We love winter weddings!
..and so do a lot of our couples, it seems. Our “busy” season for wedding photography now stretches from March through to the end of October, with another spike in December. More and more couples choose to have their wedding outside of the traditional summer months ..and why not?! ‘Out of season’ there is less demand on suppliers, making winter weddings a bit easier to book and organise. And given that you can’t exactly rely on our Great British climate to deliver good weather even during the warmest summer months – why not just eliminate the stress of hoping for good weather on your wedding day by having a warm and cosy winter wedding and plan to do everything indoors from the off?!
From a photography point of view, winter weddings are very different from those that take place during the warm summer months. If all photography is done indoors, they provide a whole new playground for a wedding photographer as staircases, furniture, elaborate wallpaper, cosy fireplaces and all sorts of other features provide great backdrops for photos.
However, doing everything indoors can be challenging for a photographer who often has to set up additional lighting to ensure that all images taken indoors are beautifully lit. This requires a lot of skill as well as a car boot load of extra kit!
If you are planning a winter wedding, and are wondering how this might effect your wedding photography, here are some tips from us:
It’s Best to Assume that you will be Indoors
If you are planning a winter wedding, it is worth assuming that everything will take place indoors. Being able to get outside for photos in the cold winter months is very much the exception rather than the norm. Even if it is not raining, it is often too cold, too windy or too damp underfoot to be outside. Keep this in mind when choosing your wedding venue for a winter wedding as it will be the interior of the venue that will create the backdrop for your photography.
Hire a Professional Photographer!!!
Of course we would recommend this for any wedding, but for winter weddings this is particularly important due to the technical challenges of taking great photos indoors. Great photos need great light and professional photographers will often set up specialist lighting to make sure they can get top quality photos indoors.
It’s worth checking with your photographer that they are comfortable working indoors in low light conditions. Some photographers specialise in ‘natural light’ photography, which means they use natural daylight to light their images. Obviously it gets dark early in winter, so check that your photographer is comfortable lighting indoor photos after dark.
Here we set up a ‘mini photography studio’ in the foyer of the Winchester Hotel and Spa, to take the group photos.
Venue Features for Winter Weddings
Given that it is likely that all photos will need to be taken indoors, it can be fun if your chosen venue has some nice features that will serve as a backdrop for photos. A large window, sweeping staircase, ornate sofa or grand fireplace all make great locations for photos. Also, is there sufficient space indoors to take large group photos? It’s not just the people in the group photo you need to find space for, the photographer also needs to be able to get back far enough from them to fit everyone in. When choosing a venue for a winter wedding it can be useful to ask the venue where they would suggest indoor photos are taken.
Consider Your Colour Scheme
With all photos being done indoors, if the decor of your venue has a very strong colour scheme, it will inevitably feature in your photographs. If your wedding colour scheme is important to you it is worth considering how the decor of your venue will work with your chosen wedding colour scheme.
‘Formal’ Photos Can Take Longer
Professional photographers will often use additional lighting indoors to ensure that group photos and portraits of the couple are perfectly lit. Setting up this kit takes time, which means that those ‘formal’ wedding photographs can take longer. Using features, such as sofas or stairs, to pose groups can introduce some great variety into the photos but it does take longer to get everyone into position. Posing groups can also be more challenging if space is limited. Take your photographer’s advice on how long your ‘formal’ photographs are likely to take if they are being done indoors.
Winter can provide amazing light for outdoor photographs and it can be worth braving the cold for a few outdoor portraits if you’re lucky enough to get some fantastic light, especially if the venue has beautiful grounds which look good, even in winter. A shrug or wrap can help you keep warm between photos and a change of shoes if the ground is boggy can also be useful. Also, if you are hoping to include some outdoor photos in your schedule, don’t forget that it gets dark early!
Planning a Christmas wedding has the big bonus that most venues will have their own Christmas decorations up and will look amazing over the festive season. However don’t assume this will be the case! Check with the venue that their decorations will be in place for your wedding. Venues will also probably have their own colour scheme for their Christmas decorations so you could also consider coordinating your wedding colours with their Christmas decorations for a real ‘Wow’ effect!