Winter is often considered the off-season for weddings, but having your ceremony during the coldest months of the year can make it extra-special.  particularly if you incorporate some creative elements guests don’t expect. Here are seven winter wedding ideas to turn your big day into a winter wonderland fairy tale. These ideas will delight guests and make lasting memories you can treasure for years to come.

1. Set a snowy scene

Snow and winter sometimes seem inseparable, so bring some of that magical feel into your ceremony and reception. While you can’t control the weather and guarantee snow, you could rent a machine.  A snow machine can be a good imitation of the fluffy white flakes.   You could use it to send flurries drifting down while you enjoy your first dance or exchange vows. Faux snow piled along aisles and sprinkled onto wedding greenery enhances the effect even more.

2. Light up your winter wedding with sparklers

Early sunsets and deep, dark nights this time of year make wedding sparklers a must-have accessory for winter weddings. These extra long sparklers have burn times of up to three minutes, so guests can enjoy the dazzling glow while they create a gorgeous backdrop for your send-off. Lighting and waving sparklers as the happy couple runs past also makes guests feel like they’re part of the event.  Instead of just watching or attending your wedding, emphasizing the intimate connections between family and friends during this magical evening.

3. Fill the venue with seasonal florals

Eschew the big tropical blossoms and go with winter greenery for your bouquet and decorations. Small white flowers and bright red berries add a festive feel to deep green garlands of evergreens and sprays of holly. You could also include winter-blooming flowers, such as poinsettias, amaryllis, paperwhites and anemones.  These can make a dramatic impression that’s seasonally appropriate. Think about adding some pine cone accents to the table arrangements and room decor if you’re wedding theme is on the rustic side.

4. Create a romantic mood with candlelight

Make your evening wedding shine with a bevy of candles placed throughout your venue. Use an assortment of votives or pillar candles in varying heights to add visual interest to reception tables and ledges. Hanging candles from bare branches, arranging candles on reflective mirrored panels or creating vintage-style candle chandeliers to light your ceremony are some other ways you can add romantic natural candlelight to your winter wedding.

5. Warm up wedding guests with a hot chocolate bar

A hot chocolate bar adds an element of fun to an indoor or outdoor wedding and warms up guests while they enjoy the event. Create a self-serve station with hot cocoa in a temperature-controlled dispenser.  Arrange an assortment of toppings that guests can add to customize their drink. Potential additions might include chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, whipped cream, caramel sauce, peppermint sticks and white chocolate shavings. Set up a stack of pre-warmed ceramic or copper mugs at a nearby table and place a sign nearby encouraging guests to create their own tasty cocoa concoctions.

6. Focus on textures

Winter is a time for tactile experiences, and incorporating a variety of textures into your wedding day attire and decor adds an extra dimension to your event. If your decor is nature-inspired, include knotty wood, rough bark, crinkly leaves and crisp pine needles in centerpieces and floral displays. An elegant winter wedding might be the place to showcase soft faux furs, rich velvet and fine metallic glitters. Sleek metallic materials, shimmering satin and intricate crochet are other textures you may want to incorporate into your wedding winter wonderland.

7. Leave guests with cozy memories

Incorporate a seasonal touch into your wedding favors by handing out plush throws or cozy his-and-hers wool blankets to guests. Pretty, practical and oh-so-warm, these favors are sure to be used over and over again. Another cozy favor guests can appreciate throughout the winter months is a hot cocoa package. These can include powdered mix, a mug and a selection of toppings that lets them recreate the hot chocolate bar experience at home.

Whether you’re brightening up an evening ceremony with wedding sparklers from Direct Sparklers or serving up sweet sips at a hot chocolate bar during the reception, we hope these winter wonderland wedding ideas will help make your special day the highlight of the season.