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A Photographer’s Thoughts: Come Rain or Come Shine

For a Bride and Groom there’s nothing quite so irritating as when the first thing the guests say to you on your wedding day is “oh it’s a shame about the weather isn’t it.” Not how amazing you both look, not how fantastic a day it’s been and how beautiful all the details you’ve invested time and effort into look, not how unique and special a day you’ve planned and how well all the hard work has paid off, but a well-meaning yet poorly judged comment about the one aspect of the day over which you can have no control whatsoever. As I say it is of course an innocent and well-meaning comment, but it’s actually the comment rather than the weather itself that can put a real dampener on your day.

But whilst you might well become understandably frustrated that this is the thing everyone seems to be focussing on it’s important to remember one simple thing: the weather just doesn’t matter. Sure different weather conditions can cause slight inconvenience and they might even cause you to have to alter a few plans, but it’s the people not the sunshine that make for a beautiful wedding day, and unless you’re aiming for an outdoor ceremony and/or reception whether it’s sunny or chucking it down it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to the wedding itself unless you let it. It’s not the weather itself that causes problems, it’s our own perceptions, and if you don’t let it bother you and the guests see you having fun and embracing the weather regardless then they will enjoy themselves and won’t let it bother them either. For our own wedding we went abroad to a place where it hadn’t rained for 2 years and needless to say it chucked it down all day. Did it spoil our day? Not a bit!

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
– Anthony J. D’Angelo 
Come Rain Or Come Shine - A Photographer

Photo by York Place Studios

But if you are worried about the UK’s rapidly changing conditions there are things you can do to preempt it and avoid any disruption. For example if you’re planning on having a nice walk down for all the guests from the church to the reception that’s absolutely lovely, but it would be advisable to make sure there are plenty of umbrellas standing by just in case, particularly for the Bride and Bridesmaids. In fact you can probably get hold of umbrellas to match the dresses and if it is sunny a nice frilly umbrella is a great way to keep shaded as well and looks great in the pictures! Similarly if you have hired a bus for the guests then fantastic, but make sure it can physically get close enough to the venue that you’re not going to get too wet if it rains.

One of the things that couples always worry about is what the photos will be like if it rains. Again this basically depends mostly on your feelings towards the weather. Some shots do work better with warm pretty light outside, but a skilled photographer should be adaptable enough that they can find an equally stunning image inside and in just about any lighting conditions. Sometimes dark shots are more interesting and moody than bright, airy ones and the photographer will adapt to find the right type of shot for the conditions. What is harder to adapt though is a look of unhappiness on the faces of the bride and groom. If you’re allowing the weather to spoil your day then that will show in the pictures no matter how good the photographer is, but don’t let it and you’ll be absolutely fine. If it is something you’re really worried about though then again there are a few things you can do to help should the situation arise.

Come Rain or Come Shine

A Photo taken in the Rain just as the sun broke briefly through the clouds.
Photo by York Place Studios

Firstly listen to your photographer and their ideas even if those ideas sound a little strange. Sometimes rain is in itself incredibly atmospheric and they might want to try a shot that wouldn’t work under normal conditions. If you’re game for it then you might just get something spectacular that you would never have gotten otherwise.

Secondly be prepared to be a little flexible with your timings. Sometimes all you need for a few portraits is a 5 minute break in the weather and you need to be prepared to dash out and get those shots when the rain does stop and presents that brief window of opportunity.

Bring some flat shoes or even wellies as well as your heels! The weather might clear up completely lately and you can go out and take pictures to your heart’s content, but that’s impossible if the Bride is unable to walk because she’s sinking into the wet ground!

There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little.
– Billy Connolly.

Group shots of course can be made slightly trickier in bad weather simply because of the amount of people you need to fit in and the distance the photographer needs to be away from everyone in order to get them all in the shot. Again if you’ve thought about this beforehand and given consideration to where you could go this isn’t usually a problem though and you may well be able to help. For example one couple we photographed were holding their reception in a marquee and had a separate “chill out” area filled with hay bales for people to sit on which, when on the day it started raining heavily proved to be a perfect and still visually interesting area to take the groups. You may simply not have room to get the shot of absolutely everyone together, but your photographer will probably capture most people at some point during the day anyway and you can still get the key groups you really want.

But the most important thing in general to avoid weather spoiling your day is just to have good contingencies. If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony then you need to have an alternative location just in case and if you choose your location carefully then your backup option can be just as spectacular. If you want to arrive by an open topped Horse-drawn carriage then just make sure there is a roof available that can be put on just in case. In this country it’s generally best to assume that it will rain and plan accordingly, and if you’ve done that then you can rest assured that there’s no reason at all why the rain should have the slightest impact on your day. One way or another the weather, good or bad, is going to be a part of your day. Come rain or come shine embrace it, enjoy it and don’t let anyone else make it a negative for you.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
– John Ruskin 
  • Michael {Bohemian Weddings} - August 27, 2013 - 11:09 am

    The best quote I have heard in ages!

    “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing, so get yourself a sexy raincoat and live a little”.

    A great post, it’s one of those things couples and photographers should plan for because then it doesn’t become an issue. A good rain coat and disposable rain covers are always part of our kit….just in case!

    Rain might be part of your day, embrace it, wear weddington boots and get a cool umbrella, it can make for some amazing photos!ReplyCancel

  • Holly - August 27, 2013 - 11:33 am

    Great post!!ReplyCancel

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