In my work I always enjoy taking photographs at winter weddings, especially if it has snowed. I have never lost that sense of wonder I had as a child, waking up in the morning to see snowflakes falling from the sky, draping the hedges, trees and rooftops with a blanket of snow. Now, as a professional wedding photographer, I appreciate the magical quality snow can bring to the occasion.
Family and guests might shiver and wish the bride and groom had chosen a warmer time of year, but wedding photographs taken in winter can have a distinctly fairy-tale flavour. The photographers often try to get this effect for their photographs, using filters and other techniques. My experience has been that Mother Nature can provide this enchanting backdrop free of charge. There is a different quality to the light too, with the fallen snow sparkling in the winter sunshine, as though it were embedded with crystals. Icicles hang from the branches of trees and the eaves of buildings, like polished jewels.
I find there is an added element of fun to be captured when I shot a winter weddings. If the wedding takes place near to Christmas, there will be a feeling of excitement in the air, with the guests already in a party mood thanks to the time of year. Christmas decorations will also add that extra bit of sparkle to the wedding photographs, and serving mulled wine to the guests when they arrive is a great way to get the reception off to a good start.
Of course, there will always be small children at winter weddings eager to throw snowballs, if they get the chance. Perhaps some adults will want to join in. I like to take advantage of such opportunities to capture some light-hearted action shots, so I can record the full character of the day on the wedding photographs.
Many people might not see as much snow as wedding photographers in other parts of the UK, but it is something to take advantage of when it does happen. Old churches can look wonderful under a coverlet of snow. They provide a very impressive backdrop to outdoor wedding images taken immediately after the ceremony.
Men’s formal morning suits always look so smart when photographed against a clean, white snowscape. The colourful dresses and bouquets of the bridesmaids and female guests will appear equally striking. The bride, of course, is always just a perfect dream in frothy tulle and shimmering satin, like a fairy-tale princess.
These wedding photographs will provide an interesting contrast to those the wedding photographer takes at the reception. If you are planning a winter wedding, try to book an old pub or hotel for your reception. The oak beams and open fires will help to create a cosy, timeless atmosphere that you will remember with pleasure every time you look at your wedding photographs in the future.
Remember that fewer people get married in winter so hotels may be willing to give you a discount. You might also get cheaper honeymoon travel and accommodation, but, above all, you will have wedding photographs to cherish that have an extra dimension of sparkle and romance, and all thanks to the enchantment of winter.