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Your Guide to Winter Weddings in Houston

A Winter Wedding can be absolutely magical. The cozy atmosphere and the gorgeous winter decor make for a stunning and memorable event.

However, nuptials in the winter months do come with their own unique considerations and challenges. This is true even in southeast Texas, where snow is rare, but ice and power outages are distinct possibilities, particularly in January and February.

If you've been considering an enchanting winter Wedding, this comprehensive guide can help.

In it, we will walk you through everything you need to know to plan the perfect winter wedding in Houston, from planning tips to winter wedding ideas.

Magic, Beauty, and Enchantment: Upsides of a Winter Wedding

Let's start by looking at some of the benefits of having a winter wedding.

Gorgeous Winter Scenery

A light dusting of snow or frost on the trees makes for gorgeous wedding photos. Even without snow, the stark landscape has a romantic feel.

Cozy Atmosphere

Few things are more romantic than cuddling with your loved one next to a roaring fireplace. A winter wedding evokes that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Lower Costs

Wedding venues, photographers, and vendors are less busy during the winter so you may be able to get some discounts.

Unique Experience

A winter wedding stands out from the crowd of spring and summer weddings.

Holiday Festivities

If your wedding falls around Christmas, you can integrate beautiful holiday décor and experiences.

Escape the Texas Heat

In Houston, a summer, or even a fall or spring wedding, comes with the possibility of extreme heat and humidity.

While it’s impossible to guarantee cooperative weather, you reduce the risk of uncomfortable heat considerably with a winter wedding.

Houston’s Rodeo Season

In southeast Texas, you also have the option of scheduling a wedding around the time the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo takes place.

This gives guests, especially those visiting from out of town, something fun, and unique to our area, to experience.

Granted, the weather isn’t always wintery when the rodeo begins in late February, but odds are good that it will still be cool.

One warning, area hotels fill up during rodeo season, if you opt to hold your wedding around that time, encourage out-of-town guests to make their reservations early. Book your rehearsal-dinner space early, too.

Cold Realities of a Winter Wedding

As we mentioned, a winter wedding can come with challenges. Here are some potential issues to consider as you determine your wedding date.

Unpredictable Weather

Snow or ice storms can impede travel for you (yes, even in Texas) and your guests (who could be coming from snowier locations).

Shorter Days

The limited daylight hours impact the timing of your event. Outdoor photos, for example, may need to be done earlier in the day.

Discomfort for Guests

Your guests may get cold, especially if the wedding and reception are outdoors. Proper attire and heating will be essential.

Venue Restrictions

Some venues close or have limited availability for a winter wedding.

Seasonal Produce and Flowers

Your menu and floral options will be limited depending on what's in season.

If you have your heart set on a winter wedding don't let these potential challenges deter you. By planning ahead for the unique aspects of a wedding, you can minimize the cons and truly capitalize on all the magical pros.

Your Winter Wedding Timeline

Creating a timeline is an important planning task for any wedding, but it becomes even more important when you intend to exchange vows during the winter.

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Know Sunset Times

Short winter days mean less time for outdoor photos. Schedule ceremonies before sunset.

Allow Commute Time

Give guests plenty of extra drive time to arrive based on weather and daylight.

Space Events Close Together

Unless you're planning to hold all of your wedding activities at one wedding venue, it would be wise to cluster events like first-look photos, your ceremony, and the reception closer together to limit transit in the cold.

Plan An Exit Strategy

Have a detailed exit plan so guests don't have to wait for transportation in the cold darkness.

Provide Ceremony Programs

Give programs detailing the order of events so guests know what to expect, especially if events may feel rushed.

Have Day-Of Backup

Work closely with your day-of coordinator to adjust for any weather timing issues.

Keeping Guests Warm and Cozy

Your winter wedding will also require some special considerations when it comes to keeping guests comfortable.

Have an Indoor Backup

Even if the ceremony will be outside, make sure your reception space is indoors to accommodate unpredictable weather.

Bring in Heating Devices

Make sure any outdoor spaces have heating options for guests. Fire pits, heat lamps, and warm drinks are great for keeping warm.

Provide Coverings

Have umbrellas, blankets, shawls, or capes available in case of precipitation or cold.

A basket of items by the entrance is useful.

Offer Valet Parking

This is a matter of comfort and safety: Provide valet parking so guests don't have to walk far and can avoid slips.

Communicate with Your Vendors and Venue

Keep vendors and your wedding venue staff informed about local weather and travel conditions in case adjustments need to be made.

Schedule Wedding-Day Transportation

Book limos, buses, or SUVs to safely transport wedding party members during winter weather if needed.

Plan Guest Welcome Bags

Include hand warmers, slippers, lip balm, hot chocolate, and other warming treats to delight guests.

Plan to Offer Post-Ceremony Snacks

Serve warm drinks and snacks immediately after the ceremony since appetizers and dinner may not be for several more hours.

Include a Cocktail Hour

Your guests will appreciate plentiful warm drinks, passed apps, and entertainment to keep them comfortable.

Theme Possibilities: Winter Wedding Inspiration

If you are getting married in the winter, you might as well incorporate winter elements into your wedding day.

Here are some popular winter wedding theme ideas to spark your creativity:

Winter Wonderland

This classic look features icy blues, silvers, and whites for a magical, snowy ambiance.

As you consider winter wedding decorations, include elements from nature like pine cones, fur throws, and bare birch tree centerpieces.

Go Merry and Bright

For December weddings, go full force into the Christmas aesthetic with deep reds, bright greens, and lots of glittering gold accents.

Tie in holiday details like Christmas trees, poinsettias, candy canes, and mistletoe.

Rustic Charm

A simple rustic style is perfect for a Texas winter wedding.

Think burlap, lace, warm lighting, and rich textures.

Lanterns, woolen blankets, and wooden signage will contribute to your rustic feel, too.

Winter Elegance

Focus on an uplifting, elegant ambiance with metallic accents, candlelight, and posh details like crystal chandeliers, luxe linens, and formal table settings.

Stick to a cool color scheme like ice blue, silver, and champagne.

Go Comfy Cozy

Make it all about warmth and comfort with a relaxed, cozy vibe.

Use plush textures like velvet and flannel, oversized sweaters, comfy lounge furniture, and mood lighting. Serve comfort foods and warm drinks.

Winter Wedding Dress Tips for Brides

Selecting the perfect dress is paramount for every bride, but a winter wedding requires some special considerations:


Look for dresses in luxe fabrics like velvet, brocade, or fur that not only provide warmth but elegantly complement the winter ambiance.


Consider a dress with long sleeves, a cape, or a removable jacket to stay warm outdoors during your winter wedding.

Look for sleeves made of sheer fabric for an elegant look that still provides coverage and warmth.


Another option is to pick a gown with a separate skirt piece that can be removed after the ceremony to show a shorter reception look. Or design the gown layers with a detachable train or overskirt.

Silhouette Considerations

A-line gowns and silhouette gowns with lots of volume and flow are perfect for winter weddings. They can hold layers underneath well. Column or sheath styles may be too clingy for thick underlayers.


Opt for gowns with wintry embellishments like lace, fur, velvet ribbons, beading, or belts. Avoid dresses with delicate, sheer fabrics prone to snagging.


White, of course, but also consider icy blue, winter berry red, marsala wine, or champagne hues that align with your color scheme.


Wedding boots, closed-toe heels, or sparkly ankle booties will keep your feet warm and supported while still looking elegant.

Coat or Cape

Have a coordinating coat, cape, or fur wrap to wear over your dress when you step outside. Look for one with removable layers or sleeves.

More Winter Wedding Apparel Tips

Part of your planning will include instructing your wedding party on attire for a winter wedding.

Your guests will appreciate dress code guidance as well.

Here are some recommendations to pass along.

Fabric Choices

Heavy fabrics like velvet, cashmere, and wool or fur shawls are great choices for a winter wedding. Avoid light, chiffon-style fabrics.

Layer It Up

Encourage guests to layer up with long sleeves, tights, leggings, undershirts, and long underwear as needed under their outfit.

Coat Check

Have a manned coat check available so guests can easily remove outerwear.

Close-Toed Shoes

Heels or strappy shoes won't work well in snow (yes, it could happen in Texas). Choose booties, ankle boots, or closed-toe wedges.

For Men: Suits Over Jackets

Suits or tuxedos with long coats keep men looking sharp at a winter wedding. Add scarves, gloves, and hats, too.

Creating a Seasonal Feel: Winter Wedding Decorations

The decor elements are where you can really bring that gorgeous winter style to life. Here are some winter wedding ideas to consider.

Warm Lighting

Use plenty of string lights, lanterns, and candles at your winter wedding. The warm glow offsets seasonal darkness.

Winter Greenery

For botanicals, utilize evergreens like pine, spruce, and juniper along with red winter berries for pops of color.

Metallic shimmer

Accent with gold, silver, mercury glass, and mirrored surfaces to add glamour.

Furry Fabrics

Incorporate velvet, fleece, sheepskin, faux fur, and wool textures in table linens or runner overlays.

Rustic wood

Use bare wood slices, tree stump stands, and signs made from logs or planks to complement the stark landscape.

Winter Patterns

Tartan, plaid, knit textures, and Nordic patterns complement the season.

Natural Found Items

Pine cones, acorns, birch logs, and pine branches make great table decor and centerpieces.

Seasonal Produce

Fresh cranberries, citrus fruits, evergreen branches, and poinsettias make lovely arrangements at a winter wedding.

