Tips for a Winter Wedding

Here in Southern Alberta, “wedding season,” when it’s warm out, is a small window of time! Many couples opt for a winter wedding, whether its for school timelines or just loving the look of the snow. With the weather being so unpredictable, many brides are understandably nervous. I compiled my most-used/given tips for your winter wedding in Southern Alberta:


Remember the days are shorter.

  • In December, for example, the sun rises between 8:00 or 8:30 am and sets by 4:30 pm. This might sound like a total no-brainer, but keep it in mind when planning your timeline so you don’t run out of light for your photos! Check with your photographer to see how much time he or she recommends for photo-taking.
  • My favourite tool to check sunset times is

Be brave.

  • It might be freezing outside, but brave the cold for outdoor photos! It’s only for an hour or so, and then you’ll have the rest of the night to be warm.

Jonny and Jordan's Waterton Winter Wedding

Beautiful Cardston Temple wedding by Kinsey Holt Photography

Stay warm.

Easier said than done when it’s -40, but here are my suggestions:

  • For your outdoor photos, wear warm leggings under your dress – no is going to see.
  • Along the same lines, wear warm socks and boots.
  • Purchase those small packets that warm up when exposed to air, and put them in your boots.
  • Take a look at wedding dresses with pockets – you can put hand warmers in them. I’m not suggesting that pockets are the most important factor in choosing a dress (far from it!) but if the one you love has pockets, your hands will thank you.
  • Plan to keep a vehicle running nearby – arrange to have someone in your bridal party drive! You can hop into a warm vehicle for warm-up breaks, which will keep you from freezing and keep your nose and ears from getting too red.
  • Try a few photos with a cape/muff – think Belle in Beauty and the Beast. 🙂


Bring Kleenex.

  • Inevitably, cold makes noses drip.

Incorporate some texture or color.

  • With the trees leafless and brown, the landscape is definitely lacking in color during the winter months. Add some color in your florals to help you stand out from the snow (or brown landscape if you get married after a Chinook). Play with color with your bridal party dresses and ties. Or, add texture in your dress with lace, other fabrics, overlays, gathers, appliqués or other details.

Jonny and Jordan's Cardston Winter Wedding

Have a Plan B for photos

  • If a blizzard is raging on your wedding day, doing your photos before your wedding day or having a back-up session planned after your wedding day will save you stress! Doing your photos on another day can be really relaxing and fun! No feeling like you’re keeping anyone waiting, just you and your new spouse and your photographer. Photos on another day also give you a little more flexibility in choosing locations. For example, if you want mountain wedding photos but you are getting married a couple of hours away, it will make for a pretty tight timeline to do them on the day of. And you get to dress up and wear your dress again!


Jonny and Jordan's Waterton Winter WeddingJonny and Jordan's Waterton Winter Wedding


What do you think? I’d love to hear any other tips or thoughts in the comments below!

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