Board #278 | Winter Wonderland (Budget Friendly #10)

Holding your wedding on an off-day, or in the off-season, is a great way to save. You’ll have an easier time negotiating prices with vendors on a Friday than on a Saturday, and certainly in the winter than in the spring and summer months. Seasonal elements are also key to sticking to a budget, and there are so many lovely details that are unique to a winter wedding.

Who says…you have to get married in June?

Mood: winter sophistication
Palette: evergreen, shades of brown, white

{click image to enlarge}

Top row from left: altar via Elizabeth Anne Designs, cupcakes photo by Frances Photography, calligraphy by Tara Jones, winter bride from Martha Stewart Weddings
Row 2: pinecone boutonniere by Jo Gartin for In Style Weddings, the War Memorial Green Room via Weddingbee, photo by Tiffany Aicklen
Row 3: customized matchbooks by Amber Chic, gloves from Martha Stewart Weddings, candle centerpieces from Red Orchid Design, photo via Cannelle et Vanille
Row 4: ice candles from Mi Mi Design, crabcakes from La Gentille Bonne, pinecone escort cards photo by Carol Masica, blusher veil from Martha Stewart Weddings

The Paper: Having a calligrapher write out invitations in your favorite script is a formal and elegant option that is significantly cheaper than going through an entire graphic design process. Instead of letterpress, probably your most expensive option, go with offset or thermography which can be just as beautiful and are certainly significantly cheaper.

The Fashion: A long-sleeved dress is perfect for a winter wedding. Accessorize with a pair of vintage short gloves borrowed from your mother or grandmother, or found at an antique shop, and a second-hand blusher veil. To go with the season, the groom could wear a sweater vest under his jacket, which he could easily wear again after the wedding.

The Decor: Seasonal floral options are limited in the winter, but not to worry! Candles are cheaper than most flowers, and en masse they create a warm and romantic atmosphere. Branches, evergreens, and pine cones are all great non-floral options. For some color, spray paint branches or pine cones gold or silver, or something completely unexpected, and group them together for a winter centerpiece. Finally, by choosing a beautiful venue, you’ll have less decorating to do, so that might be a place to consider splurging.

The Flowers: Forgo the floral bouquet and boutonnieres, and instead go with what’s in season. Carry a crescent wreath of evergreen, or even a fur muff, and make boutonnieres out of pine cones or a sprig of mistletoe. Not only will you save by going with what’s in season, but you’ll create a look that works with a winter setting.

The Food: Again, go seasonal (this is a good budget tip for any season, not just winter). Take advantage of ingredients that aren’t as readily available the rest of the year, such as Alaskan king crab, squash, and cranberries. For dessert, serve cupcakes in a variety of your favorite flavors, keeping them relatively simple to keep costs down. To warm your guests up, set up a hot cocoa buffet, where they can customize cups of hot chocolate with whipped cream, spices, or a peppermint stick – and if you want this to be your signature cocktail, you might include Kahlua or crème de menthe as an option, too!

Other Details: With so many candles lighting up your venue, customized matchbooks are a great favor for a low price. You can find them at For Your Party for about 50-cents apiece, or check out this free printable matchbook notebook cover by the fabulous Ez of Creature Comforts.

Splurges: If you go with the calligraphed invitation, it makes sense that your envelopes would be calligraphed as well – for $1.50 to $4 each depending on the calligrapher that you choose, it might be a splurge that you go for.

For Free: Before your wedding, sign up for a free makeover at your favorite cosmetics counter. You’ll probably have to buy a few pieces of makeup, but the makeup artist can create a look for you for your wedding, and often give you a makeup sheet to take with you and re-create the look on your own. Practice a few times before the wedding, though, to make sure you’re comfortable doing your own makeup.

Real Wedding Inspiration: Amanda & Matt by Jessica Johnston, and Amanda & Brett by Laura Novak


  • Colleen says:

    I think I’d like to use that altar idea in my own wedding, but with a more rustic fall twist. What an elegant idea!

    And who knew cupcakes could be so chic?

  • DomestiGals says:

    Ok, that pinecone boutonniere is the CUTEST winter wedding idea I have ever seen! Makes me wish I were getting married in winter but also inspired for what flower alternatives we can use for my fall wedding…

    I also love candles and hope to incorporate as many of them as possible.

    Thanks Kathryn, as always, for the inspiration! Jen xx

  • Mrs. in May says:

    One of the most beautiful weddings I have been to was in Rhode Island in February, we of course, all thought the bride was crazy. It was gorgeous, the bride wore a satin cape with a fur hood that her aunt made, it was absolutely stunning and looked great with her red red lipstick – which would not like right on just anyone.

  • Sarah says:

    I LOVE winter weddings! They always feel more elegant to me…and for flowers, there are always anemones…locally greenhouse grown in upstate NY. So pretty.

  • Both of our sets of parents got married in December:
    – My mother in law wore a full lenght cape trimmed with white fir. She looked like a snow queen.
    – My mom had a bouquet of holly and ivy, both in season and festive.
    – My mom’s best budget wedding tip: get married after Christmas (they got married on the 28th) and you don’t have to pay a penny to decorate the church… it was laden with beutiful decorations already.

  • Suzie says:

    Thank You!!! I’m getting married in January next year and couldn’t find much for winter weddings on here when i first found you although I’ve pieced together my own inspiration board. So great, I was having a tough time with the winter wedding at first but I’m SO excited now, it’s going to be great. Thanks!

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