Imagine saying “I do” in front of a roaring fireplace in a beautiful room lit by dozens of candles, as snow falls lightly through the windows overlooking the ocean.
Couples across Atlantic Canada are cozying up to the idea of a romantic winter wedding at a resort full of their friends and family.
Karen Gilmour, events services manager at White Point Beach Resort, says a winter wedding at White Point feels like a destination wedding without any worrying about potentially cancelled flights.
She says sometimes couples choose to get married in the winter because it’s easier to book their first choices for their decorator and DJ, while others get swept up in the idea of being able to warm up to winter with a romantic anniversary.
They can also be more economical and flexible. Winter weddings taking place from November through May are outside of White Point’s peak season, and as a result Gilmour says they’re able to offer more value and options for their couples.
Weddings scheduled for this time of the year can take advantage of Winter Solstice and Equinox packages, which start from just $40 per person and include extras like free room rental and set-up of chairs and tables for the ceremony. They can sometimes waive the minimum two-night stay requirement and enjoy perks like complimentary oceanfront cottage for the newlyweds.
“We have such a spectacular property during every season, but winter here is absolutely beautiful,” says Gilmour. “The sceney is stunning, and can be very dramatic.”
Because darkness falls earlier, Gilmour says evening weddings have an extra coziness that leaves everyone feeling sentimental.
“We can have lovely candlelit ceremonies with low, romantic lighting that makes everything feel intimate,” says Gilmour. “Whereas when we hold weddings here during the summer, it’s often still daylight at 7 or 8 p.m. It’s totally different!”
She works with engaged couples to help them design fireside altars or lakeside chapels, and put together special details for their big day. In December, she helped organize a Christmas-inspired winter wedding where the bridal party wore gorgeous shawls and mittens knit by the bride’s aunt.
Halifax photographer Giselle Davis likes that winter weddings lend themselves to unique décor opportunities that look great in photos, like winter colour palettes and florals/greenery. She’s been shooting weddings at White Point since 2015, and loves returning to shoot dramatic winter wonderland images.
She always hopes for snow, since the brightness is “nature’s natural reflector” and makes for beautiful light-bouncing effects. But even if there’s not a snowflake to be seen, as is often the case at White Point, Davis says this backdrop always makes for beautiful photos.
“The coastal scenery along the ocean and the lake provide a stunning backdrop for showing off the east coast beauty, no matter the season,” says Davis. “And we’re a stone’s throw away from the comfort of indoors, with the beautiful beachstone fireplace and cozy wood tones.”
Whether it’s taking place in the private Lakeside Lodge or the elegant Atlantic Room in the main lodge, it isn’t a wedding without music.
Rod Hull and his business, Sound Choice Entertainment, have been a fixture at White Point weddings for more than 15 years. In fact, he’s worked on weddings for a couple and then been a part of their son or daughter’s wedding years later. He works with his daughter, Caileigh, to provide any and all music requirements for weddings.
Hull says he loves being a part of White Point weddings because they embrace his philosophy: “Give a little bit more, and you’ll get a lot back.”
“It’s truly like a family here. I work on weddings at resorts all over, but in my opinion, White Point is one of the very best,” says Hull. “Everyone pulls together, and it’s truly spectacular.”
He says it’s amazing to see how different White Point’s spaces can look for a winter wedding, whether it’s with icy blue up-lighting and birch branches that mimic a magical frozen forest, or hundreds of gently flickering candles filling the space with a soft warmth and drawing everyone together.
“Each wedding is like a snowflake — different and beautiful,” says Hull. “And White Point couples love that they get the best of both worlds — the intimate ceremony setting of Lakeside Lodge with its beachstone fireplace, and then maybe moving to the grander Atlantic Room on the ocean for the reception.”
He works on weddings at White Point year-round but says there’s something special about a hot tub dip in the middle of January, or sitting around a roaring bonfire bundled up in blankets.
He recalls one occasion when the groom misread the ceremony time and they discovered him happily cross-country skiing on the golf course instead of putting on his tux.
“I’ll never forget it,” says Hull. “We all laughed about it, and I know memories created at White Point last a lifetime.”
Gilmor says with the growing popularity of winter weddings, reservations are rolling in. “Even Leap Year in February 2020 has already been spoken for,” she chuckles.
For more information on winter weddings at White Point, visit https://www.whitepoint.com/weddings-and-reunions/wedding-packages/winter-weddings.