October 16, 2019
Let me say this: rain will not ruin your wedding day. You will still get married to your best friend and you’ll still enjoy the best day of your life. But I get it…it can be worrisome, especially if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony and/or an outdoor reception. Rain on your wedding day is not always ideal; the ground is muddy, hair might flatten, chairs get wet, photo equipment can get wet, and so many other things to worry about. The thing you might be most worried about? Probably the photos, right? You’ve invested a lot into your photographer and your heart might be broken if the rain kept you from getting the wedding portraits you have always dreamed of. I would be too! As your photographer, it’s my job to take care of you, plan photos and locations around the rain, and still deliver a gallery that is my best work because that’s what you deserve. Rain definitely makes portrait time more difficult, but it doesn’t make it impossible! I promise you, we will make it work!
Here are a few things that I, the photographer, do when it’s a rainy day:
- I bring enough clear umbrellas for the entire bridal party. Depending how hard it’s raining determines if we are able to use these or not…if it’s down pouring, or there’s wind (so the rain is coming from the side instead of straight down), these don’t work the best to keep you dry. However, if it’s lightly raining straight down, these umbrellas are a life saver! They look so cute in photos, keep you dry, and allow us to get more photos outside at the same time! I always bring these umbrellas to weddings, even if it says it’s not supposed to rain at all!
- I will look for any porch or overhang I can find. Most venues will have something like this! These always work great for portraits, especially if it’s raining too hard outside to use the umbrellas. I can always have someone hold an umbrella over me so that my camera will stay dry – it doesn’t matter if I get wet, only you, your groom, and the bridal party!
- I always try to keep the bride and groom on a sidewalk, parking lot, road, etc. so that they don’t get muddy. Again, every venue has a parking lot, and most of the time there will be sidewalks as well. Every venue is different, and often times I don’t know what the best photo options will be until I arrive. The best photo options also greatly vary depending what the weather is like!
- I will find photo locations for you that will give you the photos that you dreamed of. This is a little scary for me to say because it puts so much pressure on me when the weather isn’t ideal. But it’s so important to you and your groom! If the venue doesn’t have any options for photos if it is raining really hard, then I will brainstorm locations near the venue that will have porches, overhangs, sidewalks, etc. that we can drive to. I will also take into account drive time between locations and plan that into the timeline. A lot of these things may be very last minute tweaks but I can be really flexible, and I’m sure other vendors will be accommodating as well!
- I always arrive early on a wedding day to scope out the location and get a good idea of a few photo spot options.
- I will keep my eye on the weather and make a game plan with the bride and groom. Weather apps aren’t always accurate, OR the weather can completely change, but we can always look ahead and get a good idea of what kind of weather might be coming.
- I will always make Bride + Groom portraits a priority over anything else because I know that’s what is most important to them (unless it’s a rare case and they tell me differently!). Because of that, it may work better to rearrange the timeline a little bit around the weather forecast to work to our advantage. For example, say it’s raining now and it’s time for Bride + Groom portraits, but it’s supposed to stop in 45 minutes. Maybe the bride and groom were always planning on taking family portraits inside anyways. If we have everyone, I would quickly switch gears and shoot family portraits inside while it’s raining, with hopes that by the time we are done, the rain has stopped and the Bride and Groom can have their photos outside. Sometimes it doesn’t stop raining, sometimes it does. There’s no way of knowing so photographers learn to roll with the punches! We have to think on our feet quickly and be ready for anything!
- I will always have the couple’s best interest at heart and will always do anything they ask. It’s their day and I want it to be so perfect for them that they completely forget about the bad weather.
Here are a few things that I recommend you, the bride, do when it’s a rainy day:
- Have extra, big umbrellas inside the venue with you. They don’t have to be cute and pretty for photos, but sometimes a big, wide umbrella is really nice to have!
- Have your makeup bag on hand. If your face happens to get a little wet, maybe some mascara smeared, etc. that’s okay; it’s nothing some extra makeup can’t fix!
- If you’re okay with going in the grass for a few portraits, wear rain boots instead of your nice shoes that you paid lots of money for! Rain boots are especially handy if it was raining earlier so the ground is soft, but it’s not raining anymore. I’ll take the couple and/or bridal party outside anytime I can because the light is usually best outdoors!
- Have an open mind and remember that rainy day portraits can actually be really romantic and sweet. It might be different than what you always imagined, but they’re still beautiful!
- If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, always make a Plan B! If the weather is still up in the air, determine how last minute you can change the location! Spend an evening leading up to the wedding day thinking through your Plan B…walk through every single step to figure out what would need to be done in order to move the ceremony spot. If anything needs to be moved, rearranged, communicated, etc., delegate friends and family to take care of those things so that you don’t have to. A few questions to ask yourself are: How will we tell guests the location has changed? Do we need to move any reception tables? Do we need to move chairs? Will anything need to be moved back after the ceremony is done? Do we have a sound system set up at the new location?
- Find a photographer that you really trust and you feel comfortable with her making decisions photography wise when it comes to bad weather! This is a step you should do early on in wedding planning, but it might be the most important one.
- Try to relax and enjoy the day as best you can. I know it can be hard when it seems everything is turning against you, but I promise, it always works out.
Sometimes, the weather forecast says it’s supposed to rain on the wedding day, then doesn’t at all. Sometimes, the weather forecast says it’s supposed to be nice and sunny, then it rains a lot. It’s nothing you can control, and all we can do make the most of what we have! My husband and I got married in the summer of 2018 and had always planned on an outdoor ceremony with a tent reception (we knew we wanted to do this even before we got engaged!). The entire week before, the weather forecast called for 60-90% chance of rain the entire day. I was worried sick. Literally, I felt like throwing up thinking about it. Something that we had dreamed of, worked so hard to plan and set up, and put money into suddenly seemed so impossible and devastating when that weather forecast wouldn’t budge. I woke up the morning of the wedding to rain, rain, and more rain! I prayed that God would clear up the sky for us, but if He didn’t, that He would give me peace of mind that it will still work out. My bridesmaids arrived and as we began getting ready, it suddenly started to not rain as hard, the sky got a little brighter, and the clouds parted. Miraculously, we were blessed with sunny skies and no rain all day, giving us the outdoor wedding we always dreamed of. It was really, really hot, but we all survived!
This story is to give you hope; if it says it’s supposed to rain, it doesn’t always rain! If it does, it will still be the best day of your life.