The first snow happened at my house just a few weeks ago and it made me feel like a kid all over again. Taking Kona outside and watching her jump in snow piles. Sipping hot cocoa while my Christmas vinyls played. It all made me so excited for the new season.
As much as I love winter, there is one thing it isn’t super well known for: weddings. Just because having a winter wedding isn’t the most popular time of year to tie the knot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! Honestly, having a winter wedding can be a lot more affordable and vendors’ availability is usually more open. Besides, who doesn’t want to sip hot cocoa at their reception and have gorgeous cool-toned photos?? Sounds like a dream to me. If you’re loving the idea of getting hitched during the colder months there a just a fewwww things you should know before hand. So without further ado, here are my top 5 tips for a winter wedding!
Okay, let’s be real. Who doesn’t want their winter wedding to look a scene straight outta A Christmas Prince. You dream of fresh snow on your nose and eye lashes, hot cocoa, and sleigh rides. The truth is, sometimes winter weddings end up looking more like White Christmas. Except not the happy snow-filled ending part more of the “why the heck isn’t it snowing in Vermont like I expected!!!” part.
The unfortunate truth is, no one can control the weather. Even if there was tons of snow on the ground last year, that doesn’t guarantee anything for this year. Sometimes things end up muddy, slush-y, and not like your Pinterest board. And that’s okay! The most important thing to keep in mind when dreaming of your wedding is this: it will be perfect no matter what. Why? Because it’s YOUR wedding day and it will be just as unique and magical as you are. Just make sure you prepare yourself for the “worst-case-scenarios” so that you don’t set your hopes too high and let the unexpected ruin the vibe of your day.
That being said, there are ways to work around this when it comes to your photographs. It just takes a little creativity. Maybe we plan on taking your couples portraits earlier in the day before the sun has a chance to melt the snow. Again, the key is to prepare yourself and have a backup plan in place beforehand.
Okay, now that we’ve covered what to expect if it doesn’t snow at all…let’s cover the other side of the “what if”. Oftentimes, I see my winter brides forget about the fact that it could be below freezing on their wedding day and they don’t plan wardrobes accordingly. So, the week of their wedding they realize there’s gonna be a massive snowstorm and they pic out a random matching shawls for their bridesmaids.
Please don’t do this! Whatever you choose to stay warm with will be in your wedding photos for the rest of your life. Do you really want scarves and a coat from Target (unless they are like really cute) to be in the pictures you show to your grandkids? Give this important detail as much time and attention as you give to choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses. Trust me. It’s important.
Another thing to keep in mind on a snowy wedding day is the comfort of your bridal party. You might be prepared and willing to take photos outside in 10 degree weather, but your bridal party might not be! As a photographer, I always do my best to be as fast as possible during winter time. Nevertheless, you’ll still want to adequately prep your besties and groomsmen. Let them know the plan ahead of time and make sure they have coats, shawls, or some cute gloves handy.
Please plan something cute to keep warm in. This is something that I see tossed together at the last minute and it never gets the attention it deserves! Whatever you choose will be in your photos forever, so please don’t stop by target and get matches scarves unless they are really, really cute. You might be prepared and willing to take photos outside in the snow….but your bridal party might not be! I always do my best to shoot as quickly as possible during the winter, but a fur coat, shawl, or cute gloves can go a long way! Also don’t forget the hand/shoe warmers, having warm drinks waiting, or keeping the limo running are all easy things that will be appreciated by your bridal party.
My main tips for keeping your bridal party happy and smiling during winter photos are these:
When brainstorming for your wedding timeline, keep in mind the affects of Daylight Savings. Your friend who just got married in June probably had her golden hour portraits taken at 9:00 p.m. However, in the colder months golden hour can come as early as 4 p.m. Be sure to account for the different lighting hours when planning your ceremony length and reception start time. One mistake that I see very often for winter weddings is that the ceremony and family photos won’t be done until 4:30 – 5pm….right during that gorgeous golden hour. In these cases, I strongly recommend doing a first look beforehand, but if that’s not an option, then I like to immediately do your portraits in that gorgeous dewy light, and take the family photos at the reception.
Maybe you have always dreamed of a Christmas wedding. If that’s you, then go for it girl! I am not here to tell you what to do and your Christmas wedding is going to be gorgeous. I just want to say that not every winter wedding has to have a red and green color palette. Some of my favorite holiday-neutral winter palettes are:
And that’s just naming a few! A quick search on Pinterest will show you just how many other options are out there.
At the end of the day, your bridal party, guests, vendors, and everyone in between is going to be just fine. If there’s a freak snow storm, and only your parents are there – it’s okay. If there’s absolutely no snow and it looks like the middle of August – it’s okay. Whatever happens will happen, and we’ll all making this work on your wedding day. No matter what, you’ll be marrying your best friend, and nothing else is going to matter!
Whether you have your wedding in June or January I am 100% positive that it will be incredible. Winter weddings and summer weddings are equally magical because they both have on thing in common: you. getting married. Woohoo!
I hope these tips help you feel a little more prepared for what to consider when planning. As always, feel free to message or contact me anytime! I would love to get to know you better and talk about any worries, excitements, or questions you might be having.
Happy wedding planning!