10 Top Tips to help Plan a Winter Wedding in Ireland
With winter around the corner, I thought it would be a nice idea to share my top tips for planning a winter wedding from the point of view of a wedding photographer. All of my tips are based on my experience.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Winter is the best time of the year for lovely sunset photos. I am a Sunset Master Photographer :) If I do say so myself!
First and foremost, you need to know that from 4 pm there is no daylight so if you want any daylight photos, you must plan your timings well.
The day is very short and all of my tips are to help to get the best wedding photos and to ensure a stress-free wedding day.
Planning a Stress-Free Wedding? :
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!
Be ready for the cold. Cosy fur shrugs and pashminas are beneficial for the bridal party if you want to have photographs taken outside but don’t want your Bridesmaids or the Bride to turn blue!
GOING TO THE CHAPEL!
Plan your ceremony as early as you can! 22nd of December is the shortest day of the year. Remember that the day is too short of having your wedding ceremony at 3 pm as by 4 pm it’s basically nighttime.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION …
It’s a good idea to factor in the weather when deciding on your church and venue for the reception. What is the distance between the church and the venue?
How easy will it be for your wedding guests to travel that distance if it’s snowing etc?
Just have it in mind when planning – less travelling in winter it’s better for You and Your Guests!
TOP TIP: Please do not plan any pub visits before Your photos! A day is very, very short! And at 4 pm, there is no daylight.
It’s a great idea to have spare shoes in the boot of the Bridal car if you would like photos somewhere, besides, for example, the beautiful tree in Rathsallagh after darkness as it can be very wet. It’s genius to have spare shoes ready to go so that you are not destroying your lovely Louboutin’s or Jimmy Choo shoes :)
BOOK AN EXPERIENCED WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Winter wedding photography is very challenging for any wedding photographer. You need to make sure that they have experience dealing with winter conditions and can cope with the lighting or, more importantly, the lack of lighting.
Any cut in the budget for your wedding photographer can make a HUGE difference in the quality of your wedding photos.
I explained there:
Winter weddings should not be taken on by inexperienced wedding photographers as it is so easy to make BIG and costly mistakes.
WINTER WEDDING TIME-SAVING TOP TIPS:
Greet guests: 10 seconds for each person, and if it’s 200 quests, give you approximately 35 minutes.
You can ask your priest to announce at the end of the Mass that the Bride and Groom will greet guests in the hotel, not outside the church as it’s cold.
Also, in the last few months, I have seen Mass without Holy Communion. This change in the ceremony saves approx 20/30 minutes, and a lot of priests are OK with that.
With a Winter Wedding, every minute saved is important :)
This could cut the time at the church by 30-50min and will give you more time with family and friends or you can use this saved time to take daylight/sunset photos.
I did a small test for sunset photographs and winter timing a few weeks ago in Ballymagarvey Village:
Imagine this timeline – If your wedding ceremony was at 3 pm in Ballymagarvey Village, but the Bride was a bit late as guests were still arriving, so the ceremony starts at 3.20 pm. The ceremony took 45min, and then there was a greeting line after the ceremony.
We would be lucky to start taking your wedding photos by 4.30 pm. Your winter wedding photographs would be taken in pure darkness.
TOP TIP: Winter Wedding at Ballymagarvey when the ceremony is at 3 pm on site, please plan first look then at for example 1.30 pm
In this case, by dropping the greeting line, you would get a chance to take some stunning sunset photos in the back of Ballymagarvey Village!!!
Be sure to have the family photos taken SUPER fast. It’s a cold day so keep the list of photos needed as short as possible so that you will not subject your family to getting cold while they wait for everyone :) Also, your family are much more likely to scatter off as they will not want to stay outside getting cold!
See more details there:
With a winter wedding, I always advise avoiding any visits between the church and the hotel (Pubs and landmarks, for example) as the day is very short.
I love winter weddings and I’m always very busy shooting winter weddings but I wanted to take this opportunity to share some small tips based on my experience :)
Enjoy your planning and see you soon!