Most of the country would laugh at us here in Southern California talking about “Winter Weddings.”
Even though we can have garden weddings almost year round, we still experience a change in the air, that gives us the same winter imagery that the rest of the country expects for a wedding in winter.
Winter imagery for weddings creates thoughts of fireplaces, candles, magical lighting, and perhaps even holiday decor incorporated into the wedding. What’s more romantic than promising your vows in front of a fireplace, with the crackling of the burning wood the only sound you hear as you very softly promise your devotion. Twinkle lights are seen now year round, but it’s time now to over-do the tiny white lights, and fill “the rooms”–whether the gardens or indoors–with candles.
The gardens in winter can be even more dramatic than in summer.
Any deciduous trees in the gardens? Spotlights shooting up into bare branches are very dramatic. Or, hang candle lanterns in the bare branches. Why not bring chandeliers outside to the gardens and hang them from tree branches. You can even find old rusted chandeliers that have seen better days, put candles where bulbs once were and hang them from the branch with ribbons. You create the appearance of warmth and a festive feeling. Winterberry branches tucked into garden urns among the greens bring color into the garden. Garden paths become inviting when lined with shepherds hooks and crystal candle lanterns.
There are so many decor choices in winter that you can’t get away with the rest of the year–like pinecones piled in crystal bowls and on top of crystal candlesticks, wreaths hung with white ribbon instead of the usual red, evergreen garlands, poinsettia in white or red lining pathways.
Winter is the time for tradition because of the holidays that open the season and the need to warm the soul in a cold climate.
Your winter wedding dinner should be heartwarming and comforting–even comfort food can be gourmet. Now is the time to serve a chunky potato leek soup, a classic Beef Bourguignon, a gourmet pot roast, pork tenderloin stuffed with dried fruits, angel hair pasta, roasted vegetables. And of course, include mulled cider with whipped cream, a gourmet hot chocolate, hot toddies, or even a hot spiced red wine. Cakes can be traditional white, but why not cover the cake with “ice crystals”–coarse ground sugar crystals that sparkle in candlelight.
Winter gives you colors that just don’t feel quite as right the rest of the year, like gold, silver, midnight blue, and forest green, cranberry red. And luscious velvet–a fabric that can only properly be used in winter–provides a richness and drama to a winter wedding.
A winter bride–dresses now are all sleeveless and strapless, but add a cape in velvet or fur, carry a muff instead of a bouquet, wear over the elbow gloves. Makeup can either be very dramatic, or a fresh glistening and iridescent look.
Magical is a word often used to describe winter–why not make that your theme for a winter wedding, the most magical day of your life. Colors can be the colors of magic–deep purple, sapphire blue, black, or the colors of peacock feathers. Hire a magician to roam and entertain your guests during cocktail hour. Thank your guests for “joining in the magic of your day” with your wedding favor tags.
Now, doesn’t a winter wedding sound even more enticing than a summer wedding!
A special thanks to Janice at Christmas House Inn
Images Credits: Gershon Bachus Vintners Estate, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, Sherwood Country Club , Wedgewood Sierra La Verne Country Club, Christmas House Inn, Jason Lanier Premier Weddings, Hulse Photography, Baker Party Rentals, A Good Affair Wedding and Event Production, KLK Photography