Now that we are deep into the fall with winter approaching, here are some tips on how to keep you and your guests warm during these chilly months, whether it’s a wedding, a milestone celebration, or corporate event in the Washington, DC area. The obvious way to combat the cold is to host your events exclusively indoors or if your event it’s in a tent, you can also provide heat.
Welcome Your Guests with Warm Beverages
One of the first things you can do is offer your guests warm beverages as they arrive. The drinks can be self served or passed by servers. Hot cider is a popular choice.
Photo by Stephen Gosling
If any part of your event, whether it’s a wedding ceremony or a cocktail reception, is held outdoors, consider providing some heat source.
If it’s a tolerable chill, you could provide patio heaters like in these two photographs below. Keep in mind that guests need to stand close to the heaters in order to feel the warmth so you might need quite a few.
Photo: Garrett Hubbard
In this wedding ceremony below, it was held in a tent in November. We installed tent walls on 3 sides and provided a heating system. Prior to the ceremony, we kept the fourth wall up to keep the heat inside the tent for as long as possible. Once we began seating the guests, we opened the fourth wall to allow for a beautiful view of the landscape behind the couple during the ceremony.
Photo by Zoeica Images (See more about this Orthodox Jewish wedding in Leesburg, VA)
Also, consider an early start time for the parts of your event that will be outdoors. In the Washington, DC area, it is warmest between 2-4pm, before sunset.
Give Out Practical Items
Guests were happy to have these warm blankets during an outdoor wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.
Photo by Stephanie Dee Photography
Don’t Forget to Keep Yourselves Warm
For weddings, our brides have worn some beautiful capes and wraps to keep themselves warm for outdoor photographs.
Photo: Kurstin Roe [see photos from this classic winter wedding at the Fairmon Hotel]
Photo: Stephen Gosling
Serve Warm Food Items
I absolutely love serving warm soup at fall or winter events. You can served them as as soup shooter as a passed hors d’oeuvre, as a first course for a plated dinner, or even as an option at a food station.
Butternut Squash soup shooters served during a cocktail reception. Photo by Amber Wilkie
Grilled Cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are the ultimate comfort food served as a food station. Photo: Kate Haushka
End with Something Warm too!
Nothing tastes better than a warm beverage as your guests depart to head back out into the cold temperatures. I love a hot chocolate station, which could be spiked with flavored liqueurs or not, and with different accompaniments like shaved chocolate or peppermint sticks. Your guests will love you for keeping them warm as they wait for the valet to bring their car around or to enjoy on the way home! Hot cider is also a popular choice.
Photo: Susie & Becky Photography
Our last wedding of the year is in December and we just had these same conversations about keeping the guests warm with our clients. With that in mind, we thought a blog post like this would be helpful. Check out our blog for more winter weddings and winter events.