Winter Wedding Photo Tips
I'll admit it. I'm not the biggest fan of winter in the midwest. During the colder months, I make it my mission to escape the snowy weather as often as I can. That being said, I do still love a beautiful winter wedding. There's something so romantic about the snow fall and candlelight. A question I often get from winter brides is "Do you have experience photographing a winter wedding?". Truth be told - the season or time of year doesn't make a huge difference to a photographer's technique. Believe me, if your wedding photographer is from the midwest, she already knows how to handle the cold and snow! Of course, there are a few tips I always love to share with my winter wedding clients in advance to their wedding day to make the portrait part of their day as easy (and as warm) as possible. Today I am sharing those winter wedding photo tips with you!
Check the Sunset Time
If you are getting married November–March, keep in mind that the sun sets much earlier during this time of year. In December, the sun can go down as early as 4:15pm! This is very important to think about when planning any outdoor portraits before or after your ceremony. I always use this website to find the exact sunset time for every day of the year. If outdoor pictures are a must and you are a lover of natural light (like me!), planning your ceremony and reception times around this will work in your favor. As an example. if the sun is suppose to go down by 4:30pm the day of your wedding, you would want to plan to be done with outdoor pictures by no later than that time. If the sun will already be down by the end of your ceremony, I highly suggest doing a first look with your fiance earlier in the day to take advantage of the sunshine.
If you are a winter bride, you've already accepted that cooler wedding day temperatures are in your forecast. When planning your bridesmaids' attire, make sure you help them stay warm! Long bridesmaid dresses will be your ladies' best friends –trust me. Long dresses will be able to conceal tights or leggings that the girls can wear underneath as an extra layer of warmth. This will be super helpful if it's a chilly day. Consider buying gifts of matching shawls or sweaters that your girls can wear with their dresses for outdoor pictures. If it's a snowy day, suggest that your bridesmaid wear boots or closed toe shoes (at least during photos!). One of the worst feelings in the world is having cold, wet feet, so wearing more weather appropriate shoes will make all of the difference. In addition to this, I always suggest that everyone in your wedding party brings a warm coat with them for portraits. They will be able to easily throw them on and off in between shots.
For you, the bride, have fun with your winter look! Bring along a fur coat or stole. Even opt for some adorable ankle boots like our bride, Ashley, did for her January wedding!
Keep Portraits Quick
As a Chicago wedding photographer, it's quite common for my couples to spend anywhere between 1-3 hours taking photos with their wedding party around the city. While it may seem like a good idea to travel around Chicago, being out in the cold for prolonged periods of time will not be enjoyable for anyone, even you. When it's cold out, I always recommend to keep it quick. Trust me, your wedding party will thank you! Focus on one or two locations at the most, and tell your wedding photographer any specific photo requests in advance. The more information you give your photographer beforehand, the more efficiently they can work, without letting you freeze! Don't forget to add plenty of extra time for travel in case of snow fall.
Opt For Indoor Locations
If your venue has an indoor option for portraits, embrace this! For example, Beth and Brandon's wedding venue, Salvage One, was filled with fun nooks, brick walls and stained glass windows that were perfect for portraits. Since both their ceremony and reception took place here, it made the most sense to use their venue for wedding party photos, too. It already went perfectly with their style. If you are getting married in a banquet hall or hotel or another venue that might not have as many alternatives for photos, there are some other options around the city. Keep in mind that many places require you to either pay admission or purchase a photography permit in order to shoot there. If you would prefer not to do photos outside, then it would be wise to budget $200-$300 to use an indoor alternative. Consult ideas with your photographer, first.
Were these winter wedding photo tips helpful? I'd love to hear from you in the comments section! Any additional tips are welcome and appreciated.