How to Plan a Wonderful Winter Wedding?

How to Plan a Wonderful Winter Wedding by Terence Joseph Photography

Are you thinking of a having your wedding in winter? There are several key aspects to consider when planning a winter wedding, but the effort is worth it as winter weddings are utterly magical.

Location

It’s best to view your proposed venue in the same conditions as your wedding day, which means researching wedding venues a year in advance if possible. A glass atrium may be wonderful in summer, but inhospitably chilly in winter; however the thick stone walls and open fire places of grand stately home or castle, which may feel stuffy in summer, will be warm and welcoming during cold months.

Think about how guests will get to your venue – what will the roads be like in winter? Are there suitable areas for taking photos group shots and couple shots inside, in case the weather is too poor to take photos outside?

Timing

Natural light is limited in winter, which means scheduling your wedding  – or at least your photos – in the few hours of daylight available. Aim to have your ceremony sometime between 11am and 1pm to make the most of the light. 2pm may be possible in the south of the UK if you are having your wedding and reception at the same venue. If timings allow, I always try to get my couples outside for a few shots at sunset, too.

Make sure you hire a photographer who is comfortable and experienced with using a variety of lighting techniques, including off-camera flash. The techniques and equipment required to take amazing photos when natural light is lacking, such as during winter weddings and in dim wedding venues, are very different to those needed for shooting outdoors on a bright spring or summer day.

Clothing

I can’t stress this enough – especially for outdoor photos – wear warm clothing. I have worked with brides who have incorporated faux-fur stoles and capes into their wedding outfits to great effect, as well as with brides who have kept their coat on in between shots and worn thick tights under their dresses to keep them warm. Pocket hand-warmers are also good, and can be tucked into your clothing. Consider wearing, or having a change of, shoes which are safe to walk on wet and slippery surfaces.

Cloakroom

Your guests will need somewhere safe to store their coats, umbrellas, and boots. If your venue doesn’t have a cloakroom (most don’t) consider setting a temporary space up for storing outdoor clothing. Large weddings should have both a cloakroom and an attendant to keep track of things so your guests can easily find their coat at the end of the night, and you are not inundated with requests to match missing coats up with owners after your wedding.

Decorations

f you’re holding your wedding around Christmas time you may find your venue is already decorated. This will save you money, but only if you like their decorations so ask to see them before you book. If want a different decorative scheme they may allow you to take down their decorations and put them back up afterwards, but this will need to be done by professionals and will be an added expense, and leave you with less time for setting up and clearing away.

Winter weddings, with their flickering candles, soft firelight, and rich colours and textures, are simply gorgeous.

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