How to Plan a Dazzling Winter Wedding on a Budget

winter wedding ideas

A dazzling winter wedding doesn’t have to be expensive. Not only do wedding venues tend to be cheapest in the winter, but with a little DIY effort and budget-friendly decor choices, you can plan a downright gorgeous wedding quite inexpensively.

From affordable wedding invites to DIY winter wedding decorations, you can pull off a winter wonderland wedding on a tight budget. Check out these ideas to inspire your planning:

It’s All About the Twinkle Lights

In the spirit of the season, decorate your ceremony and reception venues with lots of string lights. For winter weddings, strings of twinkle lights draped from the ceiling glisten like falling snow. 

winter wedding
Green Villa Barn & Gardens / Photo by Jamie Rae Photography

One method is to attach strings of lights to the very center of your event space and let them drape down in gentle swoops toward the edges of the ceiling, like a big top at a circus. We love the example above by Jamie Rae Photography.

Twinkle Lights Behind Sheer Curtains

Placing curtain lights behind sheer white curtains creates a magical, winter wonderland look. The same concept looks gorgeous when placed behind sheer white linens around the cake table or the bride and groom’s sweetheart table at the reception.

winter wedding
Venue Dressing by More Weddings / via Boho Weddings

If you are planning a rustic winter wedding, or simply want to avoid washing out your venue in white, you can use sheer burlap fabric instead of sheer white fabric. We love how the backdrop below featured on Cobblestone Farms also incorporates white paper lanterns and white tissue paper puffs hanging from the ceiling, both of which are inexpensive yet lovely.

winter wedding
Wedding Barn Makeover via Cobblestone Farms

Twinkle Light Wedding Invitations

If you plan to use string lights throughout your winter wedding decor, it could be fun to feature them in your wedding stationery too! Invite Shop’s Rustic String Lights Wedding Invitation features whimsical string lights along the top with modern arrow embellishments. 

rustic winter wedding invitations
Rustic String Lights Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

DIY Snowflake Decorations

Suspend handmade snowflakes from the ceiling to create a winter wonderland effect in your reception hall. Another creative idea is to make your own giant snowflakes to serve as a unique DIY wedding photo backdrop for your guests.

winter wedding
Homemade snowflakes let you add your own special touch to your wedding

While giant snowflakes may look complicated, they are the same exact concept as regular paper snowflakes, only made out of butcher paper rather than computer paper. Brittany Watson Jepson, who blogs at The House That Lars Built, has a wonderful tutorial for making giant paper snowflakes that can add a pop of charm to your winter wedding decor.

winter wedding
Giant Paper Snowflakes via The House That Lars Built

Snowflake Invitations

Snowflakes are also a fun design element to include in your winter wedding invitations. We love how the white snowflakes and lantern embellishments pop against the bold blue background in Invite Shop’s Whimsical Winter Lantern Wedding Invitation.

winter wedding invitations
Whimsical Winter Lantern Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Think Cotton for a Snowy Look

Bouquets and floral arrangements can be one of the biggest expenses on your wedding day. For a winter wedding, you can avoid the cost of fresh floral arrangements by opting for cotton, like the cotton bouquet below. The bouquet in this photo by Perez Photography resembles tiny snowballs!

winter wedding bouquet
Photo by Perez Photography / via Colin Cowie Weddings

Elaborate winter wedding centerpieces can cost a fortune. One way to save money on winter wedding decorations is to create your own centerpieces. Natural or faux cotton stems are a beautiful and unexpected addition to a winter wedding centerpiece, adding both a snowy effect and a touch of rustic charm to your reception tables. We love the example below, which features cotton stems and asparagus leaves, taken by Marianna Jamadi Photography.

Photo by Marianna Jamadi Photography / via the Ruffled blog

Over the past couple years, cotton has seen a surge in popularity in floral arrangements due to it being a favorite of designer Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame. We love how cotton stems completely fill a vase, allowing them to stand alone as a winter wedding centerpiece, with no accent flowers even necessary.

