As I venture into the wedding planning for our wedding along with being in the industry for 12 years now, I know the importance of reducing wedding stress. So here I am creating content to try to help you through this process, even if we aren't a great fit for eachother I'm happy for you and excited to help in any way I can.
If I had a dime for every time I was asked this… lol! But for real this is probably the number one consistent question I have been asked by every bride! Spoiler alert… it has rained on wedding days a lot, in fact I have now in the last 9 years of shooting had 2 summers that it rained on every single wedding day and guess what?? My brides gracefully accepted it, the weddings still happened, there wasn’t a ton of panic, nobody was harmed with the odd time the hair had to be fixed and the photos turned out amazing! Now obviously nobody hopes for a rainy or any unpleasant weather for their wedding day but the thing I have learned after over 100 weddings is that you can control very few things however if you can just be prepared and roll with the punches you’ll be fine. It is a test of everyone’s patience but having solid back up plans well ahead of time will help you deal with it should you need to!
Hand in hand with the big question comes the where do we do photos? This honestly all depends on where you are getting married as some cities have amazing buildings where they have a covered walkway or staircase that will work so well whereas other cities do not have such spots. For me to still get light and airy photos I suggest we find a spot that has a lot of light versus trees otherwise we will have darker images. Your venue is the first place I suggest as an indoor backup for photos. Now obviously nobody wants all their photos done inside but I suggest if it is raining a lot we do at least the family ones indoors at the venue and umbrella it for the bridal party photos. Keep the indoor location for the family photos at the same spot as the ceremony to avoid a complicated back up plan that may end up with guests getting lost finding where to go and saves your timeline from running behind.
What if the ceremony is outdoors with no indoor back up? I would highly suggest a tent rental as back up in advance just in case! If for any reason you cannot I suggest having enough umbrellas set out for your guests. It is best to delegate a few people to go to the ceremony as guests are arriving to wipe off their seats so they have a dry spot to sit as well as have a few throw blankets for the elderly to have available to them; this is something that has been overlooked a few times so best to just be on it well in advance so you aren’t left scrambling. Another thing to do if your ceremony is outside in the rain is to have the officiant announce that there will be no receiving line and as a wedding party yourselves plan to walk out of the ceremony area and straight to cover at a designated spot or onto your bus should you have one!
Check the contracts with your vendors! Now some DJs may not have a tent for covering their gear in which case you may need to arrange that if you want their services. The same goes for musicians who will need a covered area as well. Be sure to ask what their policy is for the rain, do they cancel, provide their own coverage, etc. What about the décor? Having chair covers in the rain and possibly mud? Will you be charged more for cleaning, etc? Or is it best to just go without those chairs being covered for the ceremony but then for the indoor reception you need to delegate people to put them all on for that portion of the day.
What if it isn’t just raining but a thunder storm as well? This is where you really need to communicate with your guests and vendors. In this case you will need to do the ceremony indoors, likely where your reception is set up… no I know it isn’t the exact layout or backdrop you wanted but the safety of everyone comes first and foremost! Let me tell you about Katie and Zach’s wedding…. A torrential downpour started just as she was ready to walk outside down the aisle, it didn’t look like it was going to stop at all so a last minute call was made that we would move the ceremony inside to the reception area. It was crowded and we had to make a small area of space in the middle of the floor for them since we didn’t have time to rearrange an entire reception area. As a photographer I made sure that they were placed on the inside of the room so that I was against the window shooting in so that my light on them was as consistent with the same tones as if we were outside. It felt a lot more intimate than had we all been outside, it was a beautiful ceremony and we were greeted with a rainbow post ceremony as we started family photos once that rain let off! So there is always a silver lining if you are patient enough to look for it!
My final piece of advice is that you and your newly acquired spouse set the mood for your entire wedding day which will reflect to your guests, kinda like a DJ setting the mood for a dance floor does! If you two are panicked and stressed your guests will feel it. Communicate with your guests in advance of the day that if there is rain to come prepared with rain coats and to maybe leave the heels until the reception time. Let them know if you aren’t providing umbrellas or if you are, let them know the back up plans so that they aren’t left out of the loop on what is to happen. Bottom line is rain happens and we can only control how we react to it so make the best of your reactions to the things you cannot control. Roll with it and you may end up with an epic sunset afterwards!