No one wants it to rain on their wedding day but being in England the weather doesn’t always play ball. But it doesn’t have to ruin your day and there are ways around it. Here is a little bit about how I deal with rainy wedding days as well as some advice on how a bride and groom can plan ahead, just in case.
When I was planning my own wedding, we decided to go for a date in July. A lovely summer wedding we thought, and we can make the most of the lovely gardens at our venue and we even chose a barbecue over a sit-down meal. I imagined all our guests having a lovely relaxed day in the sunshine. It didn’t happen this way! A few days out rain was forecast and I was hoping it would change as we got closer. It didn’t. The day before our wedding the forecast was still rain all day, so I went out and got matching umbrellas for myself as well as my bridesmaids. If it was going to be wet, I wanted a photo with us all under our umbrellas.
On the day itself true to the forecast it rained all day and we barely got anytime outside for photos and when we did it was a quick run to do a few shots in the drizzle before it got heavy again.
My point of this is that yes it was annoying, but we had the most wonderful day and it did not ruin it at all. Still to this day one of my favourite wedding photos is me and my bridesmaids under our umbrellas.
In my role as a wedding photographer there are certain things I can do to plan ahead in case of rain on a wedding day. Firstly, there has to be a plan B for group photos. I had a wedding in the summer of 2018 on a Sunday. If you remember we had a very hot summer with record temperatures which seemed to last for weeks. When the weather finally broke rain was forecast, and it happened to land on this wedding day I was photographing.
After the ceremony the rain was really coming down so within the hotel where the wedding was taking place was a lovely room set up for afternoon tea, but no one was in there. It had lovely large windows which could be the backdrop and I had lighting equipment with me that I could use to brighten it up. I checked with the hotel and they agreed we could use the room so myself and my second shooter on the day quickly moved the furniture and set up the lighting. The photos came out really well and thankfully soon the rain stopped, and we were then able to get outdoors for the confetti throw and bride and groom photos.
You also have be adaptable with the timeline on a wedding day when the weather isn’t working for you. At one wedding after the church ceremony the plan was to travel to the reception venue Bisham Abbey and get started with some group photos then, bride and groom photos. Heavy drizzle started and after chatting to the couple we decided to leave the photos until later in the day, after the wedding breakfast. This worked really well as it was summer, and we had plenty of light until well into the evening. Once the meal was finished the rain had stopped and we did the photos as planned.
As your wedding photographer I don’t mind getting a little wet on a wedding day. As long as the bride and groom are sheltered that’s the main thing. With that in mind if we do get a little rain when doing photos, I will place the bride and groom in a sheltered area, i.e. under a tree or in an archway and I’ll stand out in the rain and get wet. I very often lay down to get a good shot at a wedding (not in the middle of the ceremony! When doing the bride and groom photos) and if the ground is a little wet and dirty then it isn’t the end of the world. If it makes a good photo then I’m up for it!
Lots of brides have asked me advice on what to do and what to get in preparation for it raining on their big day. I tell them about my favourite umbrella photo from my own wedding and advise to buy some lovely umbrellas. I say to designate a couple of groomsmen or bridesmaids who can be your umbrella holders if we do need to do a couple of shots out in the rain. But most of all I tell them not to worry and reassure them it will still be a wonderful day even if we do get some rain.
I always have with me at each wedding umbrellas in my car as well as a clever app on my phone that can accurately tell me the weather at my location for the next hour. This is really useful for instances where some rain may be due and I can check it to see if we have time for photos, or whether we should wait for the rain to pass. I always also have extra lighting in case of that plan B for group photos as mentioned earlier.
At a recent wedding in August 2019 at Stanlake Park Weddings we had a lot of rain on and off throughout the day. I did some group photos indoors as well as some pictures of the bride and groom under some lovely greenery, so they were sheltered. However, I really wanted to take them into the vineyards, but it was still drizzling and very wet underfoot. I checked what the bride and groom were happy to do, and they were willing to go for it. We carried on regardless of the weather, and in my opinion, this is the best way to be. We also did a great night-time photo in the rain later that night in the middle of the vineyards.
Here is a little selection of some of my favourite rainy day wedding photos, if you would like to see some more of my blogs where I talk about some of the weddings mentioned here in more detail please see here.