Generally speaking – every couple hopes for nice weather on their wedding day.
The image you have in your head of the day you get married is probably a beautiful blue sky with a few fluffy clouds, light wind (just enough to fluff your veil without blowing it away) and that ideal not-too-cold-not-too-warm temperature. Something like this:
The reality is that especially here in Eastern Canada, you’re more likely to run into the dreaded ‘rain drizzle fog’ (possibly all at the same time) as well as LOTS of strong wind if you’re getting married in the city. It’s also not unheard of to end up with hail, snow, or hurricane weather – I’ve photographed three weddings in hurricanes already in my career (one of them being the 2012 hurricane Igor!)
Because of our unpredictable weather, when you’re planning your wedding you’re going to have to plan for the worst case scenario. One of the questions I get asked most often from couples is ‘What do we do if it rains on our wedding day?”
My answer is usually, “We will do whatever we would have done if it was sunny – but with a little more planning.”
Let me explain.
If you’ve hired me for the style you see on my website – you know that I like to shoot 99% of wedding photos outdoors, especially if you have some really awesome locations planned. We’re not going to spend the whole day holed up in the church basement. Throughout the day, my assistant will keep a watchful eye on the local weather report to see when it’s going to be full-on downpour, and when it’s going to be more of a drizzle. We don’t often get downpours that last longer than half an hour – so if we wait out the worst for just a little while, we can often still make the most of the day – it can’t rain forever! This rings true most of the time.
If it’s calling for bad weather in the forecast leading up to your wedding day, here are some tips to make the most of it – you might even find yourself hoping for a bit of rain!
1. Get some cute rubber boots for your bridal party.
If a laid-back, casual wedding is your dream – let your bridal party jump in mud puddles 😉 Hunters are particularly cute!
2. Go out and buy the biggest golf umbrella you can find.
We usually supply one, but sometimes it goes missing after a particularly wet few weeks, ha! My assistant or a groomsman can hold it above your head for the whole time we’re outdoors so that your hair doesn’t get too wet, and if it’s up high enough, won’t even be in the photos. However, it can also make a sweet prop for some romantic rainy photos.
3. Pick out a back-up location or two, just in case.
While we don’t want to spend the whole day indoors, having a restful place out of the wind can be a great way to wait out the worst of it without losing time. In St. John’s, The Rooms Art Gallery and Newman Wine Vaults are great places you can book in advance for free or very cheaply for 10-15 minutes and still get beautiful photos. If you’re not getting married in the city (or you’d like more rustic locations) ask around your family and friends to see if you know anyone with a barn, greenhouse, or interesting shed. You can also go walking around your town to find tunnels, train cars, or old buildings. All can make for unique locations where you can hide out from the weather.
4. Have some fun and trust your photographer.
If you’re up for it, we’ll set up some lights and get some really, really cool shots that can only be achieved when the weather is awful. Lucky you!
5. Above all – try to relax and ‘soak in’ your day (ha).
I went to one wedding where it rained just about all day and they had a tented reception – instead of stressing, the couple and their families just danced on the table tops to keep their feet dry, and it was one of the most memorable weddings I’ve ever been to. Make the most of the day you’ve been given, and remember that all of this will only be a memory in the blink of an eye, so cherish the memories that you have – they will be the backbone to your love story, and if there’s some silly involved, you’ll want to re-tell the stories over and over!
Happy planning! Have a question for a wedding photographer? Use the ‘contact’ tab to send it, and it just might end up in a future ‘Ask Alex’ post!
Alex Stead Photography is based out of St. John's, Newfoundland. To contact us directly, email info (at) alexsteadphotos (dot) com.
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