Winter Fireside Dinner

There's something about winter's crisp sparkle that makes intimate gatherings all the more cozy. It's the perfect time to plan a sit-down dinner for the engaged couple's family and close friends. Set a stunning table with your best dinnerware and flatware, and deck it with deep-toned flowers, or roses and lilies in all white. Build a crackling fire in the fireplace or light masses of pillar candles, and welcome guests in from the cold with mugs of hot spiced cider.

Plan a menu that features comfort food, with its creamy textures and soul-satisfying flavors. It can be as formal as the one we've suggested here, or as casual as beef stew paired with crusty baguettes and a warming bread pudding to finish. With either menu, pour robust red wines—plus chilled Champagne for toasting.