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Elopements, Weddings

April 7, 2022

Winter Wedding Tips, Advice, and Why You Should Totally Have One

Oh, the winter wedding. They’re romantic, yes, they can be cold, and they have their challenges, but they are STUNNING. With our summers here in Alberta being so short and jam-packed, a winter wedding can be the answer to so many of your wedding planning obstacles – more guests able to make it, more vendor availability, venue off season rates. But most importantly, in my humble opinion, they are so unique and magical. Winter weddings really have a special place in my heart. Read on for my best winter wedding tips and bits of advice in my experience of winter weddings to help make yours perfect (yes, even in a -30 polar vortex; I got you!)

winter wedding tips

Winter Wedding Tips

  1. Have a backup plan

Outdoor photos are amazing and beautiful and magical. But, we live in Canada, and sometimes its -40! So, we can either shoot for 5 minutes and warm up for 20, or, we can find a pretty indoor spot. A place with lots of windows, clean and tidy and without clutter, and bright is perfect!

Make sure you have an indoor spot on deck for your ceremony, in case the temperature is lower than you expected that day.

winter wedding tips
winter wedding tips

2. Finding the best photo spots

The best winter photo spots have lots of spruce or evergreen trees, have shallow or packed down snow, and are easy to get to by car, or are a short walk from a building. Keep your car running for warm up breaks and keep the door unlocked! It’s also ideal if the view is towards the south, so we can get that golden light that we all know and love!!! I normally am able to find locations pretty easily for you, but I may ask for your input if you live nearby or visit a place often!

winter wedding tips

3. Wear leggings and closed toe shoes!

Brides, put leggings on under your dress, and wear the boots! Trust me, no one will see the leggings, and you’ll be so so so much happier. We also don’t see your shoes very often in photos, so we can definitely get those classic portraits, but I’ll probably snap a photo of your boots anyway because it helps tell the story of your wedding day!

Another option is to pack a pair of boots and leggings for portraits, and wear your heels or “pretty” shoes for your ceremony and reception.

4. Furs, long dresses, mittens – its a yes from me, dawg.

This is one of the BEST winter wedding tips. Make your warm clothing choices a MOVE. Make them intentional! Faux fur shawls, wraps and scarves look so cute and cozy, and they make a huge difference in keeping you warm and happy during portraits. Mittens make a big difference too, and they look great paired with a scarf or fur. Long dresses or sleeves keep the chill off, and they will hide the Sorels!

winter wedding tips

5. Dark jewel tones and neutrals all the waaaay.

Dark earth tones, jewel tones, and neutrals look stunning against the white backdrop! Bonus points for velvet.

winter wedding tips

5. Your flowers WILL freeze. This is fine.

The silk floral route is AMAZING for winter weddings. However, if you want to do fresh florals, keep in mind that they will freeze while we’re outside. This is totally fine! They will look great while we’re outside, the colour will be okay, and they’ll keep their shape. Just know that when they warm up, they’ll wilt and lose their life. Don’t plan on using your bouquet on your table, or as decor later, like we can do in the warmer months. If you’re having an outdoor ceremony with fresh florals or greenery, be aware that you won’t be able to use them at your reception.

If you want to do an outdoor first look in the winter, just leave your bouquet behind. We’ll use it in portraits later!

winter wedding tips

6. Sunset is normally between 4 and 7 – hooray for an early golden hour!

While summer couples have to sneak out of their reception for sunset portraits, winter wedding couples get golden hour in the middle of the day, normally while we take the majority of their photos! Lucky you!

This also means that we need to look at daylight hours when planning your timeline. We will need to have all your outdoor photos wrapped up by sunset – you can easily google “sunset (your date)(your wedding location)”. This website is also great. I usually use that time to note when we need to be done photos by. There is light past that time obviously, but wiggle room is always great!

winter wedding tips

7. Bring the outside in

All the greenery. All the twinkle lights.

Your reception will most likely not have any natural light, since the sun sets so early, so make sure you have lots of different lighting. Overhead, string lights or lanterns, and table lighting if possible, are great, whether those are candles or battery-powered fairy lights.

winter wedding tips
winter wedding tips

And the best for last, why you TOTALLY should have a winter wedding….


You know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s probably a huge reason you’re considering a winter wedding! Colours pop so nicely against the snow, the trees look so pretty in a fresh snowfall, and if we’re really lucky, we’ll get a layer of frost on everything, which is basically the most beautiful thing winter has to offer. Winter weddings have such a romantic, fairytale vibe, and I hope these winter wedding tips help you create the perfect wedding day!

winter wedding tips
winter wedding tips

Thanks for reading! Check out this post on how the heck to start planning a wedding for more tips, and let’s get in touch about your winter wedding!!