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Rain on your wedding day – 15 awesome tips from UK wedding photographers

Who missed storm Desmond last week? Oh, you lucky things! I heard some heartbreaking stories and in contrast some really uplifting tales of heroes in floods (Gareth from Aqua Salon – I’m talking about you!) – and one fabulous story of a wedding which came together against all the odds. This week I’ve been thinking about rain on your wedding day. I know a lot of brides really worry: equally I see some incredibly beautiful images on my Facebook feed (and there were LOTS last weekend!) – so I wanted to share some tips to reassure you all. I asked my recommended suppliers and blog sponsors for their best advice.

love in focus wedding photography bristol
Image credit: Love in Focus

Bristol wedding photographer Sandy at Love In Focus:

1. Plan for rain – just in case!

Everyone hopes for good weather on their wedding day but unfortunately there really is nothing you can do about the weather! The good news is that rain doesn’t have to spoil your day if you plan for it and can even make for some really beautiful shots. Don’t worry about your photographer, professional camera equipment is weather sealed and clothes dry!

2. Play with the rain… make it pretty!

A sea of colourful umbrellas looks amazing in photographs and they can be really fun to play with, think singing in the rain!

3. Make an amazing wedding photograph:

The other classic shot in the rain is to place the couple under a white umbrella with a flash behind them. The flash lights up the raindrops all around them creating as a frame and the umbrella reflects the light down onto them.

4. Be sure your venue can cope with a rainy day

Obviously you don’t want to be out in the rain all day so make sure your venue has a wet weather option, enough covered space for everyone to sit down, some kind of gazebo outside for the smokers and (if you are doing a marquee wedding) place the toilets near to the entrance.

Image credit: Benjamin Toms

Kent wedding photographer Benjamin Toms

5. Don’t despair: there’ll be a gap in the rain

I’ve never shot a wedding where it rained all day long without a break. Even when it’s pouring for most of the day, there’s always been a gap in the clouds, an hour or two where the rain stops and we can take some amazing images.

6. …so be prepared to sneak out for some photos!

The best advice I can give is to be prepared: chat with your photographer first and if you’re happy to take advantage of the moments when the rain stops – even if it’s just 5 minutes between courses at your wedding breakfast – let your photographer know beforehand. I keep an eye on the weather and if there’s a break in the clouds and an amazing sunset I’ll quietly ask the bride and groom if they’d like to get some incredible portraits in beautiful light.

7. Stay inside and stay dry!

You can also stay inside your venue and make the most of the natural light coming from the doorways or windows – a good photographer will know how to make the most of the natural light around the venue so you can have beautiful photographs without getting soaked!

8. Make evening photographs your plan B

When it comes to evening, a good photographer who can use off-camera flash creatively will make the most of your venue’s features to capture amazing images – so if the rain doesn’t stop until later, all isn’t lost!

9. Be creative with your photos

The overall tip is to be creative: the best time of day for taking photographs is usually straight after the ceremony but if rain means you have to do it later, be prepared!

London wedding photographer Steven Anthony

10. Just roll with it.

Weather is the one thing that can’t be accounted for so try not to let it worry you.  I’ve shot weddings in December that have been fine and weddings in June that have been wet, that’s just how the British weather works!

11. Plan where guests can duck and cover!

When looking for a venue, try and have a think of how the space indoors that can be utilised in case of rain, if there’s a marquee then that will be great for people to duck in and under cover.

12. Trust your wedding photographer

When it comes to photos, let your photographer deal with this, that’s what you pay them for.  When I work with a couple I help them plan out their timeline, but I also have a plan B to do the formal shots at another time when the weather may have cleared.  Plan C is to do them in a lovely spot indoors.  The wet weddings I have shot have been some of my best, everyone pulls together and has a great time despite the rain!

Hampshire wedding photographer Jennifer Sinclair

13. Choose a warm and cosy venue

When I think of rainy weddings; two weddings come to my mind immediately.  Every bride dreams of a beautiful sunny wedding day, even if it is a cold crisp sunny winters day.  Kathryn & Graham were married in March and the weather forecast for their day wasn’t looking too good.  It rained virtually all day.  I reassured Kathryn the night before her wedding by sharing a Pinterest board of some amazing bride and groom photographs that could be taken inside the venue.  So rather than focusing on the rainy day, we were excited to capture some amazing photographs, which showed how warm and cosy the venue was.

14. Buy a bridal umbrella – just in case!

For Jessica & Gareth’s wedding they had soft light rain all day.  It would have been awful it had been windy and rainy but with no wind, we were able to make use of my pretty bridal umbrella to get some amazing bride and groom photographs with the backdrop of the autumn colours of the trees.

15. Look after your dress and shoes!

The top tip here is for the bride to bring some shoes which are slightly higher than their bridal shoes so they don’t have to worry about getting the bottom of their dress too wet and dirty and bridal shoes aren’t ruined.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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