No one wishes for rain on their wedding day, right? In fact all my brides hope and pray when picking their date whether it be in a few months time or 2-3 years away it will be a dry sunny day.
I have frantic emails from time to time or conversations in the run up to weddings with brides worried it will rain and ruin their day. I always try to put a couples mind at rest… we are in fact in England and the chance of rain, well it is pretty darn high!
I have shot in gale’s, snow, light rain, sleet, torrential rain, intense heat, freezing temperatures, snow and on hot sunny days (which sometimes can be the hardest!) In fact amongst photographers ‘wedding’ photography is considered one of the hardest possible environments for a photographer. We are in ever changing light conditions, trying to capture moments and thinking on our feet if the bride is late and our time is slashed OR the heavens open and we have to think outside the box… or inside the venue!
I will always try to re-arrange family or engagement shoots in the wet, as these are around 1.5 hours of being outside which isn’t great for my equipment or if you don’t fancy the ‘drowned rat look’. On a wedding day though I would always try to nip out between showers or with wellies and a brollie.
I always think it is a great idea to plan for the worst then if it rains you are prepared and if it’s sunny well, that’s a bonus! A little thinking ahead now could save you a few sleepless nights in the run up to the day.
A few tips for planning your wedding IF the heavens open…
1. Think about your venue ~visit in different weather conditions. Many brides choose venues for spectacular grounds or maybe imagining your guests playing lawn games. If it rains are there some lovely areas inside for your guests to mingle? More importantly though are there areas inside BIG enough and LIGHT enough for group photos? Are there areas inside for couple shots where we can get away from the guests for some shots of the 2 of you or are there some undercover area’s outdoors that can still be used such as a gazebo or large porch? I am primarily a natural light photographer. I can and will use flash when needed but I adore the natural light look so will always use this where possible. In this vein, the lighter your venue… the better!
2. Plan for the Groups ~ group shots are the 1 area of a wedding day that becomes tricky in the rain. Your guests won’t want to go outside but there may not be the space and light inside needed to shoot large groups. A great tip is to keep your group shots smaller 10-12 people is usually the kind of number that can ‘fit’ in a room inside and equally can be correctly lit by flash if there is no other option. This may mean splitting a few up such as rather than the families together to have them separately but it will make all the difference to being able to capture these properly for you.
3. Bring wellies and brollies ~ It is a great idea to bring wellies and brollies for your couple shots and even your bridesmaid and groomsmen shots. I usually won’t try your family groups outside if it is raining but bridesmaids and groomsmen are usually up for some fun so get them in wellies and out with their brollies. For extra style factor buy brollies in your colour theme which will look really funky in the photos later!
4. Get out and have some photos ~ unless it really is torrential your photographer will usually be happy to head outside for some photos. All I can say is DO IT! It will make all the difference to your photos later if you get out between showers or in lighter rain even for 15 mins. Some of my favorite ever shots have been taken in the rain with brollies and nice brave brides happy to head out in the rain!
5. Make it fun ~ think past just having the photos to how you can make it the best experience. Have a hot drink waiting for you when you get back in (or just before you go out) take a cover up and wear wellies (trust me you will be SO much happier out in wellies than in heels and they make cute photos too!) Wear waterproof mascara, perhaps take some heated hand warmers if its winter and finally get cuddly and warm with your new hubby/wife!
Bad weather really doesn’t have to ruin your day and certainly doesn’t have to ruin your photos so plan for the worst and hope for the best but if all else fails…. let it rain!!!
Here are a few of my rainy day wedding photos in ALL these shots it WAS raining or about to!