Picture the scene, the love of your life proposes to you in some fabulous way, down on one knee or whisking you to some picturesque little spot. You’re thrilled, excited and once the whirlwind of those few days fades (slightly) your thoughts instantly spring to your wedding day. So much to think about, so much to plan and decide.
Planning your perfect day
If, like many couples, you opt for a spring or summer wedding you will already have a picture in your head….A lovely sunny day, a soft breeze stirs the lush green leaves on the trees. You imagine a stunning venue with a beautiful garden or terrace. The light streams through the windows and illuminates a gorgeous room. Pretty flowers are filling the air with the soft scent of summer. You and your partner are dressed in your perfect outfits, with your best friends and parents by your side. Maybe one or two photos are taken in the sunshine before the ceremony, to capture the bond with your oldest friends. The ceremony is perfect. There are tears when you see each other for the first time and your vows are the most wonderful thing you have ever said.
Every word means so much and in that moment you only have eyes for each other.
Your guests cheer as you kiss. Hurrah! Time to celebrate. All your favourite people are there, sipping Prosecco in the sunshine. There are outdoor games to keep your guests amused while they enjoy the tempting canapes that are served by the diligent waiting staff. You wander off with your photographer to capture some relaxed portraits of the two of you, capturing that special time just after the ceremony when it all seems slightly surreal but amazing. There are a handful of family photos to be taken and a perfectly sun-dappled shady spot is found. Everyone shouts a cheer of celebration for the two of you. If you are planning a summer wedding, this is where your head can lead you. This is your perfect day and that day often involves nice weather.
The plan is there, this is what you have your heart set on for when you book for that day in June.
As the big day approaches, you are watching the weather forecast, it’s not looking good. Maybe the weather gods are wrong, maybe it will change as we get nearer the big day… it’s not improving!!
The morning of your wedding day arrives at last and…it’s raining.
Not just raining, it’s torrential. The sky is a foreboding black, there’s weather warnings of floods in the area and you are desperate to not let it spoil your perfect day.
Stop right there.
What happens if it rains on my wedding day?
Ok, so the British weather has done its thing and given you a day with rain. This will not stop it from being perfect. It will be a different kind of perfect from the one you imagined, but it will still be perfect. Your partner will still look gorgeous and say ‘I do’. Your family and friends will still laugh and cry with you and cheer when you have your first kiss. You will celebrate, you will have fun and you will get married. It will be amazing!
This is also the point that I (and every other professional, experienced photographer) come in from a supportive and practical stand point to make sure that you still get photos that reflect that perfect, if somewhat rainy, wedding day. I want my couples to have an awesome day. I want them to be happy, excited and as unstressed as possible. I see it as part of my job on the wedding day to help this happen, and I have done my fair share of calming worried couples on the morning of damp weddings.
What happens if it rains on my wedding day? Here are six things to think about when it comes to dealing with the Great British weather on your wedding day. It is the UK, after all, and the chances are that it might well rain, even in summer. While we can get lovely weather, we aren’t renowned for our glorious sunshine and balmy summer days. But this need not put a dampener (no pun intended) on your day.
1. Find a suitable venue
If you haven’t started the planning process then this gives you a head start. When you are looking for your venue do go with the style of place that reflects the type of wedding you want, but ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the interior like?
- If it does happen to rain on the day is it the kind of space you will be happy to be in?
- If you want to have a lot of group shots, or your wedding party is large will the inside of the venue be adequate to do all those group shots?
- Is there a room or space big enough for the whole wedding party to be photographed, if you want an ‘everyone’ shot.
If you have any doubt about any of these, ask the venue how they deal with a wet day and the photography. They should have some examples of previous weddings and how they have done it. If you already have your wedding photographer booked why not ask them to visit with you or get their opinion. They will be able to give you a great guide as to options and being realistic about what is achievable in a venue.
2. Speak to your photographer
Once your venue is booked then have a chat to your photographer about options for your photos. Most places have areas inside that will work well for portraits. You may have to compromise on some of your group shots if space is limited, maybe you do a few more smaller groups rather than the bigger group arrangements.
3. Embrace the weather
Embrace the weather! Don’t fight it, go with it. In the run up to the day if you think you may have to contend with rain why not buy yourself some fab and funky wellies and a cool umbrella? Make the portraits of you and your partner fun in the rain. Your photographer will be prepared to be out so if they suggest finding a spot to get some shots of you cuddling under your gorgeous new umbrella why not try it? This is a reflection of your wedding day, and it’s something you will look back on and laugh about. It will simply be part of the brilliant story that is your day. You’ll giggle at the portraits of you wearing your spotty wellies peeking out from under your gorgeous wedding dress.
4. Find shelters for romantic portraits
There will often be somewhere outside that offers shelter from any rain. Doorways, tunnels, under trees, gazebos…the options can be endless. When it comes to it, most photographers will be looking for these options anyway. That’s what we do. We see a venue and immediately look at where will be perfect spots for particular photos. I am always thinking of plan A, B, C and more when I check out a venue. Where I would like to shoot if it’s sunny, cloudy or rainy? If there is a fabulous outside area to the venue I will always try to get out there at some point and make it work.
5. Make your peace with it
A really important thing to remember. No matter how hard you wish, you can’t change it. It’s a really difficult thing to accept. After months of planning you are finally here and you may have had a few ‘control freak’ moments (we all have, I know I certainly did!). So accepting there is something outside of your planning control can be tricky. In the run up to the big day, please try to let that go. I promise it really will help you roll with whatever happens on the day, on all counts.
There’s something else to bear in mind. From a photography point of view cloudy skies can make for wonderfully dramatic images and bright but cloudy days can create very flattering light for photos. So it’s not all bad if the sun isn’t cracking the flags!
6. Make sure your photographer has the right skills
The last, and most important point to bear in mind when it comes to your photography is this. Make sure you are completely happy with your photographer and the skills they have. Are you confident they can deal with whatever is thrown at them by Mother Nature. When you do have that perfect person who will capture your wedding, trust them to do their job and make the right decision for your photos. Let them worry about that side of things, you really don’t need to.
As a wedding photographer, I am there to make sure that every image I take of your wedding day is a perfect one that reflects that moment in time and tells part of your day. I am constantly making decisions and changing my ideas as the day goes on based on what’s happening generally, and often because of what the weather is doing. I will not let you down and I will work around any situation to capture those images, regardless of how much rain is falling on the day.
So, what can you take from this? You can’t plan for the weather but you can make a few decisions that will help to deal with whatever is thrown at you by the good old British summertime so you won’t be stressing ‘What happens if it rains on my wedding day?’ and instead you’ll have a smashing day regardless. If you’re wondering if I share any other tips, you’re in luck, head on over to my wedding planning guide here to check it out.
Thanks for reading and I hope it helps,