Fall may be the busiest wedding season, but winter is still a wonderful (and increasingly popular) time to say ‘I do.’

There are plenty of perks to planning your wedding between December and February, according to Beth Chappelow, wedding planner and owner Chappelow Events.

“Availability is probably your biggest advantage in the winter. While some vendors may choose to offer small discounts, the biggest win for a winter bride is finding more of her first choice vendors open on her wedding date,” she says. “While winter weddings are getting more and more popular, it's still not the peak of wedding season. So you are more likely to find your favorite venue is still available, although holiday dates do go fast.”

Of course, there are also downsides. Cold-weather months can feel limiting, and many couples fear creating a wedding that screams ho-ho-holiday.

“Don't feel like you have to go with traditional winter elements, unless you absolutely love them. Whenever we start the design process with a winter bride, they usually feel like they need to incorporate ‘wintery things’ like pine cones, branches and wintergreens,” Chappelow says. “Those elements can be absolutely beautiful in wedding decor but they are not a requirement.”

Here are a few ideas from industry experts for planning a fresh winter wedding – minus the seasonal clichés.

1. Velvet

“Velvet is one of our favorite winter wedding trends. We are finding it in everything from table linens to the groom's bowtie,” Chappelow says.

Other places to incorporate velvet include rocking a pair of velvet heels down the aisle, letting the groom stand out in a velvet jacket or simply tying your bouquet with a velvet ribbon.

2. Faux fur

Keep Jack Frost at bay on your big day by wrapping yourself and your bridesmaids in faux fur coats or shawls. These fuzzy accessories are both fashionable and practical, especially if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or pictures.

3. Jewel tones

Avoid an overly red and green color palette (unless that’s your jam) by steering towards rich jewel tones advises Chappelow.

“Winter whites will always a classic look, but don't be afraid to play with color – just keep your tones a little deeper in the winter months,” she says. “Our favorite combo right now is an emerald green velvet table linen topped with matte copper flatware, ivory china and lots of berry colored blooms.”

4. Metallic colors

Shiny metallic accents add modern style to décor and can also be easily worked into jewelry and other accessories. Copper is especially popular according to Chappelow.

“We are also seeing lots of copper in our winter weddings right now. Gold will always be a favorite, and we love to mix metals, but copper seems to pair nicely with several winter palettes.”

5. Glitter

Evoke the enchanting sparkle of snow with shimmery details, such as sequin trimmed table runners, glitter dusted vases or glitter-dipped feathers.

6. Comforting cuisine

Take the winter vibes to your guests’ taste buds with a warm and comforting menu. Instead of a cold salad course, for instance, serve up a hearty butternut squash or tomato bisque soup. And rather than offering iced drinks, create a hot cocoa bar with different flavors and topping.

7. Wintery cakes

Don’t forget to bring a touch of winter to the crown jewel of your menu: the cake. Sugared berries on a naked care create a frosted, rustic look while some creative piping can make an all-white cake look like a cozy knitted sweater.

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