Outdoor Weddings in Cold Climates

The weather outside is getting nippy, but that’s no excuse not to celebrate in the great outdoors! Open-air weddings need a little extra planning during the winter months, but with the right preparation you and your guests will be cozy as can be.

Choosing the Right Party Rentals

You probably don’t already own a gigantic event tent or 15 portable space heaters. That’s fine! The party rentals vendors in your city will be happy to help. When you talk with party rental specialists, be sure to provide as many details about your event as possible. That way, they will be able to help you decide exactly what type of rentals will best meet your needs.

To hold in heat and keep the breeze out, the most popular choice is a tent. Tents come in many materials, shapes, colors, and sizes. If you’re expecting a drop in temperature as evening comes on, look for tents with attachable walls. That way, you can enjoy a more open-air feeling while the sun is out and a more insulated space after dark. Tent walls can be opaque or they can have built-in clear windows so your guests can still appreciate the view.

Always rent a tent that’s slightly bigger than what you think you’ll need based on your guest list alone; that way, your guests will have room to walk and navigate around furnishings.

You’ll also need to rent portable heaters. When combined with a walled tent, the heat is contained and portable heaters will make your space very cozy in no time. Heaters come in many variations, so give some thought as to what factors are most important to you. Do you want to focus on sheer heating power? Would you like them to be decorative and to match your wedding theme? Some heaters come with their own stands, while others can be hung from the tent supports. Not all heaters are rated for safety in combination with all types of tents, so rent both from the same company and ask their opinion to be safe.

Give Toasty Favors

Even though you said in the invitations to dress warmly, some guests will show up unprepared for the weather. Help them out by providing wedding favors that can be used to keep warm. Think of charming, cold-weather accessories like hats, mittens, and scarves. These can be emblazoned with your names and wedding date for useful favors your guests are sure to wear again.

To further help chilly guests, you can provide a bin or rack of warm coats, hats, and scarves near the door. Your guests can borrow these loaner items and return them to the rack at the end of the reception. Worried about your winter coats wandering off? Arrange a thrift store shopping adventure before your wedding and stock up on inexpensive apparel. If you’re having an offbeat party and want to inject a little bit of fun, you can even stock your rack with costume-type coats in fun-fur of different brilliant colors.

Serve a Steamy Menu

Nothing warms people up like wrapping their hands around a steaming beverage. Serve a gourmet twist on coffee, tea, and hot chocolate for a tasty treat that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Not only will the hot beverages themselves be welcome, but coffee, tea, and chocolate stations provide places for mingling guests to congregate.

Why wait for dinner to enjoy a hearty soup? Shot glasses of hot soup provide a quick taste of a wide range of flavors. Serve trays of winter classics like roast squash and red pepper bisque, black bean and tortilla soup, chicken noodle, Italian meatball, and clam chowder. You can layer thick soups with complimentary flavors for a striking visual effect in a tall, clear glass. Don’t forget to garnish!

Get People Dancing

Get your guests dancing and they won’t even notice the temperature outside. It can be a challenge to get shy guests on the dance floor, but once a few start, the floor will be packed all night. As you’re shopping for DJs, it’s important to find someone who can read the mood of the crowd. Visit other events where they’re DJing, if possible, to witness their skills in person. If the dance floor is packed at other events, the DJ can probably work a similar magic at your wedding. The same is true for hiring energetic live bands.

Enjoy a Cozy Atmosphere

Winter is a very romantic season, and the temperature makes many things possible that warmer weddings can’t enjoy–such as a fur-trimmed wedding gown or departing your ceremony in a horse-drawn sleigh. Whether you’re warming your guests with soothing comforts like hot tea and mittens, or you’re contrasting the cold with fire dancers and high-energy music, you’ll surely create a unique event that will stand out as more memorable than your average wedding.