You won’t find many people planning a snowy destination wedding. All the magazine covers showcase mountains covered with wildflowers, or beaches on exotic islands. And even though I consider myself a part-time destination wedding photographer (hello, Colorado weddings!) the majority of my couples live and marry in the Midwest. Not surprisingly, I primarily photograph weddings in Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. All of which come with a LONG HARD WINTER each year!

Don’t get me wrong. I love snow! It’s gorgeous and reminds of me of ski vacations in the Rocky Mountains. And Christmas & my birthday (shoutout at December). And mulled wine, and sweaters, and silent wintery nights. But when you live in the Midwest, and winter can be anywhere from 3-6 months long, that means a good chunk of couples choose to tie the knot… come hell or high snow drifts. ;)

5 tips for your winter wedding // bridesmaid in dusty blue dress with creme shawl

This blog post is a little bit of love to all you brides who just love the snow, winter, Christmas… or had to get married in the coldest months of the year for whatever reason. May your day be perfect, may the wind be warm, and may you kiss your new hubby with cold but un-chapped lips! <3

5 tips for your winter wedding

1. Wear a shawl… or jacket… or sweater! I love how creative my brides have gotten. Shawls always look classy, and so do fur wraps. I’d also LOVE to see a bride wear a pink fuzzy sweater, or rock a jean jacket!!

2. Have an early ceremony! Light is especially important for great wedding day photos, and the sun goes down a lot earlier in winter months. Work with your wedding photographer to create a timeline that maximizes the light & time you have. It’ll be so helpful to have that planned out, and know you’ll be able to get well-lit photos to remember your gorgeous day!

winter wedding photography tips AMELIA RENEE PHOTOGRAPHY IN DES MOINES
winter wedding snow Des Moines amelia renee photo dan danae

3. Footwear is key! Check the weather starting a few weeks before your ceremony. Based on the time of winter, and your location, you can decide if you want to wear rain boots, winter boots, or even flats! Of course, wear something for the ceremony that looks good inside. ;) Just remember that if snow has been melting, you’ll sink into any mud around during outdoor portraits. So rainboots for you and your girls may be the way to go. (Just ANOTHER reason to pick long bridesmaids dresses! They really are the best.)

bride and groom wearing cowboy boots on country  winter wedding day  amelia renee phtoography

4. Be thoughtful of your guests. You can easily utilize winter gifts for favors! Hand warmers, mittens, socks, or blankets make great favors or usable decor during a winter marriage. I loved how Sarah & David had blankets setting out —especially when it snowed and was well below freezing the morning they married!


5. Prep your bridesmaids! It’ll most likely be cold outside, and girls always look prettier than groomsmen… but colder. Make sure they bring appropriate shoe-wear, and have them pack running tights or leggings to wear underneath their dresses! As long as they don’t look bunchy, it’ll be SO much warmer against the winter winds.

winter wedding tips for brides colorado Iowa Minnesota Amelia Renee

There you have it! Did I miss anything? Brides or bridesmaids, jump in and share any extra thoughts you have! :) I’d love to learn from you. Just leave a comment below.