The thought of photographing a wedding outside in the rain used to strike great fear into me. But having covered several rainy weddings over the last few seasons have taught me that rain is not such a bad thing at all. In fact, there are some definite benefits to it: the cloud cover diffuses light nicely, and you don’t get harsh shadows as you would with direct sunlight. You can also get quite creative with lighting, rain drops, umbrellas and puddle reflections. A rainy wedding day can make your photos really stand out, rather than it having to be a downer.
If you’re worried about rain on your wedding day, here are a few ideas to help you prepare for it and enjoy it.
When choosing a venue, have a look if there are any pretty covered areas, or indoor spaces where you would be happy to have your photos taken, especially if you are getting married at a time of year where the weather can be a little unpredictable. If you have already chosen a photographer, ask them to look at the venue as well, and get their opinion.
Consider beforehand if you are happy for your dress to get a bit wet and possibly muddy during your photo shoot, or if that’s definitely a no go for you. Most wedding photos are taken just before dinner, so you’ll be sitting down for a while after your photos, and no one will see the bottom of your dress – it may well get worse treatment on the dance floor later! But this is a completely personal choice. Decide on this before your wedding and discuss it with your photographer too, so you can work together to find a suitable solution.
Rather than feeling sad about the weather, embrace the rain and have a bit of fun with it. It’s your best day ever after all! Photos in the rain can be stunning and lots of fun too. So if you’re not too worried about getting a bit wet, it’s usually easy enough to find a big tree to shelter under and white or transparent umbrellas add a lovely touch to photos. Ask your photographer about their ideas.
I always carry a set of matching umbrellas with me in my car for any wedding, ask your photographer if they will provide umbrellas in case it rains. If you need to get your own, transparent and / or white are the best options. Strongly coloured umbrellas can cast an undesirable colour effect on your face, and black umbrellas can make everything look rather dark.
Put a pair of wellies or trainers in your bag and change into them before your photo shoot, you won’t see them under your dress. It will keep your wedding shoes clean, and you can just hitch up your dress to walk from location to location. You’ll also find that you can move around much quicker too, a good thing if you don’t want to be out in the rain for ages.
If you’re having your photos taken just before your wedding breakfast, allow for an extra 20 minutes or so to take a deep breath and regroup, before you go in. Your bridesmaids can help you wash out any dirt from the bottom of your dress in the bathroom and dry it out with the hand drier (I’ve seen it done and work brilliantly!)
While I’m pretty happy shooting in the rain, there are limits. If you are faced with torrential downpours and gale force winds, you won’t want to be outside for more than a couple of quick shots. Even if you’re not too worried about your dress, if you are cold and uncomfortable, it will reflect in your photographs and that’s not a good look for your wedding photos.
Not many couples consider this, but there’s no reason why you definitely have to take your wedding photos on your actual wedding day. Taking them after, or even before your wedding, takes off time pressure on the day, and also gives you the flexibility to reschedule your shoot in case of bad weather. Ask your photographer if they offer pre- or post-wedding shoots and you may even get a discount if you book it together with your wedding photography package.
Article written by Diana V Photography