How To Choose A Winter Wedding Location

With the snow starting to fall outside that means only one thing. Winter is coming! Winter weddings in the snow are so much fun. But choosing a destination for your winter wedding can be tricky when there are so many awesome locations to choose from. So how do you choose a winter wedding location?

How To Choose A Winter Wedding Location

 

1 – Where In The World Do You Want To Get Married?

The first thing you can do is split the destinations down in to 2 main categories:

Alpine Regions

For example Austria, Switzerland, Italy or France

A ski wedding in Kitzbuehel Austria by Wild Connections Photography
A Winter Wedding in Austria by Wild Connections Photography

Nordic Regions

For example Lapland (northern Norway, Finland & Sweden) or Iceland

A destination wedding in Finland in the winter by Lucie Watson Photography
A Destination Wedding In Finland by Lucie Watson Photography

2 – The Overall Vibe and Setting You Have In Mind

Do you dream of snow-capped mountain peaks, skiing down the pistes in your wedding gear, and having a good old apres-ski style knees up in a ski chalet? Or is your dream to travel to your wedding by husky sleigh and watch the northern lights under the frozen arctic skies and sleeping in an igloo on your wedding night?

Nothern lights appear after a Lapland elopement at Kakslauttanen arctic resort in Finland by Your Adventure Wedding
A Lapland Elopement Adventure by Your Adventure Wedding

 

3 – The Time Of Year You Want To Marry & The Climate

If you’ve decided on a winter wedding, you probably want a snowy winter wonderland. December to March are the best months for winter wedding locations in the northern hemisphere, as they usually receive the most snowfall, but due to climate change, the winters are becoming a lot more unpredictable. Many regions in the alps haven’t had significant snowfalls before January in the last few years.

The next thing to think about is the number of daylight hours. In winter the days are shorter, and the further north you travel, the shorter the days become. Lapland is beautiful in the winter time but in December and January but you may only have 3-4 hours of daylight, compared to around 7-8 hours in the month of February.

Also look at the average weather and temperatures for the winter months in the different destinations. If you want to experience the snow but not sub-freezing temperatures, early springtime might be better than mid-winter. It’s not unusual for example, to still have plenty of snow on the mountains in the alps in March and have temperatures of around 15-20°C in the sunshine.

The bride and groom stand as small figures against at snowy landscape after their lapland elopement at Kakslauttanen arctic resort in Finland by Your Adventure Wedding
Lapland Elopement by Your Adventure Wedding

 

4 – The Experience You Want

Similar to thinking about the overall vibe, think about the experience that you want your guests to have. For winter wedding locations in the alps you’ve got options such as skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. In the northern regions you’ve got reindeer and husky sledding, snowshoeing and northern lights safaris. You’ll also find more igloos and ice hotels in the Scandinavian regions although there are also some in the alpine regions now too.

Wedding party do a shot ski at their ski wedding by Wild Connections Photography
Ski wedding in Austria by Wild Connections Photography

 

5 – Ease Of Travel

Is your dream destination easy to get to? Can you get direct flights to a nearby airport with convenient options for onward travel? Are there daily flights or can you only fly in and out on Saturdays between December and March? It’s useful to check out your travel options before booking any venue to make sure that you and your guests can get there and back with relative ease.

A bride and groom say their wedding vows on a mountain top in the Austrian Alps by Wild Connections Photography
A mountain top wedding ceremony in the Alps by Wild Connections Photography

 

6 – Average Costs Of Weddings In That Location

Some destinations have a reputation for being expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find a perfect location that also fits your budget. Ask around in Facebook groups and online forums for advice from couples who’ve got married in the same areas if you’re not sure about the costs.

Also, research the high and low tourist seasons in the area. Although this might not directly affect the prices of your wedding suppliers, the costs of travel and accommodation could increase greatly if you visit in the high tourist season, such as Christmas, New Year or the school holidays.

Winter wedding confetti like snow in Finland by Lucie Watson Photography
A winter wedding in Finland by Lucie Watson Photography

 

7 – Legal Requirements

If you’re planning on having a legally binding ceremony abroad, make sure you find out if that is actually possible as a non-resident of that country, and what the restrictions are, if any. If you’ve decided to sign the official papers before you leave home, you’ll have a lot more options open to you in terms of where you can have your overseas ceremony.

 

Winter wedding in the mountains couple walking across the snow by Delia Folghera Photography
A Winter wedding in Switzerland by Delia Folghera Photography

 

8 – Ease of Planning

Is this location in an area where you feel confident planning the wedding and contacting suppliers yourself or would you need a wedding planner to arrange everything for you?

Finland Wedding couple embrace in the snow wearing blankets to keep warm by Maria Hedengren Photography
A pre-wedding shoot in Finland by Maria Hedengren Photography

 

Have I forgotten anything? If you’ve got any more tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

 

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Author: Cat Ekkelboom-White

Cat is the editor of We Are The Wanderers as well as a photographer for Wild Connections Photography and mentor at the Adventure Wedding Academy.

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