How to Tweak Your Wedding Details for Another Season
Like many couples whoâ€™ve been forced to postpone their wedding, Emily Johnson and Zachary Reichenbach were not too happy when they had to move their date from May to March.
â€śI was very upset my wedding would no longer be the warm spring event I had envisioned for so long,â€ť says Johnson. â€śThese days, Iâ€™ve been spending a lot of time figuring out ways to modify all the details to make everything, from the flowers to the decor more winter-appropriate.â€ť
Wedding postponements have resulted in many couples having to marry at a time of year that wasnâ€™t part of their original planning, says wedding planner Troy Williams of Simply Troy Lifestyle + Events, a California-based wedding and event planning company. â€śBut with some good insight, itâ€™s easy to succeed and adapt.â€ť
Here, 17 expertsâ€”from florists to bakers and fashion stylistsâ€”share their advice on how to do just that.
What to Consider If You're Going From Warm Weather to Cool Weather
Postponing your wedding from spring or summer into fall or winter? Check out these easy ways to tweak your details.
Add Warm Tones to Your Decor
"I actually tell couples to stick with their primary palette, as thereâ€™s no reason to give up something they already love,â€ť says Courtney Szymkiw, co-owner of Detroit Design Co. in Detroit. â€śSimply add a few warm tones to your color story. If you were planning a spring wedding of blush, peach, and ivory, try including muted tones of toffee, mauve, or ochre. If you had a summer wedding of bright, punchy colors, add some rich shades of plum, navy, or emerald. These additions can be made by updating your table linen color or by incorporating your new color theme into your program or place cards.â€ť
Emily Butler, owner of Karson Butler Events in Washington, D.C., recently took a color palette from a spring wedding and muted it for the fall. â€śBright orange became muted rust, black became charcoal, and bright white became soft ivory.â€ť
â€śI originally wanted the bright colors associated with spring and the beginning of summer incorporated into my wedding plans. But now with a winter wedding, Iâ€™m altering the palette to be a bit more neutral and include more greenery, blush pinks, and dusty blues,â€ť says Johnson.
Ambiance plays a big role in a cool-weather wedding. Itâ€™s all about creating the feeling of being warm, even if itâ€™s cold and dreary outside. â€śLean into bistro lighting, velvet-draped entries, and soft-seating vignettes,â€ť adds Szymkiw.
You can also play with textures and patterns to add depth in the colder months, focusing on colors that accentuate the elements of the venue at that time of the year, suggests Israel Benyair, general manager, Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, Connecticut. â€śDuring the colder months, we like to use a single metallic color, such as copper or brass, throughout our property.â€ť
Layer Elements for Your Tablescape
Luxurious textiles such as velvet, suede, leather, and faux fur make for great linen and napkin options at cold-weather celebrations, while seasonal foliage, including maple branches or evergreen boughs, can introduce rich textures to your cold-weather tablescape. Adding candlelight and layered elements such as mixed metallics or wood can also contribute to the visual warmth, adds Szymkiw.
â€śI encourage couples to embrace the seasonâ€™s bounty as a way to manipulate their original vision,â€ť says Leslie Price, owner of In Any Event in New York City. â€śFor example, they can incorporate seasonal fruits like pears and pomegranate into their floral tablescape to emphasize the time of year.â€ť
Make Fashion Changes Focused on Comfort
Because weddings have become unconventional in terms of personal style, brides can be more creative if they need to tweak their wedding dress for a cooler season. â€śAdd a bolero or sequin jacket, caplet, or shawl to keep you warm,â€ť says Susan Moses, a celebrity stylist and author of The Art of Dressing Curves. â€śSwitch out a strappy shoe or sandal for a beautiful pair of white boots or booties. And consider glovesâ€”fingerless, embroidered fabric, or leatherâ€”which can be an elegant and effortless addition thatâ€™s both fashionable and functional.â€ť
â€śMy fiancĂ© and I, along with our wedding party, have already paid in full for our attire. Depending on what the weather is going to be like, Iâ€™ll likely add some type of shawl so my bridesmaids donâ€™t freeze,â€ť says Johnson.
Grooms can also opt for more seasonal colors when it comes to his shirt, tie, boutonniere, and cummerbund. â€śIf itâ€™s an outdoor affair, he should have a nice tailored coat on hand,â€ť adds Moses. Simple adjustments, including tapping into more formal accessories like bow ties and scarves (in muted colors like deep burgundy, green, and blue) and unexpected fabrics (like suede and velvet), are easy ways to modify the groom and groomsmenâ€™s look.
