Can you still plan an adventure elopement in winter? What about in New England, where winters are long and snowy? My answer--absolutely!

Planning an indoor or an outdoor wedding in winter comes with its own sets of challenges, just like any season. But in places like Maine or New Hampshire, where more of the year is cold than isn't, there is no reason to give up half the calendar year as potential wedding dates--ESPECIALLY if you are an adventurous couple who loves winter outdoor activities. Trails are quieter, there aren't any bugs, and you get additional views you just can't get in summer when the trees are fully leafed. And unless you are looking at ski resorts--it's probably going to be a lot easier to find lodging in places that are fully booked through the warmer months.  

Hopefully I can answer some questions about why it's a good idea to plan your elopement or wedding for winter--or at least, give you some solid reasons why you should consider it!

You get iconic landscapes to yourself

There are some places that are iconic because of their foliage, and there isn’t really any getting around that. The rhododendrons and flame azalea in the Roan Highlands. A backdrop of brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges of an autumn forest. But unless it’s those specific colors or seasonal displays you want, going out in the winter affords the opportunity to visit highly trafficked natural areas without the crowds. National Parks across the US report their highest numbers from May-October, which means sharing the backdrops for those epic, magazine-cover shots with other couples, not having much time once you're there, and running the risk of missing the best light because someone else got there first. Most public lands require permits for any kind of ceremony and limit the number offered, and some don’t allow them at all during peak season. Going in winter means it’s colder, but it also means you may have the place to yourself. This allows you as much time as you want to say your vows, celebrate your proposal, or document your adventure before letting the world know about your commitment. And in a place like Maine, the coast is beautiful no matter what season you visit in, and our evergreen trees love the cold.

The beautiful contrast of a snowy backdrop

A white wedding dress against a white backdrop may sound monochromatic—but hear me out. Wedding gowns against a gorgeous green forest or amidst brilliant flowers is popular for a reason, but don’t discount how white on white can make the other details of your day pop. Your skin looks warmer, your hair and eyes more vibrant, and your jewelry will sparkle in the reflection of the stark landscape. Plus--snow and ice make everything look enchanted without spending extra on decorations. Especially if you're hoping for an adventurous elopement, where pack weight counts. A landscape covered in freshly fallen snow or twinkling with ice adds a production-level element of enchantment to your setting without having to spend an extra penny, or having to carry in an extra ounce.

Things to consider adding for winter to add to the aesthetic:

Shawls or stoles to wrap around your shoulders

Extra greenery in your flower arrangements

Visiting ice castles or somewhere with holiday light displays

Coziness adds intimacy

The best pictures I take are ones where my clients are interacting with each other. And when it's cold, it's easy to want to get as close as possible to the person you love. Snuggling under a blanket or huddling for warmth, it doesn't take much for that air of "there's nobody here but us" to come across in your portraits.

Ways to make it extra cozy? Blankets! Wrap them around your shoulders, or layer them on the ground and snuggle together.

Consider bringing thermoses of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate to toast instead of champagne or grape juice! Your hands will stay extra warm, and the steam rising from your cups will pop in photos.

Less sweat--and NO BUGS

I cannot count how much time I have spent editing mosquitoes and bug bites out of pictures I take in the summer. Or how many "outtake" pictures I have of clients making funny faces as they swat away flying pests. Not to mention the shine of sweat and red cheeks that come from hiking or even just running around and playing together on a humid, summer day. Is it worth it? Of course! But there is a lot to be said for winter where these problems are nonexistent.

Worried about the extra challenges winter does bring? We can help with a customized packing list, and share some of what we pack with our gear to fight off the cold--including hand warmers, lots of water and hydration supplements, and extra mittens and socks, so no matter how far into the woods you want to go, we will do it safely and comfortably.

Sunrise is later and sunset is earlier

Start the day with a sunrise hike without having to get up extra early. Or enjoy the sunset (golden hour starts before 3pm here in Maine this time of year!) and have time to change before dinner. Plus, because of the shorter days--the light stays fairly low all day long. Even at noon, it's easy to find a shady spot so you aren't squinting, and the luscious glow of golden hour lasts a little longer at sunrise and sunset.

And a bonus -- finding vendors!

Photographers, caterers, venues, DJs...summer and fall are peak wedding season, which can mean that your preferred vendors and venues are booking up to years in advance. Choosing the off-season may be the key to booking your dream photographer, or securing the perfect location—especially if you don’t have a year or more to plan. Plus--a lot of places offer discounts during the off-season. Hotels have reduced rates, and vendors may offer specials to help fill slots during an otherwise quiet time.

Ready to get started? Fill out the form below and we'll get back to you with more information on planning your winter elopement!