Winter Wedding Tips

August 9, 2022

Kirstie Tweed/Orange Girl

I absolutely adore winter weddings! We have some truly spectacular winter wonderland wedding venues for those wanting a cozy & romantic winter wedding in the Canadian Rockies. Today I'm sharing my top winter wedding tips that will not only help you enjoy your day but ensure that you get stunning winter wedding photos.

We can lose the good photo light as early as 2pm in some winter months so make sure you plan your portrait time to take advantage of the best light. I often times do portraits of the couple before their ceremony so they can enjoy time with their loved ones immediately after the ceremony and in that case I always recommend scheduling it such that you are finished your portraits 30 minutes before your ceremony so that you can warm up and refresh. If you are planning an outdoor winter ceremony scheduling that to take place in the warmer part of the day as opposed to dusk or sunset will make it a more comfortable experience for you and your guests and result in better quality photos.

Often times couples think of white for a winter wedding but white tends to blend in and get lost if you are lucky to have a snowy scene on your wedding day so having pops of colour will create vibrant winter wedding photos. An easy way to include colour is to start with your flowers. White flowers once frosted tend to turn brown so there's an added advantage to choosing colourful blooms and rich greens for your wedding flowers.

Bouquet and flower crown below by Flowers by Janie

A pop of colour like this bride's red cape really helped to make her stand out on her stunning winter wonderland wedding day.

Beautiful brightly coloured blooms tend to do better in the cold temperatures and look stunning against the snow. White flowers will often turn brown after being exposed to the cold and wilt.

Flower crown and bouquet below by Flowers by Janie

Orange & cedar bouquet created by Willow Flower Co.

This hardy boutonierre doesn't have any blooms that will freeze and wilt. It incorporates a vintage ski pin.

This bride's blush gown looked stunning with the falling snow.

The first things to get cold during winter wedding photos are your hands and feet. Come prepared with stylish winter boots to keep you comfortable. Most dresses are long enough that you won't even see your boots. Once your feet get cold it's really hard to recover so you risk cutting your photo session short. For extra warmth stuff your boots with toe warmers and brides can easily hide thermal leggings under most dresses.

If you are asking your wedding party to step outside for winter wedding photos then ask them to bring cute winter boots and thermal leggings with them to keep them comfortable or gift them boots that will keep them warm and look great in photos.

Hands quickly get cold at a winter wedding so make sure you bring along cute mittens that you can stuff with hand warmers to keep you comfortable. This is especially important if you are having an outdoor winter ceremony.

This wedding party was kept warm with matching mittens stuffed with hand warmers and sweaters for their outdoor ceremony in -30.

I love the idea of including warm and stylish accessories into your wedding outfit like this hand knit cozy cowl by Yokoo

If you are creating welcome bags for your guests then include hand & toe warmers and a cozy scarf for guests to bring with them to your outdoor wedding ceremony.

If you are having an outdoor winter wedding ceremony make sure you express the importance of bundling up for your guests way in advance. Tell them to leave their heels and shoes for dancing and show up at the ceremony with winter boots and coats to stay comfortable during the 20-30 minutes of your ceremony. Assign the person who is handing out programs to give out hand warmers for guests or place mittens stuffed with hand warmers on guest's seats to welcome them as they arrive

For this outdoor winter wedding ceremony the couple placed mittens stuffed with hand warmers on every seat alongside their wedding program. The backs of the seats were decorated with scarfs that guests were encouraged to cuddle up with.

Bring a warm non-shedding blanket along with you for your winter wedding photo session so you can easily wrap yourself up in between photos for a quick warm up. Often times a winter coat is too cumbersome and frustrating to navigate with a veil and wedding dress so a blanket can help bring you warmth faster. Bonus points if it's lovely enough to be included in photos.

It's really important to bring along stylish winter coat/cape options if it's simply too cold to take your coat off during photos.

Winter boots, thermal long underwear, mittens with hand warmers and a stylish winter cape will make photos outside much more comfortable.

If you are lucky enough to have a snowfall on your wedding day then first dance photos outside can be magical. Sparklers don't last very long so it's really important that you are in place for your first dance and ready to cue the music when guests start lighting the sparklers so you can capture them before they fade out.


Hello my name is Kirstie and I am a wedding photographer who specializes in photographing intimate weddings & elopements in Calgary, Banff, Canmore & Emerald Lake. I’ve been photographing mountain weddings since we moved to Banff in 2004. I lived in the mountains for 17 years before moving to Calgary in 2021. On days off you'll find me spending time with my husband Kevin and our 3 rescue dogs Mabel, Olive & Bandit.