You may think every wedding timeline is the same, right? Wrong. You'll come up against issues you may not have thought of with winter weddings. Lighting is a huge issue during the winter – you'll lose light both in the morning and evening. Be mindful of this when scheduling your hair and makeup, and your wedding portraits after the ceremony. With this in mind, we've come up with some winter wedding timeline tips to help you along the way.

Do a first look

By doing a first look, you'll get those all-important wedding portraits shot before the ceremony. You won't have to worry about whether or not you'll lose light afterward. It just means you can relax, enjoy your ceremony and your drinks reception without having to rush off and get as many pics in as possible.

Opt for a slightly later ceremony

Your makeup artist will need good, natural light when beautifying you and your gals, so the 7 am start you hoped for may not be possible. If you can, opt to have your ceremony at a slightly later time. We're not talking a 4 pm job here, but maybe even choose a 12:30 or 1 pm ceremony slot. This way, you'll be able to have a little lie-in and start the beauty process in natural light.

A well-lit venue is key

Even if it's a gloomy day outside, if your venue is bright and airy, the weather won't be reflected in your wedding photos. If your ceremony is at your venue, ensure the room is spacious and has plenty of windows – the same goes for your reception room.

Choose your photographer wisely

Do your research on different photography styles that you like. The brighter, fine art style is ideal for winter weddings. Regardless of rain, hail, sleet or snow, your photos will be beautifully bright. That said, if you just prefer the more atmospheric, moody style, go for it! Your photographer is a professional, they'll edit up the pics how they see fit.

winter wedding timeline Image by The Lous

Plan for unruly weather

Although we don't always get a white Christmas, don't underestimate how haphazard Irish weather can be. Make sure you factor in extreme weather changes – be it torrential rain, icy roads or a blizzard, plan ahead. It could affect your guests or even you arriving on time. Try to ensure everyone is covered for all eventualities.

Embrace the cosiness

Once you've planned the day and taken full advantage of the glorious winter sun, embrace the cosy evening. Why not put on a hot chocolate or mulled wine bar as your wedding favour? Or, gather your guests around an open fire outside for smores – that's dessert sorted anyway!

winter wedding timeline Image by The Lous

Winter Wedding Timeline Example

  • 8 am Light breakfast
  • 10 am Hair and makeup
  • 12 pm bridal party pictures
  • 12:30 pm First look
  • 1 pm Ceremony
  • 2:30 pm Drinks reception and canapés
  • 3:30 pm More portrait shots
  • 5 pm Dinner call
  • 7 pm Speeches
  • 7:30 pm Firepit mulled wine/hot chocolate/smores
  • 8:30 pm First dance/band/music starts
  • 10 pm DJ starts
  • 10 pm-late Party to the wee hours of the morning!

Related to 'Winter Wedding Timeline': 16 Sparkling Bridesmaids Dresses for Winter Weddings

Feature image by The Lous