You spend a year planning your wedding, and leading up to the day you are constantly refreshing the weather app, and it’s a brides worst nightmare… Rain!
Worst nightmare?… or is it? Rain on weddings can be fun, romantic and memorable.
Primarily working in Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Sea To Sky regions it rains a lot. In fact, some of these locations are the rainiest places in the world! We have picked up some awesome tips from all the years of photographing weddings in the rain!
Don’t Freak Out
The number one rule is to not let rain ruin your wedding day. Everyone is still going to have lots of fun, you are going to get awesome photos, and you are still tying the knot with the love of your life.
Have A Backup Plan
Having an outdoor wedding? Work with your venue to figure out what they normally do if it rains. They may have a room ready to go as a backup, an outdoor covered area, or outdoor tent they can set up. If all else fails, ask your guests to bring umbrellas or supply everyone with umbrellas. Perhaps get them from a retailer with a good return policy. 😉
Good Backup Locations For Wedding Portraits
For your portrait session, it’s always great to have a covered backup location if it is a crazy downpour. We do a ton of scouting and have found covered locations all over the Lower Mainland. Even if a location is bland, we love working with our own lighting in interesting ways to create some really cool, creative photos.
Get Permission For Indoor Locations You Are Already Using
Ask your reception venue if there are areas inside that you can use for portraits in case of rain. If you are getting ready or married in a hotel, that usually works out as a good location for indoor photos. Hotels almost always require permission if you are taking photos in lobbies or other public areas of the hotel. If your ceremony is in a church, for the most part, there are always creative photos opportunities.
Rent An Indoor Location For Your Portraits
There are hundreds of indoor locations available to rent by the hour / day on https://thisopenspace.com/.
In Vancouver alone, there are some pretty stellar places you can rent such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, The Vancouver Clock Tower, Marine Building, The Orpheum, Hycroft Manor, Britannia Shipyard. Some can cost a lot, but some couples see a lot of value in an indoor location on their wedding day.
What Is A Good Backup Outdoor Rain Location For Wedding Photos?
Areas that have a mix of covered and outdoor locations are great. We usually like to get a few photos where you are covered and dry, then grab the umbrellas and dance in the rain. Bridges and parkades offer great rain coverage. For city weddings, we often wander around the city and use a mix of awnings and other covered areas for photos. For nature photos, dense forests usually offer some amazing coverage. Even if you just stay in a car, we can make some awesome photos! When you book us for your wedding we offer lots of suggestions for backup locations that will work with your wedding day.
Connect With Your Wedding Vendors
Will you need to change your floral arrangements? If you have a live band in an outdoor setting, will they still be able to play in the rain? Your makeup and hair may be able to adjust how they work to accommodate rain. With photography, we have a backup plan in mind if it calls for rain.
Keep Guests In Mind
If you are planning on having an outdoor wedding, leave a note on your invites on what the plan will be “in case of rain”. Keep guests warm with coffee and hot chocolate. You can also keep the environment heated with propane fires or outdoor heaters. Having blankets and umbrellas on hand are a great added touch!
Just Go With The Flow!
My personal favourite is to just do everything as planned… but with an umbrella!
Rain Can Be Extra Romantic / Add To Your Photos
Using our own lighting, we can make rain look super magical as it’s falling down. A lot of Hollywood movies wet the streets down to add detail and contrast to the scene!
What Kind Of Umbrella Should I Use For Wedding Photos?
It depends on what look you want!
Clear / white umbrellas are the most neutral and do not put a colour cast on your face.
Black umbrellas tend to blend in the most with the background.
Funky colours like red, can pop a lot and add to the more dramatic photos.
Sometimes You Get Some Amazing Atmosphere With Rain
You never know what you are going to get. Sometimes you can get some awesome fog roll in, other times the clouds can look amazing and dramatic, and if you are lucky, you can get some epic sun rays or a rainbow! No matter what mother natures throws at you, you take advantage of it and document it.
Wear The Right Gear
Be prepared to get your feet and bottom of your dress a little wet and dirty.
Great gear to bring with you on the wedding day includes:
- Extra shoes you can change into later.
- Waterproof / warm jacket
- Hot Paws heat packs
- Ziplock bags for your phone or anything else you don’t want to get wet
Your Flowers Will Actually Like The Rain!
Flowers are less likely to wilt in the rain. Cooler temperatures and cloudy days are most likely going to keep your flowers lasting longer than hot sunny days.
Hire The Right Photographer
Most couples are worried their photos won’t turn out throughout the day. Using lighting and professional cameras that work really well in the dark, rainy days are no big deal.
We waterproof all our gear and have become masters at using umbrellas. A lot of couples after their wedding or portrait shoot say that they are happy it rained because they got unique photos that none of their friends have!
I have to admit, during the early years of us photographing weddings, we didn’t even think about what to do in case of rain. We were just thrown into it and we made it work! Now rainy days photo shoots are some of our favourite days! It takes a bit of pre-planning, but if you have us document your wedding, you are guaranteed to have amazing photos in rain, snow, sun, clouds, night or anything else!
As with any wedding, bad weather is the ghost that haunts every bride-to-be in their sleep. About a week before the wedding I saw that it was supposed rain! Will’s natural talent for putting together a great shot in any condition was certainly noticed! It poured rain for half the day, and was cloudy and dark for the other part. Once we received our wedding pictures we were ecstatic! They made friends of ours wish it had rained on their wedding day. (Of course they would have needed Will as their photographer)
Setting: Outdoor, Rain
City: Abbotsford, Langley, New Westminster, Vancouver, Whistler
Season: Fall, Spring, Winter
Locations: Britannia Shipyard, Marine Building, SFU, Stanley Park, Ubc, Vancouver Art Gallery