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June may still be the most popular month for weddings, but the winter season is quickly catching up. More and more brides are forgoing the traditional summer wedding and opting for the unique style and beauty of the winter season.

Planning a winter wedding can provide you with a number of benefits, from lower costs and greater availability of popular venues to unique decorating options. Those winter weddings can have their challenges as well, however, and it is important to be prepared for the unexpected.

Enjoy the Beauty of the Season

Far from being drab and dreary, the winter season sparkles with brilliance at every turn. From the beauty of falling snow to the shimmering shadows cast by ice-shrouded trees, the winter season is full of beauty.

You can incorporate that winter beauty into your wedding and create memories that will last a lifetime. Plan a scouting session with your wedding photographer and look for the vistas you can use on your wedding day. Planning those shots ahead of time will reduce your stress level and help you and your wedding photographer create those lifelong memories.

Do Not Assume Lower Costs for Everything

One of the greatest things about planning a winter wedding is the money you can save. Winter brides can save a substantial amount of money when booking a venue, since those locations are generally much less busy in the colder months. The cost of catering can be lower as well - those who cater weddings and create custom wedding cakes often have less business in the winter and are therefore willing to make price accommodations to the couples they serve.

It would be wrong to assume, however, that all costs will be lower. Fresh flowers, for instance, may actually cost more in the winter months. Many varieties will be in short supply during the colder months, and the flowers that are still available may cost more due to higher shipping costs. Holding your wedding in the winter may be a great way to save money, but you still need to pay careful attention to your overall budget.

Be Prepared for Winter Weather

One significant drawback of winter weddings is the possibility of winter weather. The weather can be quite unpredictable in the winter season - and sleet, snow and ice can ruin even the most carefully planned ceremony.

That is why it is important to be flexible when planning a wedding in the winter months. You will want to check the cancellation policies of all your wedding vendors carefully - from the contract with the reception hall to the deals you struck with the wedding photographer and caterer. Knowing your options in the event of a blizzard or other major wedding event can set your mind at ease - and make the rest of your wedding planning that much easier.

If you have a lot of guests coming in from out of town, you may want to book a block of rooms at a hotel near the wedding venue. Having a place to stay will make it easier for those guests to attend the ceremony - and give them a safe place to go if the weather gets too bad.

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