Colorado Winter Wedding Portraits
Uyen + Rob
There is something special about taking photos in a winter wonderland. And when I say that Rocky Mountain National Park Delivers… I mean it. Colorado Winter Wedding Portraits are just magical. Uyen and Rob flew out here from Houston this week just to get their wedding portraits taken in the snowy rocky mountains. How romantic is that?! They then went down to Boulder to go have their actual self solemnizing ceremony and sign their marriage license the next day. Seriously you guys.. when I say getting married can be anything you want it to be. It can!
Uyen and I were chatting a ton prior to their session and went back and forth between doing the photos in the Breck area or doing it in the Estes Park area. And to be completely honest, Estes Park will hands down always be my first choice for a Winter Wedding here. Or even just to have wedding portraits or to have your engagement photos taken in the snow. Estes is a little less busy in the winter time compared to places like Breckenridge or Vail as there are no ski resorts in the town of Estes Park. Just thinking of the ski traffic on I-70 in the winter time makes me cringe. You have a much better chance of not dealing with a ton of traffic heading into Estes than other areas of Colorado due to that exact issue. Also, opt for a weekday if you want it to be way less busy. This really goes for anytime of the year but particularly winter time. There were only about 10 other cars up at the Bear lake parking lot when we arrived.
Considerations for a Winter Wedding or Portrait Session
Something to consider when doing a Winter Wedding or Portrait session is the weather. Winter weather is always something that you need to be prepared for. It can go from sunny and beautiful to a total blizzard in a matter of a few minutes. Especially at locations like Bear lake that are around 9-10k feet elevation and higher. When I first got to RMNP before our session, I went to Bear Lake to see how windy it was and check on the conditions around the lake. It was around 37 degrees and sunny and gorgeous. By the time I actually met up with Rob and Uyen, It was cloudy only above around 9k feet so that included Bear lake. And there were 30mph wind gusts blowing snow everywhere and it had started snowing a little too. While it made for the most gorgeous photos, that wind chill can be SO cold. And the cloud coverage easily drops the temp down a good 10 degrees.
How to Prepare for Your Colorado Winter Wedding or Portrait Session:
Layer up! Put on some skin color leggings under your dress to provide some extra warmth or long johns under your attire.
Stock up on hand and feet warmers. These are amazing to keep in your pockets and shoes.
Wear BOOTS! You will want some sort of insulated winter or hiking boot to wear under your attire. While you can totally opt not to, I promise it will help keep your feet dry and warm.
Opt for wool when it comes to your under layers of socks, leggings, etc. It is more moisture wicking and will help keep you dry and warm.
Have some sort of traction for your feet. Depending where you are going or shooting at, sometimes it can be super icy. Some micro-spikes for your shoes can help a ton for when trekking around on the ice.
Bring gloves and a heavy coat for in between photos.
And always check the weather and wind report before heading up to your location
Now keep in mind most of us photographers based here in Colorado will have you covered with things like extra gloves, hand warmers, maybe even a spare jacket, and definitely micro-spikes. I keep a pretty good stockpile of this stuff in my trunk this time of year and it comes in handy during these epic winter wedding portrait sessions.
Weddings in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is probably one of the most picturesque spots within an hour and a half drive of Denver. The mountain views you get are just stunning. Really there is no where else as close to Denver as RMNP with this good of views. Trust me on that one. If you are thinking about having a winter wedding ceremony within RMNP remember you will need a wedding permit from the Park itself. CLICK HERE FOR INFO ON WEDDINGS IN RMNP. You can actually have your wedding ceremony at this frozen lake where we took Uyen and Rob’s wedding portraits. It’s called Bear Lake. You can have up to 20 people there. And it is ONLY available for weddings in the winter (From right after Columbus day all the way until the Thursday before Memorial day) and it is only available to get a permit on weekdays. Don’t fret tho… There are plenty of other designated ceremony sites for RMNP that allow weekends and summer dates. They fill up super fast. 2022 has already reached maximum permit limits as of today, February 11th, for all of May/June/July/Aug/Sept/Oct. If you want to check out another Rocky Mountain National Park Wedding I have shot CLICK HERE.