Photo courtesy of This Is The Place Heritage Park
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Winters in Utah can be long and overstay their welcome, but that doesn’t mean the season can't be a beautiful one for weddings. And since it's a less popular time to get married, you could save a lot of money.

Savings, beauty and room for more creativity are all just a few benefits of getting married in this offseason.

Here are 10 tips to help you make a winter wedding the happiest day of your life.

Prepare for a smaller guest list

Travel in the wintertime is complicated not only by inclement weather, but also by the holidays. Flights are more expensive, time off is hard to come by and people are just trying to make it home for Christmas. If you do have a winter wedding, consider the end of winter when everyone will be less busy and more ready for a party — say, late January or February, for example. No matter when you schedule, if your RSVP list is smaller than you expected, just know it’s part of the season.

Dress for the weather

No one likes attending a party where they are freezing the whole time. Whether it’s for the vows or the reception, sit down and consider all the ways you can make your guests and wedding party comfortable despite the cold. The best and most magical winter weddings are well thought-out and make special considerations for everyone’s warmth. That way, it’s the beautiful wedding you’re thinking about and not frozen shoulders!

Consider using the following winter accessories for you and your wedding party:

  • Long-sleeved dresses or wraps, capes, cardigans, shrugs and/or stoles.
  • Thick and warm tights for the ladies, which can be a fun way to add to your party’s color palette.
  • Faux fur and velvet are good options. Velvet vests for the men are also very popular.

Don't forget to take care of your skin and lips. Because the air is extra-dry in the winter, have lip balm close by to keep your lips looking luscious and smooth and a small bottle of lotion to moisturize parched skin.

Shoot for warm shoes

Warm and comfortable shoes are a must since you’ll be standing a lot and greeting people. You don’t have to wear mountain man snow boots; it's possible to find chic high-heeled boots. If your heart is set on adorning your feet with Jimmy Choos open-toed heels, find an outdoor pair of warmer shoes to get you from point A to point B and then change into your pumps when you're inside.

Consider guest needs

Snow can make it difficult for elderly family members to maneuver around. Plan to rent a venue that has good accessibility for everyone, even in the winter months. If your grandma uses a wheelchair, choose a place with ramps and plenty of disability parking. Ensure that all walkways are well salted and free of ice.

As for any outdoor time, try handing out a warm drink, such as herbal tea or cider, as you take pictures. Guests will love the thoughtful pick-me-up, and it will make your day that much more memorable. If the venue doesn’t provide them, space heaters may also be necessary. Be prepared, but stay creative!

Keep things flexible

Think about how events during a warmer-weather wedding day would be scheduled. Then add several hours to travel time. Winter has plenty of unpredictable weather, so expect and plan for delays. This also goes for family members flying in from out of town days before the big event. Flights can be delayed, and driving in the snow and ice will always take longer than normal weather, so leave wiggle room in your big day’s schedule, and remember to check the weather.

Serve appropriate menu items

Since it’s cold, serve warm food and drinks to your guests. This could include a hot drink as they enter the venue; hot cider, coffee, hot chocolate, spiced eggnog and teas are all on the table (no pun intended). Food options could include soups and heartier fare. But don’t feel too restricted because of the cold: There are plenty of warming options that don’t involve soup. From potato bars to hot chocolate bars, there’s a menu option for every bride’s style.

Prepare for fewer flower options

Although winter offers gorgeous blankets of snow and magical icicles, it doesn't offer as much in the way of growing things as spring or summer. What is a wedding without flowers? Be assured that most flower shops have a greenhouse with all the typical flower choices on hand, but they’ll likely be more expensive because they'll be out of season. You can focus on other aspects of the decor and embrace the season and its unique beauties, which may or may not include flowers.

Branch out your color palette

White is lovely, but to contrast with your dress and the wintry landscape, branch out. Red is always a good pairing (berry red, burgundy, wine), or go green with items like pine, holly or other evergreens. Tartans add style and heritage, and black and gold always draw the eye and make for a classy event.

Look past holiday options

Whether you have your wedding before or after Christmas, you don’t have to restrict yourself to Christmas reds and greens. Part of what makes a winter wedding so appealing is the romance of wintertime (which is far more than just a month or so that holds a few major holidays). If you’re not digging holiday colors, consider how much you could do with cool blues, silvers and purples. Wreaths and icicles that speak of a winter wonderland can be just perfect. Explore those options to find what matches your taste.

Choose the right venue

If you choose a venue that offers plenty of options and accommodations, you can check a lot of things off your list at once. Disability accessibility, enough space for all your revelries, warmth and a variety of winter-friendly menu options are all available in the right venues. In addition, some locations have a variety of venues to choose from — not just one or two indoor options. That way you can pick and choose and not feel limited in your indoor options. To learn more about winter wedding options at This Is The Place Heritage Park, visit its website today.