A winter wedding opens up so many ways to seasonally distinguish an event visually. From the flowers available that time of year, to the rich iconography (snowflakes! sweaters! candlelight!), a well-designed winter wedding will always stand out from the crowd. One of my favorite events was this wedding I shot in the ski heaven of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A palette of pewter, dusty greens, and white was the perfect way for this bride to embrace her January date with elegance. She also incorporated natural elements such as polished riverbed stones with long white pillar candles. And guests received keepsake blankets as a parting favor to their guests. Now, that’s something you don’t see in June.
If you are planning a winter wedding here are a few tips to engage the season with flair. First of all, make sure to plan for stylish outerwear to take you from place to place. You may be walking down the aisle in your dream Loboutins but if there is snow on the ground, cute boots for outside are a must. This bride chose silver Hunter wellies to keep her feet dry and warm between venues. Also be sure to select a great coat to keep you warm from point to point. A cozy vintage or faux fur always looks formal and luxurious, befitting of a wedding, but a wool dress coat (perhaps in a fun color?) will also get you to the reception in style.
No matter the season, taking some pictures outside is a must. The background of nature will give your photographs a strong sense of “place.” However, in the cold months of the year, it can be extra challenging. It’s a good idea to have your photographer stake out shooting locations beforehand to minimize the amount of time you are exposed to the elements. Be sure to talk to your florist about whether your bouquet flowers can withstand the cold temperatures or just opt to leave it inside. And don’t forget to take the groom’s boutonniere off before he puts on an overcoat.
In cold or warm weather winter weddings, the sun inevitably goes down earlier in the day. Therefore it’s more important that ever to plan that some of your pictures happen during the daylight hours. And, critically, that you provide adequately lit reception spaces. If you choose to go with candles as your primary accent lighting, I advise that you double whatever you would do for an average dinner party at each table. The height of a reception space will swallow up the impact of those candles and you will be glad to have more (and more!). Most venues can recommend an expert who can design and implement supplemental event lighting that will complement the atmosphere of the room. Consider finding room in the budget for it and I promise your winter wedding pictures will benefit as a result.
Our contributor, Liz Banfield has two wedding books available for more inspiration- Weddings by Tara Guerard and Southern Weddings: New Looks from the Old South.