Celebrating in Winter

January 14, 2013 Updated: April 3, 2013

If you wish to greet guests with a statement of elegance at your wedding this season, consider creating the effect of a winter wonderland.

Incorporate off-white, ivory, and blush tones of fresh flowers in metallic containers such as burnished gold, polished silver, or platinum to achieve a dreamy, romantic ambiance. Faux iced branches, ice crystals, and snow scattered over tables add texture to this pristine look.

Throughout the reception area, cluster containers filled with tall, bare tree branches sprayed either gold or silver and lighted with tiny twinkling lights. With the permission of the facility, pile deep drifts of faux snow (shredded white Styrofoam or Snow Real) for a winter landscape effect.

Decorate tables with tall glass vases filled with faux snow or imitation ice crystals and holding long iced branches in clusters.

Bank up the faux snow and tuck small votive candles at the base of vases for a soft, twinkling light effect. Many facilities now require that you use battery-operated lights. If you use electrically wired lights, be aware of the need to cover electrical wires running to outlets for safety reasons.

A large, carved ice vase filled with flowers would fit perfectly with this icy winter look, if it fits within your budget. Glass vases of flowers in blended whites interspersed throughout the room will complete this winter scene.

Add Warmth With Bouquets

Warm this upscale, icy look with intricate, textural detail in the personal bouquets.

Pin a bouquet of Phalaenopsis orchids to a fur muff for the bride. Choose a popular cascade of orchids for each bridesmaid. Honor the mothers with a cluster of orchids in a keepsake tussie-mussie. Add “ice” by pinning a piece of rhinestone jewelry to personalize bouquets.

If you prefer a more colorful approach, use jewel tones such as deep pink and purple, burgundy, royal blue, dull gold, and russet orange. These colors can be used to give a winter feel without a holiday motif.

Or, really capture the eyes of your guests with a vertical bouquet of purple Cattleya orchids. Evergreens, berries, cones, pods, and branches can be used to enhance winter designs.

Scatter faux jewels on the tables. Use glass mosaic votive holders to reflect the colors. Mix jewel-toned glass vases throughout the tables as containers for your flowers. Fill clear bowls with berries or cranberries and float candles in them.

Concentrate on Comfort

When making your plans, appeal to the five senses to create a feeling of comfort and warmth on a cold winter’s day or evening. Serve hot beverages such as hot chocolate, coffee, or hot tea on the guests’ arrival and offer “to go” cups as they leave.

Musicians play holiday music as the guests enter the building.

Spray the entrance with cinnamon fragrance or other holiday scent. If a fireplace is available, have a roaring fire set to warmly greet your guests. Decorate tabletops with textural materials such as evergreens, pods, and cones.

Consider the Weather

In some parts of the country, inclement weather is a factor to consider. Strive to make guests as comfortable as possible. If there is the chance of snowy or icy roads, consider having the ceremony and reception at the same site to diminish travel for the guests.

Provide a coat check area, a system for coats and wraps, and a person to oversee the process to eliminate confusion. If it is raining, offer a drive-up area for the drop-off of guests and men with umbrellas on hand to assist them.

For a small group, a hotel or bed and breakfast might be considered so that guests can stay overnight. Having the event earlier in the afternoon can keep guests off treacherous roads late at night. If driving could be difficult, you may also decide to forgo serving alcohol so that guests leaving your event can be more safely alert. 

When planning a winter wedding or special event, add natural beauty by utilizing decorative elements of the season in your floral décor. Be cognizant of the weather, even perhaps accommodating its unpredictable nature spontaneously in your event.

Incorporate attentive details of comfort for the pleasure of your guests.

Sharon McGukin is a floral expert, speaker, and author of “Flowers of the Heart” (available on Facebook page). She shares free wedding flower tips, trends, and techniques with consumers at www.facebook.com/flowersoftheheart.weddingtips and www.youtube.com/sharonmcgukin.