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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Monzi

9 Tips For What To Pack For Snowy Winter Elopements & Adventure Sessions

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

Black and White photo of couple eloping in snowy Adirondack mountains

The Winter Solstice is this week and that means its time for stunning winter elopements and sessions! I think getting married in the winter is seriously underrated, it’s cozy, magical and has such beautiful scenery and light.

The biggest thing to remember about being outdoors is that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. You’ve got to come prepared. (***Side note: I don’t ever put my clients in danger, this is just to say that if it’s snowing or raining we can still have an AMAZING day!).

In late 2020 I decided that I could not stay inside all winter because I was starting to go crazy from being inside all the time during the quarantine. I decided to learn more about gearing up for winter. Because of this, I was able to have such a fun winter with so many clients and also personally with my family that winter. I even went sledding with my sisters for the first time in probably a decade.

Elopement couple with winter bouquet  at snowy Heart Lake in the Adirondacks

Being comfortable made me able to focus on my clients, the nature around me and just be in the moment, rather than thinking about how cold it was. This is something I remind all of my couples, many of whom have even thought about having their elopement or engagement photos in the winter because of the cold.

I’m here to tell you that eloping in the winter is stunning, and yes, sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, but it’s so magical and worth it.

Here are 9 things to bring to your winter elopement to help make your experience go smoothly:

1. Boots

I personally think hiking/snow boots with wedding apparel is such a vibe! It’s also functional, so 10 points to Gryffindor. If you want to take photos with another pair of shoes, maybe when we are indoors, go for it! Multiple pairs of shoes ensures you get the style you want but also the practicality of staying warm, dry and comfortable.

Elopement detail photo of bride’s shoes with pine tree leaves and white high heels and brown Ugg snow boots and white Sperry snow boots

Bride in lace dress putting on her brown ugg snow boots for her winter elopement in the Adirondacks

2. Layers

I cannot stress this enough, layers are one of the most important things to consider when adventuring out in the winter.

Nude/skin toned thermal leggings are great for under dresses.

Wool/sweat wicking socks, gloves, earmuffs or hat, scarf or gaiter, shawl, snow pants and a stylish but warm jacket are just some things to consider.

We can take photos with and without the jackets and some of the layers but they’re important to have in between locations.

The name of the game is feeling warm and comfortable so you can focus on each other.

Elopement Bride and groom in front of winter foliage at Whiteface Lodge New York

Emotional winter elopement couple reading their vows with blue vow book

Winter elopement bride with fur coat and groom wearing black tux with snowy mountain background

Bride and groom on frozen lake and wooden bridge at Whiteface Lodge

3. Spikes & Poles

Being safe in the outdoors is super important! Let’s minimize the possibility of slipping and busting our asses and ruining our day with injury. This one is more location dependent but if you're planning to go anywhere like a frozen lake, frozen waterfall or anywhere after icy weather these are a must!

Crampons, (I hate that word) also known as shoe spikes, are an inexpensive investment that allow you to get a good grip when walking on potentially icy surfaces.

Hiking poles provide great stability as well and are good for poking your partner with, lol.

Snowshoes are great for locations with deep snow.

golden hour winter snow engagement session at lake minnewaska

Bride wearing black lace dress in front of frozen waterfall

Bride wearing tan Gigi Pip hat and a black lace dress in front of frozen Awosting Falls in the winter

4. Beverages

When it’s cold, we humans are not as good at realizing that we are thirsty than when it’s hot and we are sweating.

Always always always bring water to your session, but in the winter I also highly recommend bringing a thermos with a warm beverage (hot cocoa, tea, coffee, hot toddies, mulled wine…whatever floats your boat) because it’s cozy and will help warm you up.

It also makes for cute photos! Don’t forget to bring water for your dogs if they’re joining too!

Winter elopement couple holding hot chocolate at Lake Placid Stagecoach Inn

Couple in winter with hot cocoa in black mugs with whipped cream and wedding rings

Winter mountain couple having picnic with grey blanket and hot cocoa in Beacon New York

5. Snacks

Depending on when you're planning to have your Elopement 'Reception' or dinner, you might want to bring some snack with you while we are on the trail. I'm constantly snacking so I personally don't know what it's like to go anywhere without snacks LOL.

You can also ask your caterer to make a small cheese and charcuterie board that we can bring to the location of your photos and have a snowy picnic (with that warm bev you're bringing along too)!

It's not only practical to eat and drink, but again, it makes for really cute photos.

Diabetic bride eating snacks at her winter Adirondack elopement

Elopement couple kissing in front of cake at Lake Placid Stagecoach Inn in New York

6. Blanket

Bringing a blanket is not only great for emergencies (always keep one in the back of your car!) but it’s great to have to sit on the snow with and have a little snowy picnic (remember the hot chocolate I mentioned earlier?).

You can also wrap yourselves in the blanket for snuggly photos and to warm yourself up in between shots.

Winter couple photo session snuggling with blankets and Yeti cups  in the snow with Mount Beacon behind them

7. Body Warmers

Hand, feet and body warmers are a godsend on those cold winter days.I always have a zillion of these in my bag and we will stick them everywhere. Seriously everywhere!

Groom kissing bride’s forehead in the snow in the Adirondacks with wooden sled and pink flowers

Elopement couple walking in the snowy forest in the Adirondacks New York

8. Lights

Headlamps are always great idea because the sun goes down very quickly in the winter and you never want to get caught up in the dark without a light. Yay for safety!

They also make for really cute photos when it gets a little darker out! I always have a few pairs in my backpack but it never hurts to bring extras.

Other things we can utilize for cute, after dark photos are fairy lights, sparklers, and lanterns! I have fairy lights and lanterns in my car at all times! With sparklers, depending on your location we will need to plan ahead to make sure we Leave No Trace.

Winter Elopement Couple with twinkle lights at night in the snow

Whiteface Lodge Elopement bride and groom kissing in the snowy night

Whiteface Lodge elopement couple holding hands and kissing near fire pit and ice skating rink

9. Backpack

This is a great thing to put all of your things into! It keeps you hands-free while you’re walking and also makes for cute photos.

dog at snowy winter engagement session at frozen awosting falls

Remember, being safe, warm and prepared makes for the best experience.

I hope these tips help so you can be fully immersed and present in your winter adventure :)

If you have any questions about a #winterelopement or #winterengagementsession

send me a message here.

My books are open up to June 2024 and I have a handful of winter 2023 dates left.

I would LOVE to play in the snow with you :)

Heart Lake Winter Elopement couple snuggle in the snow

Heart Lake Elopement couple in the snow with lace wedding dress and boho florals

Vendors featured in this post:

Florals: Blee’s Floral Design

Hair & Makeup: ADK Bri

Dress: Something Bleu Bridal

Venues: Lake Placid Stagecoach Inn & Whiteface Lodge

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