I know! Worrying about what to do on a rainy day wedding, can be one the biggest stresses in the run up to a wedding day.
First things first, don’t panic! I have photographed many rainy day weddings (including this dreamy destination wedding in Tuscany) so if you are asking the question,”What to do if it rains on my wedding day?” I have created my top 5 tips for having your dream wedding even if you life serves you an unexpected rainy day wedding. And, of course, how to still getting those bright, soft, dreamy pictures you love.
Firstly, don’t panic, if it is forecast to rain on your wedding day, it rarely rains all day. We will be able to find pockets of dry weather (and even sunshine) that we can take advantage of. I will be keeping an eye on the weather (and my variety of weather apps!) so you can just relax.
It is your job to enjoy your wedding day, it is my job to keep an eye on the weather and let you know if we get an opportunity to take some beautiful pictures. In my experience, the vast majority of rainy wedding days have several moments when the rain dies off enough for us to get outside so it ends up being not much of a problem. In the rare cases that we are faced with persistent rain all day there are several contingencies you can have in place to make sure that your pictures are still the best and most beautiful they could be.
1) Choose a bright venue
This part is crucial. Choose a venue with lots of natural light. One big window is often not enough because this can create deep shadows. When choosing a perfect rainy day wedding venue there are three things to look for:
- Multiple natural light sources
- Neutral decoration
- Plenty of space
If the worst happens and you find yourself facing a rainy day wedding, the venue will really come into its own. As it gets dark outside, a dark venue will become even darker. I have even declined invitations to photograph a wedding if I fear the venue will look too dark on a rainy day. The sad fact is, if there is not enough natural light, we cannot create the light and airy pictures you see on the website.
But choosing a bright, neutral venue means you can still have luscious bright pictures swimming in light, like this picture which was taken on rainy day wedding. We were fortunate to be in a gorgeous victorian Orangery (multiple light sources- check) which had white walls (neutral decoration – check) and we had it to ourselves as the guests were elsewhere in the building (Plenty of space – check)
The conditions were perfect so even though the storm raged outside we were having the time of our lives inside creating the most gorgeous pictures.
So in general, the perfect venues for a rainy day wedding are orangeries and greenhouses because of the abundance of natural light and neutral colours. These are absolutely perfect as they meet all the three main criteria needed to still create bright, soft pictures on a rainy wedding day. However a close second are bright marquees (especially clear plastic-roofed ones to let in as much light as humanly possible) or white buildings with plenty of windows and natural light.
These are three weddings that suffered horrific torrential rain but we still managed to create some beautiful pictures because the venue was bright, with multiple windows, neutral decoration and plenty of space:
Please do ask if you would like help choosing the perfect venue to ensure that even your rainy day wedding pictures are everything you dream of. I have often advised brides on how a venue will photograph, I can usually tell just by looking at pictures online, and it will be my pleasure to do the same for you.
2) Choose the right photographer
This one may seem a little self-indulgent considering my profession but honestly, if you have your heart set on light, bright wedding images even if it rains on your wedding day, then choosing the right photographer is key.
As a fine art wedding photographer committed to creating bright, soft and pastel images no matter the weather, I know how much of a difference it makes to be committed to finding the brightest, lightest way to capture a wedding even in challenging lighting conditions.
My passion is to create light, bright images no matter what the weather. My rainy day brides are often panicked when it rains and ask me, “How will this affect the pictures? I chose you because I love your bright, pastel pictures, I’m so gutted because it’s raining.” But I always give the same assurance: ‘Don’t worry, if there IS a way to make your pictures bright and sunny looking, I will find it!’ …and I will.
My brides know, by inviting me to capture their wedding, they are guaranteed to have the brightest, dreamiest pictures possible, and this can bring so much comfort when faced with the prospect of a rainy day wedding.
There are 4 ways that I ensure your pictures are as light and airy as possible even on a dark, stormy day, so you can have total peace of mind:
1) The cameras I use
I have specifically chosen my cameras because of their ability to handle low light conditions so that even on the darkest day, I can create beautiful, natural-light images.