Holiday Decor

For Christmas time, go all out with trees, garlands, wreaths, poinsettias, candles, and lights.

Your Winter Wedding Menu

Warming foods and drinks are a must for winter wedding menus. Consider these winter catering ideas:

-Hearty appetizers: Comfort foods like mini meatballs, mac-and-cheese bites, bacon-wrapped dates, and grilled cheese get guests warmed up.

-Soups and Stews: A rich soup or stew makes a great first course. Opt for potato leek soup, butternut squash, beef bourguignon, or baked potato soup.

-Warm Entrees: Feature braised, roasted, and baked entrees like short ribs, pork tenderloin, chicken pot pie, lasagna, or shepherd's pie.

-Winter Produce: Root vegetables, squash, roasted Brussels sprouts, and oven-roasted veggies complement the season.

-Creative Sides: Think outside the box with sides like goat cheese polenta, wild rice pilaf, roasted cauliflower, or honey-glazed carrots.

-Comfort Starches: Mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin, grits, risotto, and macaroni and cheese are crowd-pleasing.

-Chilled Seafood: Raw bars featuring oysters, crab claws, and shrimp cocktails are refreshing lighter options.

-Seasonal Desserts: Incorporate pumpkin pie, pear tarts, gingerbread cookies, and chocolate pots de crème.

-Warm Beverage Bar: Offer hot chocolate, spiced cider, mulled wine, coffee, and specialty tea to keep guests toasty.

Entertainment Ideas for Your Winter Wedding

Keep your guests engaged with fun winter-themed entertainment.

Live Music

A jazz trio, piano player, or acoustic guitarist would set a classy ambiance.

Fire Dancers

Fire dancers or eaters outside (weather permitting) make for unique entertainment.

Champagne Toasts

Keep a tray of filled champagne flutes circulating for quick celebratory toasts throughout the night.

Cozy Lounge Areas

Set up plush furniture vignettes with blankets and candles for guests to relax and mingle.

Cigar Bar

For late-night revelry, a luxurious cigar bar with winter-inspired cocktails is a unique touch.

Hot Cocktail Bar

Serve festive takes on warm toddies, mulled wine, and spiked ciders.

Dessert Bar

A donut wall or baked goods spread gives guests something sweet.

Band or DJ

Get everyone out on the dance floor with upbeat music from a live band or DJ.

Winter Wedding Emergency Plans

While we hope for clear skies, it’s wise to prepare emergency plans just in case. Here are tips to handle potential winter wedding troubles.

First, we recommend talking with your venue about the potential for power outages, which has been known to occur in Texas during extended freezes and ice storms. Ask about generators and how they handle power outages during an event.

It also would be wise to prepare for the possibility of icy roads interfering with your officiant's ability to conduct your wedding ceremony.

Make a plan for a substitute officiant just in case your first choice is unable to make the trip.

It also wouldn't hurt to have basic emergency provisions on hand like food, water, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, and phone chargers.

And, as we tell couples, no matter when their weddings are taking place, be prepared for the possibility of an emergency postponement. We strongly recommend wedding cancellation and postponement insurance, which will protect you from major financial losses if the weather makes going forward with your wedding plans impossible.

Lighting Tips for a Beautiful Winter Wedding

Proper lighting is crucial for illuminating winter weddings and decor::

- Outdoor string lights. Adorn trees, gazebos, garlands, and pathways with plenty of twinkle lights. Go for white or soft warm hues.

- Up-lighting. Up-lights placed around your reception area will wash walls in cozy colors.

- Candles and lanterns. Groupings of various-sized candles and lanterns make any table glow.

- Chandeliers and sconces. Turn on all gorgeous chandeliers and wall sconces for ambient light.

- Table accents. Use tea lights, low floral arrangements, or small lanterns so guests can see each other.

- Illuminate bar areas. Make sure bar spaces have great lighting so guests at your winter wedding can see for mingling and ordering.

- Highlight focal points. Use spotlights or small floodlights to illuminate focal features like the cake table, welcome table, or dance floor.

- Outdoor path lighting. Line paths with lanterns or solar lights to guide guests if outdoors at night.

- Mirrors & metallics. Strategically place mirrors and metallic accents to bounce light elegantly around the space.

Make Your Winter Wedding Unforgettable

You can avoid potential pitfalls with thorough planning. Aim to keep your focus on comfort, ambiance, and seamlessly handling the unique logistics of a winter wedding. Before you know it, you'll be ready to celebrate your new marriage wrapped in the cozy embrace of winter.

The Bell Tower on 34th is a Houston wedding venue near Spring, TX, with valet parking, an executive chef, and full event planning services.

Our built-for-purpose venue has space for indoor and outdoor events.

Learn about holding a wedding here.

This post first appeared on Wedding And Events Tips, Tricks And Secrets, please read the originial post: here

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Your Guide to Winter Weddings in Houston


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