Now that autumn is officially here and the temperatures in Western Colorado are finally starting to cool down, it’s a good time to start talking about our top tips for planning a winter wedding!
Late fall and winter weddings in Grand Junction are beautiful, with backdrops of changing leaves, festive vibes, cider & hot cocoa, but also fairly unpredictable weather. It could be 75 degrees in October, or it could be 30 degrees and snowing. How do you prepare for both possibilities? In the winter, it could be a beautiful 45 degrees or it could be freezing with inches of snow on the ground already.
Here are a few easy steps you can take to make planning a winter wedding easier, regardless of the whims of Mother Nature.
Talk to your rental company
If you are having an outdoor ceremony and/or reception and the weather is suddenly looking much colder or snowier than expected, it’s important to give your event rental company a call early in the week before your big day to see what is still available and what they would suggest to make you and your guests most comfortable. Event rental companies are experts at creating “venues” from scratch, and they’ve probably dealt with weather like this many times before. If you need to add tents, tent walls, or heaters they can help!
A pro tip: if the weather looks bad on Sunday night for your wedding the following weekend, make sure to call your rental company first thing on Monday morning! You won’t be the only couple looking to make some additions, so make sure you’re first in line!
Give your guests a head’s up
Now that you have your space weather-proofed and ready to go, it’s important to let your guests know what to expect. It’s likely that your guests haven’t seen your venue before, and many guests come from out of state and don’t know what winter in Colorado is like, so they might not know how to appropriately prepare. You can use a cool tool like WEDtexts to communicate with all of your guests at once. Let them know if your event will be inside or outside (even if only your ceremony is outside, let guests know so they bring appropriate jackets and scarves), the expected temperature during the ceremony, as well as the expected temperature after the sun goes down (we all know how big of a difference that makes!)
Letting your guests know to prepare for cooler temperatures will help to ensure your guests stay for the party, instead of head out early because they are too cold.
Get yourself ready, too!
Not only is it important to make sure your wedding space is as protected and warm as it can get for your guests, and your guests are prepared, you need to make sure you are prepared too! If you are wearing a beautiful white sleeveless dress, you are probably going to get chilly quickly! And after spending plenty of time and energy on perfecting your beauty look, it would be a shame to ruin it with a mis-matched jacket covering your sequins.
So if you’re planning a winter wedding or even a wedding in late fall, it’s a great idea to be proactive and look for a piece that will keep you warm and look good with the rest of your chosen look. A great pashmina or wrap can look great and keep you warm, as can a chic cape or fur/faux-fur bolero or stole.
For the guys, it shouldn’t take too much to keep you warm too! If you aren’t planning on wearing a jacket, maybe it’s time to look for one. Wool, or a wool blend, will keep you the most warm. If you are already planning on wearing a jacket, a thermal under your button up, or the addition of a vest under your jacket can do the trick to keep you toasty all night long.
Gather necessary supplies
It’s time to gather a few inexpensive – yet handy – extras to have available to everyone. First, head to Walmart or your local craft store and pick up a few fleece blankets. These are usually under $3 each and provide plenty of extra comfort to your guests. You can roll them up and tie them with a pretty bow, set them out or in a basket for people to grab when the chill starts to get to them. You can also get hand warmers to have available to whoever needs a little extra heat.
It might be tough to squeeze it in at the last minute, but your caterer (or even a helpful family member) might be able to provide a hot cocoa and cider station! Providing a hot beverage after the sun goes down will dramatically increase the comfort of your guests, and it will likely be something they remember.
Have fun & roll with it!
Like much of the advice we give, your mindset when dealing with unplanned changes like weather is a huge part of the day. A chilly or rainy or even snowy day won’t ruin your wedding. In fact, it will make your wedding more of an adventure for you and your guests. Prepare yourself and your guests, and don’t let the weather get you down. Your day is still going to be incredible, we swear.