As for the rehearsal or after-party attire, check out wardrobe rental services like Rent the Runway, T.F. Finnigan, or Nova Octo, especially if youâ€™re only going to wear the dress or suit once. â€śThese companies have large selections of cocktail and gala pieces, plus many have extended their sizes along with their options for men,â€ť shares Moses.
Your Flower Costs May Increase
â€śSeasons in the flower industry have disappeared so couples can find pretty much any flower, at any time of the year, from across the world. For example, you can get peonies from New Zealand in November,â€ť shares Jenya Tsybulskyi, owner of Jenya Flowers in New York City. â€śPlus, [this] is the time when many classic florals come into season, like ranunculuses, anemones, roses, dahlias, marigolds, amaryllis, and chrysanthemums.â€ť
If youâ€™re in love with your palette and donâ€™t want to change it to match your new season, look to texture to provide seasonal cues, says Megan Gray, owner, Honey & Poppies. â€śFor example, an earthy taupe and mauve palette can feel richer and a bit more rustic if executed with autumnal leaves and grasses.â€ť
â€śFor my spring wedding date, I wanted bouquets with blues, pinks, greens, and yellows. Iâ€™ll still use the same flowers I love, including peonies, just in softer hues. I originally did not want any white or ivory florals, but now Iâ€™ll be incorporating white roses or ranunculuses for a more neutral color scheme. I also plan to add some eucalyptus for a bit of greenery,â€ť says Johnson.
Typically, cold weather blooms cost more than warm weather blooms. â€śIf you arenâ€™t able to increase your budget, ask your florist to add in less expensive blooms, such as standard roses, or simply reduce the size of your arrangements,â€ť suggests Gray.
Consider Flavor Changes for Your Cake
Consider adding ingredients like spiced apples, pumpkin, sweet potato, pecan pralines, bourbon, and spiced salted caramel to your cake profile along with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. â€śButtercream remains stable longer in cooler temperatures, so why not accent one with intricate detailing, like Swiss dots, brushed embroidery, or bouquets of dark florals?â€ť asks Randi Smith, owner, Sugar Euphoria in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Moody hues are the perfect complement to winter weddings and these romantic tones can be carried over to your cake. â€śConsider a burgundy, emerald, or grey fondant overlay for your cake,â€ť adds Smith. â€śI also love adding sweater-like textures to the cake design for an unexpected look and incorporate sugar paste berries and pine cones.â€ť Cooler weather brings homemade, traditional desserts to mind. â€śTreats like apple pie shooters and mini pumpkin pies are crowd favorites and the perfect addition to a winter weddingâ€™s dessert table,â€ť suggests Smith.
Turn to Comfort Food
Experts suggest embracing elevated comfort foods at this time of the year. â€śThe tomato and basil bruschetta that was a great option in July can be replaced with a warm truffled goat cheese tart in November, along with passed mini mugs of soup or tiny grilled cheese sandwiches,â€ť says Rachel Razowsky, senior sales consultant for Blue Plate Catering in Chicago. â€śOne of our clients wanted a chicken pot pie station where we filled vol au vent shells with a creamy chicken pot pie filling, curried vegetables, along with lentil and autumn beef stews.â€ť
Some simple side tweaks: Switch out rice for risotto, roasted fingerling potatoes for potato pave, quinoa salad for spiced sweet potatoes, asparagus for roasted brussels sprouts, and pattypan squash for roasted winter squash.
Provide Warm Drinks
As guests enter your venue, welcome them with a tiered warm drink display. â€śThereâ€™s nothing like a hot toddy, warm apple cider, or even hot chocolate to make them feel at home,â€ť notes Benyair. And be sure to adjust your wines, says Butler. â€śCooler temps typically change peopleâ€™s drinking patterns, so your wines should be swapped out accordingly. That fun rosĂ© you planned for your summer soiree probably wonâ€™t be as popular for your winter wedding, as youâ€™ll have more people drinking red wine.â€ť
Capture the Time of Year With Your Photos
The light during the winter months, when the sun arcs lower in the sky, offers beautiful opportunities for photos all day,â€ť says Amy Bunton, co-owner, Amy and Stuart Photography, in Studio City, California. Keep in mind though the sun sets early, between 4 p.m.and 5 p.m., so youâ€™ll need to plan your pictures accordingly. Donâ€™t be afraid to go outside and play in the snow, adds Vanessa Hicks, owner, Vanessa Hicks Photography in San Diego. â€śCapture the time of year with your pictures so youâ€™ll always have those memories.â€ť
Elevate the Guest Experience With Heaters
Tents and heaters are a must when hosting outdoor weddings in cooler months, along with additional details like providing guests with blankets, mittens, hand warmers, or pashminas to add to their comfort level. â€śThis doesnâ€™t have to break the bank as Amazon has pashminas for under $3 each and Ikea is an amazing blanket source,â€ť says Jacin Fitzgerald of Jacin Fitzgerald Events in Atlanta.
