OCTOBER TO APRIL
Article by — Helene, Paris elopement planner, helping brides since 2012
"I can't do it anymore, I am too cold. Let's just go back to the hotel, because this photoshoot is too rough for me" we keep hearing brides struggle during winter elopements all the time.
And it is really hard.
The human body can barely handle looking happy at 4 hours of outdoor activities below 30°F.
Right now you might think "But Helene, I've seen your brides at winter elopements and they are wearing only a short-sleeved wedding dress. What are you talking about? The weather is not warm in Paris all year round?"
There are two things to know:
1. For photos our brides take their coats off just for 5 minutes and then quickly put them back on. That's why there is an illusion that the bride is always happy in a light dress. But that is not true, she has a warm winter coat behind the scenes
2. The weather is mostly good. From mid-October to mid-March it can even be 50°F in January. But... what if not? What if during your whole stay in Paris the weather is not cooperating and it's 32°F the whole week? It's better to be prepared for the worst than underprepared.
So here is our guide on how to stay warm.
This guide is for couples with elopements from mid-October to mid-April.
If your elopements is planned for October, November December, January, February, March or April, this article is for you.
Yes, for April couples inluded.
So let's prepare for the worst so elopement day goes much more smoothly and you can put more of your energy in having a positive attitude knowing you are warm and cozy.
LET'S GO SHOPPING!
We recommend wearing warm leggings under the dress. And booties or white sneakers. And that means that your dress should be long and should fully cover your legs. Of course, if you already purchased the dress, there is no need to change it. But if not, here is an ideal dress for colder months:
Perfect dress - long, non-transparent, covers your legs
So why do we need a long dress? To secretly wear leggings and warm boots.
1. First search for fleece or cashmere leggings. You can shop on Amazon, Uniqlo, Skims, Calzedonia. This is your wedding essential.
Very important, these leggings must be thermal. Not just your regular white cotton leggings.
If you feel that there are visible lines on your dress when you wear them, no worries. We will edit that out later.
2. The second step is to get the right boots.
Most parts of your body can be warmed up with a bit of walking, but not your feet. Besides your upper body, the heat will escape your system through your feet. Because of this, you need to keep your toes warm. Especially since numb toes can cause a lot of difficulties with posing and walking.
White sneakers are perfect. For example, Adidas Stan Smith sneakers. They are super warm and cost around €30-50 only.
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers or Puma sneakers both have this platform and can be a good alternative for heels
If your dress is long enough, no one will see the sneakers.
3. Most important part is a warm coat.
It must be your regular duck wool warm winter coat or parka. Yes, even for October and April elopements.
The reason for this is that you lose a lot of body heat through your arms and chest. Additionally, the long-sleeve warm coat will protect you from wind.
Brides wear this coat only to walk between locations. No pictures in this coat. Just to walk to the car.
It doesn’t have to be high tech, new, or even white. It just has to be warm.
Any warm winter coat is perfect. This does not have to match your dress. If you have extra budget you can get a white or ivory parka, but that is not necessary
There are a lot of bridal warm coat options, but mostly none of them work. This is not a good warm coat for the wedding:
This type of coat can save you during summer evening but it's useless for winter morning
And definitely not these:
This "warm" wrap is a biggest lie in the wedding industry
You can get this wrap as an additional warm layer, but not as the main one.
You might say right now "Helene, I hate this idea. How will I look in a dress wearing a colorful winter coat? This is absurd, and I will look silly because it does not match my perfect dress at all"
I totally understand you. But you will be warm. Better to wear a wam coat that does not match the dress than choose style over comfort and look like this your whole elopement:
Not the wedding look we want to have
Perfect, and we are almost done!
4. Our final online shopping will be for warm heaters. Also called hot hands. Here they are:
This is super important for battling hand numbness. Hand warmers are a major quality-of-life upgrade.
How do they work? So there is a chemical inside. You open the pack and it heats itself for 2-3 hours and heats you.
You can get them online. Or go to your nearest sports store and search for them at a climbing/alpinism department.
All these must be air activated!
Here is another very useful option, many brands have these. They are for cramps or back pain, but they also will warm you if you stick these under the dress:
And of course, please try to always choose fixed and sleek hairstyles. Since it's very windy.
Non fixed curls or waves will fly all over your face because of strong winds
If you can't imagine yourself wearing your hair up, here are some half up half down options that work:
Hair is fixed and safe, but still down
To conclude this article, I want to say that these are just our recommendations based on our 10 years of experience as wedding planners and photographers.
You can wear whatever makes you happy.
We just collected these tips for our brides to stay warm and have perfect photos. But they are not mandatory and if you don't agree with something, that is totally fine, you don't have to change your wedding vision because we said so.
If you feel like you are lost and have concerns about buying or packing something, please let me know. Send me photos and I will help.
It's better to be prepared for cold weather and not have one than to have cold and wind during your elopement and not be prepared.
Love you and want you to stay warm during your long elopement photoshoot!