Worried about snow spoiling your wedding? Or did you book a winter wedding with your fingers firmly crossed for a snowy wedding day?
Leicestershire has almost entirely missed out on the gorgeous cold stuff that the rest of the country has enjoyed (!) this week, which has had me thinking. And reminiscing.
The first wedding I ever photographed (back in 2009) was a snowy one. Becky and Ray were thrilled as Winter is their favourite season and the wedding was deliberately planned just before Christmas. These days, they brave the cold every year on their anniversary, popping their wedding outfits back on and heading into the garden for an anniversary photo! I love seeing their photo every year, especially now their children have to don a wedding outfit and join in too!
But it was pretty intimidating for me. My first ever professional wedding photography gig. Even then, I knew that snow was a tricky one to photograph. The camera likes to turn it blue as it doesn’t think there should be that much ‘white’ in your scene. You’ll be glad you hired a professional photographer if the flakes DO come falling on your big day.
So what are YOU going to do if the weather takes a chilly turn? You can’t have a snow day if it’s your wedding day. Simply postponing things until the weather has improved isn’t really an option when so much organisation has been put in. So if the forecast is a little questionable, make sure you’ve thought about a few things in advance.
Whenever people ask me if I get nervous photographing weddings, I always reply “not once I have arrived”. I always, always worry about getting there. Because if there’s a traffic issue, there is NOTHING I can do about it. And turning up 4 hours late, well, OMG I can’t even think about it.
We all know what happens to the UK traffic the second the white stuff shows up. Carnage. So make sure you allow yourself extra travel time. Make sure the vehicle you’re travelling in is in fit condition for winter driving. And think about the older guests attending your day, could another guest be on hand to ensure they make it safely to your venue? Delegating these tasks mean you can still relax and make the most of your day.
All of your suppliers should have their own insurance to cover them in case of snow related emergencies. But if your caterer doesn’t make it, you’ll still need to find a last minute alternative. I love the relaxed couple (like the lovely Laura and Luke last summer) who are quite happy with the idea of calling in takeaway pizza if everything goes tits up at the last minute.
But if you’re spending a lot on that ONE DAY, you should definitely consider getting your own wedding insurance. That way, you’ll be able to claim back the cost of those pizzas. And any other last minute issues that crop up.
Snowy Wedding Day Essentials
You’ll want something warm to wear over your dress. You can’t expect all guests to be as brave as the lady who ditched this coat to look good in photos (she’s Australian, I really don’t know how she coped!). So either accepting that coats are worn or moving inside are your only options.
Think about your feet too. If you’re adventurous enough and love the snow enough to want to spend some time enjoying it, boots will be essential. Wellies or something fur lined. Oooh toasty toes.
Warm drinks on tap will be a welcome treat for you and your guests too. I’ll never forget the wedding where the Groom inSISted that I have a glass of the warm mulled wine. It really did reheat me instantly and was the perfect addition to their winter theme.
It’s always wise to ask your venue where they recommend you have photographs taken inside in the case of bad weather. A good photographer can easily find a location to photograph the two of you, but if you’re having to move all the group shots inside, you need a bit more space at your disposal. Those group shots always take longer than you expect. Asking your guests to shiver isn’t the best, but the two of you will be outside for the longest time and, quite honestly, you don’t want to turn blue! Efficient organisation can be the saviour of a cold wedding day.
My personal thoughts on snow are thus. It should snow overnight, on a weekend. Capture that childish excitement on waking up and looking out of the window. The day should then be spent sledging, snowballing and building snowmen, before warming up with a hot chocolate and open fire (ohhhh, now I’m really picturing it). Then the next morning it should ALL BE GONE!
I do my very best not to venture outside when it’s snowy. It makes me suddenly feel like I’m 80 and can’t walk normally without the risk of a serious fall. But I’m so glad I did this weekend. I kept my date with Alice and Hayden to take some engagement photos at Bradgate Park. We even made it up to Old John, where the wind was bitter. But it was worth it. If you’ve ever wondered about having an engagement shoot, you can check out some more engagement photos here.