The joys and delights of the festive season may be rapidly receding in our rear-view mirror, but here in the Winter Wonderland that is Whistler, the Sea to Sky Celebrations team still dream, as the song says, of sublime winter weddings where the tree tops glisten and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow! Our calendar is bursting with winter weddings and we cannot wait to welcome and celebrate all our wonderful couples this season.
For those of you still anticipating your winter wedding, whether this winter or the next, we have assembled some ideas and inspirations that we hope will evoke delicious images of snowy mountains, sparkling lights, roaring log fires, frosty starlit nights, and of course, your love to keep you warm.
For an outdoors ceremony, attend to guests’ comfort AND add a cool decor touch with rustic baskets or vintage wood crates packed with cozy blankets and shawls, even woolly gloves and hats.
We love evergreen swags and branches and boughs (plentiful and free here in Whistler!)- use them to outline your outdoors aisle, tie them to chair backs at the reception with ribbon in your chosen colours, or use them for table centrepieces in lieu of flowers. We have used cedar boughs as table runners too – cedar branches lie flat (unlike fir or pine), which is perfect for the table.
Go all Scottish highlands and totally channel Braveheart with tartan and plaid, for table runners, bouquet ribbons, bows for chairbacks.
Go for wintery herbs and spices and berries as decor for your tables – we’re thinking bundles of cinnamon sticks tied with gold or silver glitter thread, bundled with berries left natural or spray painted metallic or white.
Spray paint pine and fir cones with silver/gold glitter or fake snow,use as aisle liners, and for table runners either scattered or piled on vintage cakestands or in clear crystal bowls.
Okay we cannot say this enough – winter weddings scream for tons and tons of lights! candles, fairy lights, lanterns, you name it – go crazy and have lots, way more than you think you will need!
Spray paint (or purchase) wooden snowflake or fir tree wooden shapes in your chosen colours, or leave au naturel, and scatter along reception tables.
More aisle runner ideas – feathers in a colour that pops against the snow; paper bag lanterns (with flameless candles natch) with snowflake shapes or bride&groom initials hole-punched into the paper; helium balloons in your colour(s), weighted down with sand-filled fabric or burlap bags tied with ribbon.
Add the WOW factor and get guests all teary-eyed with a romantic sweetheart table swagged with evergreens.
Use luscious winter fruits like pomegranates piled on metallic chargers or even tied with ribbon and a personalized label as a take-away favor.
COUPLES’ ATTIRE & ACCESSORIES
Ok we confess it now – we have a weakness for sumptuous and glorious VELVET and for other luxurious fabrics and textures that just do not work for anything except a Winter wedding!
So how about a velvet or woolen hooded cape or cloak?
A velvet bow-tie for the boys works for us.
For the bride and her bridesmaids, a cozy yet chic pashmina or shawl or shrug in a luxurious and warm fabric.
We love the elegance and old fashioned glamour of long sleeves and high necks on gowns. Yes we do. Enough said.
Going for a veil? How about sourcing one that incorporates some fun glitter to tie in with all those candles and lights at the reception?
A faux-fur stole adds a touch of old Hollywood 50’s glamour, for sure.
Bouquets? – instead of in-season winter florals, which may present a thin selection unless you pay a fortune for out-of-season blooms, go for pine cones and evergreens, trailing ivy, feathers, deep shiny green foliage paired with berries and succulents. We also love the recent trend for baby’s breath combined with the classic gypsophila – so wintery white and feminine.
FOOD & DRINK
Have a hot drinks station to greet guests at an outdoor ceremony, or to greet them when they assemble indoors following the ceremony (so much cozier and warming than champagne) – think hot chocolate, coffee and teas selection; mulled wine; hot toddies; hot cider with cinnamon sticks for stirring.
Create a signature winter cocktail for the toast, involving warming beverages like rum and brandy,Baileys, peppermint.
For dessert, create a s’mores station if you have access to an outdoors firepit or indoor roaring log fire!
Warm the cockles of your guests’ hearts with traditional comfort food at the reception – shepherds’ pie, mac n’ cheese, steak and kidney or fish pie, traditional roast dinner.
COLOURS & THEMES
Colours that we know work fabulously well for Winter weddings are: White (of course) either alone (but be sure and add some texture for an all-white theme)or combined with either silver or gold; gleaming metallics like bronze and copper; antique verdigris; ice, teal or aqua shades of blue; scarlet and black; classic creamy ivory combined with blush; deep rich tones that sing against a snowy backdrop….think aubergine, marsala, ruby red, purple, rich navy blue, even hot pink (pops gorgeously against snow!)
Themes? Close your eyes and what do you see when you think ‘winter’? WE see snowflakes, fir trees, mittens, forests, vintage skiing and snowshoe and winter sports images, toboggans, huskies….the choices are legion. We suggest you pick one theme and stick with it from initial Save-the-Date stationery to ceremony and reception decor.
Here are some great Winter Wedding favor ideas we have seen:
A ‘hot chocolate in a mug/jar’ with all the fixin’s for a yummy hot cocoa drink in a dollar store mason jar or glass mug, complete with personalized label attached.
Beginning weeks or months in advance, collect eye-catching china or earthenware mugs (dollar stores and budget home stores like Homesense are great)and pack with teas and maybe a couple of homemade cookies.
An evergreen sapling wrapped in a burlap bag to take home and plant in garden or park, as a ‘wish for Spring’.
Mini bottles of maple syrup.
Miniatures of warming winter liqueurs.
A cozy throw tied with a colour themed ribbon. You can even get these monogrammed or embroidered if it fits your budget.
Snowflake or fir tree shaped cookie cutters tied with ribbon and perhaps with a favourite cookie recipe attached.
Made or purchased cones made from metallic or white doily paper and packed with old fashioned peppermints or humbug candy.
Glassine gift bags or envelopes with a gift card for a popular coffee shop where guests can purchase a morning-after coffee or hot chocolate.
We hope you enjoyed and were inspired by this latest blog – stand by for our next one very soon, and remember we always welcome feedback and ideas!