February 26, 2015 If you are dreaming of a winter wedding that will be a memorable experience for you and your loved ones the Canadian Rocky Mountains have a lot to offer that will leave your guests feeling inspired. Winter weddings are my favourite to photograph because the mountains look stunning decked out in snow and there is a warm cozy feeling to candlelit dinners and fireplaces for guests to sit by. Hosting a wedding in Banff or Lake Louise gives you the perfect opportunity to include some truly Canadian experiences that will wow your guests who have traveled to celebrate with you. I photographed a wedding this winter where the guests had traveled from all over the world to be a part of the wedding and the bride and groom planned a destination wedding week that included dog sledding, ice skating, ice climbing, a hike to a frozen waterfall and a night out for fondue. On the wedding day while the bride and groom were having their photographs taken the guests were treated to a horse drawn sleigh ride while sipping hot chocolate and cuddling up under blankets. It gave the bride and groom extra time to spend with their loved ones and the guests were thrilled with their experience. As a Banff wedding photographer I've come to learn some useful tips for getting the best winter wedding photographs that I'd love to share with you.
Feet always get cold during a winter wedding photo session so make sure to bring along warm boots to keep you comfortable. Most dresses are long enough that you won't even see them.
Keeping your hands warm during your winter wedding photo session is very important. Pick up mittens for you and your wedding party and stuff them with hand warmers to keep everyone comfortable during photographs. It's also a great opportunity to find some cute mittens that will be fun in your photos.
#3 WINTER COAT
Make sure you both have winter coats that will look great in photographs if it is simply too cold to take your coats off for photographs. Colour looks fantastic against the snow in photographs.
If you want to be able to take photos in your dress without a coat but need a warm up in between photographs I suggest bringing a down comforter or other non-shedding blanket to cozy up in. Sometimes that is much easier than wrestling with a coat and your veil.
People often think of white for a winter wedding but white tends to get lost against the snow. I suggest using pops of colour for vivid photographs.
#6 WINTER LIGHT
We lose natural light in the mountains as early as 2pm some months. Therefore it is critical that you schedule your portrait time so that you can capture the best light and be able to see the mountains. If you are having a ceremony at dusk make sure you include lighting that will illuminate your faces. Candles lining the aisle are beautiful but won't show your expressions so it's nice to have both.
Boutonnieres tend to wilt or get hugged to a pancake at weddings so bring along a second boutonniere if you are using fresh flowers to replace when it starts looking bad in photographs.Or use fabric flowers that aren't affected by the cold and won't wilt.
About the author
Kirstie Tweed is a wedding photographer based in Banff who specializes in photographing mountain weddings with her company Orange Girl. Kirstie and her husband Kevin also share their tips for planning a mountain wedding on their website Canoe Wedding. www.orangegirl.com www.canoewedding.com