how to love a rainy wedding day*
(*Well, hopefully not anyway!)
With the typical British weather, 'but what if it rains?' are common words heard on this unpredictable island! When planning a wedding, they are heard more often than most. Well I have one big BRAND NEW piece of information I encourage all of my clients to take on board.
YOU CANNOT CONTROL THE WEATHER
That's right people! You are not in charge. If the heavens want to open up as your guests tuck into their first crab-mouse and herb canape, then it shall. If puddles have been created, that are big enough to drown your irregular choice wedding shoes, then there is little that can be done, except...
And here are a few tips to help you do just that. Grab a brew and have a gander...
1. DO NOT FEAR
First of all, it may seem like it is always raining in England, but in fact it only rained on 29% of days last year. There's a good chance you will be rain free!
The rapid speed at which information is available today, is not always useful. If you are there a few days before your wedding continuously refreshing the met-office/bbc/itv weather apps in the hope that the 90% chance of storms is going to disappear, put down your phone and step away. The below photograph was taken whilst all of the major weather apps said that we should be under a torrential storm. The weather apps are not always accurate my friends, so don't lose all hope.
However, I have to say that sometimes these weather experts with their digital weather stations, anemometers, barometers can (sometimes) get it right. I once, many years ago now, got stuck somewhere between Sheffield and Chesterfield after setting off on a public transport journey from my small home village of Thurgoland on the outskirts of Sheffield, to my fiance's house in Stanton Hill, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. I set off from home and caught the once-a-day bus into Sheffield, which only got half way there before it declared it could go no further. I hadn't realised that several days of intense rain (including that day) had caused massive flooding across Yorkshire. After the cancellation of all public buses and trains, I set off by coach to continue my journey. It took a further three buses, a train and a taxi to get me to my destination. I finally arrived about 12 hours after setting off from home. I spoke to my Grandma that evening who said 'but why didn't you check the weather forecast before you set off, Anna?' and I said 'because they're rarely right, Grandma'. Oh how she laughed. But I would encourage you to do as I did (to some extent - I'm not advocating any 12 hour journeys on your wedding day) and just don't worry about the forecast. If it rains, it rains and it's how you cope with it that's important.
2. BE PREPARED
If all those uniformed groups of our childhoods taught us anything, it should be to be prepared. A few simple steps can make sure that even if your day is invaded by unwanted showers, you and your guests will all still have the best time!
First of all, there are a few things that it's worth having in someone's boot in case you need them. Wellies for the bride and bridesmaids are a great idea as stilettos are not great for puddle jumping (now there's an idea...). Your photographer will probably have several large white golf umbrella's to hand but it is definitely worth checking with them beforehand and ordering some in if they haven't. These match perfectly with wedding colours and look very elegant. A couple of towels and come carrier bags also come in very useful! I have had several brides take a wrap with them during rainy shoots which looks lovely and helps to keep you dry.
Have a think about your venue and the best places for guests to be if the rain does come. Many venues now have large parasols or verandas that guests can easily stand under until the rain passes, if they do not want to go inside. Discussing with your photographer a wet-weather plan for group photographs is also important as they may have some great ideas of where they can be done. Don't worry if your wedding doesn't have any obvious places – trees, walls and umbrella's can make great temporary cover.
3. BE FLEXIBLE
No handstands needed! If you can have some flexibility on your timings, then it will be easier to work around the rain. If you planned your group photographs at 2.00pm, but it's chucking it down, why not reassess the weather at 2.30pm or 3.00pm? Allowing plenty of time for flexibility and keeping your group photographs to a minimum can really help with this.
4. DANCE IN THE RAIN
You may have noticed until now I haven't mentioned the couples portraits. This is because unlike the group photographs where there are lots of needs that may be difficult to carer for in the rain - e.g. Aunty Hilda who's on crutches after breaking her ankle skiing and little Lucy who is terrified of water and will not stay outside for more than a few minutes - the bride and groom portraits can easily be done in the rain. And what's more, the rain can even make them a little bit more epic. Rain brings with it beautiful diffused light and gorgeous reflections. Everything can just seem a little bit more magical when nature takes over. There is nothing quite like dancing in the rain (both actually doing it and the movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UmaFTEIZ84). So now I've got that song stuck in your head – have a look at these and be inspired as to how epic rainy wedding photographs can look.
Da da da dahhhh, dada da da dahhh dadadahhhhh