Tips For Winter Wedding Photos

Most people who live in Manitoba think there are only five or six months of the year they can get married in – the others are all just too cold. As someone who absolutely hates the cold, I used to agree with that. But there is something so special and beautiful about a winter wedding. So don’t let the cold keep you from planning a wedding during those other six months of the year. 

If you already have a winter wedding planned and are debating about whether or not to do outside photos, here is a photographer’s perspective: DO IT!! Even if you’re only outside for 10 minutes, it is so worth it! Those photos will be so worth it and you will regret it if you only do photos inside.

Ok, now that I’ve convinced you to do photos outside, here are some tips to make it go smoothly and for you not to be a frozen icicle. 

  • Real flowers are stunning, but they die very quickly in the cold. So I would highly suggest fake flowers in your bouquet. However, if you do choose real flowers, opt for lots of winter greens in your bouquet that will still look fresh, only keep the bouquet outside for a few quick photos, or do photos after the ceremony when it doesn’t matter if the flowers wilt. 
  • Schedule in extra time in your wedding day timeline for photos so there is plenty of time for warmup breaks. 
  • Choose a location as close to a building as possible so you can quickly go in and out to warm up without wasting tons of time. Or have vehicles nearby. 
  • Bring along blankets that you can wrap yourselves in while you wait (blankets are easier than jackets to throw off quickly when you’re ready).
  • Ladies, wear leggings under your dress as well as warm socks and winter boots (I’m assuming the bridesmaids are wearing long dresses). Also fur shawls are gorgeous and will help SO much with keeping you warm. Men, consider putting one-time use hand warmers in your pockets so when your fingers are cold, you can easily warm them up.
  • Your wedding party loves you and wants to support you on your wedding day, but don’t torture them. Hopefully they’re all great sports and are willing to go outside for a few quick photos, but don’t make them stand out there for half an hour straight. I typically do a few photos with the bridesmaids, then let them go inside to warm up while I photograph the groomsmen. Then after giving them a chance to warm up, I do a couple big group photos. Note: hiring a photographer who is experienced and can work quickly is a HUGE bonus. No one wants to stand out there in -30 temps while the photographer is deciding how to arrange people or where to take the photos.
  • Don’t worry if your nose and cheeks get red outside – your photographer can fix that. 
  • PLEASE don’t hunch – I know it’s cold, but drop those shoulders and smile! 
  • For bride and groom photos, my best advice is to get close and cuddle. You’ll not only keep each other warm, but you’ll have super cute photos too! 
  • With the shorter days in winter, make sure to plan photos for the middle of the day when there is the most light. Be sure to talk to your photographer about this ahead of time so they can give their input. They should be able to help you plan your timeline. If you’re doing photos outside, you can get away with it being a bit darker, but if you’re wanting indoor photos with natural light, don’t push it too late. If the only time it works to take photos is after it starts getting dark, make sure you hire an experienced photographer who knows how to take great photos without natural light (ask to see samples of their work that they have done without natural light). 
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