We’ve never done this before, but why not celebrate all these recent graduates, support an up and comer’s growing resume, AND learn from someone new, by having a guest post!
About the author: Andee is a recent college graduate from Arizona State University with a love of writing, the outdoors, and funky cafes. You can usually find her hiking or planning her next trip. She is passionate about traveling, her family, and the perfect cup of coffee.
Weddings Aren’t Seasonal: Why Fall and Winter are Great Great Times to Get Married
If you want a unique wedding, consider getting married in the fall and winter seasons. These months in the Pacific Northwest have a beauty all their own. Many people would try to hide what these months are like by having a tropical beach theme, but that's a mistake. Instead, lean into the qualities of these months. Imagine bright fall colors or jewel tones contrasting with gray or rainy skies, cozy warming cocktails, and blazing fires. Look through these ideas and decide which sounds most appealing, then find a venue that will help you realize your wedding dreams.
In colder months, weddings can be cozy and romantic. To protect guests from the elements in a garden, have a tent with heaters. Provide blankets for guests to wrap around themselves. Consider providing umbrellas for guests to use and buying some wholesale towels for people to dry off.
Offer up a cocktail, like the Hello Fall, with apple cider, vanilla bean and pear puree, vodka or gin, and ginger beer-- all comforting spices that will warm up guests. Hot chocolate with fixings like marshmallows and whipped cream is also a good choice; you could offer the option of spiking it. Or, as a hot chocolate alternative, try the Chai Swizzle: chai with brown sugar, cinnamon, and Bailey's.
Also, think about how the seasons may influence the toasts and first dance in special ways. For the toast, instead of plain champagne, try a special cocktail. The Tombez dans Les Pommes consists of apple cider, brut champagne, spice bitters, and a rosemary stir stick. For the first dance, consider a slower, more instrumental song-- there are actually fall and winter wedding song playlists available.
Before you choose a venue, you might want to consider what kind of wedding photos are the most appealing to you by looking through fall and winter bridal portfolios. Having a photo shoot with a backdrop of fall leaves is lovely, with the rich colors a contrast to white or cream bridal gowns. Falling snow or rain in the background can be used to great romantic effect, as can umbrellas. If you can picture yourself in these photos, then that may be the type of venue and month you want to choose.
Now it's time to look at venues, which will depend on how many guests you're having and whether you want to stay indoors or out. Indoor venues include Magnuson Park in Seattle, a city-owned space with a variety of different-sized rooms you can rent with plenty of dance space. Westland Distillery in downtown Seattle has a dining room with 40-foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows for lots of natural light; standing receptions can host 250 people while seated ones can handle 150.
For fall weddings, check out the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, which offers an indoor space that opens onto a large courtyard where you can place a bar and have dancing. The photos in the stack below are from the wedding of Jeremie and Kevin, and took place on a gorgeous day in early September.
Outdoor venues for fall or winter include Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake, Washington, which might be one of the best compromises between an indoor and an outdoor wedding. It has a huge barn, a big brick patio, spots for a tent, and separate spaces for the bride and groom to get dressed; they already have an indoor bar, so you would just need a tasty bar menu and talented bartenders to serve up some delicious winter warmers. Rock Creek Gardens in Puyallup also has a beautiful tented wedding space in a lush, private, and elegant garden setting.
For food, think hearty and warm. Find a caterer who changes their menu up for fall and winter months. Try serving hot soup in small mugs. Consider elevated comfort foods, like macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese with tomato soup. Small candied apples on sticks make a great thematic fall treat. Lava cakes, with their hot chocolate filling, are a good choice for a cooler day.
Wedding cakes should also lean into the fall and winter wedding themes. Autumn cakes can use seasonal spices, like pumpkin spice or chai and cinnamon, and be decorated with fall-colored flowers or berries. Winter cakes might be snow white or dripping with elegant chocolate ganache.
Fall and winter weddings are an opportunity to have a beautiful, creative wedding, where guests will remember cuddling up together and enjoying themselves. And during these months, venues are generally much less expensive, giving you the most bang for your buck as well as a wedding few other people will have. Just consider your guests' comfort, provide hot food and warming cocktails, and you'll be all set.