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Caitlin
Beginner January 2020 Ontario

Winter Wedding

Caitlin, on February 19, 2019 at 14:51 Posted in Wedding ceremony 0 22
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Hi Everyone,

We are getting married January 4th, 2020. My dream is to have an outdoor wedding but I am wondering what people think about having the ceremony outside in January. Is anyone else doing this or am I crazy to even think of this being an option?

Thank you!

P.S. I should note the ceremony and reception are happening outside of Barrie, Ontario

22 Comments

Latest activity by Tara, on September 10, 2020 at 10:02
  • T
    Newbie December 2020 Ontario
    Tara
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    Stunning! I would have never considered it!
    • Reply
  • Caitlin
    Beginner January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlin
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    Tiffin Centre for Conservation in Utopia! It was the perfect venue for us! I attached a couple photos of the inside. I highly recommend it was a fantastic venue we had an amazing time there! 馃槉Winter Wedding 1

    Winter Wedding 2

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  • T
    Newbie December 2020 Ontario
    Tara
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    Stunning - where was the venue?
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  • Caitlin
    Beginner January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlin
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    We ended up having it outdoors and I do not regret it one bit!! We had blankets and heaters as well as a hot chocolate/tea station to keep everyone warm. It ended up starting to big fluffy flake snow as I was about to walk down the aisle it was absolutely perfect and no one complained about it being outside! 馃槉Winter Wedding 3

    Winter Wedding 4

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  • T
    Newbie December 2020 Ontario
    Tara
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    What did you end up doing? I'm from the same area, with the same thoughts.
    • Reply
  • Kacy
    VIP February 2019 Quebec
    Kacy
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    We considered doing an outdoor ceremony for our wedding this past Feb 9th. The weather betrayed us LOL -20C with the windchill, so much snow melted the week before and it was mostly icy. In fact, every Saturday since then would have been perfect *sigh*.
    Kids were not invited, some people (my mom) were not a fan of the idea of doing it outdoors while others were super excited at the prospect of it.

    So anyways, we had to proceed with our Plan B which was indoor ceremony in the same place as the reception (set up completely different, of course, and prepared by the venue staff). We did move forward with outdoor pictures, but again, I don鈥檛 think we鈥檒l be getting the winter wonderland photos we had been dreaming of.

    Bottom line is: make sure your guests are aware of the possibility, what types of comfort will be available to them, and have a Plan B set up. Hope this helps!
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Newbie September 2021 Ontario
    Meghan
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    My sister had her wedding up in Algonquin last January. Outdoor ceremony on an ice rink, it was cold but it was a quick "I do" (maybe 20mins total), we went inside for the reception immediately after. They made a weekend event out of it, with cabin rentals, hockey and a bonfire. Everyone loved it. We had our toddler with us so we weren't sure he would be okay in the cold for that long but she said if we needed to, they wouldn't mind if we went inside with him during (we didn't end up needing to). If that's an option for you to allow elderly guests or guests with small children to go inside and watch from a window or something, I'm sure they would appreciate having the option.
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  • K
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Kim
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    Totally understand kids and some other folks wouldn't be comfortable/safe. Just saying I personally wouldn't have a problem with it. I'm frequently outside in cold temps but dress appropriately so it doesn't phase me.
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  • Alycia
    Expert March 2020 Ontario
    Alycia
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    I wouldn鈥檛 call you crazy, thats what I wanted, though in March 2020. But my venue has such a stunning ceremony room I totally abandoned that idea. I鈥檓 always cold anyway!

    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Frequent user July 2019 Ontario
    Rachel
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    Unfortunately in -30 temperatures being outside for 30 minutes puts you at risk of severe frost bite (you're at risk of frost bite after 5 minutes in those temperatures). Children and elderly are at risk of death in these temperatures.
    • Reply
  • Rachel
    Frequent user July 2019 Ontario
    Rachel
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    I think it would be a risky choice. If next winter is anything like this winter you could end up with -40 wind chill on your wedding day. Unless you bundled from head to toe, you risk frost bite. I'm not sure that's worth the risk!
    My brother/sister-in-law had a December wedding and did their photos outside but everything else was inside. They chose a venue with floor to ceiling windows all the way around (Cambridge Mill) so you still got the effect of winter, but everyone was safe and warm inside!
    • Reply
  • Leah
    VIP April 2019 British Columbia
    Leah
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    Yikes! I think it's great that you'd brave the cold, but as a guest I would not enjoy being at an outdoor ceremony and reception, even with heaters, and blankets.

    Consider finding a place with a great view or floor to ceiling windows instead so it feels like you're outside without it being freezing like it's outside.

