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Baby it’s cold outside: preparing for outdoor winter receptions

One of the trickiest factors to consider when planning a wedding in North Carolina is the weather. You want to get married in October? It could be 90 degrees and feel like August, or 60 degrees and the perfect fall day. Planning a wedding in January? You could be wearing a sweater on Monday and shorts by Saturday.

Because of this, there are few venues in our state that really recommend against a winter outdoor wedding, they may just urge you to consider different options. While certainly not an extensive list, here are some options if your outdoor winter reception looks like it may be a bit chillier than you had originally planned for.

  1. Heating options. Are you having your reception in a tent? Consider reserving sides and heaters for it, which can be turned on as the night goes on. Does your venue have a fire pit? Take full advantage of it by creating a s’more’s and hot cocoa station, where everyone will gather.

  2. Blankets are not overrated. Whether you are bulk ordering fleece blankets in your wedding colors, or simply borrowing assorted ones from friends and family, who is to say that you can’t just have baskets of blankets placed around the dance floor or throughout the tent.

  3. Hot hands. If it looks like it’s going to be colder than you originally anticipated, picking up some packages of hot hands isn’t a bad idea-- especially if your family and bridal party are going to be outside for pictures.

  4. Scarves make great gifts. While on the subject of the bridal party, it’s a good idea to embrace the cooler temperatures, and buy your bridal party matching cold weather accessories, so that they can be comfortable when standing by your side.

  5. A little whiskey goes a long way. When in doubt-- liquor them up! Just kidding. But it’s not a bad idea to feature a spiked apple cider or hot toddy as a part of your bar menu.

Whether you originally planned for your wedding to be below freezing temperatures or if those are just the cards Mother Nature dealt you, it’s important to consider your guests first and foremost. Are winter wedding Pinterest photos stunning? Absolutely. But is it fair for your grandmother to sit out in the cold for 6+ hours? Probably not. So before you book the outdoor venue of your dreams, be sure to consider all of the options to ensure that all of your guests will be warm and cozy.

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