When temperatures drop, take advantage of clear tentsâ€”which can create a greenhouse effect during the summer monthsâ€”to allow guests to dine under the stars. â€śEmbrace the season with confetti poppers to mimic snow for the coupleâ€™s entrance or for amusement on the dance floor,â€ť suggests Rea Owens-Byerly, owner of Rea Danielle Designs in Dallas. â€śAnd nothing says cool weather fun like a warm and cozy bonfire with marshmallows, chocolates, and mix-ins like candies or fresh fruit.â€ť
What to Consider If You're Going from Cool Weather to Warm Weather
Postponing your wedding from fall or winter into spring or summer? Check out these easy ways to tweak your details.
Go for Softer Decor Colors
â€śMany times, cool weather weddings have richer, moodier palettes, which can be easily updated by adjusting the color scale. Your fundamental colors are still there, just at a different value,â€ť says Szmkiw. â€śIf your autumn wedding had deep tones of rust, merlot, and navy, take your palette and desaturate the tones to a softer color story. Rust becomes peach, merlot becomes mauve, and navy becomes cornflower.â€ť Agrees Price, â€śWarm weather weddings offer a broad choice of color palettes from soft pastels to bold and bright combinations, but transitioning from cold to warm doesnâ€™t mean you have to change your look entirelyâ€”many colors, including navy or gray, cross seasons effortlessly.â€ť
Create a Tablescape With Lighter Materials
You can easily deconstruct your tablescape to visually lighten and brighten your wedding design, notes Szymkiw. â€śRemove the heaviness of linens and opt for a gauzy, sheer runner, thrown tousled and mussed across a raw wood or acrylic table. A peach table runner, matte mauve taper candles, and cornflower glass stemware immediately transport a cool-weather wedding to June. Break from the density of winter floral and foliage by leaning into colorful, garden-inspired bursts of flowersâ€”such as ranunculuses, scabiosa, and anemonesâ€”to create an airy movement of dancing blooms within your centerpieces.
Remove Layers for Improved Comfort
Most bridal gowns are made of seasonless fabricsâ€”like lace, taffeta, silk, jersey, and tulleâ€”so the material most likely wonâ€™t weigh you down if you suddenly have to shift to a warmer month. â€śThe problem may be more about style, for example, a dress with long sleeves or a closed-up neck,â€ť says Moses. â€śIf this is the case, consult with a seamstress to make any adjustments or alterations.â€ť
The key to modifying a winter gown to withstand a warm-weather ceremony sometimes involves removing a layer of tulle, adds Blaire Walsh, style director at Rent the Runway. Speaking of tulle, warmer weather brides might opt to shorten their veil length to keep things light.
The groom may have a more difficult adjustment, especially if his suit is made of heavier fabric like wool, notes Moses. â€śMost likely, heâ€™ll need to rent or purchase a suit in a lighter fabric.â€ť Adopt a lighter hue, such as beige, soft gray, or ivory, when it comes to the groomâ€™s tie, cummerbund, and shoes. â€śIf the groom is open to a more casual look, consider pants and a linen shirt and vest,â€ť says Moses. The wedding party needs to follow the direction of the bride and the groom, whether that be a palette change or the addition of a coordinating accessory, so everyone is stylistically in unison. â€śAccessory trends for warmer weather ceremonies are more accepting of bright pops of color, which is an easy way to coordinate your wedding party,â€ť notes Walsh.
Add Spring Textures for Seasonal Cues
â€śThere are many local flowers in bloom at this time of yearâ€”including daffodils, tulips, orchids, poppies, and sweet peasâ€”so thereâ€™s no need to look far for your florals,â€ť notes Tsybulskyi. If youâ€™re in love with your palette and donâ€™t want to change it to match your new season, add spring textures to provide your seasonal cues, including wildflower blooms.