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  • Holly
    VIP June 2019 Ontario
    Holly
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    Personally I would not be attending an outdoor ceremony in January, especially since it's Ontario lol. I am not sure if you plan to invite children but as a mother there is absolutely no chance I'd be going with my son. So just be aware that if you invite families they may only attend the reception. I like the idea of it but for me personally I hate winter and I don't think the photos would look nice with everyone in their big winter coats and probably winter boots too.
    • Reply
  • L
    Curious June 2020 Ontario
    Leanne
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    I haven鈥檛 really seen people mention that you need to consider types of guests as well. Are you inviting kids? Elderly people? Anyone will chronic illnesses? Breathing cold air can be terrible on asthma, which is a common condition. Are your friends well off enough to afford warm clothing? Are you inviting non-Canadians or anyone not used to freezing temperatures?


    Be careful how your present the wedding to people because many have very rigid expectations of wearing certian clothing, or needing to stay for the whole ceremony. I鈥檇 say as long as you don鈥檛 ask for formal wear, have a warm shelter nearby, and you tell your guests they鈥檙e allowed to get up and leave whenever they feel cold (or not show up at all), go for it. You just need to be okay with having 3 people still present by the time you say 鈥淚 do鈥 because that might happen.
    • Reply
  • K
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Kim
    • Dispute
    Personally I wouldn't mind being a guest at an outdoor winter wedding... so long as I was aware the ceremony would be outside so could dress appropriately. Even if it were -30, if you are dressed for the weather being outside for half an hour or so is no biggie to me. You could always have a bonfire going so guests could keep warm while waiting for the ceremony to start. I say it's your day so do whatever makes you happy 馃槉馃憤
    • Reply
  • Caitlin
    Beginner January 2020 Ontario
    Caitlin
    • Dispute
    Thank you all for your feedback I really appreciate it. We have our venue already I just really don鈥檛 like the idea of the ceremony and reception in the same space and there is no where else on site for us to have it indoors. Which means we need to look for a back up ceremony space.
    • Reply
  • Alexandra
    VIP November 2019 British Columbia
    Alexandra
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    I鈥檒l be honest I鈥檓 with Brittany. As nice as it is in theory I don鈥檛 think it鈥檚 fair to ask that of your guests at all, especially not with how cold it can get in Ontario at that time of year. Also everyone of your guests would be wearing a big coat because it鈥檒l be too cold for anything less.
    • Reply
  • Allison
    Frequent user June 2019 Ontario
    Allison
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    I don't know if it is an option in the winter, but maybe look into finding a location like a greenhouse or lakeside cabin with large windows and winter views? Drysdale's is always a popular spot in the summer but the greenhouse would be gorgeous in the winter too!

    • Reply
  • Bianca
    Master August 2019 Ontario
    Bianca
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    I think that鈥檚 a really unique idea, but ensure that your guests know to be prepared to be outdoors for a significant period of time. Otherwise it鈥檚 a really cool idea for your ceremony!
    • Reply
  • Brittany
    British Columbia
    Brittany
    • Dispute

    Just a thought: I got married in Vancouver this past January (19th), and it wasn't even freezing.... it was like, 4 degrees or so, not raining or snowing, just windy... and we could barely stand outside for more than 15-20 minutes for photos (none of our bridal party/family photos got done outside, the girls were way too cold, even with fur stoles on). I forced me and my husband to tough it out, because I refused to have indoor photos for the 2 of us....

    Personally, I think it's unreasonable to have your guests sit outside for a ceremony in January. Especially in Ontario, where you guys actually get snow! Lol... You gotta remember... just because the ceremony can be shortened up to 20 minutes, there's time for the guests to arrive, find their seats, and all be waiting before the ceremony can even start, then they are out for a few minutes after you too... Guests started arriving for my 4.30pm ceremony before 4pm, and my "15-20 minute ceremony" was actually done at 5pm.... It was +plus degrees, and I couldn't imagine doing my ceremony outside... let alone freezing temperatures...

    I know it's a total bubble burster, but I think it's just too much to ask of your guests for that time of year... You'll still be battling the cold just to do outdoor photos if that's what you're hoping for as well!

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  • Kaisha
    Super March 2019 Nova Scotia
    Kaisha
    • Dispute

    I would definitely consider what the weather is usually like before considering it. When I lived in Ontario (Northern) we regularly got -40 in January so that wouldn't be an option. If you usually have milder weather you could definitely consider it but I would have a back up plan to be safe.

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  • Stephanie
    VIP May 2019 Ontario
    Stephanie
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    I think it depends on the length of the reception mainly! I mean doing a full catholic ceremony for an hour outside in winter would be torture but if you keep it short and sweet and like under 20 minutes I think it's cute! The only thing you have to worry about it like.. HOW COLD will it be.. a few degrees under 0 is okay but expecting your guests to stand outside if it's anything like the -20 weather we have been having that's just mean....
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