By Julie Christensen
When it comes to wedding themes, a January wedding offers hundreds of possibilities. While a June wedding seems to demand exuberant hues, and a fall wedding lends itself to an autumn color palette, there are no hard and fast rules or expectations for the January wedding.
Not only are you working with an open template, but you’ll also find wedding planning in January surprisingly simple. You’ll probably get more individualized service from caterers, photographers and florists, because the late winter months are their slow season. You’ll also likely save money on wedding venues and even your honeymoon.
You might pay a bit more for flowers in January, because few flowers are actually in season. Almost every flower you select will be grown in a greenhouse or shipped from a far-off destination. The savings you get elsewhere will probably offset the premium price you pay for flowers.
Read on for a few ideas for an elegant January wedding theme, and think outside the box. Sometimes the most beautiful decorations for a January wedding aren’t flowers at all.
Branches. January’s beauty lies in its simple austerity. Go with this theme with an all-white wedding. Combine white linens, white candles and white flowers with glass and mirrors. Instead of traditional flowers, paint gnarled branches white or cream. Suspend candles, beads and daubles for a truly inspired look.
Calla Lilies. Calla lilies are a classic wedding flower, with their simple form and elegant shape. Creamy white is the traditional hue, but new varieties come in vivid yellows, oranges, reds, and purples. Calla lilies are also available in miniature and standard sizes.
Gardenias. With their heady fragrance and beautiful white form, gardenias make a lovely winter flower. Gardenias are difficult to grow. No matter what time of year, they command a premium price. However, you only need a few to make a statement.
Paperwhites. Paperwhites, those tiny forced narcissus so popular during the winter months, make charming, simple flowers for a January wedding. Use them in your bridal bouquet, tuck them in glass jars for tables, or package bulbs as a takeaway gift for guests.
Pine cones. Sure, they’re not really flowers, but pine cones make a charming accompaniment to a winter wedding theme. If you’re lucky enough to live in a forested area, you might find them free for the taking. Dust them with paint or white glitter for a sparkling, snowy effect.
Pussy Willows. One of the first harbingers of spring, pussy willows are available in January in some areas. Add them to bouquets or use them with candles as table decorations.
Ranunculus. Ranunculus most commonly comes in bright yellow, pink, red and orange, but they’re also available in white or cream. These complex flowers look lovely in a bridal bouquet or as table decorations.
Roses. Budget conscious, beautiful and long-lasting, roses are available year-round. Use white roses for a traditional January wedding theme or add a splash of color with red, pink or yellow roses.
Stephanotis. For the ultimate “Snow Queen” wedding bouquet, consider stephanotis. These tiny, fragrant, white flowers form in clusters. To use them in arrangements, florists wire them, sometimes adding tiny pearl ornaments. Breathtaking!
Snowflakes. Why not do away with the flowers all together and incorporate a snowflake theme for your January wedding? Use glass, crystal, metal and paper snowflakes to make a winter wonderland. Add candles, baubles and glitter for sparkle.
Tulips. Tulips are coming into season in January in mild U.S. climates. These flowers come in a wide range of hues and sizes, and depending on how you arrange them, they can be sophisticated and elegant or create a cozy, country feel. No matter what your wedding theme is, there’s a tulip for you.
Julie Christensen learned about gardening on her grandfather’s farm and mother’s vegetable garden in southern Idaho. Today, she lives and gardens on the high plains of Colorado. When she’s not digging in the dirt, Julie writes about food, education, parenting and gardening.