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Winter Weddings: Dos and Don'ts of Winter Weddings

Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling -- and for you, wedding bells are ringing! Here are our tips to make your winter wedding fabulous.

Photo: Brinton Studios

Weddings aren't just spring and summer affairs these days. More and more couples are opting to marry during what used to be the "off season" for nuptials, and why not? The romantic ambience of a snowy landscape, the relative lack of competition for vendors and sites -- there's lots to love about having a winter wedding. Read on for some of our tips on how to make yours memorable.

Don't: Be Afraid to Experiment With Color

You shouldn't feel bound to a palette of winter whites, greens, and reds that traditionally surround the holiday season. Why not choose bold, bright colors and create a tropical wonderland of mango oranges, Key lime greens, or pineapple yellows? It sounds counterintuitive, but it can actually create a fun, unexpected setting for your guests.

Do: Dress Your Bridesmaids in Style...

Throw out the old-school rules that say you have to wear certain fabrics depending on the time of year you're getting married. It's completely okay to choose a strapless dress rather than one with long sleeves, or silk charmeuse rather than double-faced satin -- go with whatever works for your wedding style and your bridesmaids' bodies. Check out photos of our favorite bridesmaid dresses.

...But Don't: Leave Them Freezing!

Remember, though, you can't be overly picky about what they wear when your bridesmaids are outdoors (which they will be, even if it's just to dash from the limo to the church). If you've opted for glitzy heels that would be hazardous in snow (let alone ice), be okay with them toting along sneakers or boots to get from one place to the next. And obviously, coats are a must -- in most parts of the country, it'll take more than a pashmina to ward off the winter chill. Get more ideas for winter wedding accessories.

Do: Create a Cozy Reception...

There are plenty of ways to make your reception an even more inviting space. With the sun setting early, candles will create a romantic glow right from the start of your party. To add to the ambience, consider bringing in lush, soft textures: Think velvet ribbon tied around each napkin or chenille pillows and throws in a lounge area.

...But Don't: Let It Overheat

Okay, we know it's cold outside, but things may heat up on your dance floor. If it seems like guests are breaking a serious sweat, ask your wedding coordinator or site manager to turn the heat down a notch. Another option: If there are separate thermostats for different areas of your reception space, set the one for the dance floor area a few degrees lower.

Do: Be Gracious to Your Guests...

There are tons of winter-inspired ways you can thank your guests for joining you at your wedding. Winter- or holiday-themed favors are always favorites, like ornaments with each guest's name on them before Christmas or delectable truffles near Valentine's Day. Another option is do an extra late-night snack. We love the idea of giving out hot cocoa with shortbread cookies or mulled apple cider with gingerbread. See more top winter wedding ideas.

...But Don't: Leave Them Out in the Cold!

If you want to have a receiving line, plan ahead of time how it will work so guests aren't left freezing outside. If your ceremony space has a large enough entryway or vestibule, you may be able to wait there and have guests greet you after the ceremony. To hold a receiving line at the reception, do it inside rather than greeting guests as they enter. That way, when the line starts to bottleneck, guests in the back aren't left waiting (and shivering) to get indoors.

-- Kate Wood

See More: Winter Weddings