Planning a New York Winter Wedding

March 15, 2022 Jessica Stewart

There's something gorgeous and whimsical about winter in New York. The lights of the city interact with the sparkling snow to make it look like the world is covered in glitter.

It's no wonder why so many people, New York natives and people from around the country, choose this as a backdrop for their weddings.

Of course, those New York weddings are expensive. The average price of a Manhattan wedding is over $96,000. At that price, your clients want everything for their winter wedding to be perfect.

Make it truly a day of joy with these planning tips.

1. Aim for a Single Venue

With so many spectacular event venues in New York, it's hard to choose just one. Why not have one gorgeous location for the ceremony and another showstopper for the reception?

Most of the time, that can work well. During the winter, you're playing with fire.

The weather can cause road closures, car accidents, and other problems that can make traffic a nightmare. No one wants to sit in traffic for an hour in the middle of the wedding festivities, struggling to get to the next venue two miles away.

The more you can minimize traveling, the better. Look for a venue that has several event spaces in one building, or for two venues that are nearby. You could have the ceremony in one room and the reception in the next.

You can take this even further by having your rehearsal dinner in the same area, as well as the hotel that will house many of your guests. This way, guests can enjoy their entire New York getaway without fighting traffic.

2. Arrange for Multiple Photo Locations

Without a doubt, winter wedding photos are gorgeous. Your jaw drops when you see a beautiful couple surrounded by the perfect flow of falling snow.

You never know if the weather will cooperate, though. That's why you always want to have a few options for photo backdrops. At a minimum, you want to have one indoor location.

With your outdoor location, try to find a rooftop or balcony instead of a lawn area. If there happens to be a warm front during or before the wedding, that law becomes a muddy pit from the melted snow on top of it.

3. Decide on a More Specific Design Motif

Despite what your event planning clients may believe, "winter" isn't a specific enough theme for a wedding. If you try to design a wedding with that theme alone, your decor could wind up looking disconnected and scattered.

Instead, narrow your theme more.

Does your client want the wedding to look like a winter wonderland? What about an indoor retreat? Maybe they want the wedding to be all about Christmas. 

The specialized themes give you enough of a focus so that when you bring together all the unified decor, it feels like an immersive theme rather than a vague and confusing suggestion. 

4. Create a Cozy Lounge Space

The reception lounge is a thriving trend at weddings. It gives guests a quieter, comfortable place where they can relax and get away from the dance floor.

A lounge is great at any wedding, but it fits especially well at a winter wedding. Deck out your lounge to make it look like the warm, inviting living room of a ski lodge.

You can bring in plush seating along with cozy blankets and plenty of throw pillows. If the lounge has a fireplace or if you can simulate a fireplace on a TV in the lounge, it's even better.

5. Opt for Seasonal Foods

When it comes to food for a winter wedding, nothing makes guests mouths more than warm comfort foods.

Depending on the theme you've chosen, you can choose foods and drinks that align with the theme. For instance, eggnog and gingerbread cookies will get anyone in the Christmas spirit.

For a more general theme like winter wonderland, there are still plenty of winter foods you can choose. Roast beef is always popular, and so is a delicious ham, soup, or mashed potatoes. 

As an added bonus, all these comfort foods are hearty and filling. They'll fill your guests' stomachs so the drinks from the bar won't have as much of an extreme effect on them.

6. Consider the Weather When Planning the Wardrobe

When people think of wedding attire, they think for suits or tuxes for men and formal dresses for women, usually sleeveless dresses. Those sleeveless dresses don't tend to make for great pictures when it's ten degrees outside.

They key for a winter wedding wardrobe is layering. Bridesmaids can wear those formal sleeveless gowns but with fur or faux fur wraps on top.

This helps everyone stay warm while you're taking outdoor photos or if you're hopping between venues. At the same time, you don't want long sleeves and thick materials by the time the reception arrives.

At the reception, there will be a header and a lot of active bodies moving around. That's the recipe for a toasty room. With layers, the bridal party and guests can be comfortable at all points in the day.

Shoes are another consideration for a winter wedding. Skip the open-toed shoes. Make sure everyone is aware that there could be slippery ice, so they should wear shoes that have some traction on the bottom.

Creating a Winter Wedding Everyone Will Remember

A winter wedding is full of potential. It can make for beautiful photos and a romantic backdrop, especially in a gorgeous city like New York. At the same time, it adds some complication to the planning.

The tips above can help you organize the perfect winter wedding that your clients and their guests will be talking about for years to come.

Of course, there are always new ideas arriving on the scene for wedding planning. To get ahead of the curve, pre-register for our next event planning expo today.


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