As wedding photographers, we have a lot of friends asking us for advice or tips when they get engaged. One of those is “when is the best time of the year to get married?” Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions – it’s all about what you and your fiance want!
For all you winter wonderland fans, you might love the idea of getting married in the winter when everything is chilly and crisp outside. That’s great!
Winter is not as popular of a time to get married, which means that a lot of people don’t have experience with winter weddings. We have a few things you should think about while you’re planning your chilly, special day.
Mitchel is a HUGE fan of blankets at weddings, but he also just loves blankets in general. That’s not the only reason we included this wedding planning tip.
Blankets are an excellent way to keep your guests warm either during the ceremony or even during the reception if part of it’s outside for cocktail hour. Blankets are also just a fun parting gift.
If your venue has to do a flip of the ceremony spot into the reception set up, then your guests might have to go outside. This is where having to stand up heaters and blankets can be super helpful. You want your guests to be comfortable, and a couple dozen, inexpensive blankets are an excellent way to do that.
Let your guests know that they are welcome to take a blanket home (unless you want to keep 47 blankets for yourself).
Additionally, several event rental companies rent out large heaters for events, and it’s a cost-effective way to spread the warmth at your winter wedding.
Speaking of venues, there are a lot of venues that have the ceremony and reception all in the same place. That’s great for couples who don’t want to travel in a car and drive to their reception. But the one downside is a lot of venues require guests to “chill” (pun intended) outside while they flip the space.
For most people, this is not a huge inconvenience but think about guests with children, elderly guests, or anyone who might have problems waiting outside. Of course, this shouldn’t keep you from picking your favorite venue, but something to consider when you’re shopping around.
Having blankets and heaters can ease some of the chills, but you may want to let some guests know ahead of time so they can bring extra layers or even plan to sit in a vehicle while they wait.
As photographers, sunset times are VERY important. We love taking sunset portraits after the ceremony. During the winter months, sunset is much earlier than any other time of the year.
This isn’t a make or break deal for anyone, but when you’re planning your wedding, think about your ceremony time and how that will impact the rest of the day when it gets dark at 5:30.
Another thing to consider is your guests having to drive to your wedding. If you have a lot of people traveling for your wedding or driving a long distance, you might consider having the ceremony earlier in the day, so guests don’t have to travel to the second venue when it’s pitch black outside.
More than likely, while you’re touring venues and picking the perfect spot for you, you might not see them in the same season that you’re going to be getting married there.
If you are thinking about the ceremony spot, make sure that you consider some of the trees and foliage might not be as vibrate and alive as it will be in the winter. This is something that slips a lot of people’s minds. Somewhere with lots of evergreens, regardless of the season, is ideal!
If you pick an industrial downtown venue, this won’t apply to you. But a lot of farm venues tend to how beautiful outdoor settings with trees and flowers that POP, but in the winter you won’t get the same beautiful effect. If you’re unsure, ask the venue to see photos from past Winter weddings.
This is just an extra tip that Mitchel required to be in the post. He loves hot drinks (especially coffee and thinks it should be at every wedding regardless of season).
Give your guests the chance to grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa during the reception. It’s a cute and cheap way to keep all your guests nice and toasty, and we recommend having tiny little marshmallows to go with the cocoa.
We hope these fun, Winter wedding tips inspired you to think of fun ways to celebrate on your big day! As always, if you have questions, we’d love to chat!