Winter wedding mistakes couples should be aware of
When planning a winter wedding it’s easy to overlook the obvious and not-so-obvious. Things like melting makeup and sweaty bits won’t factor in like they would in the summer months – however mother nature likes to chill things down here in Muskoka which brings with it a new set of potential snags.
While you can’t always predict every obstacle you’ll face, when putting together your wedding planning checklist, consider these winter wedding mistakes I often see brides make…
1. Booking Separate Ceremony and Reception Locations
It’s winter folks, keeping travel to a minimum is great advice. Moving between separate wedding venues (ie church for ceremony then hall for reception) in summer is tough enough with guests who can’t follow instructions. However, in the winter, potential travel issues are on a whole new level.
Cold weather slows everyone and everything down. Here in Muskoka, snowfall is a regular occurrence and all-out whiteout conditions are not uncommon so keeping travel to a minimum is highly recommended. There are many wedding venues in Muskoka that provide both ceremony and reception options on site and some that even offer accommodations as well.
2. Forgetting Must-Haves in your Survival Kit
Start with a Bride’s Survival Kit, then toss in hand-warmers small enough for your mitts, boots/shoes (check Costco), tissues for your chilly runny nose and ask your makeup artist for recommendations for pink-cheeks.
3. Not Doing a First Look
There are two primary reasons behind doing a First Look:
a) It’s a beautiful, private opportunity for you to see one another for the first time beyond the prying eyes of guests where you can let your guard down and allow the emotions of the moment lead the way.
b) Logistics. In winter, the sun sets very early so you will have far less time during the day to fit everything in before that beautiful sunlight is gone. For instance, if you had a 4pm ceremony you won’t have enough sunlight afterwards for your family photos/wedding party photos not to mention your own couples photos.
4. Relying on your Guests to be Prepared
Despite reminders, many guests still show up unprepared for outdoor ceremonies. Have their backs, with baskets of blankets, hand warmers and a warm drink station ie. hot chocolate or cider. These thoughtful items will get them through the outdoor portion of the festivities.
5. Fearing the Cold
Winter wedding ceremonies, while cold, are some of my favourite. The experience is unique, it’s memorable for everyone and from my nerdy photographer perspective – the lighting and winter wonderland backdrops can’t be beat especially here in Muskoka. After the festivities outdoors, everyone comes inside and enjoys warm drinks and mingles around the fireplace.
Having a photographer with plenty of winter experience will help keep everyone enjoying themselves by managing the outdoor/indoor times appropriately. For myself, I help my couples plan their wedding say schedule to maximize photography time while also striking a balance with both outdoor and indoor time.