Snowy Wedding Invitations

Just like cotton helps you create a snowy feel on the cheap, you can capture a snowy theme in your wedding invitations affordably with Invite Shop’s Kraft Snowfall Wedding Invitations. These charming winter wedding invites feature bare winter tree accents along the bottom and delicate falling snow embellishments along the top.

winter wedding invitations
Kraft Snowfall Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Pinecones: The Ultimate Free Winter Wedding Decorations

Pinecones are the perfect decoration for a winter wedding. They are great for adding texture and earthy color to an otherwise white wedding palette, with the added bonus of being easy to find and free for the taking from mother nature.

Pinecone Seating Card Holders

Using small pinecones and heavy cardstock, you can make DIY pinecone seating card holders to indicate where your guests should sit at the reception.

winter wedding
DIY Pinecone Seating Card Holders via Project Wedding

Project Wedding has a full tutorial for pulling off the clever look below, which simply involves making an incision at the top of the pinecone so that the card can be inserted.

Pinecone Place Setting Accents

A delicate pinecone is the perfect accent for a wedding reception place setting.

winter wedding
Photo by Megan W. Photography

We love how a small, understated pinecone is paired with a sprig of greenery atop simple white napkins in the photo below by Megan W. Photography.

Pinecone Wedding Invitations

If you plan to use pinecones in your wedding decor, consider incorporating them in your wedding invitations. We love the little pinecone and evergreen graphics on Invite Shop’s Country Charm Wedding Invitation. It’s winter whimsy at its finest.

winter wedding invitations
Country Charm Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Another great wedding invitation featuring a pinecone embellishment is Invite Shop’s Brown Rustic Antlers Wedding Invitation. If you are planning your winter wedding at a rustic lodge, we can’t think of a better invitation to set the mood.

winter wedding invitations
Brown Rustic Antlers Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Decorate with White Lace for a Wintery Feel

Incorporate winter white into your wedding with white lace in all the details. Here are a few ideas:

DIY Lace Winter Wedding Centerpieces

winter wedding
Winter luminaries via Crafts By Amanda

Mason jars with white candles inside are the perfect simple winter wedding centerpieces. Dress them up with a touch of lace, twine and small pinecones, like the example above from Crafts By Amanda. Snow texture paint adds a lovely, frosted finish to these centerpieces.

DIY Lace Fabric Garland

Another festive way to incorporate white lace into your winter wedding is with a DIY fabric garland.

winter wedding decorations
Burlap, Chiffon and Lace Fabric Garland via The Story of Five

You can decorate your wedding venue with an all-lace garlands or break up the white by adding other neutral fabrics, like sheer burlap. You can see the full tutorial for the lovely example above on the Story of Five blog.

Lace Wedding Invitations

winter wedding invitations
Antique Lace Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

Pull together your winter white lace look by incorporating lacy details in your wedding invitations. The Antique Lace Wedding Invitation above from Invite Shop would complement a lacy look perfectly.

Winter Blankets for Your Guests

Winter themed gifts are appropriate for a winter wedding. One of our favorite ideas is providing warm blankets for your guests to use during the ceremony, like the photo below by Sarah Kathleen Photography. It’s a thoughtful gesture — especially if you’re brave enough to have a winter wedding outdoors!

winter wedding
Photo by Sarah Kathleen Photography / via Bridal Musings

Flannel Blankets as Wedding Favors

Blankets are surprisingly affordable as wedding favors. Lovely plaid fleece throws can be found online for as low as $5 each.

winter wedding
Photo by Kt Crabb Photography / via Weddings Illustrated

Simply roll them up, bind with twine, and offer them in decorative baskets for guests to take home with them, like in the photo above by Kt Crabb Photography. We love how the blankets above are presented in a decorative trunk.

Flannel Blanket Wedding Invitations

You can even incorporate a warm winter blanket feel into your wedding invitations.

winter wedding invitations
Country Tartan Plaid Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop

The Country Tartan Plaid Wedding Invitation from Invite Shop features a charming plaid heart that will warm the hearts of your guests. At just .89 cents each, this invitation design is a steal!

We hope these winter wedding ideas inspire you plan a gorgeous winter wonderland wedding without breaking the bank!

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