You check the weather app on your phone for the millionth time. Yep, rain. Rain on your wedding day. I know the sinking feeling, because nine years ago I went through the same experience: storms were forecasted with chilly temps for our wedding day. While we were blessed with a warm spring, dry day, I will fully admit - I wasn't a terribly graceful bride when the forecast called for less-than-ideal conditions.
Learn from my bad attitude and still enjoy the wedding of your dreams.
I've learned that life has an amazing way of throwing curve balls at us. It takes a great amount of grace and effort to roll with the punches and make lemonade outta those lemons. Spiked lemonade, of course.
In the past few years of being a wedding photographer, I've had a handful of rainy day weddings to navigate. While it may not be "ideal", it's certainly not the end of the world. Here are a few tips for surviving, AND ENJOYING, a rainy wedding day.
1. Be mentally okay with having rain on your wedding day.
You and your soon-to-be spouse are the stars of this show. Your attitude will set the tone for the entire wedding. It's best to go into a rainy wedding day knowing that a) you still get to marry the love of your life, b) your photographer will make gorgeous rainy day photos, and c) you can look back on the crazy weather and laugh. Your marriage won't be perfect; it's okay if your wedding day weather isn't either.
2. Have a Plan B.
Having a back-up plan for your outdoor wedding is key. Reading the fine print in all your vendor contracts is also important. Know exactly how your venue handles rainy weather and discuss options for how to flip the space from ceremony to reception decor. Ask about where the bride and groom stand in the event of an indoor wedding (backlit spaces are difficult to photograph and can be hard on your guest's eyes). Will the guests be seated for the ceremony at the reception tables, or will a separate setup be hosted with rows of chairs?
Think about where you might do wedding party photos, family formals, and your own portraits. Is the space dark and messy? Or is there ample room to move around and good light for photos?
Think about guest comfort. Will they be warm enough on a chilly spring day?
Some vendors, such as musicians playing instruments, won't play in rainy conditions. And for good reason. Be sure to discuss options and cancellation policies with these vendors before you sign their contract.
3. Talk with your photographer
Ask them what their plan is in the event of a rainy day. Do they cringe at the idea of rain, or embrace it from a creative perspective? Be sure you trust your photographer 100% and allow them to capture your wedding in their style.
While I'm typically a warm weather girl (give me summer, baby!) I also get giddy at the prospect of creatively photographing romantic rainy day portraits. There are so many fun photo opportunities with rain! During the day, we can photograph you and your spouse under a clear umbrella for a super intimate feel, or go all "Singing in the Rain" style silly. After the sun goes down, backlighting raindrops makes for GORGEOUS nighttime photos that you will cherish for life.
If you know it will be rainy on your wedding day and you've embraced the idea, HAVE FUN WITH IT! Purchase umbrellas for each member of your wedding party. Buy your bridesmaids galoshes! Include umbrellas for your guests. There are fun ways to incorporate the rain into your wedding day with a positive attitude.