Winter Weddings: Simple Tips from a Celebrity Planner

Gorgeous and Glowing Winter Nuptials

Even though it was over 20 years ago, Rachel Brown Jamison still gets starry-eyed when she recalls the details of her friend’s winter wedding.

“She had her wedding in a chapel at night,” says Jamison. “The chapel windows all had small arrangements with taper candles, and they kept the lights lower in the chapel so that it glowed. The bridesmaids wore dark green velvet, and it was very romantic.”  

While most brides probably shy away from hosting a winter wedding due to hustle bustle of the holiday season and the potential for winter storms, there is a lot to be said for the special charm a winter wedding can offer.

Celebrity event designer and television personality Samantha Goldberg likes to think outside the box when it comes to planning winter weddings. She has even created unique themes—from a South Beach Winter Wonderland to a New Year’s Eve celebration complete with eco-friendly confetti—to fulfill her client’s desires. 

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And while some of her clients spare no expense when it comes to their special day, Goldberg says that couples can still have a lovely wedding without breaking the bank. No matter what your budget, “you can do things that are very dramatic,” she said.

When planning a winter wedding, the couple first needs to determine what it is that they like about the season. Then they may want to work with a wedding planner to determine ways they can implement those characteristics into their wedding. Since it’s usually not feasible to bring the wedding outside during this time of year, Goldberg enjoys finding ways to bring the winter elements inside. 

For couples looking to do the same, Goldberg offers these creative tips to turn any venue from drab to fab.


If you want to recreate “that special blue sky on a crisp winter night, take it to the walls with Par Can (lights). It’s the least expensive way to light up a room at $15 to $30 per light,” when it comes to rentals, Goldberg says.

To save even more money, look online since brides often sell Par Can lights after their wedding is over. “You can pay it forward when you’re done! Sell them again and gain back your investment.” 

Goldberg notes that black is the typical color for a Par Can, but “you can use a heat resistant white or a multi-color spray paint line to match the room. You can also buy light bulbs that have a remote, which allow for millions of colors with just a tap of the remote. This runs anywhere from $3.50 to $11 each.”

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Color Themes

Just because you might chose to have a winter wedding doesn’t mean you have to stick with winter white. Goldberg recently worked on a wedding that used white, but also mixed in chocolate and blue colors.

Tree Branches and Snow Balls

“If you like branches and you have decent height in the reception area, go for curly willow or a Manzantia tree-like branch. You can spray this white, silver, or keep the natural state.  You can also make pomander balls (aka kissing balls) in white. Wide carnations are the most reliable and an easy way to make this ball,” Goldberg says, noting that carnations are generally inexpensive and a new type of carnation that resembles a rose has become quite popular.

Those who use branches may want to hang snowballs or snowflakes from them using ornament hooks. “Attach them to the pomanders on the trees and add candles in frosted glass with a mirror as its base. Fill the glass mirror enough to show some reflection of the glistening light,” Goldberg suggests.

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For couples who chose to incorporate white in their theme, make sure to use white linens so you can light up the table with LED lights, giving the room a pristine winter white effect. “You can take the white and turn it into something mystical,” Goldberg says, adding, “It changes everything and takes the focus off areas that you may not like, such as the wall color, carpet, and yes, even the chairs—especially ones with covers!” 

According to Goldberg, an LED light block rents at around $20 to $35 per table, but some DJs can provide them upon request.

“Textured linens can also (be used to) make something as simple as multi-cylinder vases rapped with a ribbon. Close the cut portion off by using a hot glue gun,” Goldberg says. You should then cover the seam with a snowflake or another type of decoration. Take the extra snowflakes and some raffia and use them to decorate napkins.

The price tag for the cylinder vase, one spool of ribbon (1.5 to 3 inches wide), and a pillar candle runs about $10 per table. 


Using the same pomander ball, “purchase a plain, clear vase (that’s about) 6.5 to 14 inches and place it on top. Fill the vase with clear round ornament balls and use a submersible light in any color to light up the inside. No wires, no fuss! This can be accomplished weeks before the wedding too.”

 As another option, those who celebrate Christmas may want to put tiny pine trees on the tables. To give the pine trees some extra pizzazz, spray them with fake snow or glitter. Then, surround the trees with votives and pillar candles. This is certain to “bring the soft feel of winter indoors in an organic or enhanced organic way,” Goldberg says. 

Whether you choose to go with a vase or a pine tree centerpiece, “don’t forget the cotton round that most use under their Christmas tree. That gives feel of fresh snow around the centerpiece. Sometimes it costs less than $1!” For a special touch, add crystals or decorative pieces to the trees and napkin rings.

Wedding Planners

As a final piece of advice, couples who decide to work with a wedding planner should take the time to meet him or her before signing a contract. “Ask lots of questions, ask if they are insured, and ask for referrals of clients and/or vendors,” Goldberg cautions. If you don’t like what you hear, “follow your gut girls! If it feels wrong, it usually is.”

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