What Happens If It Rains On The Wedding Day?
Q: What do we do if it rains on my wedding day?
A: Party indoors, and tell the story of your day!
If you have a doorway, you can make stunning bridal and couple portraits (it’s raining outside)
If you have your friends and family surrounding you, you can have a blast.
Some of my most favourite images have been taken on days that it’s raining. They’re full of chaos as people dash from building to building dodging the rain. Priests, nuns and guests have to huddle together in small spaces, in connects us on a human level, a very basic one where no one wants to get wet. It breaks down boundaries, you start to joke and jest with the people who are all of a sudden pressed up against you. Rain brings laughter and a sense of togetherness, all chipping in to make the bride and grooms day run a bit smoother.
My job as a London wedding photographer is to tell the story of the day, with that in mind I make no attempt to hide the fact that it’s raining. Living in the UK, it’s not uncommon for August to be scattered with showers, the usual great British summer gags get the annual airing. I photograph what’s happening in front of me and don’t try to change it.
Couple portraits can be taken indoors, as can group pictures, there is genuinely nothing to worry about. The most pragmatic thing we can do is to make a wet weather plan. Visiting the venue before the wedding is beneficial for this reason alone, knowing where plan B will take place puts everyone’s mind at ease on the day. Started to rain? Oh well, let’s head inside to where we discussed. Easy!
The light that comes on a rainy day is soft and even as it becomes diffused by the clouds, it looks amazing. In my career I’ve only ever had one day that was a complete wash out – I mean relentless, all day rain – so the odds are in your favour of fifteen minutes of a break in the weather to head outside for any pictures you would like to take, either group pictures or couple portraits. Some of the best light I’ve ever seen has occurred just after it has stopped raining.
The clouds are still angry and grey, but the light cuts through them, casting light of a biblical nature, the beams cutting through the clouds, the light cutting through the darkness. The contrast is beautiful, and makes for really cool pictures.
#1. I’m game for getting wet!
One thing to bear in mind is that I don’t mind if I get wet, if you’re game to head outside then so am I! Embrace it. Jump in puddles, huddle close together under a singe umbrella. As long as you’re warm and happy, the rain can be incredibly romantic.
#2. Hot chocolate and marshmallows!
Think of all the amazing things you love to do in the wintertime, basically snuggle in front of a fire, so why not do that. Plenty of tea, coffee and blankets will keep everybody happy.
Once the cold sets in then it can feel cold and ‘orrible. If everyone is plenty warm enough and has a cup of something warm they’ll be reet. Hot chocolate is a cool idea, why not ask your caterers to provide that and source a fire pit – hot chocolate and marshmallows will keep everyone warm and entertained.
#3. Plan ahead
Keep an eye on the forecast on the build up to the wedding, if it looks like it will rain, consider asking everyone to bring colourful umbrellas, or supply them yourself. They will add a wonderful contrast to the scene.
Flexibility and communication is key at all weddings, but particularly if the weather is all over the shop. The timetable will move and shift as we dodge showers and we may need a few helpers to round up guests if we’re shooting indoors. I mention this as typically when we’re outside I can holla at everyone and call out names. If we’re inside and maybe in a separate room, we’ll need a runner to make it work to maximum efficiency.
#4. Have no expectations – seriously
It’s well documented in mindfulness teachings that we only feel disappointed when our expectations are not met. If you generate an image of a beautiful sunny day and it rains, then reality won’t meet your expectations and you’ll feel let down. Focus on the people around you.
Everyone has travelled from far and wide to celebrate a connection you share with another person, that’s a beautiful thing. I’ve been to extraordinarily expensive weddings and I’ve been to low key elopements, whatever the scenario the key part of the day has always been the people. The people make the event, they bring the laughter and the tears, they bring the singing and dancing, they bring the event to life.
Be cool, the suppliers all know what they’re doing, all that’s left is to enjoy it. Make sure you do, weddings are a bloody riot. Tell everyone how much you love them. Hug everybody. Kiss your partner. Kick off your shoes, bring the ravers spirit to life, it’s the best party you’ll ever have, don’t miss it!