“What will we do if it rains on our wedding day?” As a wedding photographer it’s a question I get asked sometimes. But if my clients don’t ask me then I’ll make sure I ask them – because I live in Britain, so there’s absolutely no sense in assuming anything about the weather.
Anna and I got married in August, which as you know is the new height of the UK’s rainy season. In December you might get a light dusting of pretty white snow, in October you’ll exit the wedding ceremony to be met by beautiful golden leaves drifting down on a gentle autumn breeze, and in the spring your wedding day might be graced with the unique beauty of trees in blossom. But if it rains in August then you and all your wedding guests will be drenched to the bone as thunder and lightning roll overhead and floodwater carries your cake table off down the river. Not really. But that’s how my mind was working at the time. I distinctly recall fretting about our marquee being flooded.
It didn’t seem to matter how many times a minute I reloaded the weather app on my phone; it changed nothing. The fates had decreed that during that Saturday in August we were due a good downpour. I began researching weddington boots and ensured that we had a good stock of white umbrellas. And a canoe. A white one. Just in case.
The rain did arrive but it came with perfect timing. When the heavens opened we were all safe and sound in the marquee, listening to the speeches. The drumming of summer rain on the marquee roof pretty much drowned out my Best Men’s speech, which was for the best really. By the time the speeches and toasts had finished the rain had moved on, leaving us free to play an impromptu game of cricket.
Rain really doesn’t have to ruin your wedding day. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where it has rained, and believe me the weather has never overshadowed the day entirely. In fact some of my favourite weddings have been a bit damp around the edges. Sometimes plans have to be adjusted, but as long as you and your photographer are happy to roll with it, everything will be fine. However, if you’re really worried, here are five top tips to bear in mind.
Choosing a venue
Along with many other criteria, it’s worth considering what will happen if it rains on your wedding day when you’re choosing your venue. Yes, you’d love an outdoor ceremony; but if the monsoon arrives will you be just as happy with the alternative indoor option?
It pays to be flexible
Weddings revolve around people, and just like the weather they can be pretty unpredictable. So even if the forecast looks sunny you’re probably going to have to be a bit flexible with the timings and order of the day.
If the ceremony ends and it’s raining, then perhaps your photographer can whisk you away for some indoor portraits now and do the big group photo of everyone in half an hour.
Hair and Makeup
My knowledge doesn’t extend to hair and makeup, but fortunately I have been in touch with one of the best makeup artists around – Sheelagh Powell – and asked her what advice she might offer. Here are her carefully considered pearls of wedding wisdom!
My top 5 makeup tips to keep your wedding day makeup in place on a rainy day!
- Always use a makeup primer under your foundation, this will help to mattify the skin and keep your makeup in place all day. I love Arbonne’s face primer; it works great on all skin types.
- Use an invisible setting powder to fix your foundation, your skin will photograph better and keep any shiny areas at bay! My favourite is the MAC Pro Invisible Powder.
- Use waterproof mascara. This is an absolute must! Even if the rain doesn’t get you the odd emotional tear might…
- Set your makeup with a fixing/setting spray. This will ensure your makeup doesn’t budge all day, no need for top-ups! I adore the ‘Model in a Bottle’ fixing spray. It smells great and will set your makeup to perfection.
- If all else fails……carry an umbrella! This will add to the styling of your wedding and can contribute to some wonderful photographs!
Choose Your Photographer Carefully
Just as with venue choice, make the right decision regarding your photographer and you’ll have wedding photos to treasure whatever the weather. This is where Your Perfect Wedding Photographer can help! Get in touch with a few photographers, don’t just book the first one you see. Arrange an initial meeting and make sure one of your questions is “What will you do if it rains?”
Dress Appropriately & Do It Anyway!
As the saying goes: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting you should invest in a white plastic poncho or a lace cagoule! But a change of footwear might mean that you can still get outside with a nice white umbrella (I always take one or two to a wedding, just in case) and still get the shots you dreamed of. In fact the rain can actually add to the drama of a photograph. But be warned, your dress will probably get a bit wet!
Your wedding will be a day to remember whatever the heavens throw at you. As long as you have the right mindset and the right photographer, there’s no reason why you won’t still get some incredible photographs to remember it all by!