No one likes to think about this, but the reality is, you can’t control what the weather will be like on your wedding day. You can’t change the date either, depending on what the forecast says. So you just have to kind of learn to roll with it. After shooting quite a few rainy day weddings, I thought I’d share my best tips for how to make the best of a rainy day!
When it rains we have to be a lot more flexible with the wedding day timeline than we would if the weather went as planned. Sometimes this means waiting a few minutes for the rain to pass so the outdoor wedding ceremony can go on outside. Or it might mean waiting until later on to do family formals and doing bride and groom portraits first because there’s a little pocket of dry skies. Since we are primarily natural light photographers and our clients hire us for the beautiful natural light portraits they’ve seen from us, using the light for portrait time is a priority.
A first look is VERY important in cases of rain because if you do one, it gives us more opportunities to get pictures when it isn’t raining. There are several rainy day weddings we shot last year where we wouldn’t have gotten any portraits at all if we had waited to do all of the pictures after the ceremony! I always suggest a first look to couples who are getting married on rainy days because of the flexibility it allows with your timeline.
Know you will get wet…or dirty.
Getting your dress a little dirty on the bottom is something that’s almost inevitable on any wedding day. When you combine white dresses with nature, it just happens. When it rains, you may get a little dirtier…but honestly, I think that it’s SO worth it. In the long run, you are most likely NEVER going to wear your wedding gown again, but you will be looking at your wedding photos for many, many years. You can get your dress dry cleaned…but you can’t go back in time and magically create images after the fact. I mean, I wish. Unfortunately, the technology for time travel is not all there yet. Some tips to minimize the grime-factor: Consider buying cute boots (like Hunter boots, which I love!!!) and wear those when you’re outdoors instead of your heels. Or have a second pair of shoes (make sure they are a similar height to the shoes your dress is altered for) so that your wedding shoes stay dry and mud free.
Inform your bridal party
Though they’re pretty awesome, your bridal party can’t read your mind. And they haven’t been working with me this whole time to figure out a plan for rainy days, don’t know what the process is like, etc. So honestly, they may be surprised that you want to shoot outside…in the drizzle. Talking this through with them before the wedding day can alleviate any day-of surprise for them, and stress for you, too.
Have a rain backup plan.
As a bride with an outdoor ceremony, I knew we had to have a backup plan in case the weather didn’t turn out great on our day. I was quick to decide on a back up plan (for us, it would have been underneath the tent that was reserved for dancing after dinner) AND a backup timeline. When it rains on a wedding day, things have to shift. If it had rained, our details wouldn’t have been set up at x time, meaning the photographers would need a new time on the timeline to shoot them. We couldn’t have done our “wedding parade” if it rained either, so we needed to move things around. Rather than getting stressed on our wedding day, we worked with our day of coordinator to create a “sunny day” timeline and a “rainy day” backup timeline. I know you probably don’t want to think about this, but doing it in advance will only help alleviate stress if worst comes to worst and it does rain!