Winter Wedding Ideas
There is something very warm and inviting about a winter wedding with crackling log fires, rich colourings and hearty food. Read on to find out more about my top winter wedding ideas.
As a documentary photographer I shoot all year round and in this country that means shooting with poor light conditions, freezing temperatures and sometimes even rain and snow. But wow can they make for some beautiful wedding images!
It’s worth remembering that with a changeable British climate planning for every eventuality is a sensible option. Here’s my top 10 winter wedding ideas:
- Top of my list is thinking about available daylight for your photographs
- Keeping guests warm and not outside in the cold for long periods of time – hot drinks on arrival can help
- Liaise with your caterers and get produce that is in season
- Invest in winter accessories
- Keep some chapstick in your pocket
- Stylish winter footwear is essential
- Make it festive – glitter, candles, colours, favours
- Add extra travel time
- Timings of photos is essential
- Brollies and hand toasties keep you dry and snug
When we first met Damion on Skype, I couldn’t believe how friendly and down to Earth he was. We just felt like we knew him already, and were just so excited for him to be our photographer.
Our engagement shoot was cold and windy, but he was patient and persistent. We got some amazing shots and we’re so happy with them.
The wedding photos were stunning! He just made us look happy, captured all those important moments, and it was fun and relaxed. The fireworks and sparklers were magical shots.
A lot of his work has come after the wedding, where he has been able to deal with all my annoying requests and produced a beautiful wedding album. He puts in a lot of effort into his work and we couldn’t have chosen a more perfect photographer! Very highly recommended.
Top of the list is giving due consideration for the available light on the day and how this will impact your timings. It’s best to avoid low light for your portrait photographs and any formal shots you want, but not essential. Most professional wedding photographers will be able to shoot with both available light and carry their own lighting equipment for varying light conditions.
However, capturing some well-lit shots with family members and making use of the venues grounds or architecture is best achieved with natural light, so think about ensuring you plan this into the day. Talk to your photographer about your ceremony and reception timings and they will be able to help you plan a good time. For later weddings I’ve been happy to do this before the wedding ceremony.
Keep your guests warm
It can get very cold in old blighty so keeping your guests warm will keep them happy. Long periods of standing around waiting in cold churches or for formal photographs can chill you to the bone. I always take my formal photographs nearby to the reception venue, meaning guests can stay inside until they are needed. I also ‘borrow’ the best man or one of the bridesmaids to help gather people and speed these shots up.
Another lovely option is to provide guests with a hot drink when they arrive at the reception, replacing a traditional flute of fizz with a glass of mulled wine will hit the spot! Oh, and consider a coat check-in to speed up the process of people arriving at the reception venue and de-clothing themselves in the hallway.
Keep Yourself Warm
Don’t even thing about getting cold on your wedding day. Stay warm when the temperature drops with winter wedding cover ups like a faux-fur cape, a chic cardigan or a long sleeved wedding dress.
Don’t forget your bridesmaids will be cold too! Make sure to have bridesmaid cover ups ready on the day.
If it’s very wintery you could always opt for some thick tights under your wedding dress, if it’s long then nobody will know. Boots can be stylish and practical options for a winter wedding, especially if it’s rainy and the ground is sodden. You can always customise some white wellington boots to make them your own, and if you’re wearing heels, then having another shoe option for outdoor photographs is a great way of keeping those Jimmy Choos pristine.
Oh and as an extra tip, tuck a chapstick and hanky into your bag to keep your lips lush and help wipe away those windswept tears.
Providing a seasonal food option is always a popular choice and I’ve lost count of guests who really look forward to sitting down to a hearty meal at a winter wedding. I’ve shot quite a few weddings over recent winters where a traditional Christmas dinner or roast are served on tables and guests carve themselves. It makes for a lot of theatre and laughs as one person on the table is nominated to carve and wear the chefs hat and apron.
Hot chocolate kits with marshmallows, gingerbread biscuits, candy canes, or little bottles of whiskey or Baileys make for a lovely touch as table dressing or favours and always go down well with guests.
If you’re getting married during the winter months, then embrace the season. Speak to your florist about rustic wreaths and seasonal greenery, adding style without blowing the budget. Twigs, chopped logs and tree stumps can add to the rustic feel and work well with gold accents, candles and those rich, warm tones of berry red, burgundy, black and golds.
Trust Your Photographer
With winter weddings you do need to talk about your wedding photography with your photographer. Natural light for your images will be in short supply so it’s best to chat through daylight times and arrange a convenient point to get the shots you want, making the most of the available light. I always arrange a consultation meeting with all of my clients, talking through the timings of the day and making sure we get some fabulous images, whilst ensuring we don’t eat into reception time or make you late for the wedding breakfast.
Brollies & Sparklers
Buy some wedding brollies from e-bay (and some hand warmers) and if the rain does come you can make some lovely images, back-lighting the rain and making it feel magical. As it’ll be darker quicker, make the most out of it. Sparklers make for great photos at a minimal cost.
Extra Time for Travel
Remember that with the winter months come more people on the roads and more treacherous conditions which generally slow travel times down a little, so plan for extra time to get from A to B, avoiding any stressful rushes on the day.
Winter weddings are beautiful, rich, cosy and emotive affairs and I love this time of year. The colours ‘pop’ and the snugness creates an intimacy across the day. I hope you found this winter wedding ideas article useful and if you would like to see more of my portfolio, click here.
If you’re planning a Winter Wedding, I would love to hear from you to discuss your plans. Please pop over to my contact page and drop me a line.
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