How to keep guests warm at a winter reception

Receptions // by Emily Russ

Queensland is known for its incredible weather, but it’s also no stranger to chilly temperatures during winter – especially in hinterland regions. If you’re tying the knot at this glorious time of year, we’ve got some awesome little suggestions for keeping your guests warm and toasty at your winter wedding reception. We’ve also included our very own QB salted caramel s’mores recipe!

Related article: 5 reasons to love a winter wedding

blankets for wedding guestsSnuggle up, buttercup

Fill some baskets with rugs and set up a blanket station for your wedding guests. To make it look charming, use rustic, mismatched patterns and colours – and great signage. We love a good pun here at QB – our particular favourites for a blanket station? ‘To have and to hold, in case you get cold’ and ‘Love is a thrill, but don’t catch a chill!’ Just don’t be surprised if the blankets become superman capes on the dance floor!

keeping guests warm at winter weddingsA little anti-freeze?

A winter wedding is a perfect excuse for a cheeky belly-warming drink or two. For adults-only tipples, serve up some mulled red wine or cider, or give the option of spiking non-alcoholic drinks with a nip of whisky. All in the name of keeping your wedding guests warm, of course.

Mood lighting

Candles are an obvious go-to for making space feel warmer, but that’s because they workScatter clusters of candles across every available surface for a cozy and romantic atmosphere. And don’t forget the overhead lighting – think of jazzing up your wedding reception with festoon lighting, fairy lights and chandeliers.

winter warming food for wedding guestsHave a little heart(iness)

If you ask us, one of the best things about the cooler months is the fare – hello, comfort food! Turn your wedding reception into a wintery feast and serve share-plates loaded with roasted veggies, oven-baked fish, slow-cooked ribs and meat, and plenty of crusty bread. Just hope that none of your guests are watching their carb intake. #SorryNotSorry

Smart styling

Dress your reception space with warm tones and natural materials like timber and faux fur. Get creative with velvet cushions, timber furnishings and rugs, rugs, rugs! It’s a simple idea, but really effective… plus it looks incredible in photos.

hot chocolate for weddingsFor the chocoholics

A foolproof way to make your reception unforgettable? Three words: hot chocolate station. Steaming hot cups of this childhood treat will be a hit with your guests, we promise. Serve in rustic enamel mugs and don’t skimp on the marshmallows! Or, jazz things up a bit and serve piping hot churros with mugs of warm dulce de leche (South American chocolate dipping sauce). Heaven.

RealWedding_Toni_Snell_37A fiery favourite

If your venue is onboard with it, a bonfire is a classic and easy way to warm up a winter reception. Whether you go big or set up a small fire pit, style your bonfire area with more cozy furnishings and make it look conversational. Want to really get those laid-back campfire vibes happening? Set up marshmallow-toasting or s’more-making stations.


S’mores may be a traditional American campfire treat, but we think this Aussie version will make a lasting impression at any winter reception. Just swap the Graham Crackers for classic Chocolate Wheaten biscuits and add a little extra Aussie flavour with Caramello Koalas!

Ingredients (makes 1 s’more)

  • 2 Arnott’s Chocolate Wheaten biscuits
  • 1 Caramello Koala
  • 1 giant marshmallow
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Toast Caramello Koala on fire and place on one biscuit when soft and warm.
  2. Sprinkle Caramello Koala with sea salt flakes.
  3. Repeat step 1, but using marshmallow and other biscuit.
  4. Sandwich the two biscuits and squeeze for oozy, chocolatey goodness
  5. Repeat. And repeat.

S’more love? Play around with different flavours like Nutella, peanut butter or even banana with bacon. Mmmm, bacon…

Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at our Tips + Advice stories