Hey, I'm Chelsea.

I'm a Chicago wedding photographer and videographer who's on a mission to take the stress out of wedding planning, one anecdote, gif, and movie
quote at a time.

Despite the chilly temps, I loved second shooting this sentimental wedding for Ed and Aileen Photography.

For a lot of couples, finding a dream wedding venue is the most stressful part of planning. But for this outdoor winter wedding, that wasn’t a problem—they decided to host a wedding in their backyard, instead.

Oh, did I mention that they closed on this house a month earlier? For most people, that sounds like a bundle of stress. But for these two, it was the best housewarming party ever.

After a sweet first look in the front yard, we hopped in a friend’s car to take some photos in front of Chicago’s Board of Trade. On a warm summer day, this street is full of wedding parties, but thanks to the winter weather, we had the street all to ourselves.

Outdoor Winter Ceremony

Backyard weddings are a perfect way to incorporate a ton of personal touches and special details. In this case, L+Z got married under a handmaid arch and greeted guests with a basket of blankets.

After the ceremony (and some hot toddies to warm everyone up), everyone headed into the couple’s garage for dinner. Another perk of backyard weddings? Being able to cater dinner from your favorite restaurant.

Winter wedding reception in a Chicago garage

How do you have a backyard wedding in the winter?

Backyard weddings have been one good thing to come out of COVID. Whether they’re tented parties in the suburbs or intimate gatherings in the city, I love the extra sentimental layer of getting married at home.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when throwing an outdoor winter wedding:

  1. Give guests a heads-up. Make sure to let your guests know that the ceremony will be outdoors and that they should dress accordingly.
  2. Warm it up. To keep things safe and enjoyable, make sure to provide plenty of warmth. My go-to recommendations for outdoor ceremonies? Blankets and Hot Hands.
  3. Hire a planner. When you’re hosting a wedding at home, it’s easy to slip into host(ess) mode. Hiring a planner—even if it’s a day-of coordinator—will help make sure everything runs smoothly and you get to enjoy your big day.
  4. Have a backup plan. If the temps look like they’ll be too cold or windy, make sure you’ve got a plan B. And that planner I mentioned? They’ll help you plan for the worst + pivot when necessary.

For more outdoor wedding tips, Junebug Wedding’s got you covered with this extensive backyard wedding guide.

A wedding photography and videography studio for personality-packed couples who want to remember the way they tore it up on the dance floor just as much as the way it felt to say “I do”.