Rain: every bride’s biggest fear when it comes to wedding planning. And, no matter how many times you hear, “…but it’s good luck!,” you still don’t feel any better about the possibility. So let’s just be honest, as a former bride myself, rain sucks! BUT it will only ruin your day if you let it! In the end, there is absolutely nothing you can do to change it, but there is quite a bit we can do to prepare and ensure an equally beautiful wedding day for you — I promise!
1. Be Prepared.
a. Have a Plan B Venue.
If you’re getting married outside, see what indoor options your venue allows. If all else fails, a tent with roll down sides is a great last minute option!
b. Create a Plan B timeline.
Work closely with your photographer to discuss options for portrait locations — just because you’re getting married one place, doesn’t mean you can take photos in another location. There are often indoor spots that are accommodating to couples in the instance of rain and if you’re up for it, we can shoot there instead! Your photographer can create a rain plan timeline to account for any travel time to and from the other location. Another fun idea to set aside 5-10 minutes for night portraits! Nothing looks more beautiful than illuminating the rain against the dark sky.
c. Pack Umbrellas.
I come prepared to any wedding with a chance of rain with 8 black, long stick/wooden handle umbrellas. I’ve found this is usually enough for the wedding party to group in pairs of 2-3, while keeping one just for the bride and groom. I also have two clear umbrellas on hand in case you’d like to switch it up for portraits! Speak with your wedding photographer before the big day — if they don’t have these, it may be a good investment to ensure your entire wedding party can get outside!
2. Be Flexible.
a. Ready, set, GO!
As much as this Washington, DC wedding photographer loves herself a good timeline, you might need to throw it out the window! Be ready to shoot at the drop of a hat. Sure, we can absolutely get some gorgeous images under porches and with umbrellas to keep you dry, but if there is a break in the rain, we can head outside in your rain boots to shoot without umbrellas!
b. Reconsider a First Look.
I know a first look isn’t for every couple and while I think they are fabulous, I would certainly never push a couple to do one. There is one exception where I would nudge a little harder and that is in the instance of rain! Being open to the idea of a first look creates literally hours of additional time in your wedding day for portraits. Think about it; if you’re seeing each other for the first time at 2:00PM instead of after your ceremony at 5:30PM, we have so many more opportunities for rain breaks!
c. Evaluate Your Shoes.
I promise, no one loves those gorgeous Kate Spade pumps more than I do! But if ends up raining and we head outside, they will sink faster than you can imagine. I highly recommend having a pair of rain boots on hand to keep your feet safe from the mud! Additionally, we will keep your dress bustled so it isn’t dragging as we walk, along with the help of your attendants.
d. Up Do? Yes, do!
Alright, I had to get one cheesy one in there for you :) But seriously, nothing make hair go more limp than dampness! A polished up do can typically withstand the moisture and last all day!
3. Embrace It.
You know that saying, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!”? THAT is your motto for the day! Your dress will get a little damp at the bottom and maybe even some mud — but you know what, that can all be cleaned! I got purple icing all over the bottom of my dress from a drop cupcake and even that came out. Then I took it in the ocean and — voila — brand new dress! So trust me when I say to embrace the day and not let the fear steal your joy. You will absolutely never get to relive this day; let’s make the best of it!
In 2015, I had two weddings the wedding of Hurricane Joaquin and we managed to get amazing outdoor portrait for both! For Daniel and Jenn’s wedding, we headed to the Lincoln Memorial where we were covered under it’s tall canopy. For Drew and Kelly’s Airlie Center wedding, we patiently waited for a break in the rain before heading outside — it drizzled on these two and they smiled the whole time!
Derby and Trevor had a tent for their Annapolis, MD wedding back in 2014 and simply, with the help of their guests, pulled down the sides when a summer storm rolled in — they still danced the night away to the sounds of their amazing band!
Edith and Matt had showers to handle under the umbrella before their ceremony but as soon as the rain ended, we rushed out and captured that moody sky!
And sometimes after the rain, like at Katie and Andrew’s Early Mountain Vineyard wedding, you’re left with an amazing golden glow!