How to Plan for New Jersey Winter Wedding Photos

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Having a winter wedding, but not sure how your photos will turn out? Is it possible to get good wedding photos in the winter?

After all, there’s less daylight. And although you would love to capture portraits outdoors, there’s that whole temperature issue. Brrr..

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Fret not, friends! The MZP team is here to assure you that getting amazing winter wedding photos is possible, especially when you have the right photographer by your side. AND even though winter has its challenges, it also has its blessings. 

Keep reading to learn how you can prepare for your winter wedding photos and how we make the most of what the frosty season offers. 

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Choose One Location 

If possible, consider choosing one venue space for your ceremony and reception. 

Having your wedding in one location lessens the chance of something happening during the commute. Weather problems may delay transportation, and it’s easier and safer for everyone to be in one place throughout the day. 

Saving time on travel means you’ll also have more time for photos before it gets dark. Especially if you’re not taking the bulk of your portraits before the ceremony.  

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Have a First Look 

First looks are important for various reasons, especially when there’s less light to work with or more than one venue to travel between. 

In the winter months, we try and get as many photos taken as possible before the ceremony because the light wanes quickly. If you’re having a traditional late afternoon or early evening ceremony, it’s highly recommended that you have a first look because you can bet on the sun setting around 5pm.

No matter the season, a first look gives us more time throughout the day. But it matters the most during winter because of the lack of daylight. Getting the bulk of the portraits taken care of early in the day means you’ll have plenty of light left for other photos later. 

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A couple of tips for those who don’t foresee a first look happening:

If you’re spreading your wedding across two venues (a church and venue, for example), save the majority of your group photos for the venue, not the church. 

Foregoing a first look means many of your photos will be in the dark. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’re well-equipped to handle nighttime images – and do it beautifully! Just be prepared.

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Gather Your Warmest Accessories

If you and your wedding party are planning outdoor portraits at any point during the day, you’ll want to bring the layers. Not only to keep warm but to ward off some of the redness that comes with cold temps.

Think stylish shawls, capes, or coats. Cozy up with your partner under a blanket. Shield your ears with a pair of earmuffs. And remember your hands. A couple of colorful mittens can look cute against a white dress and bouquet of flowers. And you can stuff them with hand warmers for extra heat. 

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Be Prepared to be Cold

Be prepared for cold moments if you’re having an outdoor ceremony or want most of your photos taken outside. And notify anyone who will be standing outside with you so they can prepare as well. 

That said, we can always take “warm-up” breaks between photo sessions. And we recommend having a basket of blankets nearby for guests to use. Maybe even a hot cocoa bar or coffee station where people can gather between events. If it’s outdoors, consider setting up heat lamps. And make sure everyone has access to an indoor space should the weather turn. 

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Explore the Indoors

Speaking of indoor backup plans, let your photography team know what aspects of the venue you like in case it’s so unbearably cold that people don’t want to go outside for photos.  

What indoor spaces and details do you love? Look around and find the features you particularly adore. It could be the overarching windows that let in the winter light or the cozy library with the elegant fireplace. 

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Embrace the Darkness

Consider dipping out after the ceremony to take portraits against the darkening sky. While it’s true that winter brings dark skies sooner, it also bestows us with blue hour.

This magical moment happens just after sunset when the sun dips below the horizon, and the sky turns a deep blue hue. The effect is soft and romantic, like golden hour. But you’ll only find this lighting situation during winter, so it’s ideal for unique photos. 

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Hire a Professional 

To get the best winter wedding photos, you’ll want an experienced photographer behind the camera. The season comes with challenges; having someone who knows how to navigate them will make all the difference. 

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While we don’t typically photograph outdoor winter engagement sessions (If you have a really cool idea, go ahead and make your pitch – maybe I’ll swing), we are more than happy to capture your winter wedding memories. Reach out, and let us know you’re interested. 



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