It’s safe to say that most of us have a love-hate relationship with the winter months. After all, cold temperatures bring plenty of opportunities for the kinds of activities we love—but when we’re caught unprepared, it’s easy to end up cold instead of cozy!
That’s why when it comes to planning outdoor winter events, striking the perfect balance between a pleasant chill and a great party is crucial. And with winter closing in fast, it’s time to start getting your event planning in gear.
While winter events have a lot in common with events during the rest of the year, there are a few essentials to keep in mind for this season. Here’s what you should know to make your next celebration a success.
Define Your Goal or Theme
As with any event, when it comes to winter event planning, it’s a good idea to start by defining the goal and theme of the big day. The purpose of your event will dictate everything else, from the lighting and music to the guest list and décor.
In terms of the theme, choosing the right one can help you create a consistent aesthetic as you plan. Whether you’re looking for a traditional winter theme with snowy décor or a modern minimalist approach, the right choice will create a cohesive look and feel from start to finish.
Choose the Right Venue
In the cold months of the year, finding the right venue for your event is more important than ever. Even here in warmer regions of the U.S., you never know when a sudden cold snap will appear out of nowhere to ruin your big day.
That’s why one of the most important winter event planning tips is to pick a venue that can handle any weather. The best venues will offer access to a warm indoor space in case the worst should happen, as even heat lamps might not be enough to protect your guests from the extreme cold! They’ll also have no-slip paths and outdoor spaces in the case of unexpected frost or freezes.
In addition, while you should always check a venue’s emergency response procedures, winter planning makes this a necessity. Make sure that your chosen venue is prepared in the case of everything from a sudden winter storm to a hard freeze.
Last, but not least, negotiate the contract with your venue with care. If you’re worried about sudden cold snaps or extreme weather, see if the venue will allow you to choose a backup date for your event, just in case.
Plan for a Winter Dress Code
As you plan your event, the last thing you want to do is leave your guests out in the cold—literally speaking—about what to expect in terms of the dress code. Make it clear from the start that your event is outdoors by noting this fact on any announcements and invites you send out.
As the big day approaches, you may also want to follow up with your guests about any seasonal tips and tricks that will help them meet the dress code while staying warm. Friendly reminders about bringing an umbrella or a warm coat can go a long way!
On that note, you’ll also want to set up a cloakroom for the big day: offering an organized space for guests to store their heavy coats is an appreciated gesture, and it can keep the mess out of the social areas of your event.
Think About Lighting and Heating
We all know that the winter months are colder and darker than the rest, but how should that figure into your planning?
First, consider your lighting. Given that winter has fewer daylight hours, events that take place in the morning or evening will need additional lighting to make the celebration a success. Depending on the event and the venue, you might want to string extra fairy lights or set up rows of candles for extra warmth.
Next, don’t forget to bring the heat! If your venue doesn’t have outdoor heat sources, you’ll need to have heat lamps or other heating elements available to keep your guests warm as they mingle.
Consider Your Menu
No matter the season of your celebration, some would argue that the menu is one of the most important aspects of event planning. After all, most of your guests will expect mouthwatering fare as part of the big day!
If your event will be outdoors, it’s a good idea to choose foods more likely to warm up your guests. Hot dishes are always a big win, from soups and food bars to warm pastas and desserts.
In addition, guests always appreciate drinks they can cradle in their hands to keep warm. Consider opting for a self-serve hot chocolate bar or serving seasonal hot cocktails, for example!
Find the Right Rentals
You’d be surprised at what a difference the right party rental equipment can make. From durable tents that take a beating in winter weather to efficient heaters that give off just the right amount of warmth, even the smallest touches can add up in a big way.
That’s where a reputable party rental company comes in. No matter what you’re looking for, from extra lighting to catering supplies to tables and chairs, high-quality equipment and accessories matter. Be sure to pick a company with experience accommodating events of all sizes and seasons!
Make the Most of Your Outdoor Winter Events
Though planning winter events can feel like a challenge, the truth is that they bring unique opportunities to celebrate your big day—as long as you keep the tips above in mind. From getting better lighting to planning for cooler temperatures, a few simple tweaks can add a little warmth, coziness, and good cheer to your celebration.
Looking for the right supplies to pull off your special day? At Party Bowl Event Solutions, we offer all of the products and services you need to make your guests feel at home during your upcoming party and event. Take a look at what we can do for you, or contact us today to learn more.