You’ve planned your dream wedding down to the last the last T, and now the weather has thrown a curve ball at you. What do you do if it is raining on your wedding day?
Rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, and it is actually quite beautiful and romantic in photos.
New South Wales, and probably Australia in general has some of the most unpredictable weather around and I have shot some really really wet weddings over the years. I have seen Brides in tears because of the rain and I have seen Brides dance and splash in the rain. It won’t ruin you day but it can make it more challenging. So here are some wet weather wedding tips to get you through it.
Plan and prepare for a wet wedding and chances are that you will have great weather on your wedding day. And from my experience it is so true. Go out and buy beautiful umbrellas, buy funky gum boots, get raincoats and if you are lucky… you wont need to use them. But if you do need them, then at least you will be totally prepared.
Car hire companies often carry umbrellas, but they are covered in company logos, so I would recommend you get some big umbrellas of your own. As for what colour to get… it really doesn’t bother us at all. I would get something that suits you and your personalities. So if you are having a classic wedding, maybe get a simple black or white umbrella. But if you are a bit of an extrovert and like colour, then go out a get a multi-coloured umbrella which would be great in injecting some colour into a grey day. You can even get clear umbrellas.
If you are having a country wedding then I would recommend that you get some gumboots. Because it gets very wet and muddy everywhere. You can get expensive ‘designer’ gumboots or cheap colourful gumboots for somewhere like Target or BigW. And I would recommend getting a pair even if you don’t like the look of it as it will keep your feet dry, keep your wedding shoes clean and you can just lower your wedding dress if you don’t want gumboots in your wedding photos.
2. Have a wet weather Plan B for your ceremony
There is nothing more beautiful than an outdoor wedding ceremony but rain can easily ruin it for you. So we would definitely recommend that you arrange a wet weather back up for your wedding ceremony with your wedding venue. It is also a good idea to have a “Plan B” written into your wedding day schedule and on your invitations. So if it does rain, you know what to do and your guests know what to do. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
If the weather is intermittent drizzle and it doesn’t look like it is getting worst then I would definitely gamble for having the ceremony outdoors, particularly if you have a beautiful location. A bit of rain never hurt anyone and the cloud will make the light beautiful for photos, and you can just have some umbrellas on hand in case it does start raining during the ceremony.
Hiring a marquee or a large tent is another option worth considering.
If you are having the ceremony in the same location as the reception, they will often have a wet weather back up… but often this location is less than desirable. It is generally an empty room or even the foyer or Porte Cochere of the venue (driveway or entrance to the venue). So have a good look at the exact location if you are considering it. And make sure you would be happy to have your ceremony there if it did rain.
Another option is to book a beautiful indoor venue for your ceremony as a back up. If you do book it and you don’t use it then you could possibly go there for some location photos afterwards. Some indoor wedding ceremony ideas would be libraries, Art Galleries, Historic Houses, barrel rooms in vineyards or a country chapel etc.
3. Book a wet weather location for your Location Photos.
There are quite a few free wet weather locations around Sydney. But with over six hundred weddings in NSW each week and maybe a hundred plus weddings in Sydney, those wet weather locations quickly become packed with Brides and Grooms lining up for a photo, and it gets busier than Pitt St.
So if the weather forecast a few days before is for torrential rain, then it might be worth considering the idea of booking an indoor location for wedding photos. Pretty much any location, building, hotel, venue, etc can be booked if arranged for well in advance. I won’t give specific locations here, but think of modern buildings, historic buildings, five star hotel foyers, sporting venues, theatres, aquariums, museums, libraries, barrel rooms etc. Think outside the box. And it would be even better if you choose a location that has some meaning to you.
4. Be Brave!
If it does rain on your wedding day my advice would be to be brave when you venture outside. You can get some beautiful photos in the rain. If it is torrential heavy rain then I probably wouldn’t go outside, but if the rain is fairly light, then you can go out with an umbrella and get some romantic and dramatic images. But you need to be brave!
5. Think About Your Hair
You know what happens to your hair in wet weather, even if it’s a little bit if drizzle? The frizz or limp look come to mind. And when it does rain it is also often accompanied by a certain amount of wind as well.
So if you are thinking of wearing your hair out and the forecast is for rain, then you may have to rethink it. I am no hair specialist, but I have seen many Brides scared to venture outside because of the wind or drizzle because they are so worried about their hair. Even if it’s just getting from the car to the church. But by having your hair back with a load of bobby pins and a can of hairspray, it will give your the confidence to venture outside without the worry of your hair flying everywhere. It is best to speak to your hairstylist about your options, but it is something you should definitely keep in the back of your mind.
6. Take a Photo at Night in the Rain
With the use of some flash and some creative photography you can capture something quite unique in the rain at night. So during the reception step outside and dance in the rain :)
7. Stay Positive
One last thing…
From a photography stand point, I really don’t mind a little rain on a wedding day. Some of my favourite weddings have been rainy day weddings. The light is just beautiful and the sky can be quite dramatic. Naturally an absolute downpour is not ideal but a little light rain can be really beautiful in photos.
One of the nicest compliments I ever got was from a Bride who told me that after looking through my photos she had actually hoped it rained a bit on her wedding day… for the record, it didn’t rain on her wedding day… it was a lovely day. But it’s nice that some people are associating good things to a rainy day wedding, instead of the normal negative.
So hopefully these tips are helpful for anyone planning their wedding and remember it’s not necessarily a bad thing if it rains on your wedding day :)