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While most couples dream of clear skies and sunny weather for their wedding day, it’s essential to be prepared for any weather scenario, especially in a place like Colorado where Mother Nature can be SO unpredictable. As a seasoned Colorado wedding photographer, I’ve seen my fair share of rainy wedding days turn into beautiful, unforgettable events. (It also rained on my own wedding day, so some of this is advice we had to keep in mind when Jenny and I got married in 2018.)
Accept and Embrace It
The first and most crucial tip when dealing with a rainy wedding day is to accept that you have no control over the weather. While it might night have been your original vision, the reality is that it could be a possibility. Here’s how to not let it ruin the day:
Keep a positive mindset. Embrace the symbolism of cleansing and renewal as you both start this new chapter in your life. It may be helpful to know that in some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck.
Have a great backup plan. If you have an outdoor ceremony planned, make sure you have a backup plan in place. Actually, I often tell my couples to make sure you really like the backup plan in case it actually has to be utilized. It could be an indoor venue, a covered area, or a tent. Having a well thought-out backup plan will give you peace of mind and ensure your day runs smoothly.
Invest in umbrellas. Provide stylish and coordinated umbrellas for you, your bridal party, and guests. These can be both function and fashionable, adding an elegant touch to your rainy day wedding photos. I recommend couples get the clear umbrellas so I can still see guests’ faces during the ceremony if it’s raining.
Your wedding attire doesn’t have to be a casualty of the rain. Here’s how you can protect it and still look really great for the rest of the day:
Think about waterproof accessories: Consider wearing waterproof or water-resistant shoes, such as rain boots. This is especially important if your wedding is an elopement or if we’re hiking for your portraits. You can always switch into your formal shoes for the indoor portions of your wedding.
Bring extra clothes: If rain is in the forecast (and honestly, even if it isn’t), consider bringing a rain jacket or other waterproof clothing in case it’s sprinkling and you still would like to go outside for sunset portraits.
Use the Rain to Your Advantage
Rain can add an enchanting, romantic quality to your wedding photos. Here’s how to make the most of it:
Raindrops on Flowers: Rain-kissed flowers can be incredibly beautiful. Consider flowers that are known for holding up well in the rain, such as roses, calla lilies, or succulents.
Rainy Day Photography: Work with your photographer to capture creative and unique rainy day shots. Rain-soaked streets, puddles, and the soft, overcast light can create a romantic atmosphere that’s perfect for intimate moments.
Play with Lighting: Rain can provide a unique and soft lighting effect. Your photographer will be able to use the rain as a natural diffuser to capture soft, romantic, flattering images without harsh shadows.
Stay Dry and Comfortable
Keep you and your guests comfortable, even in the rain. Here are some tips to ensure everyone stays dry and cozy:
Set up a few umbrella stations: Place several umbrella stations near outdoor ceremony or reception areas so that guests can easily grab one on their way in. Consider providing baskets for guests to leave their wet umbrellas and keep the area neat.
Keep the chairs dry: For outdoor ceremonies, provide seat coverings or have a towel around so a designated person can dry off the chairs before people sit in them. You’ll want to make it a priority that your guests can watch your ceremony comfortably.
Serve a warm beverage: If it’s a cold, rainy day, consider offering warm beverages like tea, hot chocolate, or coffee during the outdoor portions of your wedding. It’s a thoughtful gesture that will keep everyone cozy.
Practical planning can make all the difference in ensuring your wedding day goes smoothly, rain or shine:
Coordinate with your vendors: Discuss your rainy day plan with all your vendors prior to your wedding day. If you have a planner, hopefully they handle this. Make sure all your vendors are prepared and know the details of your backup plan as appropriate. This will help everything run smoothly and ensure you have the support you need.
Looking at the weather: In Colorado, I tell couples not to be too concerned with the weather anything further than 72 hours away from your wedding. If you’re noticing that rain is not leaving the forecast, you can then start to make informed decisions about your backup plan or make any necessary adjustments.
Communicate with guests: If you’re moving your ceremony entirely to a different reception location and need to inform your guests about the change, start with immediate family and friends and have them spread the word about the change.
Your wedding day is a celebration of love, and even a rainy day can’t dampen how excited your guests are going to be to celebrate you. Embrace the unpredictability of the weather and focus on what truly matters: getting married to each other and celebrating that love you have for each other with your closest family and friends. With these tips and a positive attitude, you can turn a rainy wedding day into a beautiful and memorable celebration, and your wedding photos will reflect the love and joy you experienced, rain and all.