These two adventurers chose to tie the knot with a winter wedding in Old Montreal.
When Tania and Gökçe first got in touch with me, I was very excited to hear that they were not only getting married in the winter (so fun!) but they were getting married on New Year’s Eve! It was my first time shooting a wedding on the last day of the year. What a memorable wedding date for them!
They celebrated with their family and friends with an intimate wedding reception at Hotel Nelligan in Old Montreal.
Getting ready at Hotel Nelligan
Tania and Gökçe got ready right in the same hotel where they would later have their wedding ceremony and reception. Having everything happen in one place (and located right in picturesque Old Montreal) eliminated travel time, stress and made the day’s timeline so much easier.
As Tania got ready in one suite with her friends and her mom, Gökçe was getting dressed in another room with his parents, who helped out with his tie.
Big thanks to my second photographer John Koo for teaming up with me to cover this wedding.
Tania had her makeup done by the awesome Katherine from Atelier Eva Blanca.
Once the bride’s makeup was complete, her friend and mom teamed up to help do up her wedding dress. Finally, Tania and her mom shared a warm hug and emotional moment.
Wedding photos outside in the snow
After getting ready, Tania and Gökçe met up to head outside for photos before their wedding ceremony.
Canadian winters are not known for being mild and gentle. For about 6 months of the year, we deal with snow and ice and slush. We wake up in the dark and the sun goes away in the mid-afternoon. We add lights and candles to cheer our nights. We wear layers, and scarves and heavy boots. And we learn to have fun in the snow, because we can’t just stay indoors all winter. It’s not ideal, but I think we kind of pride ourselves on being able to handle it all.
Tania and Gökçe took on the challenge of a winter wedding with true Canadian spirit. This couple truly seems to be always up for an adventure… and they were definitely not slowed down by our snowy weather!
The bride had her friend come along for the photos to help her keep her wedding dress dry. She wore a winter coat over her wedding dress and even removed it for a few photos, as she danced in the falling snow. Fearless!
Best time of day for winter wedding photos
For weddings during the winter months in Quebec, it’s important to remember that sunset will be much earlier in the day. In December and January, it starts getting dark as early as 3 pm. So, if your wedding ceremony is happening in the afternoon, you’ll probably want to do your wedding portraits before the ceremony to take advantage of the best light.
Winter wedding photo locations in Old Montreal
For Tania and Gökçe’s portraits, we kept things short and sweet. They hate posing for photos, so we kept things natural and fun and just spent some time wandering around the picturesque spots near their wedding venue in Old Montreal.
Here are the locations we visited for this quick photo outing:
- Just around the corner from Hotel Nelligan, is the tranquil Royer Courtyard, which always makes a lovely location for wedding photos.
- From there, we headed to Saint-Dizier alleyway, a favourite of Montreal photographers and tourists alike. Tania and Gökçe showed off some spontaneous dance moves in the cobblestone alley.
- We walked along De La Commune street, where a row of trees covered in snow gave a natural winter wonderland vibe.
- Then, we hit up a few historic storefronts and doorways to add a pop of colour.
I was so happy to see snow flakes falling gently throughout the photo session. We headed back to the hotel just in time to warm up and relax a bit before the wedding ceremony.
winter wedding ceremony
The wedding ceremony took place in the Verses banquet hall, a lovely room with historic stone walls. Candles on the window ledges lent a warm glow to the stone masonry. It was a smaller wedding with a limited guest list, making the event very friendly and warm.
The ceremony was officiated by two close friends of the couple. The vows were beautiful and had everyone in tears.
As the wedding ceremony ended, guests congratulated the bride and groom and headed with them to the atrium in the lobby of Hotel Nelligan, where they mingled happily, telling stories and enjoying drinks.
Travel-themed wedding decor
While the guests were chatting upstairs, the event planners transformed the Verses hall for the wedding dinner. They decorated the long tables with so many candles that the room glowed!
Each table had travel destinations and trivia about the couple’s adventures abroad (from Yellowstone to Iceland).
Near the entrance to the room, a globe served as the guestbook for friends and family to sign.
Candlelight and warmth created the perfect contrast to this snowy wedding day.
To kick off the wedding reception, the bride and groom started off with their first dance.
Intimate wedding dinner
As the dinner progressed, family and friends chatted with each other, sharing happy moments.
The bride and groom visited different tables, greeting their guests and enjoying their time with family that had travelled from far.
Throughout the wedding supper, relatives and friends shared special speeches. Friends brought the laughter and Tania’s grandfather brought the emotion.
A beautiful performance
The wedding couple shared their musical talent with their guests and performed some beautiful songs together (Gökçe on guitar and Tania singing). It was a mini concert and really brought a touching ambiance to this New Year’s Eve wedding.
New Year’s Eve wedding
The dancing took off and we stayed with the party until everyone happily counted down to midnight for New Year’s Eve! Fireworks went off in the cold night air outside and a few courageous guests rushed out to watch. What a beautiful moment to end this winter wedding in Old Montreal.
Want more winter wedding inspiration? Check out this winter wedding at Pavillon Jamaique.