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What to Expect from Your Winter Graduation

by Dominic Chandler
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Depending on when you complete your studies, you’ll either have a summer or winter graduation. If it’s the latter, the aspects you need to consider and prepare for will differ somewhat. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too crazy, but it’s important to be prepared to get the most out of your graduation — after all, it’s a big day in anyone’s life and one to remember!

In this post, we’ll highlight a few of the simple yet important things to keep in mind and how you’ll need to adopt a different approach when compared to summer graduations.

Bad, Unreliable Weather

If you’re reading this and live in the UK, you knew we’d mention the weather at some point. UK winters are, well, less than ideal when it comes to weather and planning ahead — especially for big, memorable occasions such as graduation. So if you have a winter graduation in the near future, it’s always a good idea to prepare for a rainy and windy affair.

This means you’ll want to reconsider a few things, primarily your choice of attire. While your graduation gown will offer some protection from the elements, both ladies and gents should opt for warmer clothing and take a waterproof jacket just in case of a downpour. For men, wool or similar materials are a great choice as it offers additional warmth and resistance against wetter conditions. Also, a hooded jacket will prevent ruining styled hair. 

For women, a summer dress may not be the best choice. Fortunately, there are many different options, such as graduation dresses, skirts with smart tops, and trouser suits. All of which can easily be paired with tights for added warmth on colder days. Another thing to consider is your graduation cap and keeping it in place during windy days, you can do this quite easily with bobby pins and some patience.

For a detailed breakdown of what to wear during your winter graduation, check out this blog post.

Indoor Ceremony & Celebrations

As we said, UK winters are unreliable for weather, and it’s often a safer bet to prepare for the worst, then everything else is a bonus. Bad weather means that outdoor ceremonies and parties are a bit risky. After all, this is a very special day and one that everyone should be able to enjoy. Therefore indoor locations are the preferable option as it offers peace of mind even if the weather is awful, and you and your fellow graduates won’t be soaked through for the photographs. To avoid disappointment, it’s essential to book locations for ceremonies and parties in advance, very much in advance. Failing to do so will just lead to unwanted stress and last-minute scrambling, both of which are fantastic ways to make your graduation less enjoyable. 

While your University should be on the ball with organising the ceremony and accounting for winter conditions, it’s never a bad idea to offer suggestions if you have some ideas. If you know any locations that could provide a nice setting regardless of the weather, offering your own insight is a great way to make your graduation a more organised and collaborative occasion.

Poor Lighting

Your graduation is a big deal, and a day that’ll live long in your and your family members’ memory. So much so that they’ll want photographic evidence of your achievement to show off to anyone who visits their home. Unfortunately, winter can prove to be troublesome for capturing well-lit images. So this is something else you should prepare for if you are hoping to take lots of photos to remember the day. Your official graduation photo should be taken by a professional photographer, so that’s one less thing to worry about.

Beyond this, it’s often in the hands of the graduates to plan ahead for winter conditions and ensure they have what they need to take good photos. Fortunately, pretty much everyone has a phone these days, which tends to have a flash feature. Newer smartphones such as iPhones have insanely good cameras, a flash, and additional features to help with lighting. However, if you want a more professional look, you can opt for a digital camera and lighting setup such as a ring light.

 Now that you know what you need to be thinking about ahead of your winter graduation ceremony, it’s time to get your Graduation Gown, Stole and Graduation Cap.

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