I love photographing winter weddings, in fact this year I have had more weddings in December than I did in August, but they can be a little trickier to plan and when it comes to photography there are a few obvious issues that you do need to bear in mind, so my next blog post is how to get the best out of your winter wedding.
It sounds obvious – but choose your venue carefully. There are some fantastic venues that I work at regularly that work really well for winter weddings such as Stubton Hall, Stoke Rochford Hall and Kelham Hall. They all have great outdoor space but also there is is also plenty of interesting indoor areas should the weather be too awful to shoot outdoors.
Ideally you should visit your venue at around the same time of year as you will be getting married and make sure you look around the whole venue, are there indoor places for photographs if the weather prevents you getting outside?
Please don’t be that bride shivering in a strapless dress in the middle of winter. Embrace the season! Having a winter wedding opens up a whole new world of jackets, boleros, shrugs and shawls. Umbrellas are an essential addition, they make great props and I have been producing some really beautiful images recently using umbrellas to create a really romantic silhouette with my bride and groom.
Winter weddings are a completely different beast to photograph than a summer event. Less light, bad weather, dark venues can all be tricky situations to deal with. I have the experience, technical knowledge and equipment to ensure that I can create imaginative, creative and beautiful imagery in any conditions. Portable studio flash units are essential and my trusty redhead lights ensure that I always have reliable and professional light sources that enable me to work in any conditions and produce the WOW images that my clients love.
This brings us on quite neatly to the photographs. Ok, you might get lucky and have a glorious winter’s day with crisp clear skies and not a hint of rain. Perfect. Or it might tip it down all day. You have to have some realistic expectations of what images you can achieve. If you’ve got your heart set on a massive group shot of all the guests but your venue doesn’t have anywhere to accommodate this indoors, you’ll have to accept that this might not happen if the weather is against you. I have rarely had a wedding where the weather has been against me all day, maybe once or twice, but let’s not mention those ones, so even on bad days there is normally a break in the weather to get some essential outdoor shots, so I may come running up to you at some point and grab you both and insist it is time to get outdoors for some photos
I know I keep banging on about light but it’s pretty fundamental to photography and this is why your timeline is quite important. In summer, when it’s staying light well into the evening you don’t have to worry about the light running out. No such luxury in those winter months when the sun can be setting before 4 p.m, so if you have a 3pm ceremony we will not have any daylight at all. Time to get the lighting equipment out.
And Finally….just go with it
You’ve chosen a winter wedding – so you know it will be cold if nothing else. Don’t be that bride who refuses to take a step outside in case her hair gets a little ruffled in the wind or the underside of her dress gets a little dirty and damp. Honestly, by the end of the night no-one will care how clean or otherwise your dress is but I promise, when you get your images back you’ll be so pleased you trusted me and braved the elements.
Here’s a selection of some of my favourite winter weddings.