12 Tips for Winter Weddings

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Everyone thinks of summer as the time to get married, but wedding bells ring all year round here in Hampton Roads. (Actually, come to think of it, I’ve yet to photograph a wedding where they actually rang church bells!) Since the climate here is (usually) not too extreme, couples can choose to get married in whatever season they please, and fall is becoming increasingly more popular for Virginia weddings! Here are my best tips for your wedding day, season by season!



The sun sets really early in the winter (between 4:30 and 5:30), so your reception will most likely start around sunset time and end around 9 pm. But that doesn’t mean you can’t party late into the evening… this is a great time of year for an after-party!

Plan your bridal party’s clothing carefully. Choose a heavier fabric for the bridesmaids with a pashmina or faux-fur wrap to keep them warm. You and the girls could choose cute booties instead of more traditional heels and even wear tights under your dresses! (But check for static cling!)

If you’re getting married after Christmas, ask your venue when the Christmas décor comes down and whether you’d be allowed to move any of it. Or maybe you love your venue’s winter decorations! That would cut down on what you’d have to provide!

Hanukkah dates changes every year, so make sure you check those dates before booking your wedding venue. (Also check for important football games for the local team and the date of the Super Bowl for a February wedding.)

Plan a little extra time for portraits so we can shoot for a few minutes, run back inside to warm up, and then go back outside again. Also, bring hand warmers to keep your fingers from getting blue!

It doesn’t snow a lot here in Hampton Roads, so think about how you can incorporate a wintery feel into your wedding day and your portraits.

Be aware that your flowers might be more expensive in the winter and ask your florist what is in season.

Think of your out of town guests. Snow or icy conditions (in their area) might make it difficult for them to attend the wedding. Airfare is commonly more expensive this time of year as well.

Serve hot cocoa and eggnog, comfort foods, and warm appetizers during cocktail hour.

Incorporate fireplaces, candlelight, evergreen, and pinecones into your décor.

Plan to do family portraits inside to keep your older relatives from getting too cold. The bridal party might be able to brave the elements, but your family members will appreciate staying inside.

Ask your venue about checking guest coats.