Top tips and everything to know about your winter elopement
Eloping in the wintertime can be a beautifully unique experience, but with the snowy wonderland comes a few extra steps in preparation! As the temperature drops and the snow clouds loom, it's important to bring a flexible and adventurous spirit to the table when planning your day. Giving yourself time to properly plan and pack will make the experience so much more comfortable. If you're not quite sure how to do that, I've compiled this list to help couples plan their dream winter elopement!
What to wear for your winter elopement
As this is your unique day, you have the freedom to wear whatever you want! Whether that's a ball gown dress or a cozy snowsuit, the options are limitless! Typically couples choose to wear a casual and convenient outfit first if we're doing any sort of hike that requires flexibility and gear. And then slipping into more formal attire once we've reached the chosen location on the trail. Not every winter elopement involves a hike though, and if you want an accessible location then you can get ready off-site and drive in your attire all ready to say I do! Here's a few tips on what to wear to your winter elopement.
- Layer, layer, layer. This means under and over your actual wedding attire! A good pair of long underwear can make a world of difference, believe me! As the saying goes "There's no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes." While that's only really partially true, it definitely speaks truth on the fact that investing in good quality, durable clothing will make your outdoor experience so much better!
- Bring extras. Having backups of items such as socks, long underwear, sweaters, etc. is a good way to ensure no one gets too cold or stays wet for too long! If our travel time gets delayed it’s great to have extra snacks and layers to keep us cozy too. Depending on the length of our walk you can keep the extras in the car and pack in only what we need (I can help you determine exactly what to load into your backpack!)
Deeper dive into apparel for your winter elopement
I can't lie, winter elopements are beautiful but they definitely add a little bit more planning than in the other warmer seasons. But all it takes is some good preparation, and that can be with your attire. So what you do you even wear or get for your winter elopement? I've got you covered below.
BEST WINTER ELOPEMENT DRESS OPTIONS:
If you plan to wear a dress, think of something that is winter friendly and comfortable. This of course all depends on what you plan to do on your day, but generally the more room you have underneath, then you can layer to stay warm. Try on long sleeve dresses, or if you want something short sleeve, make sure you take a look at the below options to cover up and layer.
BEST WINTER ELOPEMENT SUIT OPTIONS:
If you are planning to wear a suit, the same goes for you. Try to find winter friendly materials to keep you warm. Materials like tweed, velvet or wool for example are great options to try on. You could even see if you could add in some thermal wear to the insides to really add in some warmth!
BEST OPTIONS FOR UNDER YOUR ATTIRE:
Lots of people don't even think to wear some warm leggings, but it can be that simple. You can find some fleece options that will fit under your dress that will keep you nice and toasty.
BEST OPTIONS FOR OVER YOUR ATTIRE:
This can be REALLY fun to look at. I did some research for one of my couples and wanted to share it with you. There are some fun ideas out there to be cute and stay warm. One of my favorite ideas is a cape or wool cloak.
- Velvet shawl
- faux fur
- Bridal jacket
- A cape
- A wool cloak
- Custom Jean Jacket
BEST OPTIONS FOR YOUR FEET:
For a winter elopement, how you keep your feet warm is probably the most important. If your feet stay warm, generally your whole body does too. It helps at least! So don't skip this part.
- Warm, wool socks
- Feet warmers
- Winterized boots. You can do regular snowboots or hiking boots.
Winter Elopement Ideas
One things I love about the winter is all the fun activities you could incorporate into your day. Of course it is colder weather, but why should that stop you?! Add in experiences that you two normally do in the winter and make a fun day or weekend out of it. I have a few fun ideas up my sleeve and I'll put a few below to get your mind brewing.
- Go skiing / snowboarding and say I do at the top of the mountain
- Snowmobile somewhere secluded and into the woods
- Take a sleigh ride to add some magic to your day
- Go ice skating somewhere special
- Hike or snowshoe to a spot with a view or a nice tree covering
How to be mentally prepared
Eloping in the winter requires some extra flexibility, in body and spirit! You can plan all you want, but in the end things happen! Whether that may be a disruption caused by extreme weather or closed roads/trails, there's a lot out of our control. BUT this doesn't mean all's lost! The very basis of an elopement is the freedom you have to change your plans, and still make the day wonderful. Here's some tips on how to prepare together as a couple as you prepare for your winter elopement:
- Write out a vision. Come together and talk about how you want to feel on your elopement day. Don't focus too much on the exact logistics or specifics. Dream up what you want the day to encapsulate (peace, adventure, adrenaline, cozy vibes?) Think about the things that matter the most in your relationship and keep that at the heart of your planning process. Check out my elopement planning resource here for more ideas!
- Make backup plans. Make options A,B,C, etc. in advance, that way if things don't go accordingly you're not scrambling to think of another idea. Whether that's the location, trail, or sometimes even time of day, be open to having your day go not exactly according to plan. I'm always down to help brainstorm backup plans with my clients and have mastered the art of improvised adventures.
- Make sure your vendors are flexible. Especially during the winter, because you just never know. If your vendors can be flexible, that will allow you to have a much more stress free experience and day.
What to do after your winter elopement
You did it! You braved the cold temps and said I do in the winter weather, now it's time to get cozy and start your that wedding bliss. A lot of prep goes into planning the actual day of the wedding/elopement, but sometimes the day after gets forgotten! If you're not in a rush to jet off on an exotic destination honeymoon (of which I FULLY SUPPORT!) here's a few ideas on how to spend the day after as newly weds!
- Rent a local accommodation. Whether it's an Airbnb in the woods or a luxury resort by the lake, consider staying nearby your elopement location. That way you don't need to stress too much about being in a rush! Winter weather can be unreliable, and the last thing we want is you missing an early morning flight the next day or stressing about driving back home in the snow that night.
- Schedule in a seasonal adventure. Skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing, soaking in a hot spring; there are lots of amazing activities that can be done in the winter! Make the elopement an extended adventure or a mini-moon and take time to enjoy the season and location where you married your partner!
Ready to start planning your dream winter elopement? Reach out now and let's start talking! As a bonus, I provide all of my booked clients with an extended elopement resource guide that includes more on how to pack for your winter elopement!
A New Hampshire + Vermont based adventure elopement and intimate wedding photographer team for the adventurous souls. We specialize in New England and destinations worldwide, empowering you to create the most beautiful, adventurous day and give you the memories you'll be able to look back on for all the years to come.
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