firestone country club wedding reception

What If It Rains on Your Wedding Day?

What do you do if it rains on your wedding day? It’s been raining a lot here in Cleveland, lately,  and it got me thinking. How can you prepare if it rains on your wedding day and how does it affect your wedding photography, in particular? I’m glad that you asked.

The simple answer is…you take pictures in the rain. But it’s, obviously, not that simple. Not when you have planned for many months, spent a ton of money on shoes and a wedding dress that you don’t want to ruin. Adverse weather, initially, seems like a spoiler. But if you prepare properly, and look at the weather as an opportunity, you will look back on your wedding day and be glad that it rained (No, really! You will!).


Be Prepared

Regardless of the forecast, you should always be prepared for any type of weather on your wedding day. For weddings in Cleveland, you never know what will happen. The weather here is crazy. But the weather can be unpredictable anywhere.

Always pack umbrellas. Have a second set  of shoes, just in case (don’t want to ruin those Jimmy Choos ).Have your wedding day make-up stylist set up a travel kit with your make-up so that you can touch it up in case you run into rain (figuratively and literally). This is important regardless. Keeping your face fresh throughout the day is, obviously, important. Grooms should have extra socks and, at least, a towel to keep his face fresh and sheen free.

Does this seem like being overly prepared? Of course it does. But this is, after all, your wedding day. You can never be overly prepared if you want to have a successful day.

bridesmaids lauging with umbrellas in wedding picture at Firestone

Pick the Best Locations for Your Wedding Pictures

On a rainy day, you would want to be inside. It’s the logical choice.  Having a “Plan B” for indoor locations is always a good thing to include in preparation for your wedding day. However, rain doesn’t mean avoid doing wedding pictures outdoors altogether. I always let my clients know that, unless it’s a torrential downpour, we should still try to do pictures outside.

The abundance of bridges and overpasses in Cleveland and all major cities is a great option. It will keep the rain off of you and give a great, urban feel to your wedding photos. Any overhang or entrance to a building will work as well. Anything that will keep you dry and allow me to take great images will give your wedding pictures variety. If you prefer more of a pastoral vibe (I call it “trees and leaves”) a park with a lot of trees creates a canopy that blocks all but the heaviest of rain. The key is, don’t be afraid to tackle the elements in order to get great wedding pictures.

rainy wedding ceremony at stan hywet

Pick the Best Locations for Your Wedding Pictures

I strongly believe that rain and snow are excellent opportunities for unique wedding pictures. The initial reaction amongst couples and most wedding photographers is to run from the bad weather. I say run right towards it! Embracing the situation will give you a chance to be different. If you are prepared and adventurous, you can get some very creative wedding photos.

chagrin falls rainy ceremony

Schedule Another Photo Session

I always offer my brides a photo session in their wedding dress on the day of their hair and make-up trial. Your hair and make-up will be identical on your wedding day so it’s the perfect chance to put on your dress and have a bridal session.  You could ask your photographer for this and take the majority of your creative “posed” pictures before the wedding day. This is usually reserved for the bride, but there is nothing keeping the groom from doing a session as well.

If you want pictures together and don’t want your groom to see you in your dress before your wedding day (most brides don’t) then schedule a session after your wedding date. This has it’s challenges. Making sure that hair, make-up and jewelry are exactly the same is vital. Plus, you can’t go on your honeymoon and get a beautiful tan and then do the session. These pictures need to be seamless. It can’t be obvious that they were done on different days. If you are getting a wedding album like all of my clients do, it needs to flow and, again, not be obvious that there was the extra photo session.

Rain or adverse weather doesn’t have to ruin your wedding. Just the opposite. Look at it as an opportunity, at least for good wedding pictures. You can plan every single detail of your wedding day, but the weather is the one thing that you can’t control. So be prepared, plan thoughtfully and don’t let bad weather affect the fun and excitement of your big day.

Go With the Flow

The one thing that you cannot control on your wedding day is the weather. So, if you are prepared for anything and go with the flow on your day, you will be happy regardless of the forecast. 

Wedding Pictures on a Rainy Day