How to rock your rainy wedding day like a BOSS - 6 ways to embrace rain on your wedding day.
"It's like rain on your wedding day"...
Everyone seems to have the opinion that a good wedding relies on good weather. If you're planning your wedding, you've probably heard the phrase "let's hope it's nice weather!" a fair few times.
Well did you know that in folklore, rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck? Consider this little ditty; a wet knot is harder to untie. You may or may not know that the phrase "tying the knot" comes from the ancient tradition of hand fasting, the act of tying binding cords around the hands of two lovers as a sign of commitment.
Well, if you're tying that knot in the rain and that knot gets soggy, well its a hell of a lot harder to untie than a dry one. Rain on your wedding day is a sign of a strong tie; a sign that your marriage will last. I've shot my fair share of rainy weddings in my time, and every one of them has been an absolute corker of a day. In fact, in every scenario the rain actually made the wedding even more awesome.
Kirsty and Ben on their rainy wedding day in York
I'm going to tell you my top tips of how to prepare for and deal with rain on your wedding day, mentally and practically, tips from past brides and grooms on how to have the best day, and a few tales from my absolute
favourite wet weather weddings, including my own! I'm hoping that this blog post will calm the nerves of those who are a bit worried about having a wet wedding, because lets be honest, in the UK it rains. A LOT. There is a pretty high chance it could rain, but it absolutely DOES NOT MEAN that your wedding will be ruined. I promise you that. Just listen and learn.
Tip Number 1 - Have a back-up plan
Tip number one on how to embrace rain on your wedding day is all about being prepared. If you're wedding is primarily outdoors, then you need to plan some kind of cover, should it decide to rain. A marquee would be a good option, and if you're still wanting it to feel outdoorsy you could opt to not hire the sides and have an open-sided marquee. Your venue might have an alternative indoor area that can be used instead, so have an emergency plan of how you could use and decorate this space should you need to. If you haven't chosen your venue yet, rain contingency plans would be a good thing to ask venues about and see what options they can suggest.
When making a run-through plan for your day, have a dry weather plan and a wet weather plan and make sure all the important people are clued up on both.
Wildwood and Eden in Scarborough offers a lot of alternative indoor space when the weather isn't great. Guests can take shelter in the beautiful open-fronted barn/bar area.
Tip Number 2 - Wellies!
I cannot stress how important this one is - wellies will be your saviour at a rainy wedding and they screaaammm festival wedding. You could get some awesome brightly coloured ones, or ones to match your colour scheme. It'll mean your wedding shoes won't get ruined (you can save them for indoors) and your little tootsies won't get soggy. 100% recommend.
This gorgeous pair got married last April at Wortley Hall. It rained for the entire day. They pulled on their wellies, I popped out the umbrellas (they also had their own fab rainbow coloured one) and we did the photos outside anyway because SCREW IT. You get one chance for wedding photos so who cares about a bit of rain, really?
Tip Number 3 - Umbrellas!
If you hire me as your photographer, I'll always remember to bring my wedding umbrellas with me. If you're a fool and haven't hired me (just joking... sort of) then check with your photographer if this is something they bring with them or if you need to get onto ebay and order some yourself. Big white ones are great, or clear ones look nice too. Avoid coloured brollies and steer well clear of black ones. They cast funny coloured shadows on your face which isn't good news for your photographer.
Amanda and Phil were married in Scotland last April. It rained the whole day but they were prepared for it, and already had their own big ivory brollies. “Some advice from Amanda: "I would also say don’t be afraid of the rain. As the wedding day came closer and closer and the weather began to look worse I worried over it. But in fact, those ivory umbrellas became an ionic feature of our wedding photos! And our photographer Laura absolutely loved the Scottish mist which gave our photos an incredible atmosphere.”
Tip Number 4 - Keep Calm and Carry On
Tip number 4 on how to embrace rain on your wedding day is to keep calm and carry on with your day as planned! If you have a specific location you're going to for your couple photos, then just roll with it and go anyway! If you want to have your group photos outside, then do it! You have this one chance have your dream day so don't let a bit of drizzle put you off.
Izzy and Harry got married back in September of 2017. It had been Izzy's dream to have photos on the Cobb in her home town of Lyme Regis, so we headed there straight after the ceremony. That's when this happened:
(Fun fact, I took this photo with my camera in a sandwich bag.)
But we still managed to get some absolute beauties! Suuuuper romantic, right?!
Some wise words from Izzy: "My advice to brides and grooms on rainy wedding days is to embrace it and even work with it! Laura caught some of our best and favourite wedding pictures in the rain and it can create a lovely cosy feel on your special day!"
