Personally, I think winter weddings are so underrated. I think a lot of people usually avoid getting married in the winter months because of colder weather and the holidays, but every winter wedding I go to there is something extra special to it! Choosing a winter month surprisingly has many benefits, like sometimes discounted venues, more availability for vendors, less schedule conflicts for guests, and near Christmas time you can even find your venue already decorated.
If you’re considering a winter wedding day, go for it!!! From your friend, photographer, and fellow January bride myself – here are 5 tips for winter weddings!
Bam – I hit you guys with the most important and best tip first because I love you. There are 10 million reasons I recommend first looks to all my couples in general, but for winter weddings, it’s almost a must.
In order to get those beautiful natural light portraits you’ve probably seen all over instagram and pinterest, you have to take them before sunset. People typically have later afternoon or early evening wedding ceremonies, and around here in the winter months the sun will set at 5pm.
Listen to me when I say trust your photographer. So many of my couples are nervous about their wedding days. It’s true. So many of those nerves are diminished once you actually get to see each other, talk to each other, and spend time together that otherwise would be spent hiding away from one another for most of the day.
By doing a first look, you will spread out your portrait time, get beautiful outdoor portraits, get more photos together, and get to spend more time together with the person you’re marrying. It’s a win-win.
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, guests don’t always know to dress accordingly. Have a basket with blankets or gloves, and a hot cocktail or hot coco and coffee station near by. You want your guests to be comfortable so they stay through the night!
With that in mind, if you’re in NC like me, I recommend having an indoor reception (or indoor access) for weddings November-February. If you’re planning an indoor/outdoor combination, just be sure you have access to an indoor space for guests to keep warm, and as a back up in case of weather.
You and your bridal party will be outside for portraits throughout the day, and if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony you’ll want to stay warm! Having a cover, shaw, or layers under your dress will help you keep warm for those extended periods of time.
By having your wedding day all in one location, you eliminate any possible problems that could arise from transportation problems in bad weather! This makes everything easier and safer for your guests and vendors. Plus you will save time not having to travel, and this will allow you to have more portraits together before the sun sets.
Because of our LOVELY thing called daylight savings time around here, the sunset in winter in NC is about 5pm. If you want to have an outdoor ceremony or natural light portraits, this is SO important to keep in mind!
I usually always recommend a ceremony start time about 2 hours before sunset if you want to take any portraits outside after your ceremony. This would be an earlier start time than normal in order to get natural daylight photos.
If having an outdoor ceremony and doing a first look, you could do your ceremony start time one hour before sunset at the latest. This is what I did on my wedding day! The sunset was at 5pm, and our ceremony was at 4pm. We did all of our photos before the ceremony, and just took some sunset bride and groom portraits after our ceremony.
If you are having an indoor ceremony in the evening (post-sunset), we would plan a first look in your wedding day timeline so you get all your photos done before the ceremony. This also frees up your time to enjoy cocktail hour with your friends and family!
If you are planning on a longer traditional ceremony or do not want to do a first look, I recommend doing an afternoon ceremony to allow for an extended cocktail hour and portrait time after your ceremony. If you have any questions on your ceremony start time, send me a message and I’m happy to help!
I hope these tips for winter weddings help you with planning! Have any other tips to share or questions? Comment below!
Recommended Blog Posts:
I would LOVE to hear more about your story! Click below to get in touch with me to see investment details and check your date.