Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning the perfect Michigan winter wedding!

Winter weddings in Michigan can be one of the most magical times of the year to say I do. Snow catching in your veil, the sun twinkling through bare trees, and deep-colored bridesmaid dresses can all make for some beautiful photos. However, planning a winter wedding also comes with some potential unexpected circumstances that you want to be prepared for! Winter weddings take a little bit of extra preparation in order to ensure everything runs smoothly, especially here in Michigan. If you’re thinking about having a winter wedding, follow my Ultimate Michigan Winter Wedding guide to guarantee that your wedding is just as dreamy as you’ve imagined

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 1. Be prepared for a lack of snow

If you’re planning a winter wedding in Michigan you want a snowy wedding, but there’s usually no way to be sure that it’s going to snow on your preferred wedding date. Imagine how things would look in your wedding location without snow, just in case. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to have your wedding in a barren field surrounded by dead grass. Look for locations that have evergreen elements, such as pine trees, ivy, or artistic manmade structures. It’s also a good idea to choose a venue that has decorative Christmas lights or bistro string lights, which provide added detail to photos. I also suggest scoping out indoor spaces at your venue walkthrough for any locations that could be used for indoor photos. These usually turn out stunning even without the snow or greenery!

The ivy on this Rochester, Michigan building made the perfect backdrop for Lauren and Jeremy’s winter wedding.
To help warm and out of the chilly temps Jourdan and Nick chose to use the Oxygen Lounge which was adjacent to their venue the H Hotel in Midland, Michigan
Laura and Yotam made the most of their venue choice and did most of their couples photos inside planterra a green house style wedding venue in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 2. Dive into the winter aesthetic

Remember, if you’re having a winter wedding in Michigan, it’s going to be cold! Consider providing heating for your guests, such as color-coordinated blankets that match your theme and space heaters that are accurate for the size of your space. Some venues have fireplaces for guest use, so be sure to ask if these can be incorporated. Utilizing coffee bars or hot cocoa stations to help guests keep warm during your ceremony is also a great idea. And, all of these warming elements can make for some great photo props and backdrops as well!

Dana and Colin made the most of the seasonal decor at their Pine Knob Mansion wedding in Clarkston. Michigan
Veronica and Chris got so lucky with this fresh fluffy snow on their day! It really made the deep bold color choices in Veronica’s bouquet pop! Huge shout out to Michael B Anthony for creating that stunner.
Natalie and Christian didn’t expect snow on their Nov wedding date. It had actually been unseasonably warm in the weeks leading up to her wedding and there was surprise dusting just before the ceremony. This last-minute call to say I do on this snow-covered aisle made for the most stunning photos! The flower Kitten did an amazing job with that hoop arch. It really tied together with the pine tree aesthetic at The Pine Tree barn in Flushing, Michigan.

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 3. Keep your wedding party comfortable

Just as it is super important to keep your guests warm and comfortable, making sure that your wedding party has plenty of extra warmth is a great way to keep everyone happy and having fun. A great way to add a bit of extra warmth (and pizazz) to your bridesmaids’ dresses is the use of shawls or furs, as well as wearing boots with thick socks under long dresses. Additionally, have everyone keep a coat close by for breaks. Try to get creative with adding warm garments to your wedding party’s attire. Garments like gloves, decorative earmuffs, or hairstyles that cover ears could be utilized as a statement piece. These are all easy ways to prevent loss of body heat in subzero temperatures. Remember, keeping your head and feet warm is the best way to keep your body temperature at a stable rate. If you’re having trouble with adding garments, supplying your wedding party, and even guests, with hand and feet warmers, also works well.

Jackie was looking out for her girls when she got them matching fur shawls. This kept the girls toasty while we ventured out into the chilly Michigan air.
Kate was so prepared for her elopement photos, she had worn long johns under her dress, boots with warmers, and tied the look together with this fur shawl. She braved the subzero temps to create these stunning images for her Holly Hotel elopement.
Stephanie went for a vegan-friendly option wearing a blanket shawl for her Lafayette Grande wedding.

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 4. Be aware of how busy winter can be

Make sure to plan your wedding date far enough in advance that you can give your guests plenty of time to make arrangements to be there. Winter months are usually pretty busy for most people, so the earlier you send out your save-the-dates and invitations, the better! Some of the busiest times of the year are as follows:

  • Hanukkah – December (varies yearly)
  • Kwanzaa – December (varies yearly)
  • Christmas – December 25
  • New Year’s Eve – December 31
  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Super Bowl Sunday – typically the first weekend in February
  • Valentines day – February 14

Remember, it is still totally possible for you to have your wedding during any of these times. However, you will either want to first ensure that the people who you definitely want at your wedding can make it regardless of the holiday, or you must be prepared for some guests to already have prior engagements.

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 5. Plan for travel accommodations

As all of my fellow locals know, Michigan winters can be brutal! Michigan weather is notorious for being unpredictable, so having guest accommodations close to your venue will be greatly appreciated. It can be a great idea to have a shuttle for the winter months so that guests aren’t expected to drive in potential bad weather. You might also want to include extra travel time in your itinerary for both the wedding party and guests, just in case there are delays due to bad weather. After all, the weather could turn out exactly as planned, but expecting it to isn’t realistic. It’s always better to be overprepared!

Michigan Winter Wedding guide tip 6. Consider seasonal changes in lighting

The light generally falls faster in winter due to the shorter days, so keeping this in mind when planning your wedding and photoshoots is ideal. We will usually have usable light until around 4:30/5:00pm in December and January and until around 6:00pm in February. This is why choosing to do a first look earlier in the day can be very helpful. When you are able to get a lot of really good photos earlier in the day, when the light is better, there isn’t as big a need to have an early ceremony if you don’t want to. Knowing what times you will have the best light for photos is extremely helpful in planning out your wedding day timeline. For more information on creating a wedding day timeline, you can find a great example here.

Jackie and Brad made the most of their venues exterior lighting with backlit photos on the patio of the Royal Park Hotel
Veronica and Chris used Christmas lights on the street to make the most of their evening photos from their Winter wedding at The Bently
Plantera’s outdoor decor made for a great evening outdoor option at Laura and Yotam’s winter wedding.
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