2) The way I use the camera
I am very intentional (and quite unusual) in how I use my camera. The settings that I use create the signature soft, dreamy look you see on the website.
3) The way I shoot
When I first started photography I didn’t have any idea how important “lighting” was. Through my years photographing many weddings in many weather conditions, I have realised just how much of a difference choosing the right spot to shoot in makes, and how to find those subtle pockets of light to make a picture come alive with bright, sunny colours.
It is often as delicate as asking you to move an inch to the left or right or asking you to stand in (what feels like) the middle of nowhere. It is as much to do with what is behind the camera as what is in front of it. When it comes to creating bright, dreamy image on a dark rainy day, I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve. You can rest assured, if there was any human way to make your images look light and pastel-coloured, I will find it!
4) The way I edit
Back in my office is often where the magic happens. The image must be right in the first 3 stages of camera, settings and lighting, but when it is, this is when I can work a bit of (what my clients call) the “SJ magic”. The way I edit images creates a soft, bright feel to even the darkest picture (the pictures below were taken on a VERY dark, stormy day. SO many of my clients comment that it doesn’t even look rainy anymore in their pictures. This makes me so happy as this is one of my main aims when editing rainy day wedding pictures.
It is worth mentioning that although I can sprinkle my SJ magic over most images there are always going to be the odd picture that even I can make bright. In these situations I will likely embrace the dark and create a different contrast in your pictures but this is a last resort. My number one focus is creating those soft, bright images I know my clients love.
3) Bring an Umbrella
Rainy day weddings can be transformed from a miserable disaster into the cutest photo opportunity by choosing to embrace the weather rather than fight it. Bring some wellies, bring an umbrella and let’s create some truly unique wedding pictures.
Yeah sure, any bride can shine in a gorgeous sunset pictures but how many can rock it in wellies and umbrella on a rainy day. If you bring your A-game and throw yourself into to the adventure of a rainy day wedding, then I will be right there with you!
NB: Make sure your umbrella is white or preferably completely clear and see-through. This means that there will not be any odd colours thrown onto your faces.
4) Plan indoor activities
One thing I am known for is the life-filled, candid pictures of the wedding day celebrations. This can be a challenge if we can’t get outdoors. Planning some indoor games and activities can help give your guests something to focus on and enjoy and will really help me to get fun, laughing pictures of them.
A magician is perfect as this is not weather dependant and is always guaranteed to get some great expressions and reactions from your guests. Also games and other activities and surprises that can easily be moved indoors.
5) Get outside
When it comes to your wedding photos I will be as adventures and committed as you are. If you are brave and up for going outside then you can bet that I will be right there with you. My main commitment is giving you the best possible pictures.
I have photographed in the rain many times. My clients are ok because they are under umbrellas but I am out in the full rain, my camera lens getting wetter and wetter and foggier and foggier, finally returning looking like a drowned rat and having frizzy hair for the rest of the day… do I care? Not a bit!
It is my utter joy to go above and beyond in every way I can to create, not only the best rainy day wedding pictures I can, but also the best experience for my clients that I can. I want you to be able to relax and enjoy your wedding to the full, even on a rainy day.
6) Plan a post wedding shoot
One final thing that can really take the pressure of your wedding day itself is planning to have a post wedding shoot. That is what the couple below did. It sadly rained torrentially all day on their wedding day, with no opportunity to even get outside, so they flew me to Paris a month after and we spent the day together creating the most amazing pictures in these iconic locations! It was the best day ever and meant that, even though they had the worst possible weather for their wedding day, they still ended up with wedding pictures that are the envy of all their friends!
7) Have fun!!!
And finally, make a commitment with yourself that whatever the weather you are going to relax and enjoy your wedding day for all it is worth. It is likely to be the only wedding you’ll get so don’t let a bit of rain dampen your spirit. Rise up and make the day whatever your want it to be. Laugh, dance, celebrate. Life rarely turns out as perfectly as we would hope but we can choose to make each day, the best day ever.
If you would like to have the brightest, dreamiest wedding pictures without worrying about the weather then get in touch, and it would be an honour to do the same for you.