As a wedding photographer, I see a lot of love and beauty during wedding days. However, I also see some strange and crazy things as well! In this blog series, Adventures of a Wedding Photographer, I am going to share some of the craziest things that have happened to me while photographing weddings. Hopefully these stories will help future brides relax and realize that no wedding day is perfect. You just have to be ready to laugh it off and enjoy your day, no matter how crazy things get!
Typically my first wedding of the season is in April when the snow starts to melt and the air is warm. However, sometimes I have brave couples who love snow and plan winter weddings! My first wedding of 2019 was in early January at the beautiful Whitefish Lodge & Suites in Crosslakes, MN. Whitefish Lodge is the perfect venue for a winter wedding with the large fireplaces and indoor locations for both the ceremony and reception. We even lucked out and had a clear and sunny day for outdoor photos!
The week up to the wedding, I always check the forecast a few times. It seemed like every time I checked for this wedding the temperatures dropped lower and lower. The actual high on their wedding day was 1 degree. If I remember correctly, the wind chill made it feel like -25 degrees. If you have never experience below zero temperatures, just know that it hurts to be outside. The air is freezing and it only takes seconds for the cold air to get under your jacket, gloves, and boots. Thankfully, this couple wanted a winter wedding and with that outdoor winter photos as well. We drove over to a nearby campground and took photos in 10 minute sections. They would hop out of the truck, we would snap some photos and then back into the truck to warm up.
While my couple was defrosting in the truck, I waited outside to make sure my camera did not fog up. That day I wore two pairs of fleece lined leggings, snow boots, a dress, sweater, jacket, gloves, scarf, hat, and had hand warmers tucked in my pockets. I was almost warm, but my couple had a lot less layers on. After the first location we walked through the snow to a second spot. They lasted almost 20 minutes out in the cold the second time! By working quickly, we filled their gallery with plenty of beautiful winter portraits of the two of them.
I always tell couples the weather will not bother them on their wedding day. If it is zero degrees, the bride and groom have wedding day adrenaline to keep them warm. After months or years of planning, the day is finally here and they are getting married. Unfortunately, the bridal party does not have the same advantage of wedding day excitement to keep them warm. After bride and groom portraits out in the cold, we moved inside for awhile to tackle family photos.
Everyone was warm and happy by the fireplace, but we still had the bridal party photos outside. Moving a group of people anywhere takes some time. We had to get everyone outside quickly, take the photos, and get back inside before anyone got frost bite. I thought we had a solid plan, but once we got outside we realized it was very icy. The girls were all wearing boots under their dresses, so they had no problem walking. The guys however were wearing dress shoes that we quickly found out had no traction on the ice! Every laugh you see in their photos are genuine because watching the guys try to walk on the icy was a funny sight!
In the end, we got every outdoor photo we needed before the ceremony. For the rest of the day, everyone was inside the warm and cozy lodge ready to celebrate this couple’s wedding. There were plenty of warm drinks to go around, plenty of fireplaces to sit next to, and plenty of dancing to stay warm. The cold weather outside was the perfect contrast to the warm, inviting, perfect wedding happening inside.
Catch up on Adventures of a Wedding Photographer Part One!
Alecs Kay Photography is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer in Fargo, ND