This winter I have been lucky enough to photograph some amazing couples getting married in some amazing locations. (Like Shae & Richie’s snowboarding wedding in a snowstorm on top of Coronet Peak). Here are 7 Queenstown Winter Wedding Tips to help you have an amazing Queenstown Winter Wedding too.
- If you are trying to plan an amazing Queenstown Winter Wedding, make sure you, your bridal party and your guests are dressed for the location and the time of year – jackets, gloves, hats, sunglasses, etc (even the bride can & should cover up in between photos to stay warm).
- Have (warm and heart-warming) food & drinks on hand for the bridal party to keep them going between the ceremony and when they can finally eat at the reception. Consider warm drinks or at least drinks that “warm the cockles”. Patagonia hot chocolate with chilli anyone?
- If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, make sure you have a bad weather ceremony back-up option that can accommodate all your guests.
- Keep in mind that in Queenstown we lose the sunlight a lot earlier than you think due to the low sun and the proximity of the mountains. (Ie your location may be in shadow well before true sunset because you are in the shadow cast by the mountains). For the best light your Photographer willl often want to shoot location photos at “Magic Hour”. Ie just after sunrise or just before sunset. But if you are at your sunset location too late, you may lose the sun altogether. Trust your celebrant or photographer for advice on this if they are local and experienced.
- Consider having your ceremony earlier than you would for a summer wedding. As we mentioned in 4 above, you will lose the light quite early in winter in Queenstown depending upon the exact ceremony or location photos location. Which means that your photographer will probably want to get all the photos done earlier while there is still some light. (Although if they’re smart they will be stoked if they are shooting right up until and just after sunset as the light will be epic then if the weather is good. This is one of the reasons I love Winter Weddings – because we are typically shooting location photos when the sun is much lower in the sky and the light is a lot more dramatic and flattering). And if you aren’t arriving at your reception until quite late in the day this could mean a fair bit of dead time or waiting around after the location photos before you can walk into your ceremony as man and wife.
- If you are keen on bridal party or bride and groom photos on the snow (this is often one of the main reasons couple plan a winter wedding in Queenstown) keep in mind that typically in Queenstown even in winter the snow is only found at 1000 metres or even higher. If you are lucky the snow will be low enough that your wedding photographer can drive you to a beautiful location with snow on the ground for some stunning winter location photos. But often you will have to either venture onto a ski-field or book a helicopter if you want to guarantee photos on the snow. And taking photos on a ski-field is not really an option for safety reasons (ie the ski-fields won’t allow us on their land. Not to mention the fact you would end up with dozens of random skiers in the background of all your wedding photos!). If you are considering a helicopter flight, get in touch with the lovely folks at Heli Tours or Heliworks Queenstown.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen just because it’s winter. The UV in NZ is super strong at any time of year – and especially strong if you are spending any amount of time on the snow, which is basically a giant reflector bouncing more sunlight at you from all angles!
I hope that you find these Queenstown Winter Wedding Tips useful in planning your own Amazing Queenstown Winter Wedding! If you have any questions (or maybe yoiu even have some Queenstown Winter Wedding Tips of your own you’d like to add), just leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. I will add more Queenstown Winter Wedding Tips to this article as and when I think of them, so do check in from time to time to see any updates.