I once overheard someone say to the bride: “Look! God’s confetti.” Everyone smiled, and everything was as right as rain.
And that my friend, is what you should do on your wedding day if it rains: embrace it. Dance in it, laugh in it, and love in it.
If it rains on your day, it rains. I know it’s frustrating that this is one part of your day you can’t control, but don’t let it put a damper on your day. You’ve got to make the best out of whatever happens.
And the good news at least is that from a photography perspective, clouds create a natural diffuser. This prevents those dreaded shadows under your eyes or an awful green casts from grass and tree leaves reflecting the sun onto your skin. Clouds are a blessing in my eyes. On sunny days, I’m actually a bit more limited in how I shoot and document your day – but with clouds, I can shoot from any direction and angle. The sky is literally the limit!
What you need to do if rain is predicted for your wedding day
It’s better to be prepared for rain than to obsessively check the forecast. Be ready for the worst, so you can revel in the best. In order to mitigate the impact rain can have on your wedding day, here are some things you should do if rain is predicted on your wedding day.
1. Download an app like Dark Sky
Dark Sky gives you incredibly accurate weather predictions, down to the minute. I found out about the accuracy and power of a good weather app when photographing this wedding at Brookfield Barn. The team at Brookfield Barn was literally counting down the seconds for the storm to hit and had the umbrellas up and over the couple as the first drop began falling to earth. An app like this is powerful in shifting events about and tweaking your timeline so that the rain doesn’t even cause any real disruption in your day.
2. Get a white or clear umbrella
It rains a lot in England, so even if you don’t end up needing an umbrella on your wedding day, it won’t go to waste. But don’t get just any ol’ umbrella – get a white or clear umbrella to ensure you’ll look your best. A black or coloured umbrella will caste unflattering shadows onto your skin. A white one will work like the clouds and diffuse light and a clear umbrella will not disrupt the already diffused light.
3. Throw out the timeline
Okay, not really. I love a wedding timeline. But definitely be flexible. The only break in the rain might be during your wedding breakfast, so you might leave your dessert half eaten for a couple of minutes to take those portraits you had to skip earlier. I photographed this wedding in Italy where we had a 10 course meal over the course of several hours, so I had to ask the amazing staff there if it was okay to do one side of the family between meals 2 and 3 and the other side during meals 5 and 6 and snuck the couple out for portraits before the twenty-billionth cake to be cut. No joke, they had two tables of cake. Food comas was a pandemic at that wedding.
4. Plan for alternative locations
Get married inside the marquee instead of on the lawns, do the confetti toss inside the ceremony hall – whatever it is, you can make it work! Your venue has most likely experienced rain on a wedding day, so chat with them about what to do in the event of rain. If they’ve been open for more than a year, they should be able to give you some ideas. Talk over a rough game plan with them so they know your wishes should it rain.
5. Let the pros take over
The only thing you really need to do to prepare for rain is to pack umbrellas and maybe wellies, discuss your wishes with your vendors in advance, and then let them take care of the rest. People like your photographer, planner or wedding venue coordinator are in the business of making couples happy – and they will do just that for your day. I often brainstorm feverishly with your other wedding vendors to ensure we can keep any disruptions to a minimum and that you enjoy your day.
I’ve yet to have a wedding in the spring or summer where I haven’t been able to set foot outside with the couple for a minute during daylight. The days are long, so if you’re getting married this time of year, rest easy that there will be plenty of opportunity for a break in the rain or for things to calm to a light drizzle. We might have to do family portraits inside, but I promise it is extremely rare that going outside is completely impossible.
For examples of rainy wedding photography, check out this wedding at Anchor Inn in Lewes, this rainy wedding at Kew Gardens, this rainy wedding at Brookfield Barn and this wedding at Fossa Mala in Italy.