bride and groom under umbrella in the rain at the manor wedding in kettleby, ontario

HOW TO PREPARE FOR RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

When you check the forecast and see that it’s going to rain on your wedding day, do you panic? There’s already so many things you need to account for, and wet gloomy weather just throws a wrench in all of your outdoor plans, right?

One thing I always remind clients is that overcast skies provide the most flattering light. If it’s cloudy and gloomy outside, that’s actually PERFECT for flattering skin tones in photos! On a bright sunny day, the intense light casts really hard shadows that are not flattering for wedding photos. Under that situation, we would have to find softer light by staying in the shade, or shoot back-lit, with the sun behind the subject. In contrast, overcast skies allow us to shoot in practically ANY direction! This creates so many more opportunities for photo locations, and is actually most ideal for my editing style.

It’s okay to be a little disappointed that the weather is not cooperating, but it’s actually not a huge cause for concern! Here are a few tips to help you prepare for rain on your wedding day:
 
 
 
Bride & Groom standing in front of small cabin at arlington estate wedding in vaughan, ontario

1. FIND AN INDOOR/COVERED AREA

Just because it’s raining, it doesn’t mean you must move all your plans indoors. There’s actually a lot of options that you can consider! If you’ve already booked a photo permit for a shoot location, look into whether there is a covered area that we can shoot in, if it does rain. This can include any of the following:

  • Overhangs
  • Porches or Gazebos
  • Big, leafy trees
  • Underpasses
  • Entryways with non-reflective doors

 
In the photo above, the Bride & Groom stands in front of the porch, but they are sheltered from the rain by a small part of the roof that juts out. Unless it’s pouring buckets, a little bit of overhang on the side of a building can go a long way!

If an indoor option is available, it’s best to pick a space that has lots of natural light. Contact venue management ahead of time to make sure the space is unoccupied and can be used in case of bad weather.

If there are no good options at your selected location(s) and you’d really prefer to stay indoors, consider booking a studio space nearby. There are quite a few options around downtown Toronto that offers rentals by the hour (ASK ME for recommendations!). If your wedding is taking place out of the city, you may want to consider a nicely decorated Airbnb as well.
 
 
 
wedding party with matching umbrellas at the manor wedding in kettleby, ontario

2. PREPARE RAIN GEAR FOR THE ENTIRE WEDDING PARTY

To maintain a cohesive look, prepare matching umbrellas for your entire wedding party! AVOID COLOURED UMBRELLAS because they cast an unnatural colour on your faces. Stick with black, white or clear umbrellas. I have a 5ft wide doorman umbrella that comfortably covers two people, which you can borrow (as seen in the photo above), but please remember to account for all the other members of your wedding party. (Pictured above: Brenda & Richard’s wedding party is using the Fulton Birdcage Umbrella in Black) Here are a few places where you can source matching umbrellas:

 
I highly recommend checking Marketplace or Kijiji for umbrellas first. A lot of couples buy matching umbrellas specifically for their wedding day, but have no use for them after the event. It’s quite easy to find a second-hand set for great price, and sometimes they haven’t even been used!

For the ladies, if your dresses are long and your feet won’t be visible, consider bringing more weather-appropriate shoes for the outdoor session. Some couples take it a step further and prepare matching rain boots as well! The more you embrace the rain, the more intentional it looks in the photos!
 
 
 

3. ALLOW FOR EXTRA TIME AND FLEXIBILITY

Chances are, it’s not going to rain for the entire day. Even if it’s pouring when you planned to have your portrait session, it’s possible to wait it out until the downpour lessens! Allow for some buffer time in-between events, so you’re able to take a moment and dry off, touch up your makeup/hair and clean the bottom of your dress!

I’m always on the look out for additional opportunities for more portraits, as long as you’re willing to make time for them! It may mean that you’ll have to sneak away for 15-20 minutes during your reception (best done when guests are distracted with food & drink), but if couple portraits are important to you, any amount of extra time can make a big difference! Personally, I find end of day portraits to be super romantic, especially if the sun comes out for some Golden Hour photos! It’s a great visual bookend to wrap up the story of your celebration.

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