Closeup of bride smiling at her groom outdoors

How To Plan a Winter Wedding in New Orleans

Events, New Orleans, Weddings

Looking for a guide to how to plan a winter wedding in the Crescent City? It’s all in the details, from the decor, to the clothing, to the catering you choose.

Warmer months may be more traditional for weddings, but there’s something magical about a winter romance in the Big Easy. Whether it’s the cozy, comfortable weather or the festive atmosphere of the holiday season, a winter wedding offers a truly one-of-a-kind backdrop for your big day. It also comes with some unique challenges and considerations, but careful planning can ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

Ready to make your event a day you’ll never forget? Here’s how to plan a winter wedding in New Orleans like the pros!

Choose Your Venue Wisely

Finding the perfect place for your wedding is always tricky, but your choice of venue is even more crucial during the winter. If you’re planning an outdoor event, think about how the setting might change with the seasons. More importantly, keep accessibility and logistics in mind. If the weather turns poor, will your guests be able to safely access and get around the venue?

One way to address this is to choose a venue you can use for both your ceremony and reception. In addition to simplifying planning, this ensures your guests won’t have to brave the elements to get from one event to the next. A location with on-site accommodations can make things even easier, allowing you and your loved ones to focus on spending time together and enjoying the festivities without worrying about the forecast.

Alternatively, spend some time putting together a foolproof backup plan in case something goes wrong with your primary venue. Although snow, ice and extreme cold are uncommon in New Orleans, good planning is all about contingencies, particularly if you choose an outdoor wedding venue. If you’re able to adapt to inclement weather and other unforeseen problems quickly, nothing can get in the way of your special day.

Embrace the Winter Theme

A winter wedding is something of a blank slate, providing a fabulous opportunity to let your creativity run wild. Whether you prefer the traditional look of holiday-tinged reds and greens or the striking contrast of bold black and metallic hues, your options for winter wedding color palettes are almost limitless. Rich, warm colors and natural tones are especially popular, helping to create a suitably romantic and inviting atmosphere. On the other hand, soft silver and blue conjure up images of falling snow, whether or not you get to see snow on your New Orleans wedding day.

Of course, a stunning color palette is only the start. From twinkling candles and string lights to greenery and glittering garland, there are countless season-appropriate elements you can incorporate into your winter wedding decor. For the ultimate in cozy ambiance, however, it’s hard to beat the classic crackling fire. While it’s not an option in every venue, a grand fireplace or outdoor fire pit can serve as the ideal centerpiece to set the mood for your celebration.

Get an Early Start on Your Planning

Timing is everything when you’re working out how to plan a winter wedding. The holiday season can be a busy and hectic time for many people, so send out your save-the-dates as early as possible before your guests make other plans. To reduce the risk of travel delays, it’s also best to avoid a date that’s too close to a major holiday. Also keep in mind that winter weather in your guests’ home locations could also impact their flights, so remember to check the weather beyond New Orleans as well.

As for the event itself, remember that you’ll have less daylight to work with than you would in the summer. You may need to start earlier or make other adjustments to your schedule, especially if you’re planning on having your ceremony or reception outdoors. This can impact your wedding photos as well, so check with your photographer to pin down the best time for any outdoor shots you’d like to take.

Keep Your Guests Cozy at Your Winter Wedding in New Orleans

While New Orleans is far from a frozen tundra, you’ll still need to account for the cold if you’re planning a winter wedding. To start, make sure everyone knows what kind of weather to expect and consider adopting a more cold-friendly dress code. A coat check is a nice touch, but simply designating an area for storing outerwear is also acceptable.

If you’re having part of your wedding outdoors, you might consider investing in a few portable space heaters just in case. Otherwise, you can ensure your guests stay snug and toasty by handing out warm blankets, shawls or wraps. In fact, seasonal items like scarves, hats, mittens, hand warmers and thick, fuzzy socks make fantastic winter wedding favors! While you’re at it, why not stash a small pack of tissues in each welcome bag to guard against any sniffles, whether they come from the winter weather or the emotions of the event.

Welcome Guests With a Warm Drink

Is there anything more satisfying on a chilly winter day than a hot, soothing drink? Whether it’s coffee or cocoa, offering arriving guests a warm mug is a lovely way to keep spirits high and chase away the cold. Another alternative is a spicy or cinnamony cocktail or mocktail to bring that feeling of warmth. Once the ceremony is over, having drinks ready to go is also a surefire way to get your friends and loved ones into the party spirit.

Serve Up Seasonal Comfort Foods

A great menu is absolutely essential for a successful winter wedding. It’s also one of the things your guests are likely to appreciate, remember, and talk about long after the event is over.

In the winter, cozy and comforting foods are a great way to bring warmth to your catering menu, tying it into the season. Luckily, New Orleans is widely hailed as one of America’s finest food destinations. What’s more, winter happens to be the prime season for many of the Crescent City’s most beloved cuisine staples. You can never go wrong with a menu built on seasonal ingredients, from raw oysters, to squash, to classic gumbo.

Whether tossed into hearty soups and stews or roasted and served as side dishes, winter vegetables like sweet potatoes and kale provide even greater variety. Comfort foods like mac-n-cheese and chicken & dumplings are sure to keep the cozy vibes rolling, as are sweet treats like pies and pastries. No matter your culinary preferences, winter offers tasty and crowd-pleasing menu options for everyone.

Still stressing out about how to plan a winter wedding in New Orleans? We can help. Our experienced catering team uses fresh, high-quality seasonal ingredients to create complete menus tailored to match your unique vision. We will help you transform your ideas into reality.

Elysian Events Catering Knows How To Plan a Winter Wedding Menu Your Guests Will Love

If you still find the question of how to plan a winter wedding overwhelming, the right caterer can point you in the right direction. Elysian Events Catering can help you craft a custom menu with comforting winter dishes. We can also use our familiarity with local venues, connections with vendors, and knowledge of how to make an event run smoothly to make sure that your winter wedding is exactly what you want. Get in touch today to start planning a wonderful winter wedding catering experience.

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