I know many brides fear rain on their wedding days. Every bride seems to dream of beautiful sun, warm but not humid weather, and a beautiful sunset the day of their wedding, but unfortunately, nature doesn’t always have that in store. For many photographers, this tends to stifle their creativity because they are used to shooting in beautiful light. Because of my lighting experience, I love trying to see how to make the best of a not-so-ideal situation using off camera lighting creatively. This is just one example of how off camera lighting can make a rainy day epically beautiful. If you are planning a rain backup, some ideas to help you make the most of the situation are listed below.
- Have a monogram made to go on a black umbrella.
- Buy a beautiful bird cage umbrella. Be sure it’s see through so I can capture you two without it blocking your faces.
- Rain boots are always cute with a wedding dress. Don’t be shy! Buy the bright ones you’ve been eyeing!
- A newspaper is always fun. In Chicago when it rained, it was useless to have an umbrella because the wind always blew the rain sideways or blew the umbrella inside out, so many times, you’d see people running with newspapers over their heads. This would always make for a cute picture or two.
- Don’t be afraid to get wet! I know it’s your wedding day but why, on the biggest day of your life, should you worry about getting your dress a little dirty or wet? Most cleaners can get out dirt and once you’ve said, “I do,” there is nothing wrong with getting a little playful.
- Not afraid to get wet after the formal ceremony is over? Why not go spinning in the rain?
- Planning a tent for an outdoor rain backup? I’ll tell you why that’s a bad idea… Flooding and mud. Even though the tent will shield your guests from getting rained on, the ground will still get wet and the puddles will still form. The grass doesn’t stop the water from getting underneath your tent. I’ve seen photos from other photographers taking pictures of them photographing bare foot in a puddle that covered their foot under a tent… It’s slushy, dirty, and probably not what your guests were hoping for.
- Many brides don’t want anything to touch their wedding dress on their wedding day. I have to challenge that line of things, however. You’re wearing a big, many times uncomfortable, white dress (or version of a white dress). That’s like putting a toddler in a white shirt without a bib. Even with a bib, they’ll manage to get it dirty. Even with the best of care and intentions, your dress will still get dirty. As long as your not serving spaghetti sauce with dinner, you’ll probably manage just to get some dirt on the bottom in which case the cleaners will be able to get that out for you. Instead of stressing over the possibility of your dress getting dirty, try to just live in the moment and let what happens happen. If underneath your dress gets dirty from dragging on the ground (most trains drag) then don’t worry! No one will see it but you. If it gets a little wet after your ceremony and family formals are taken, don’t worry! It will dry quickly.
- Lastly, my best advice as a previous bride and not as a wedding photographer, go with the flow. There will always be things out of your control on your wedding day and it won’t go exactly as you’d imagined it in your mind. Usually nothing does, but if you can learn to roll with the punches and choose to make the best of any situation, then no matter what, rain or shine, your wedding day will be as beautiful as you.
Happy Friday! Have a beautiful weekend!