Planning your winter wedding
There are so many advantages to having winter weddings and getting married ‘out of season’ however there are also some key things to consider when planning your winter wedding.
1. Choosing your venue
2. Timings for the day
3. Consider a first look
4. Your Wedding attire
5. Make the most of evening light
Choosing your venue
The main three things to consider when selecting your venue is; indoor space, rainy day plans and different lighting scenarios.
Choose a venue with great indoor space that you completely fall in love with. If it also has an awesome outdoor area then that’s awesome but it’s always worth being prepared for the entire day to be inside in case there is bad weather (we will try to get outdoors wherever possible but in terms of planning – have a backup plan!).
Try to visit your venue at the time of year you are getting married. It sounds obvious but venues can look very different depending on time of year. Really thinking through what draws you to that specific venue and is that going to still be the case at the time of year you are getting married.
Prepare for bad weather. Another reason why selecting the right venue is key for winter weddings is in case the weather is bad and we need to do your portraits inside. Thinking about open space, good lighting & a beautiful backdrop for your couple and group formals. This is something we can definitely help with & make suggestions however it’s worth considering when you are exploring venues. Also thinking through where your guests will be at the time of the portraits – is there a big open bar area but the reality is that’s going to be crowded with your guests at that time of day etc. A location close by but in a separate room for the group formals would be the best option for indoor portraits if outdoors isn’t possible.
As we will only have limited natural daylight on the day, I would recommend embracing this and find a venue with an element of romance – think fairy lights, loads of candles to create an ambient and cosy atmosphere. If your venue is primarily a summer venue and doesn’t cater for this then you can always hire in lighting technicians to help add that romantic vibe.
Timings for the day
If possible, try to book an early ceremony. Again, to do with the lighting in winter!! (You will see there is a common theme here!). It’s always worth having an early ceremony to make the most of the light. Winter sun can be so soft and beautiful for your portraits but it can also start going dark from around 3pm on those dark gloomy days (which can look epic for some dramatic portraits).
I would recommend allowing around 3 hours between the Ceremony finishing and the meal starting to give you enough time to chat to all of your guests and have a drink before we get started on the group photos and then sneaking off for your couple photos. There’s nothing worse than feeling rushed for time especially as that will be our only window to get some natural light photos.
Consider a first look
Alternatively consider having a ‘first look’ in the morning. It is typically a more American thing however they can be the perfect way to start your day together having an intimate moment just the two of you. We can help with making this possible & creating that moment when you first see each other & of course capture those priceless reactions that will be treasured.
This can be such a huge relief for couples being able to see each other and spend time together. Let’s face it weddings can be nerve-wracking!! We could then head to some beautiful locations where no guests will be able to spot you for your couple photos while you enjoy that moment together with excitement and anticipation to the life you are about to go into together.
This can be a great option for couples nervous about having their photo taken but also means we can capture your photos while your hair and makeup is still fresh. It also means we can get them nailed in the morning so you can enjoy the party with your guests later on.
Some of our couples that opt to do a first look also have all of their family formal photos in the morning too so that the rest of the day they can relax and let their hair down & enjoy the party once the ceremony finishes. This is something that is definitely more personal taste as there are advantages and disadvantages of doing this.
Wedding Day Attire
Bring layers to keep you warm between photos whether this be a shawl or blanket you would like to wear in the photos or just something you can quickly take on and off in-between photos to avoid blue noses!
Consider changing into different shoes for the couple shoot. This is dependent on your venue and also what the weather has been like in the build up to the wedding day however wearing leather boots can give extra flexibility and ensure your heels aren’t sinking into the grass (as well as keeping them nice and clean to put back on later!)
Although bare in mind that your dress will be made to measure to the height of your heels and may look too long or start to drag on the floor if you change into completely flat shoes so it would be worth trying your alternative footwear on with your dress to check it works or try to find some comfy boots with a bit of a heel so you can comfy but still the right height!
Make the most of the evening light
Plan something to do for your guests while you are waiting for the room to be turned into a dance floor in the evening by planning something fun for them to do in-between. A couple of suggestions could be, having fire pits outside to encourage your guests to have a moment under the stars in the evening - maybe get some marshmallows for your guests to toast. Have some sparklers for you & your loved one to dance through (I have a whole guide on nailing your sparkler shots!). If your venue has loads of fairy lights then this is the perfect opportunity for us to sneak off for 10 minutes while your guests are chatting to get some creative couple portraits.
Finally enjoy it! Winter weddings can be the most magical time of year to get married!
Hannah & David
If you are planning a winter wedding and want to ask us a question, feel free to message firstname.lastname@example.org