Winter Wedding Photography Tips
If you are getting married in winter and worried about how your wedding photographs might turn out. Then I hope you will find this page useful. I am going to share some of my winter wedding tips to help you plan your dream day, as well as some advice on how to find a good wedding photographer who isn't afraid of the harder winter light.
Weddings are expensive and in the UK, especially in the height of summer. As couples are trying to find ways to cut costs, winter weddings are becoming more popular.
That being said, from personal experience. Even in the summer, you're not guaranteed great weather. The great British weather is so unreliable that I've had plenty of rainy wedding days in August and many gloriously sunny February's. So as long as you don't mind it being a bit colder outside, you can literally save thousands of pounds by choosing to have a winter wedding. This could mean you can invite more guests, spend more on suppliers or perhaps your dream venue is now more affordable?
In short, there are many reasons that having a winter wedding is a great idea nowadays!
Setting a date between Christmas day and new year (ie 27th to 30th December) could mean you take advantage of weekday wedding prices. At the same time, you may find many of your family & friends don't need to take time off work since they could be off anyway over the festive period!
Choosing the Right Photographer
I'm going to be honest with you. Winter weddings are harder to photograph than summer. The reason for this is because we have far less hours of light during the day. Guests get cold quicker so we need to move quickly and with purpose. The venue may be very dimly lit which might be very cosy and atmospheric. But this sort of environment will challenge an inexperienced wedding photographer.
A good winter wedding photographer will be mindful of the time we have available and be an expert at flash photography. Flash will really help put some wow factor into those overcast, dull, dark winter days.
If I am your wedding photographer then you can rest assured that I have all the flash equipment needed as well as top of the range camera equipment that work well in low light.
Always ask the photographer you are considering to show you a minimum of two wedding galleries they have photographed during winter. This will give you a good idea of how good their work is over the course of the day and whether or not you like their style.
The Vanishing Winter Light
It's critical that your wedding photographer is able to move quickly. Not just because it will be cold but also because the light moves quickly. Here are two photographs I took ten minutes apart during a December wedding.
As you can see, one minute we have a beautiful golden hour sun. A few minutes later, it's gone and replaced with a purple sky. Both are beautiful of course! But without flash, the second one would have been impossible.
Of course you don't want all your photographs to be in the dark. That's why it's important to find an experienced photographer who can deliver fantastic results, quickly.
Who's Scared of the Dark?
Not me! In fact, in many ways, I love working in the dark. Because the darkness becomes a blank canvas which I then can paint on with light to get the results I want.
In the photo below, it was both dark and raining. Yet with a single flash we turned a dark, rainy winter evening into a stunning wedding photograph which you could hang on your wall. Of course, my experience means you will not be stood there getting wet for ages. Normally a photo like this is captured in less than a minute!
Sometimes you gotta go with it!
If it does rain and/or is extremely cold then chances are your guests won't want to be outside for a long period of time. So that's something to factor in for group photographs. Is there anywhere that can be used inside should the weather be poor.
In this situation your photographer will need to probably bring extra lighting to get everyone looking the best they can be. Speak to your photographer about their winter wedding plan for your venue. This is one of those occasions where if they have shot at your venue before then their experience may help.
Sometimes though, it's fine. Just a little cold and we can just go with it!
A faux fur shrug like above can help keep the ladies a little warmer in their dresses. Guys.....man up!
Sparklers! We love sparklers!
I love a good sparkler photo. It's a lot of fun and I always get some great photographs of the newlyweds as well as the guests. Winter does make it easier because it goes darker earlier. In the summer it goes dark very late which can mean you end up either having to pay extra for your wedding photographer to stay later. Add to that, the later it gets. The more drunk your guests will be. The guests who will now be handed a burning sparkler to wave around frantically! Below is a photo from Gemma & Ashley's wedding at the amazing Hazel Gap Barn. The goal for any wedding photographer when capturing sparkler photographs is to capture the fun. Oh and not to get burnt with a sparkler to the back of the head lol!
Buy 16"-18" long sparklers. These will last longer, giving you more time to light them all and make life easier for everyone!
You can buy sparklers all year round here: Long Sparklers: Click here
Bride's will often have spent a lot of money on their designer wedding shoes. A wedding is a perfect excuse to splash out on those gorgeous Jimmy Choo's you've always wanted! If you can't treat yourself for your wedding, when can you?
However, in winter there's a higher chance the ground will be soggy and muddy. Do you really want to be traipsing through muddy ground for your wedding photos?
So consider having an alternate pair of shoes. Preferably with no heels on. I know some brides have even purchased wedding wellies!
That way, you can walk onto the grass without fear of damaging your expensive bridal shoes.
If you want fantastic wedding photographs then it is crucial you hire an experienced wedding photographer with a proven track record with winter weddings. If you only take one piece of advice away from this article. Then I hope that it is to ask your photographer to show you examples of winter weddings they've photographed. Do not assume all wedding photographer's are the same. Being brutally honest, the skill level required in winter is higher than a light and airy summer wedding.
I hope this page has helped you see that having a winter wedding does not mean you have to compromise on beautiful wedding photographs. In fact, the very opposite might be true. Winter gives you opportunities to get some low key, moody and unique photographs that simply can't be created in the summer.
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