Center News

The Benefits of a Winter Wedding

Feature image by Catherine Winkleman Photography

Dreaming of a white wedding? A winter celebration at Schlitz Audubon will bring warmth and lightness to your event. Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck. Snow on your wedding day can be simply stunning.

Winter Backdrop

At the Center, we have truly striking photo opportunities for winter weddings with couples cast against the snow or standing near dramatic ice formations. But there is also a calmness to walking the woods in winter, where you can hear the waves crashing on the shoreline in the distance. This spectacular natural area is not just a beautiful backdrop for photographs; it is also a peaceful place to spend your wedding day when you are excited with anticipation.

Elegantly bundled up in winter wedding coats or under a blanket, couples ride in a golf cart to explore scenic locations around the property. They hear ice crunching as they walk the boardwalk at Mystery Lake, witness the play of light off snowy landscapes flecked with sparkles, or appreciate the opalescent color palette of the winter sky.

With no leaves on the trees, you can see a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan from our veranda. But when it is truly cold, couples take advantage of the beautiful view while they’re indoors, where they warm up beside the natural wood-burning fireplace.

Natural Interior

A staple for winter weddings in the season of sparkling lights is candles flickering on the tables, mantles, or even the windowsills, bringing warmth during the darkest time of the year. Couples can also choose to create warmth with string lights or ambient lighting, while some choose soft blues and whites.

Our building offers a warm, inviting ambience with natural wood tones. The pillars in our Great Hall, made from repurposed trees, bring a bit of the woods indoors. The vaulted ceiling and arches are similar to a cathedral nave, and in the evening, the space transforms into an elegant dining and dancing area.

Our venue can provide hearth ceremonies. These include balcony seating on our mezzanine and the beautiful backdrop of a natural stone fireplace, contrasting the deep blue at twilight seen through the windows. Our auditorium can be transformed into a sanctuary for larger ceremonies with white draping, floral adornments, and café lighting over a central aisle. As the event begins, we always have two large fires going in our hearth room and Great Hall to welcome guests in from the cold and to enjoy during cocktail hour and beyond.

Winter Foliage

Beyond lighting, the fire, and the ice, winter wedding themes often include fragrant evergreens, and can feature flowers in white, blush, or burgundy. Emily Watson, the owner of Wood Violet, an eco-friendly floral design studio, offers insight into sustainable winter options for sourcing flowers and foliage. “Most sustainable would be locally sourced evergreens and dried flowers & grasses,” Emily said. She recently incorporated locally sourced evergreens, berries, pinecones and curly willow into her centerpiece displays at two recent winter weddings at Schlitz Audubon in December and January. Emily also suggests that dried wheat is another sustainable choice that provides a wintery feel to table displays.

Having your celebration stand out is just one benefit of a winter wedding. The Center also has more availability and attractive off-season pricing, as do many of our vendors. It’s easy to embrace nature, capture the stunning elements of the season, and celebrate in style.