Banff, Canada

Cold-Weather Destinations & What to Bring

January 23, 2024
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of various

Identifying the perfect cold-weather destination for your dream wedding involves more than just picturesque landscapes—it requires careful consideration and expert advice. Luckily, we’ve enlisted insights from seasoned professionals in the wedding industry to help you consider several stunning, chilly locales around the U.S. and Europe and know what to bring for your winter wedding day.

Top Cold-Weather Destinations to Consider

Lake Arrowhead, California

Photo by Lisa Langley 

“Truly a quaint mountain town, Lake Arrowhead is a destination wedding stunner, especially when the winter season hits. Many southern California residents flock to the San Bernadino mountains for a touch of winter, and this area does not disappoint. Close enough to airports (Ontario-27 miles, Santa Ana-55 miles). Lake Arrowhead is small enough for your guests to enjoy a wedding weekend, seemingly far away, but large enough with plenty of hotels and restaurant options to accommodate a large wedding celebration.” – Kimberly Sisti, Owner, SISTI & CO

Madonna di Campiglio, Dolomites, Italy

Photo by Alex Bendea

“With breathtaking mountain views and delicious local food, Madonna di Campiglio is an elegant ski resort in the Italian Dolomites, a paradise for couples who want to organize a special destination with a lot of romance and fun.” – Samuele Gallorini, Founder, Italian Weddings

Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Photo by Kate Mercer Photography

“This area is a hidden gem. Just 18 miles from Niagara Falls, 35 miles from Buffalo, full of wineries (with ice wine!), small shops, and historical buildings- this little space of heaven is quaint, high-end, and beautiful. As its name suggests, this beautiful town is located on Niagara Lake with plenty of parks and areas for natural photos. The terrain is largely flat, making it easier for guests to get around when it snows instead of having to deal with mountains or hills. The town is well laid out, making parking and getting around via car a breeze. If guests would prefer to take in the area on foot, the town is very walkable, and there are plenty of shops and eateries to duck into and seek respite from the elements. Hotels, venues, and restaurants abound and really make this destination wedding spot perfect for couples who are looking for something a little bit different than the typical.” – Kimberly Sisti, Owner, SISTI & CO

Reykjavik, Iceland

Photo by Petra Schneider

“Iceland offers stunning landscapes with glaciers, waterfalls, and the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights. Reykjavik, the capital, has a unique hygge vibe, perfect for an intimate wedding. Depending on the time of the year you decide to book your travel, fares to Iceland from the US are pretty affordable.” – Syrie Roman, Creative Director and Lead Planner, Social Maven

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Photo by Frimufilms

“An enchanted ski resort in the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz is a classic for top luxury destination weddings with unique class and elegance.” – Samuele Gallorini, Founder, Italian Weddings

Banff, Canada

Photo by Ruslan Kaln

“Nestled in the Canadian Rockies, Banff provides a breathtaking setting with snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, and charming alpine architecture. The town has numerous venues with stunning views, making it an ideal destination for a winter wedding. It’s also a great alternative if you have guests who would prefer to drive instead of flying. If you have a passport, entering Canada via North Dakota, Montana, or Idaho is easy, and it makes for a long but beautiful drive.” – Syrie Roman, Creative Director and Lead Planner, Social Maven

Ice Hotel, Northern Sweden

Photo by mikeuk

“The Ice Hotel in Northern Sweden is a unique location made of ice for out-of-the-ordinary weddings.” – Samuele Gallorini, Founder, Italian Weddings

Items you and your guests won’t want to forget

Boots! Half the fun of having a winter destination wedding is walking the area, feeling the snow crunch into your boots as you cradle a hot coffee or tasty hot chocolate. Sometimes, guests are so focused on the main event that they forget to think about the destination as a mini vacation for themselves.” – Kimberly Sisti, Owner, SISTI & CO

“One of the best saving graces I suggest to my clients is heat packs for your hands and body. These come in handy if you forgot your extra warm layers. Easy to find and order online, these are a life-saver!” – Kimberly Sisti, Owner, SISTI & CO

“Warm wraps/shawls for the wedding party and guests, and heavy wool or down jackets…” – Syrie Roman, Creative Director and Lead Planner, Social Maven

“Formal suits and dresses suitable for low temperatures, comfortable but elegant shoes, customized blankets for your guests…” – Samuele Gallorini, Founder, Italian Weddings

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Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.