I remember in the weeks and days leading up to our wedding I was constantly checking the long-range weather forecast. Would it rain on our wedding day?
Anna and I got married in August, which as you know is the new height of the UK’s rainy season (don’t panic if your wedding is in August, I’m only joking! Mostly.). In December you might get a light dusting of fresh white snow, in October you might meet beautiful golden leaves drifting down on a gentle autumn breeze, and in the spring your wedding day might be graced with the unique beauty of trees in blossom. But if it rains in August you and all your wedding guests will be drenched to the bone as thunder and lightning roll overhead and floodwater carries your cake table off down the river. Well, that was my thinking at the time anyway.
It didn’t seem to matter how many times a minute I reloaded the forecast; nothing changed. The fates had decreed that at some point on that Saturday in August we were due a good dousing. I began researching weddington boots and ensured that we had a good stock of white umbrellas. And a canoe. A white one. Just in case.
As it happened, we timed things just perfectly. When the heavens opened and released their deluge we were all safely tucked up in the marquee, listening to the speeches. The hammer of summer rain on the marquee roof pretty much drowned out my Best Men, which was for the best really. And, as is the way with summer rain, it went away just as quickly and we all headed outside for a game of cricket.
Rain doesn’t have to ruin your wedding day. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where it has rained, and believe me they’ve all been great. Sometimes plans have to be adjusted, but as long as you and your wedding photographer are happy to roll with it, you’ll be fine. However, if you’re really worried, here are some top tips to bear in mind.
It’s something to think about when choosing your venue. Yes, you’d love an outdoor wedding; but if the monsoon arrives will you be just as pleased with the alternative indoor option? Sure your 700 guests will easily fit into the field around the reception tipi, but will they have to sit on each others’ shoulders for shelter if the heavens open?
It’s easy to imagine what your perfect wedding will look like at your choice of venue, but it pays to bear in mind that you might need an alternative option, if only for twenty minutes or half an hour.
Weddings are about the people, and people are very much like the great British weather sometimes: unpredictable. So even if you’re not worried about the meteorological forecast you’re probably going to have to be a bit flexible with the timings and order of the day. You definitely want to create a well-thought-out wedding timeline because it will help everything to run smoothly and ensure that you’ve thought of all the important things. But there should be some inbuilt flexibility. If there’s a short shower straight after the ceremony, then perhaps your photographer can whisk you away for some indoor portraits now and do the big group photo of everyone in ten minutes’ time when it’s a touch drier outside. Noah probably had plans for the weekend too, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow…
I’m afraid my knowledge doesn’t extend to hair and makeup, but fortunately, I have been in touch with one of the best makeup artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with – Sheelagh Powell – and asked her what advice she might offer. Here are her carefully considered pearls of wedding wisdom!
My top 5 makeup tips to keep your wedding day makeup in place on a rainy day!
Just as with venue choice, make the right decision regarding your photographer and you’ll have wedding photos to treasure whatever the weather. Ask them at the initial meeting what they would do if it rained (here are some other top questions to ask your wedding photographer too!). Given your venue, they should be able to offer some suggestions. Make sure you see some sample work taken indoors. Some photographers might not have the equipment necessary to produce visually stunning photographs inside; it really is a different skill and can require different gear from shooting outside. As a pointer, they may want to be utilising off-camera flash or continuous lighting. They may be able to make use of natural window light. Either way, they should have a plan and be able to offer some advice. Being able to think on your feet is one of the most essential requirements as a wedding photographer!
Perhaps even more than your photographer, your wedding coordinator at your venue will have some good advice. They’ll have seen just about every type of weather at every type of wedding at their venue, and that in-depth knowledge will be invaluable. They’ll also have seen a plethora of different wedding photographers working there, and might be able to point out one or two locations for photographs that might not be obvious at first.
I wasn’t joking about the Weddington Boots earlier! As the saying goes: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting you should invest in a plastic poncho or a cagoule! But a change of footwear might mean that you can still get outside with a nice white umbrella (I always take one to a wedding, just in case) and still get the shots you dreamed of. In fact, the rain can actually add to the drama of a photograph. But be warned, your dress will probably get a bit wet!
Your wedding will be a day to remember whatever the heavens throw at you. As long as you have the right mindset and the right photographer, there’s no reason why you won’t still get some incredible photographs to remember it all by!