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What to do if it rains on your wedding day

March 2, 2020

Children of the 90’s perhaps grew up thinking it was ironic, I’d say that Alanis misunderstands the concept of irony, but anyway….

Rain happens to the best of us, especially in the good ol’ UK where it feels somewhat inevitable. Hell, I once went all the way to Liguria in Italy to photograph a wedding on a beach for it to pour the entire afternoon of the wedding (more on which later). I get asked about what my plan is if it should rain, and I thought it warranted a longer blog post.

Don’t let it rain on your parade

Statistically, it’s more likely to be dry on your wedding day, so don’t spend too long worrying about it or obsessively checking the weather in the run up to the day. If it does rain you absolutely have to embrace it – everyone is still going to have a wonderful time, no one will mind being inside talking to friends and family they haven’t seen for ages and eating delicious food with a glass in their hand. The only real impact that it does have is for group photos, and for your couple photos, and even then the impact can be minimal.

Don’t let the weather spoil the day you’ve been planning for ages, and probably been saving for. It’s the one thing you can’t control.

 

Rain is a word to describe a whole host of weather scenarios

First off, I feel like rain as blanket term is a bit vague – it is passing showers, or torrential rain, lightly drizzling or…. Actually, those are probably the three most common types of rain. Different situations call for a different approach, and what I suggest we’ll do will vary dependent on how wet it is, what time of year it is, where we are, what you’re wearing and a whole host of other factors. If it was lightly drizzling, I’d probably suggest we try and embrace it a little for the sake of some beautiful photos of the two of you, but if it was torrential rain, and one of you had a dress with a big train, then I’d be looking for other creative solutions.

 

It’s obviously not always possible to make that call until the moment itself, so I always suggest rolling with the punches and seeing what the day throws at us. It rarely rains all day, and sometimes the moment when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds can be truly spectacular. The key, then is being flexible, and if I spot some beautiful light later in the day, then let’s head outside and make some photographic magic.

(Just a quick note on the above three images – it rained so heavily on Lizzie and Matt’s wedding day that we abandoned the confetti throw at the church and everyone was inside the marquee most of the day. When it let up a bit, I co-ordinated everyone outside for a confetti shot that I adore, and magically, just after dinner, the sun came out and we had the most magnificent golden hour)

Be prepared

If rain is forecast on the day, a quick trolley dash to get yourself some umbrellas and maybe a pair of wellies, wouldn’t go amiss. I often find that inevitably, if they’re purchased, they end up not being used anyway.

 

If you buy umbrellas, those clear, retro style ones work a treat – I’ve bought them from Accessorise, and from Primark. They don’t create a colour cast on your faces as the light passes through like a brightly coloured umbrella. Those giant, corporate golf umbrellas work a treat at keeping the rain off, but save them for guests, as they can look a bit crap in couple photos. For weddings where I’m able to park nearby, I always have a stash in my boot.

 

A pair of wellies will mean you can walk through that slightly damp field for the epic shots you want without soggy feet, or ruining your wedding shoes.

Embrace it

 

Some of my all time favourite shots have been of couples who are fearless, and don’t mind getting a little wet. You don’t have to go as far as Stephanie & Roberto, who danced on the beach in the pouring rain together, but with the help of the tips in the point above, you can still rock those beautiful natural light shots. Depending on the light, we can try and work it so that if you do get a little damp, the main parts of the day are done and you won’t (hopefully) care.

Don’t worry about the dress!

I’m going to put this here, a tiny bit more bluntly than I tend to on the day. The dress is a conduit to a good time, you bought it to look and feel awesome, but also so that you can get some epic photos. You are almost definitely never going to wear it again, and almost any stain can be gotten out by professional dress cleaners.

If you are planning on selling it on, the resale value will almost definitely be less than you are paying to have me shoot your wedding.

 

Indoor shots

 

I actually love shooting indoors – gimme that dreamy, directional window light, those quirky interiors, weird artwork and old wallpaper, or crumbly old warehouse walls. Yum.

 

Indoors can be awesome.

Bury a sausage

If all else fails, there is the strangest tradition I’ve heard uttered. I’m not entirely sure if it’s just a Norfolk thing (in which case #normalfornorfolk) as it’s only here that I’ve heard people talk about it but a caterer once told one of my couples that if they went to the woods, and buried a cooked sausage, then they would have a dry day. And it was.

 

It is unclear that if you are of a similarly herbivorous persuasion to myself whether a Linda McCartney sausage will suffice or whether the earth demands a sacrifice…..

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