With so many flowers in bloom this time of year, you can also utilize in-season blooms to surprise guests. â€śCreate a unique guest experience by having your florist host a flower bar during your cocktail hour or reception so guests can create miniature bouquets to take home with them when the night is over,â€ť suggests Owens-Byerly.
Consider Fruits for Your Cake
â€śSeasonal fruits are readily available at this time, including berries and citrus, making it easier to source local produce for your cake,â€ť says Smith. â€śTry a lemon cake with strawberry buttercream filling or a coconut cake with tart passion fruit filling.â€ť Fondant is ideal for warmer weather because it acts as an insulator, preventing a cakeâ€™s interior from warming up too quickly. Use edible dust and paints to create vibrant motifs, including fun watercolor-like designs and ombrĂ© shading.
You can also decorate with fruitâ€”think slices of oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. â€śI like to recreate spring flowers, like tulips and daffodils, out of gum paste when decorating cakes in the warmer months,â€ť says Cassidy Budge Harrison, owner, Flour & Flourish in Orem, Utah.
Go Light When It Comes to Food
Nowâ€™s the time to lighten up on most everything. â€śInstead of a heavy red wine on your beef, try a chimichurri sauce or a tomato relish,â€ť says Razowsky. â€śOne of our brides had her heart set on comfort food for her winter wedding. We reminded her summer also provides an opportunity for comfort meals, and included a grilled steak served with cornmeal-crusted leeks (fancy onion rings), served with green beans and charred cherry tomatoes along with a barbecued chicken with a peach barbecue sauce and farmers market corn.â€ť
Vegetarian meals shine in warmer weather like quinoa-stuffed piquillo pepper with legumes and tomato jam, and sushi is always refreshing in the heat. Some simple side tweaks: Switch out mashed potatoes for sweet corn succotash, braised kale for broccolini, squash or turnips for white asparagus. â€śWe replace hot soups and bisques with lighter dishes like grilled watermelon salad with baby arugula and local feta cheese and grill the tips of asparagus and place them on a whipped goat cheese crostini,â€ť adds Keith Sarasin, owner of New Hampshire-based The Farmers Dinner and author of Farmers Dinner Cookbook: A Story in Every Bite.
Having your wedding in the summer means you can also bring out some playful desserts for your guests like Popsicles, ice cream sandwiches, and key lime tarts, adds Smith.
Switch to Cold Drinks
Youâ€™ll need to reconsider your warm specialty cocktails and adapt them accordingly. Switch out your hot chocolate for a lemonade or iced tea stand, and your warm apple cider for Popsicles made of Champagne.
"Work with your venue to transform winter cocktails into summery delights," suggests Owens-Byerly. "If bourbon was featured in your specialty cocktail, opt for an icy bourbon rickey or bourbon strawberry iced tea instead of a hot toddy or a classic old-fashioned. If you canâ€™t let go of the idea of a boozy coffee station, swap it out for a boozy iced coffee cart.â€ť
Also, take advantage of all of the fresh berries that are at your disposal during warmer months and include them at a mimosa or Champagne bar, she suggests.
Think About Comfort During Photo Sessions
Heat and the quality of light all come into play during warmer months. â€śFor comfort, we recommend couples schedule their photography 20 minutes before and 10 minutes after sunset because summer light in the middle of the day can not only be quite harsh and unforgiving, but hot and uncomfortable as well,â€ť notes Bunton. â€śDuring the warmer months, youâ€™ll have more daylight to work with, but the downside is youâ€™ll have to wait longer for a sunset shot, which can shorten the length of your reception.â€ť
Keep Guests Cool and Comfortable
Providing guests with hand fans, sun parasols, chilled hand towels or iced beverages upon arrival is always a good idea.â€śAt a really hot July wedding, we put ice cold water in spray bottles and cheerily welcomed all the guests by spritzing them upon arrival with the refreshing water,â€ť says Williams. â€śThe guests laughed and loved the joyfulness as they were sprayed and were grateful for a quick cool down.â€ť
Take this idea to the next level by honoring your original date. â€śJust because your date changed from cold weather to warm doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t still rock the cold in a creative way,â€ť says Fitzgerald, who suggests ice cones or a snow machine for an unexpected nod to colder weather.
But don't forget to embrace your new season, too. At warm weather weddings, flip-flops are one way to ensure your guests will continue dancing throughout the night, adds Price. â€śHopefully, by the time warm weather rolls around, we will all be dancing again!â€ť