Let’s face it, traipsing about in a white dress in 20-degree weather isn’t probably on the top of most brides’ list of things to do. And in Pittsburgh, if you plan to get married between November and March, you just might get cold and/or snowy weather on your wedding day. That’s probably why the vast majority of weddings in Pittsburgh take place between May and October. Most of us can’t handle the cold!
But that doesn’t mean you should write off the winter months entirely if you’re planning a wedding in Pittsburgh. Winter weddings can really be a lot of fun, and you may find you have a lot more options due to the increased availability of venues and vendors. Here are just some tips if you’re thinking of having a winter wedding in Pittsburgh.
1. Be prepared for the cold and snow. This can be as simple as making sure you and your bridal party have something warm to wear if you plan to take photos outside. Have fun with it and find a cute wrap or warm shawl. Bring a change of shoes if you think it’s going to be snowy (Uggs!) And if you absolutely don’t want to be outside for photos, plan to have an alternate inside location
I loved Caitlin’s white wrap she used to keep warm.
It was so cold on their January wedding day that everyone kept their coats on for this group photo by the PPG plaza ice rink.
Avoiding the cold, Kristin and Lee arranged to take photos inside the Phipps Conservatory Broderie room. Although they had their reception at Phipps, you can rent this room separately just for photos. It’s a balmy 75 degrees all year round!
Emily and Bob (and their bridal party!) braved the elements to get some gorgeous snowy photos. The kids don’t look too happy, but they were soon whisked indoors.
2. Embrace the season. Winter in Pittsburgh can be beautiful, especially during the holiday season. Have fun with your colors and decor and utilize the winter theme in your designs.
I loved Emily and Bob’s snowflake theme from their chilly December wedding.
And St. Mary’s of the Mount church was beautifully decorated for the holidays at Caitlin and Derick’s wedding (and they’re obviously enjoying a great moment in the ceremony).
Keeping with that spirit, Caitlin and Derick used Christmas lights and trees at their Omni William Penn reception to decorate the room.
And I loved how their cake resembled a stack of presents.
Kristin and Lee’s theme of delicate crystals and slim branches made the room at Phipps look amazing.
And how cute is their snowmen cake topper?
3. I hesitate to say this, but check for venue discounts. You may find some venues and vendors offer discounts or special packages during the winter months. The reason I hesitate to write it on here is that I don’t want anyone to assume that because it’s winter, venues and vendors should give them a discount. Personally, I put in 100% into every wedding I photograph, regardless of the month it occurs in. I spend the same amount of time and energy on a wedding in January as I do on a wedding in June. That time I spend working is time I don’t have to spend with my family. But every venue and vendor is different, and for some it may work well to offer special packages during slow months. So it’s worth checking into if you’re planning a winter wedding.
And no, I don’t know if Phipps Conservatory offers discounts for winter, but I really think it looks lovely in the snow!
4. Lastly, have a backup plan. I don’t mean a backup plan in case it’s cold or a little snowy. I mean a backup plan in case there’s a blizzard. Pittsburghers may remember the snowpocalypse we had this past February. I know for a fact that some weddings that were scheduled for that Saturday were canceled. If you plan to have a wedding in the winter here, ask your venue and vendors about your options in case there’s a really bad storm. Will they let you reschedule if the wedding’s canceled due to weather? When would that reschedule take place? Most likely you won’t need to use your backup plan…we don’t usually get that many blizzards here. But it’s certainly worth exploring just so you’re prepared.
But hey, snow is fun and beautiful! And your winter wedding in Pittsburgh can be incredible!