Today’s guest post, brought to us by Steve Gerrard Photography (Montreal, QC) is brimming with helpful tips and insights to help you have a perfect winter wedding!
As I sit here in my studio close to Montreal, the snow is drifting down outside, covering cars and making drivers question going anywhere. And this is just the start of it. As we know, the coming months will bring heavier snow and plummeting temperatures. A Canadian winter is considerably more challenging than the ones I grew up with back in the UK. As a wedding photographer I’ve shot multiple winter weddings back in England but, after relocating to Montreal three years ago, winter weddings bring with them a different level of planning than those in the warmer months. And yet, there are plenty of couples who don’t allow the cold weather to put them off exchanging vows when temperatures plummet.
Read the full post after the cut!
One of the advantages of having your wedding in winter is that prices for venues and other vendors can be more affordable than the more in demand summer dates. Couples can save hundreds of dollars, especially on popular wedding venues, by choosing a date out of season. That’s more money to spend on important things like food and champagne!
If you have friends and family traveling long distances to attend your wedding, it may make sense to plan your event around the holiday season. This is a time when most people have time off from their career and the kids don’t have to be in school, allowing more free time for travel and possibly extending their trip into a mini vacation. The downside is that flights and hotels can be more expensive around the holidays and some of your guests may already have plans for this time of year.
On the wedding day itself, it’s wise to be aware of the problems that may arise if you get hitched in the coldest months of the year. What happens if there’s a blizzard right before your wedding, bringing deep snow and resulting in road closures and hazardous driving conditions? How would you feel if your favorite cousin, or even your sister, had to cancel at the last minute because she just couldn’t risk driving with young children in a heavy snowstorm in her Honda Civic?
If your guests make it to the venue safely but then the snow begins, with the promise of 12 inches more over the coming hours, maybe they would be forced to leave the reception early to avoid being stranded. I once shot a wedding where half the guests had decided it was wise to leave early in the evening rather than having a problem on the roads. The resulting party definitely wasn’t quite as rockin’ as the bride had anticipated.
And what about your photos? As a photographer, I want to deliver images that wow the couple and capture the day for them that will always transport them back in time whenever they look at their album. If you’re marrying in January, I want to make images that capture the beautiful landscapes covered in snow and ice, the frozen lake and the frost-covered trees. That means going outside!
Last year I shot a wedding where the outside temperature dropped to almost -30 degrees Celsius but the bride was outside in her sleeveless dress for the couple’s portrait session. She never complained once and the resulting photographs will be on their walls and in their wedding album for generations. I was shooting in my huge winter jacket and my thickest gloves and I still felt cold. She was an absolute trooper and I love the photos I took that day.
Of course, in such cold temperatures, we need to be sensible and stay as warm as possible. In between locations, everyone wrapped up as best they could. The bride had a jacket and shawl to keep her from turning blue. We also worked pretty quickly to avoid spending any longer outdoors than necessary. You can see some of the resulting images in this post. Worth it!
Winter weddings certainly have a romanticism to them that you just don’t get in summer. There’s a coziness to a reception where it’s freezing outside but inside all your favorite people come together with a roaring log fire, delicious food and maybe a little-mulled wine. I’ve also photographed a couple of New Year’s Eve weddings. One of those couples told me they decided on their date of December 31st as they felt that they and their friends had grown out of the routine of nightclubs and overpriced taxis. Their wedding became the perfect excuse to gather everyone together to celebrate their marriage before dancing the night away all the way into the following year.
Whether you choose to enjoy an outdoor ceremony in July or embrace the winter for your wedding, the only thing that really matters is you bring your favorite people together to celebrate the fact that you found the love of your life. Have fun. And stay warm!
Steve Gerrard is a British wedding photographer based in Montreal but photographing weddings all over the world. He’s also a dad, husband and certified music junkie who also photographs bands on a regular basis. He’s currently trying to learn French!
To learn more about Steve Gerrard Photography, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile.