ADVICE FOR RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY
Advice for rain on a wedding day – top tips for a rainy wedding
Many couples dread the thought of a rain on their wedding day, with visions of damp dresses, muddy venues and chilly guests becoming a focus on the run-up to the big day. We do live in the UK and even if you’re having a Summer wedding then the chances of rain are always likely, so I’ve put together some advice for rain on a wedding day; rainy wedding tips. My own brother got married on the island of St Lucia in the Caribbean and it even rained on their wedding day, right up to the ceremony! The weather is the one thing you have no control over for your wedding planning, so if it DOES look like the heavens will open on your wedding day, it’s best to be prepared so you enjoy yourselves regardless.
In some cultures rain on a wedding day is seen as good luck, as a sign of cleansing and fertility, and some say that rain tightens the knot of a wedding (taken from the days of hand-fasting where couples literally tied a knot during their wedding ceremony). Despite all our best efforts it’s impossible to control the weather! So, the next best step is to be prepared and embrace whatever the skies above decide to do. I photograph lots of lovely outdoor weddings, so I’ve written some top tips and advice for a rainy wedding… in case of rain on your wedding day and to enjoy your special day to the absolute fullest!
1 – Be prepared and have a plan B
No matter what you have planned for your order of the day, always be prepared for the chance of rain and have a plan B, particularly if you are having an outdoor woodland or garden ceremony. If your venue has suggested an outdoor drinks reception, check that they have another area for your guests to mingle should the heavens open and make sure your bridal party and all your on-the-day suppliers know your backup plans so everyone can be best prepared come a change of plan (and weather!). Decide early on what you want to do if it’s raining and stick to it – all professional wedding suppliers and photographers will have great ideas about what you can do, so speak to them about it if you’re worried.
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony then I have 3 suggestions: either check that your venue has an indoor/covered area for you to hold your ceremony, have a marquee on hand to rig-up if need be (you can get some great clear marquees now, as Victoria and Rhys did as a precaution for their Secret River Garden wedding), or you can hire some umbrellas (see my next tip).
Case in point is this lovely couple who were planning a beautiful outdoor wedding at Chateau la Durantie in France. They hoped to have an outdoor ceremony, yet the day rolled around with dark clouds and rain. Chateau la Durantie is a brilliant wedding venue and they have a gorgeous, light-filled room as a backup which was used for the ceremony – just look at this photograph and would you believe that this wasn’t what was always planned?
More often than not, even if it rains on your wedding day, it won’t rain the whole day and you can still get those lovely outdoor photographs that you were planning on. As a photographer on a rainy wedding day I always keep an eye on the weather so we can nip outside for your couple shots between showers, if I know that’s what is important to you. Even if it is a bit drizzly, we can find an outdoor location with some cover to have your photographs taken under, ensuring you stay dry. This couple got married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London and luckily there are so many areas which are covered so we captured beautiful photographs despite the rain outside.
2 – Have some umbrellas on standby
Have a selection of umbrellas on standby for yourselves, your wedding party and your guests to grab and cover up at short notice, just in case! Brolly Bucket are a brilliant umbrella hire company who send brollies to weddings all over the UK and they have many, many colours to choose from for those couples who want to coordinate, or choose a selection for a colourful array. Store them in some beautiful baskets by the venue door and your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness if the clouds do roll in.
It was raining for Charis and Tom’s wedding, but they still had the most wonderful day. On reflection here are Charis’s thoughts: “In the end it doesnt matter that it rained on our wedding day. I spent so much time stressing about the weather – and the whole night before I could barely sleep for worrying about it – but it didn’t make a difference on the day. It was still a wonderful day and we were both so happy! I would have been better not stressing about the rain and getting more sleep! I would recommend to make a plan that involves a back up if it rains so that you’re not caught out for the photos or the venue, and try not to worry because the weather is completely out of your control. Just focus on your other half and the adventure you’re about to have!”
3 – Get yourself some wellies!
If your venue is in the countryside or has lots of lovely grounds that you’d like to get photographs in, or if you’re planning a marquee or festival style wedding, then a change of footwear will be a must! Get some wellies and keep them somewhere handy for a quick change if you need them. Some brides even colour-coordinate their wellies to match their wedding colours which is a really nice idea – changed out of your wedding shoes and into some wellies for your couple photographs.
4 – Cuddle up
Sure it’s raining, but it’s YOUR WEDDING DAY! Take the change in temperature as a great excuse to cuddle up to each other, particularly during your photographs together. In case it is a bit chilly set out some woollen blankets or pashminas in a basket for you and your guests – they will love that they can wrap up and still enjoy the day as the night draws in, without having to bring a spare jacket!
Babishe and Matt had a country wedding in Bedfordshire and had this to say: ‘Don’t worry about the rain, you won’t even notice it. When it first started raining on our wedding I was disappointed, but within minutes I had forgotten about it when my braidsmaids rocked up with a bottle of champagne and lots of excitement and laughter. Our ceremony was in a conservatory and the rain sounded lovely bouncing off the roof… and by this point I was only concentrating on my Husband to be anyway. By the time our wedding breakfast was over, there were a few breaks from the rain when we dashed outside to take photographs. Because of the rain, the clouds cleared and the sunlight became really gorgeous – the photographs look great and the whole weather thing became part of the experience. So, if it rains on your wedding, embrace it, grab a colourful umbrella and have the best day of your life!’
5 – Embrace the weather!
Embrace the weather! Remember the real reason that you’re getting married – it isn’t because of the weather, it’s because you love each other and want to celebrate that in front of your family and friends. Whatever the weather is doing is by the by and you can still have the most perfect wedding day. If your dress gets a little muddy then it’s the sign you’ve embraced the day whole-heartedly; if there’s a storm then it’ll make for a great story to tell the children and grandchildren!
Lindsey and Richard planned an outdoor Scotland wedding at Ardoch, on the banks of Loch Lomond in the middle of August. Just before the ceremony, there was a huge downpour and the ceremony was moved inside! Here are their words and top tips, which I received after putting this post together and most of which echo the tips above…
‘When planning our wedding my husband and I had one clear theme in mind – a Scottish wedding, incorporating the beautiful and dramatic scenery, which is so ingrained in our story together. The problem with planning an outdoor Scottish wedding? The varied and often ferocious weather! We always joked our wedding day would be a washout to balance out how lucky we have been during our camping and hiking trips in northern Scotland when dating, where the weather could rival Hawaii. Given that, our day ended up experiencing all four seasons in 24 hours. I’m glad that we had Plan A, B and C ready to go!!
- Have a wet weather plan – another part of the venue, a covered tent, a flexible start time. Get as many options as possible.
- Hire some beautiful umbrellas, just in case!
- Don’t panic! We had the most thunderous downpour during our ceremony resulting in the whole thing being pulled from the grass and into our Plan B area – an outdoor but covered terrace, with a monsoon as our backdrop over the mountains. In the past 9 months since we have been married so many people have commented how incredible and dramatic our ceremony was – literally taking place in a storm! It is certainly not one that will soon be forgotten and it added a great element to our story.
- Enjoy it! I didn’t realise until I saw the pictures that I actually laughed coming down the aisle as it was all so insane – I’ve never seen rain like it and there in the midst of it all was all of our loved ones, and my husband waiting at the end of the aisle. Talk about an entrance!
- The pictures will be epic! The bigger the clouds, the more dramatic the photo!! Best make sure you hire Natalie who managed to shoot pictures of our ceremony, while standing out in the rain with a brolly balanced & covering her camera, and somehow managed to get clear, touching pictures with not a hint of raindrop. Not to mention all the photographs out in scenery, just as we had imagined.’
6 – Have your photographs inside.
If it really is raining, or too cold outside, another option is to have your photographs outside. Remember your wedding photographs are a reflection of your wedding day, however it unfolds, and there will be some lovely areas inside to take your couple photographs and even your family photographs.
7 – Trust your photographer and watch for the magic!
Lastly what I would say is – do any of these people here look miserable that it’s raining on their wedding day? No, they are all embracing the elements and are focused on loving each other, which is what a wedding day should be about. Enjoy your day, whatever the weather. You WILL have an incredible day!
If you are planning your wedding then I would love to be your photographer and capture the story of your wedding day for you… Please get in touch here. Nx