Planning a Winter Wedding -Everything You Need to Know, From Choosing the Dress to Finding a Photographer

There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding in Nova Scotia. Even more goes into planning a winter wedding! As you probably know, the average winter temperature in Nova Scotia is around -9 or -10 degrees. If you’re planning on getting married during November to March, there are a few additional considerations you’ll need to take into account. That’s why we’ve created this handy winter wedding planning guide. It covers everything you need to know about winter wedding options including wedding gown alterations, venues, photography, flowers, footwear, and more for your winter nuptials.  

The Wedding Dress

The bride ready for her winter wedding in her wedding dress and cape with winter muff.

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a ‘summer wedding dress’ or a ‘winter wedding dress’. This is your day, choose whatever dress you like! If your dream gown isn’t quite winter appropriate consider a professional wedding gown alteration shop. They can add or remove features to make it a better fit for that time of the year. For example, you could opt to have sleeves shortened or removed if you’re planning to wear a bolero or jacket to reduce bulkiness and make it more comfortable. Or you could have a longer dress hemmed to avoid dragging the material through snow or wet ground. You could even choose to have beading added for a festive snowflake look that mimics the frostiness of the winter scene. 

The bride's long winter wedding gloves with hair piece.

What about adding some winter accessories like a winter cape or shawl, white wedding gloves or even a winter wedding hand muff to keep your hands warm while getting your wedding photos done.

The Wedding Footwear

The bride's winter wedding shoes with fur cape.

A big part of winter wedding planning is deciding what shoes to wear. If the ground is likely to be soft and muddy – or icy and slippery – having the right footwear is essential. While some brides think that winter weddings will automatically mean no open toes, that’s not entirely true. Delicate heels can be a beautiful choice for indoors, swapping to a pair of flat pumps or sturdier wedges for outdoor photographs. And if you really wanted to embrace the winter environment, you could even pull on a pair of sneakers or rubber boots. A great piece of advice is that, if you do plan to wear stunning wedding shoes outside, be sure to use a suitable leather or suede protector to reduce damage to the material. 

The bride's rubber boots for her wedding.

The Wedding Venue

Oceanstone weddings, ceremony and reception set ups for a winter wedding.
Oceanstone Winter Wedding

Call us biased, but Nova Scotia wedding venues are some of the most jaw dropping in the world. However, it’s important to think about more than just appearance when you’re winter wedding planning. Some venues are outdoor only, and even if you’re lucky enough to have the sun shining down on you, it’s still going to be far too chilly for your guests to spend all day in the fresh air. If you’re set on an outdoor ceremony, look for a venue that also offers an indoor space for the reception, and also as a backup in case of adverse weather on the day. It can also be a good idea to look for a venue with on-site accommodation, which removes the needs for guests to drive home in the dark if the weather is bad. 

The Wedding Photographer

The bride and groom pose for wedding photos at sunset on the ocean boardwalk at Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage, NS.
Fisherman’s Cove Winter Wedding

As any photographer will tell you, getting the perfect shot in winter is a bit trickier than in summer. Not only is there less natural light, but the cold weather also makes guests a little less willing to stand around posing for the camera. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some amazing pictures. You just need to know what to look for in a winter wedding photographer. First, it’s important to choose someone who’s familiar with Nova Scotia’s wedding venues. If a photographer has shot at the location before, they’ll know all the secrets to the best spots and lighting options. Secondly, look for a photographer skilled in flash. Flash photography can add some incredible effects to even the dullest or most overcast of days. 

The bride and groom pose on a wooden bench for wedding photos at Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage, NS.
Fisherman’s Cove Winter Wedding

The Wedding Flowers

The bridal wedding bouquet of red roses with the wedding rings.

Classic wedding flowers like peonies are stunning, yet they’re only in season for a very short time over spring and early summer. Of course, it’s not impossible to arrange for summer flowers at a winter wedding, but getting them flown in can be an expensive endeavour. Instead, why not consider winter alternatives? There are lots of choices, including festive holly, ivy, and poinsettias, as well as hardy foliage like eucalyptus and succulents. Artificial flowers are also a good choice for a winter wedding, and the best part is they last forever. Opting for seasonal blooms not only helps to keep your costs down, but also helps you to match your bouquet and centerpieces with the special ambiance of the cooler season. 

The Wedding Cake and Decorations

Make your wedding truly a winter wedding by choosing winter style decorations for your venue.

Winter wedding decorations for a winter wedding at the Lower Deck Tap Room.

There are so many options from Christmas trees to small wrapped xmas presents as favors for your guests. How about adding poinsettias to your wedding table center pieces.

Don’t forget the wedding cake, make it a wintery scene with a snowman couple as a topper.

An awesome winter themed wedding cake with snowman wedding cake toppers at a Lower Deck Tap Room wedding.

Planning a Beautiful Winter Wedding

By thinking closely about the above considerations, you’ll be a winter wedding planning expert in no time! Summer is still the most popular time for weddings, but there is absolutely no doubt that winter weddings can be equally as magical – if not more so, a winter wonderland. With a few simple tweaks, and a little extra planning, you can have your dream wedding even if it’s snowing, windy, wet, or absolutely freezing! 

Additional Wedding Resources

1. Check out some of my favorite wedding advise blog posts…
10 Reasons Why You Should Have Engagement Photos Taken
Planning A Nova Scotia Wedding-a 12 months timeline.
Planning an Elopement, Intimate Wedding or the Full Party during Covid
NS Wedding Venues Plus Tips For Choosing the Perfect Venue.

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