Winters here in North Georgia/Eastern Tennessee are fairly mild and snow-free, often extending our wedding season through December and back as early as March (here at Oakleaf we close for January and February so we can work on projects).
The top thing to be aware if is the weather is extremely variable. We've had 70 degree days in December, and we've had 18 degree days. We might get a dusting of snow (which of course looks AMAZING). Our general weather pattern is a high in the 50s, and if it's sunny, it can feel downright lovely.
Don't let the chill dissuade you. The winter landscape and season offers a number of benefits you won't ever see in August, and opportunities for extra style and a level of hygge-cozy that will leave your guests feeling warmed inside and out.
In the warmer months, we love to present guests with a cool glass of lemonade or flute of champagne as they arrive: the winter answer to this can be hot cocoa, mulled wine, coffee or hot cider. You can even turn this into a smorgasbord of options with seasonal spices (anise, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, rosemary, oranges) -- or come up with your own wedding blend! This offers your guests something to do while gathering ahead of your ceremony, and keeps their hands warm, too.
We know you've seen the creative, neatly stacked blankets for guests who may find their choice of attire wasn't quite as warm as they expected. Shawls or blankets can also be draped across the backs of chairs, at either the ceremony or dinner reception, and be presented as their wedding gift. Depending on your budget, you could have your wedding date embroidered on the corner, or even personalize the blanket with their names in the place of seating cards.
Speaking of added layers, nothing beats winter for so. many. choices. on how to make your wedding dress reflect personal flair! You can layer over an amazing cape, a faux fur stole or shawl, a cashmere sweater in your wedding colors, or our favorite as worn last March, a black leather jacket and hat.
If your ceremony is to be outdoors, or the reception might flow between indoors and out, having propane heaters outside certainly helps with the chill. You can also have a fire during the reception for guests to relax around and visit -- particularly if you know some guests would prefer conversation over a long night of dancing.
Now our favorite part: decor! The grays and browns of the winter landscape offer the perfect neutral for virtually any color to take center stage. Light blue, dark blue... peach, pink, mauve -- anything you would pair with your favorite khakis looks marvelous. It's also THE best opportunity for an all-neutrals wedding. A little pampas grass will seemingly go a long way without competing shades of green or fall colors.
The cooler months also mean your florals have natural refrigeration, they'll last longer! While some florals may cost more or be harder to come by, we spoke to Liza Greever at Fox and Fern and found out a number of staples like roses and eucalyptus, berries and seasonal fillers run about the same in cost as in other months.
Cooler weather also tends to invoke more of an appetite, which means.... more yummies! You can offer a special snack of warm pies or other goodies an hour or more ahead of your send off (if you're having one) so guests can re-fuel and keep on dancing!
One serious bit of advice: DO get wedding insurance. This is not the same as event insurance, but a separate policy that insures your wedding should there be a surprise snowstorm and nobody, not even your vendors, can get to the venue. You'll want something to cover the costs for unexpectedly needing to move your wedding to another date.