I love winter weddings, the romance of soft snowflakes falling, long sleeved lace gowns with fur shawls and beautiful bridal portraits with snowy Rocky mountain peaks as a breathtaking backdrop! With winter lasting a good 6 months here in Alberta there tend to be many couples who opt for cozy winter nuptials! But let's not forget about the cold and what that can do to fresh flowers! Below I am sharing six tips to consider when planning your winter wedding flowers!
Six tips to keep in mind when planning flowers for your winter wedding
1. Plan your ceremony early to allow for outdoor photos after the ceremony.
With frigid temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32 F) your flowers will freeze outside. Once frozen they will still look amazing in photos but take them back inside and they will thaw and turn brown within minutes. It's best to plan all indoor photos first, including the ceremony, before taking the flowers outside. Give yourself enough time before sunset for outdoor photos after the ceremony and you won't have to worry about frozen flowers; however don't count on reusing the bouquets as reception decor.
2. Consider ordering a second bouquet.
If you are planning on doing a first look or photos outside before the ceremony you may want to consider ordering a second bridal bouquet + boutonniere that can be used for the outdoor photos so that you don't risk having frozen flowers for the ceremony. Due to timing, one of our NYE couples had their bridal party portraits outside before the ceremony in -30c temperatures (-40 with windchill). They used their original bouquets for these photos but ordered smaller back up bouquets for the bride and 7 bridesmaids for the ceremony that followed. The back up bouquets were also used as floral decor for around the reception venue.
3. Keep the flowers covered and indoors until ready to use.
Keep bouquets out of extreme weather (away from direct contact with heaters that can burn the flowers and out of freezing temperatures). Your florist will have all of the wedding day flowers wrapped in plastic bags for delivery if the weather is cold. Once the flowers are safely in the venue the plastic bags can be removed. Try to keep the bouquets covered or inside a vehicle when they are not needed for wedding photos.Fresh flowers will freeze outside without proper covering in 0 degree or cooler temperatures. Certain flowers such as hydrangea, hellebores, celosia and dahlias are even more sensitive to cold and may be affected by the cold at 1-4 degrees Celsius. Check with your florist about which flowers are best to use in the winter.
4. Having an outdoor ceremony? Opt for evergreen foliages, berries, twigs or dried/preserved flowers in your ceremony designs and bouquets to avoid the disappointment of freezing flowers. We've had brides order all greenery bouquets for this reason. See some of the bouquets we've created for winter weddings here.
5. Order extra flowers.
I am a huge flower fan and my designs are typically filled with lots of flowers. If you are having an outdoor ceremony and absolutely must have flowers (hooray) make sure to order extra flowers from your florist and hire them to stay through the ceremony to be able to redesign the outdoor arrangements so they can be reused at the reception indoors. Nadia + Jason, the bride + groom in the photos below, were married at Sky Bistro, Banff Gondola in a very chilly outdoor ceremony. Their flowers were frozen and started to brown within minutes of being brought back inside. We were on hand with an extra bucket of flowers to replace all of the frozen blooms so that the ceremony arrangements could be used beside their sweetheart table at the reception.
6. Use darker coloured flowers. While all fresh flowers will freeze outdoors in cold weather, white blooms will show the brown from freezing more than coloured flowers.
Good luck with your winter wedding planning and if you need a wedding florist for your Calgary, Canmore or Banff winter wedding be sure to contact us!