenes perfect for a picture.

Be festive with winter wedding favors.

There are so many wonderful ideas for winter wedding favors. Mittens and blankets are an amazing way for couples to keep their guests warm. Couples can also say, “cheers!” with wines, ales, and warm drink packets (cider, cocoa, coffee, etc.) If you are planning a holiday wedding, it’s wonderful to give guests ornaments and holiday treats. A candle with a seasonal scent makes guests feel like every day is a winter wedding, as will any of these winter wedding favor ideas.

Winter Wedding Theme Ideas

  1. Winter Wonderland
  2. Holiday Wedding
  3. Nutcracker
  4. Cozy Cabin
  5. Traditional Holiday
  6. New Year’s Ball
  7. White Winter
  8. Modern Winter Wedding
  9. Silver and Gold
  10. Romantic Winter Night
  11. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  12. Holiday Feast
Milwaukee wedding venue with snow

How to Make the Best of Snow on Your Wedding Day

Planning a winter wedding? Don’t get left out in the cold. Winter weddings are incredibly beautiful, but they do come with the risk of snow (especially in Wisconsin!)—and it’s always best to be prepared for it! If you’re planning a winter wedding, use these tips to make the most of snow on your wedding day.

Choose a venue with (really) close guest parking.

Parking doesn’t need to be at the top of your wedding venue checklist, but it should be in the top five. When planning a winter wedding, look for venues with close parking lots or shuttles that can make it easy for guests to get to the venue without ruining their dancing shoes (or freezing!)

Equip yourself and your attendants with adorable winter weather gear.

Winter weather may seem like a negative, but it can also present an incredible and memorable opportunity. While snow on your wedding day may drop your guest count, a fresh snow fall can also make for incredible winter weather pics! To get the best winter wedding shots, tow out your favorite winter weather gear: elegant shawls, scarves, jackets, colorful blankets, and umbrellas. Even sleds and snowboards can make a winter wedding photo unbelievable!

Give guests the chance to cozy up by a fire.

A cozy fire is a wonderful way to welcome guests who are willing to venture out in the snow for your big day. If a fireplace isn’t on your wedding venue checklist, add it! A cozy fire is the perfect way for guests to warm their hands and mingle before dinner.

Create a warm glow.

A winter wedding isn’t complete without lighting. A winter wonderland theme practically demands the shine of a fresh winter snowfall. A warm and cozy winter wedding theme could include soft lighting, crystals, projected lights, and uplighting. (Ask a wedding venue planner for lighting recommendations.) With the right décor (and venue), guests are going to get so caught up in the magic of winter they’ll forget about the snow outside.  

Plan a wedding menu with hot cuisine that warms guests up.

A wedding menu is always a chance to establish a seasonal atmosphere, and a winter wedding is no exception. This is your chance to warm guests up with the most scrumptious wedding dishes: traditional cuisine for a holiday wedding, comfort foods for a cozy treat, and appetizers that give guests a taste for the main course.

Give out cozy wedding favors.

Just as a cozy fire sets the stage for a winter wedding, the right wedding favor is a detail that makes a final impression. Perhaps the best part are all the options for winter wedding favors: snuggly gloves and blankets, hot cocoa kits, holiday ornaments, coffee mugs and custom blends (plus these winter wedding favor ideas). (A wedding venue planner can point you to local businesses for a local flavor.) The right winter wedding favor can leave guests with a warm and cozy feeling as they head out into the snow.

7 Winter Wedding Do’s and Don’ts Your Guests Appreciate

winter wedding venue feature wall with beads and uplightingThere are some wonderful winter wedding ideas on the web (like these winter wedding ideas). While guests love every one, we’re focusing on those winter wedding planning steps that your guests really appreciate—especially on one of our freezing Wisconsin winter days.

DO warm them up.

We’re stating the obvious: it’s cold outside! Winter weather can be cold, snowy, wet—or all of the above. Don’t leave guests out in the cold. Take steps to warm them up as soon as they walk in the door; welcome them with a warm fire (add that to your wedding venue checklist) and serve them warm beverages and refreshments. Remember, that a cozy welcome shouldn’t turn into toasty wedding reception; take steps to keep guests comfortable so they enjoy themselves.

DON’T make guests trudge (too far) through the snow.

Nothing can put a damper on the evening like ruining guests’ best dancing shoes. When choosing a winter wedding venue, make sure you ask about available parking. Make your guests’ night; choose a wedding venue with an incredibly close parking lot so your guests have a short walk in the cold winter weather. (If you want to make the winter weather commute even easier, hold your ceremony and reception at the same wedding venue.)