Tip Number 5 - Don't be afraid to get wet
This one kinda follows on from the last. But tip number 3 will definitely help! Don't be precious about your hair or your dress, it really doesn't matter. A muddy wedding dress is a sign of a wedding well spent. Work with your photographer, cos I guarantee they'll be up for getting photos outside. We LIVE for overcast, misty conditions. Snuggly romantic photos in the rain are the single most romantic thing ever. Think of any movie that involves a snogging-in-the-rain scene... super swoon, right?
Ella and Jamie had an outdoor festival wedding last July. It drizzled for most of the day (apart from the ceremony when the sun came out!) but the bride and groom and their guests took the weather in their stride and had an absolute blast. Some advice from Ella: "Honestly, on the day you don’t actually care about anything. So if it rains, just enjoy it (it rained for us), if your dress gets muddy, just embrace it and if you’re stressing about getting it all done, ditch it – on the day you literally won’t care."
Charlotte and Ryan got married in absolute hurricaine conditions on a cliff top in North Yorkshire. It was wet, it was windy, but it was SO MUCH FUN. And that all boiled down to their attitude and the attitude of their guests and their willingness to embrace the day no matter what. Some wise words from Charlotte: "If you had told us weeks beforehand that the windiest day of the year was also going to be the day we were getting married on a Yorkshire clifftop in a tipi, we’d have been a tad worried. However, on the day it just added to the mood and we all just embraced the weather.
We wouldn’t change a single thing about it. The weather simply made our day even more memorable and because everyone was inside due to the weather, it created a more sociable and fun (and windswept!) atmosphere."
Tip Number 6 - Mentally prepare yourself
My final tip. This is probably the hardest thing to do. I completely and utterly sympathise with anyone who is forecast rain on their wedding day. You've probably had images of your wedding guests outside in the sunshine, dappled light and golden hour photos. I get it, I did too. As you now know, I've shot many rainy weddings and yet when it came to my own, I was so upset that it was forecast rain. We'd planned an October wedding with an outdoor ceremony in the orchards at our venue. We were hoping for beautiful autumnal sunshine, orange leaves, guests enjoying the firepits outdoors etc etc etc. Little did we know that we'd chosen what would be the wettest October on record, in a location extremeeeeely prone to flooding.
Lemme tell you a little story. So, morning of my wedding in Herefordshire. It had rained for 40 days and 40 nights (or so it felt), and EVERYWHERE around our venue was flooded. Rivers were overflowing, roads were closed, there was what seemed like a torrent of water flowing down the lane outside our air bnb. It was bad you guys. It'd been my dream for a very long time to have a VW camper at my wedding. Turns out VW campers and flooded country lanes don't mix well. We'd set off on the way to the ceremony, when this happened...
Yup. We broke down in the flood.
Thank god for my Dad, who was the definition of "calm". He pulled on my sister's purple wellies and waded out into the water, firstly to help my mum (who was following behind in her own car) get out of the flood and then to flag down some help. That's when two absolute BABES in a 4x4 stopped to help us. They pulled us out of the water and drove a veryyyy cold me and my sister the rest of the way to the wedding. They were absolute heroes.
Don't get me wrong, I would never in a million years have imagined this to be how I'd arrive at my wedding ceremony. Ever. But it is actually one of my favourite memories from the day. It's definitely one of those "look back on it and laugh" moments and I wouldn't change it for the world. Our photographer, Charlotte of Electric Blue Photos & Film and our second shooter Kate Jackson Photography were on hand to snap some awesome shots and were so amazing throughout the day, despite the difficult weather. So don't worry about your photos for a second - your photographer will have experience of shooting in the rain and they'll get some bloody awesome photos for you, like Charlotte and Kate did for me.
Photo by Electric Blue Photography
You get these perfect images in your head of how you wedding day is going to be and when it becomes apparent that it isn't going to happen that way, it can feel absolutely devastating! I'm not going to pretend for one minute that I wasn't bothered by it, because I was. I'd been watching the weather forecast get progressively worse and was praying for some miracle it would get better. It didn't, it just got worse! So what changed? I think the turning point for me was when I was in Lisa and Guy's car on the way to the wedding with my big sister, and it all became exciting then. I think the adrenaline (and the heating) had kicked in by that point and suddenly I wasn't so bothered about the rain, and even less so when I saw Aaron at the end of the aisle. I was just super pumped and so ready to just roll with whatever else the day threw at us! We had our alternative ceremony option, which was under a open-sided marquee on the terrace and spent the rest of the day in our wellies getting our beautiful outdoor photos in the rain. It was perfect.
Photo by Electric Blue Photography
The point I'm trying to make is your wedding day might not turn out like the images you have in your head, but the best moments of my wedding for me were the unplanned ones, the unexpected ones and the downright chaotic and crazy ones. Rain CAN make your day even better than you ever imagined - different, yes, but bloody memorable.
And just remember, a wet knot is harder to untie.
Read more about Charlotte and Ryan's Wedding:
Read more about Ella and Jamie's Wedding
Read more about Amanda and Phil's Wedding