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Winter: A wonderful time for weddings

Why snow is the magical ingredient for tying the knot:

Winter might not be considered “wedding season” for most people, but it sure is for powder hounds and the adventure-minded.

Not only does that white dress match your surroundings wherever you go and make for photos perfectly coordinated with the snowy landscape (and blue sky in the backdrop, if you’re lucky), but winter brings many other bonuses for mountain weddings.

Wedding on the Slopes BreckenridgeAccording to Breckenridge Senior Catering Sales Manager Amy Russo, the No. 1 reason couples choose to have their wedding in winter is – no surprise – they love to ski. The goal is to incorporate a wedding into their ski vacation. As one does.

Also, Russo says, “winter seems cozier and more romantic” and “they want a smaller, more intimate event with just family and very close friends.”

When it comes to keeping guests entertained in winter, skiing and snowboarding are the obvious choices, but not the only ones.

Stacy Sanchez, who operates Summit Mountain Weddings, a wedding blog for Breck and Summit County, says that snowmobiling and dog sledding are other popular pre-ceremony activities in winter.

“The hard part will be choosing what you want to do this time, and what to save for a return trip,” Sanchez says.

As far as booking a venue in Breck, because winter is the hottest time of year, options can be somewhat limited, so advanced planning is key.

Mountain Thunder is our most popular winter wedding venue with a quaint library for receptions and ceremonies,” says Director of Resort Group Sales, Brandy Sawyer. “We also have brides wanting to fully experience the winter wonderland and get married on the back patio overlooking the national forest and one of Breck Resort’s ski runs. It is the only property offering ski in/gondola out access.”

Breck Wedding 2013Although Breck is a small town, options are in no way limited when it comes to nailing down transportation (shuttle, limo or horse and buggy?), music (from harps to bagpipes, DJs to guitarists, jazz to funk bands … you name it, we’ve got it) plus photographers, officials, wedding planners, babysitters, florists, nail salons and anything else you could possibly need. Visit Breck Weddings or Mountain Celebrations for a list of preferred vendors.

As Russo points out, one key consideration for a winter wedding is travel.

“Winter travel can be challenging, especially for elderly family members,” she says, adding that a dilemma for a wedding any time of year is deciding upon either an indoor or outdoor ceremony.

“While we can do an outdoor ceremony in the winter, couples must be prepared for shifting indoors due to temperature or snow,” she says.

Another obvious factor is clothing, particularly footwear. Sanchez highly recommends snow boots.

“High heels are fine once you’re inside, but getting to and from the ceremony, reception or rehearsal dinner might require some functional footwear,” he says, pointing out that brides can still wear their dream dress (as opposed to some sort of velvety Ice Queen number), but layering up is important.

“Wear your puffy coat over your dress and then remove it to take pics in that strapless. You’ll be cold for a few minutes, but the images will be fabulous,” he says.

The less obvious reality to factor into a winter wedding is time. You will need more of it.

Everything slows down in the winter – cars, people walking on ice and overall movement,” Sanchez says. “Take more pictures, watch where you step and take your time.”

– Shauna Farnell

* Photo credit: Studio Kiva/Katie Girtman

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