Are you contemplating a winter wedding? We caught up with top wedding photographer Fiona Kelly as she reveals some of her favourite winter wedding shots and explains why so many couples are turning their backs on the traditional wedding season…
Perhaps you met in Autumn? Or had your first date near Christmas? Or maybe you just love the feel of the turning of the leaves or the snow on the ground. Whatever the reason, there is a definite trend for weddings that aren’t in the summer months. And, as far as I’m concerned, long may it last. I love weddings that show the different seasons and have discovered in the last year or so that weather extremes can actually make for amazing wedding photographs. Here are a few reasons why you should embrace a winter wedding – rain, fog, wind and all!
One of the things you might have heard us photographers going on about is ‘golden hour’. We tend to harp on about it a bit because it is truly the most wonderful time of the day. It’s about an hour before the sun sets, where the sun is low, the light is… well, golden, and it makes for amazing photos. Why is this so good in Autumn and Winter? Well, the sun sets earlier, so there is more chance to get the bride and groom portraits done during this time, if we are clever with the timings. During summer, this time often falls during the first dance, so it can easily be missed.
Find some shelter
When I’m starting to think about a wedding and the photos for the day, one of the things I do is to consider where would be great for certain pictures. A lot of this happens on the day, based on the weather or the timings, or just where I feel will work. I like to have a wander around the venue to find spots that might offer something a little different in terms of a background. When the weather turns horrible and decides to rain, I try to use it to my advantage for the photos. Having to think a little away from the obvious locations allows a bit more creativity and finding places that not only offer some shelter, but also a fabulous photo opportunity that might have been passed up or not noticed if the sun had been shining.
Love your brolly
I always tell my winter wedding couples to buy a cool brolly and wellies and get ready to love that brolly. And if they feel so inclined to give Gene Kelly a run for his money in the rain! (This hasn’t happened yet, but one day it will!) Don’t try to hide away from the wet weather, get out there and use that umbrella for the photos. I love that an umbrella gives a little cosy shelter from the elements. It really is just the two of you, cuddled up close against the rain.
Embrace the elements
At the end of last year I had my first ever foggy wedding. On the morning I turned up to the bride’s house, we both looked at each other and she said ‘you can’t see much out there, how’s this going to work?’. But do you know, it was absolutely amazing! I would take photographs in fog any day. It was dramatic, beautiful, eery, striking. All of that and more. This is what you need to think when it comes to the weather you may get during your winter wedding. Whatever is thrown at you has the possibility to create truly wonderful photos. There are not only chances to use the weather to great advantage and create unique images, but it really captures the mood of a wedding day as well as the time of year.
The chances are that it will be dark fairly early during your winter wedding, and what light there is won’t be in huge abundance. One of the things I love to do at times like this is to go back into the venue, find a great space and add lighting to create something special. This allows for really cinematic, moody and dramatic photos and ones that will be very different from the sort you might have during a summer wedding. This is where you really must make sure that the photographer you book knows how to cope with darker rooms and not much natural light. Winter weddings are definitely more tricky from a lighting point of view than summer weddings.
Just remember, when it comes to your photos a winter wedding can be just as beautiful as a summer wedding. You may have to roll with the plans a little more and be prepared for things to change at the last minute if the heavens open, but that’s all part of your amazing, special and unique day. Have fun and enjoy yourself, whatever the weather. See learn more about Fiona’s photography packages, take a look at her website. And if you’ve decided on a wonderful winter wedding, find out how to decorate it here.