It’s no surprise that rain on a wedding day isn’t ideal. But let’s be honest, we live here in the Midwest. There’s a pretty good chance we’ll experience at least one rainy day a season 😉 So instead of walking into the day wishing it would go away, I think we can walk in with confidence!

As photographers we have a HUGE role in how the day plays out. We’re the vendor our couples interact with the most throughout the day, so they feed of our energy and excitement. They’ve already been freaking out all week (maybe month) about the weather. So if we can come in prepared and not skipping a beat, they’re going to feed off your demeanor!

Sometimes it’s hard though to know exactly how to NOT freak out when rain actually makes you super nervous.

You may be new to weddings. Maybe you haven’t experienced many in your years you’ve been shooting. Or maybe you’ve just had bad experiences when you have shot in rain. So I wanted to share 5 of my best tips for how you can rock your next rainy wedding day!

My 5 Best Tips for Rocking Wedding Days in the Rain

1. Educate your couple

Before every wedding (rain or shine) I do a week-of phone call with my brides. It allows us to go over the schedule one more time and make sure we’re on the same page. I always like to remind them how excited I am to see them and celebrate together!

On weeks that the wedding day is calling for rain, these calls are EXTRA important! I typically go through the call like normal and then at the verrry end I mention the possibility of rain. (There’s no reason to make it a big topic of conversation. Because again, we’re in the Midwest where the weather changes 7 times in one day) So I typically say something like…. 

“Sooo I want to chat with you about the possibility of rain. I want you to first hear from me that rain DOES NOT make me nervous! I’m positive you’re still going to walk away with pictures that you absolutely love even if it rains!”

Letting them know that rain doesn’t scare you and doesn’t affect the pictures will be a huge comfort. It doesn’t take away the fact that it’s not ideal, but the reason they are most nervous about rain is for pictures. And that’s where we can come in with our peppy attitude and tell them they have nothing to worry about! 😉

Then you’ll want to talk with them through what plan you have for that day. You may not know exactly where you’ll go yet (we’ll talk about location scouting in a sec), but you know that you have a plan and can communicate that with confidence!

Moral of the story, for your brides sake, downplay the rain as much as possible! Let your confidence and excitement overshadow any nervousness they (and you) might be feeling!

2. Bring clear umbrellas

Awhile back I invested in a couple clear umbrella’s so that even on a rainy wedding day, we can venture outside! This is something I also let them know during the week of phone call. I explain that I have these super cute umbrellas that we can use (and that I actually think add something fun to the photos)! Most couples are all for using them!

3. Arrive early to scout for locations

One thing you’ll wanna plan for is going early to scout for locations around the venue. I’ve never (EVER) had rain on a wedding day where I can’t find at least one overhang for us to use!

My favorite example of this is when I had a wedding this summer where the venue had absolutely no overhangs. I wasn’t going to be able to shoot in the venue because it was too dark and didn’t have enough space for us to use inside. So my second shooter and I drove around the downtown area and looked everywhere for a place to use…. that’s when we came across this funeral home in town. Yes a funeral home! So I had the bridal party drive over in their cars and meet me. You can imagine their confusion when I told them where we were going haha! But guess what? No one would have EVER known!! The photos turned out great and it kept everyone nice and dry!! 

(You can see some from that location below)

Some good places to look for overhangs are churches, park pavilions, bridges, downtown buildings and apparently funeral homes!

Part of educating your client (during that week of phone call and then the day of) is letting them know that you might suggest something that they think is out of the box, but that they can trust you!

4. Prep the Bridal Party (especially bridesmaids)

This is something I’ve started implementing recently…

Other than you, the bridal party will be around the bride + groom the most. That means they have the most influence of how the day will be for your couple.

Usually I try to take time during the bridesmaids reveal (when I have some time alone with the ladies) to prep them!

I’ll them know that yes, it’s a bummer that it’s raining, but that it shouldn’t affect how the day (especially pictures) goes at all! I try to encourage them about how what they say around the bride really affects her so to try to be extra positive and uplifting throughout the day. 🙂

Especially before the bridesmaids reveal I let them know to really play up how beautiful she is and how excited they are for her! Because what bride doesn’t feel extra excited when her ladies are gushing over her?!

I also let them know that even though we’re going to do our very best at avoiding it, that their dresses will probably get a little wet at some point. I tell them that IF I can see any water spots on their dress in pics I’ll definitely photoshop them out 😉 And their dresses will definitely dry!

I’ve found that prepping them with what to expect really helps! Especially if you communicate with them like a friend! Letting them know that you’re all there to make this the best day ever for their friend is typically a focal point they can all jump on board with!

5. Stay Calm and Smile Often

Rain is rain. There’s nothing that stress and anxiety over it can do for you. If you go in understanding that your going to get wet and you may have to change picture locations, there’s no reason to worry!

I’m HIGHLY convinced that we as photographers have a HUGE impact on a wedding day, but especially a rainy wedding day! If we are calm and excited throughout the whole day, your couple (and the bridal party) will see that and feed off of that!

So the more prepared you are, the more calm you can be. The more calm you are, the more excited you can be (because they’re getting married! Yay!). The more excited you are, the more you’ll smile. And smiles on a wedding day are just what you’re couple needs to know this is STILL their perfect day they’ve been dreaming about forever!

There ya have it!! My 5 tips on how to rock photographing your rainy wedding day!

You’ve totally got this friend!! I know you do!!

P.S. If you wanna see a few recent rainy day weddings, check them out below! The first one was from this past Friday. Lori + Alberto’s wedding rained the hardest it ever has for a wedding for me. AND only let up for about 10 min! But the day was amazing and no one would have ever known!

  1. Mr. + Mrs. Anguiano
  2. Mr. + Mrs. Okafor
  3. Mr. + Mrs. Welch

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