DO choose the right venue for a beautiful winter wedding.

Choosing the right wedding venue is important part of any season wedding planning; a winter wedding deserves no less. Use this checklist for singling out the right wedding venue for your big day—and don’t mark a beautiful venue exterior off the list just because of the weather. Some of the most beautiful photos are taken outside (especially with beautiful shawls and accessories!) in the winter weather.

DON’T feel you have to plan a winter wedding all yourself.

Planning a winter wedding can feel overwhelming. There are so many winter wedding details to coordinate! To de-stress the process, take a break from the wedding planning (use this list of local de-stressing ideas in Milwaukee!) and don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you want professional assistance, hire a wedding planner or select a wedding venue with experienced planners that are intimately familiar with the venue, local vendors, and the wedding planning process.   

DO get inspired by the beautiful season.

Every couple chooses a winter wedding date for a different reason: to commemorate a certain date, because it’s their “down time,” beautiful wedding venues tend to have more wedding dates, they love the season…the list goes on and on. Whatever the reason, once you’ve chosen a winter wedding date, indulge the season as you plan BUT don’t feel confined by it. Winter weddings can still be colorful and diverse events; not every winter wedding has to be pure white or holiday-themed. Have fun with creating a beautiful winter wedding day.

DON’T neglect your bridesmaids.

Hopefully, you chose your bridesmaids because you prize them. Make them feel like prized guests on the wedding day—no matter how cold it is! Provide transportation so they don’t have to brave the cold weather. When they do need to stand in the cold (like for beautiful wedding photos!), provide fashionable weather accessories that keep them snug and warm. Your bridesmaids are going to appreciate shawls, muffs, mittens, hats…anything cozy and warm.

DO decide on the right winter wedding favor.

A winter wedding comes with incredible opportunities: beautiful winter wedding décor, scrumptious seasonal wedding menu dishes, and unique winter wedding favors. Think hot cocoa kits (with all the fixings), mittens, holiday ornaments, blankets, fire starters…the options for winter wedding favors are as numerous as the snowflakes during a blizzard (these winter wedding favor ideas can inspire you).

5 Ways to Warm Up Your Winter Wedding

No matter how hard you try to make it easy for guests to get to your winter wedding (i.e. choosing a venue with convenient parking, taxis, etc.), you can’t deny that winter is cold with a capital C.  It’s your job to help your wedding guests thaw and feel the warmth of winter (think warm winter evenings around the fire).  Here are some ways you can warm up your guests and make them feel cozy and appreciated.

welcoming wedding venue foyer with warm fireplace

Give them a warm welcome.

Your first chance to warm your guests comes the moment they walk in the door.  Make the foyer of your wedding venue feel cozy and warm.  Choose a venue with a fireplace with a warm glow.  Give your guests the chance to gather and mingle around the fire before they head into your reception hall.

Warm up their hands with a hot drink.

Make your guests feel warm inside and out.  Include a coffee bar in your wedding reception plans, or serve hot apple cider at the bar (don’t forget to offer cinnamon sticks!).  For a sweeter touch, include a hot cocoa bar with all the garnishes: peppermints, cream, chocolate chips, mint, sprinkles, and any other favorite cocoa extras.

1451 Rennaissance Place in Milwaukee with dramatic uplighting and crystal candles

Create a warm glow.

You don’t want your guests to stay huddled around the fireplace all night. Recreate the glow of a warm evening fire with candles, lanterns, and soft lighting.  Use candles on the tables, metallic vases, and crystals to make the light from the candles into a soft glow. Your guests’ll feel warmer the moment they walk in and start to experience your warm atmosphere.

Finish your meal with a warm dessert.

Instead of the usual wedding cake, opt for a warm dessert that your guests’ll love.  S’mores can be perfect for a rustic or more elegant wedding; just ask your caterer to make a warm s’more dessert with a stylish (and yummy) aesthetic.  For a cozy touch, opt for pies, fruit tarts, or warm donuts.

End the night with a favor that warms them all the way to the core.

simple elegant wedding centerpieces with silver vases and purple rosesBefore your guests go, give them something that’ll keep them warm on their way home. Mittens or muffs (think of the old covers that you see in the paintings of ice skaters) can be perfect for a vintage wedding.  Hot packs that your guests can snap and heat are very appreciated when the night temperatures hit frigid.  If you want your guests to keep warm at home, send them sweet wishes with a packet of hot chocolate or s’mores.  For a very cozy touch, give them a personalized throw to cuddle up with on a cold night—just like you and your new spouse will be after your winter wedding is over.