I absolutely love winter weddings! If you’re thinking about having a winter wedding there are a few things you should probably think about (the light being the biggest thing!). I’ve compiled a helpful little list of things to plan for for your winter wedding!
Have an early ceremony
This is absolutely key for winter weddings. In winter in the UK we get as little as 8 hours of daylight so making the most of that light on your wedding day is the most important thing for getting amazing photographs. I’m not saying you should have a morning ceremony, 12pm or 1pm works absolutely fine! I’d just steer clear of going beyond 1:30pm, as we then have a really limited time after your ceremony to get photographs of you and your guests in the daylight. In the same theme of timings I would also make sure to have at least 2 hours between the end of your ceremony and your speeches or wedding breakfast (whichever you’re having first). In summer, I often take my couples out for a second time after their wedding breakfast for a few more portraits, during winter however this usually isn’t really an option as it will be pitch black outside. The only thing I really need to take good photographs is good light (and a camera of course!), so having a really good amount of time between the end of your ceremony and your food means that we’ll have plenty of time to get some gorgeous photographs of you and your guests, making the most of the daylight while we have it!
Scope out somewhere inside to do group shots
Being in the UK our weather is pretty erratic. I’ve done February weddings where it’s been gorgeous sunshine and summer weddings where we’ve have torrential rain. This tip doesn’t really just count for winter weddings, just UK weddings in general! I would always much rather head outside for group shots to make the most of the surrounding areas, and the light is always better outside. However sometimes this just isn’t possible, if it’s throwing it down with rain it’s obviously way more practical for us to do your group family photographs inside your venue. It’s always a great plan before your wedding to have a little look round at the space your venue has to offer and think about where you would do your family photos if we have to do them inside. Some venues are really big and bright, with loads of space for group shots, whereas some venues are smaller with very little space for group photographs. If your venue falls into the category of smaller with little space for group shots we may just need to reduce the numbers of people in the shots. It’s definitely worth thinking about beforehand so we can plan for it!
Hire some umbrellas
Again, this one just counts for all UK weddings, not just winter weddings! I’d highly recommend hiring some umbrellas for your guests and yourselves to use, especially if your ceremony and reception are at different venues. Umbrella hire is fairly cheap and just means that you won’t be left with a load of spare umbrellas after your wedding. I’ve recommended Brolly Bucket to quite a few of my couples and like insurance, it’s always nice to know it’s there but hopefully we won’t need them!
Get the party started early
In summer the average time for the first dance is around 8-8:30pm, this works really well because it means after the meal your guests can wander outside and spend some more time in the sun. In winter however with it being dark outside it’s more than likely that everyone will stay cooped up inside waiting for the dancing to begin. If your venue allows it (ie, if they don’t need to turn the room around) I highly recommend having your first dance a little earlier than this, around 7-7:30pm. It stops the lull that can sometimes happen between the meal and the party, and chances are with winter being party season, your guests will be well up for getting into the dancing a bit earlier!
Get some sparklers!
I always love a sparkler shot in winter, they’re a bit of an alternative to sunset photos, which we may not be able to get as you may be midway through your meal. Sparklers are great to use between the end of your food and first dance, it gives your guests something to do and also means that they’re not usually too drunk as the party hasn’t fully kicked in just yet! I always recommend buying long burning sparklers, you can buy ones that last for around 2 minutes, this gives us plenty of time to get everyone’s lit before they all start going out! They’re also great to use for photos of just the two of you, sparklers give off a really lovely soft light so these are great to use in winter for portraits after dinner!
Take a peek below at some wonderful winter weddings I’ve shot.