I’ve shot over 450 weddings through 13 years, and before that I was a Formula 1 photographer for a few years…but what do both of those subjects have in common? They both require photographing in the outdoors and that’s rain or shine!!
As much as we’d all love our wedding days to be blue skies and sunshine, it is Ireland after all, and for the most part, north-west Ireland in my case, we know it’s a bit damp more often than not! So should that spoil your wedding day? Absolutely not! Your wedding day is about getting married and having a fab time with your friends and families, and if it rains that is not going to change! So one thing I always tell my couples before they get married is don’t even worry about the weather on the day, just go with it and we’ll get great photos regardless! That’s my area, that’s what I’ll worry about and sort out! And from surfing and living in a seaside village, I’ve got pretty good at forecasting the weather, and knowing if we’ll be able to get a few minutes outside at some point of the day.
Here’s a few tips that make those wet wedding days a little easier and help us capture some great images regardless of the weather!
Keep smiling! I’m always shooting, even in the rain! The rain, the umbrellas, the help, it all adds to some great photos and moments you’ll remember! Just go with it!
Umbrellas – pretty obvious!! I find the best umbrellas are the biggest ones, the golf style umbrellas. They cover two people easily so you can see go for a stroll, provided it’s not absolutely chucking it down. Colours don’t really matter either, but from a personal point of view, I do like a colourful umbrella as opposed to an all white one. I always say, its raining & you’re holding an umbrella so just show it, it’s not something to hide! So to sum up, just use whatever the biggest umbrella you have! If you know somebody who has those fancy ‘wedding’ style umbrellas use them too but coverage is key and the bigger the umbrella the better!
Location for photos – this is where having a second location, in case of weather, comes in handy! Again living by the coast, means sometimes it’s not just the rain we have to worry about…it’s the wind! If it’s howling, we are definitely staying away from the coast!
Having gone through the wedding details before the day, we’ll have a plan in place, and that includes possibly going somewhere if it’s a bit wet. And here’s the important bit, it can really depend on how wet it is. Is it lightly spitting…no problem, grab that umbrella and we’ll get a few quick shots outside no problem. And if we’re near trees, we can even shoot underneath them and probably not get wet at all! Is it just starting to rain as we’re getting photos done outside…no problem, we’ll take cover under some trees if they’re close by. Absolutely chucking it down with Storm Brian en-route…ok, we’re looking for cover and that’s where somewhere like an old abbey can come in handy as it has shelter but is still ‘outside’. Lashing rain all day long with no chance of getting outside…no problem, we’re going to stay nice and dry inside and we’ll get everything and more indoors. The next few images cover all the above scenarios!
As I went through these weddings trying to find wet wedding photography examples, one thing that stuck out was how few wet weddings I’ve shot! And when I say wet wedding, I mean start to finish wet all day long! And that’s a key thing, even though the morning might be wet or after the ceremony might have a bit of rain, chances are, there’ll be a break in the weather letting us get outside somewhere for photos. And more often than not, give me 10 minutes and I’ll get everything done outside and the rest inside. Again having a flexible location with a bit of cover is great or if we do everything at the reception, we can start getting images inside, then venture outside if the rain stops. Be flexible! Get on with enjoying the day, and let me (or your photographer) sort out the logistics!!
Don’t be afraid to get wet – ok that statement applies to me! I’ll never ask a bride or groom to go out in the rain, if they want to great, but me, I’ll always go out, as it can mean that I can be getting wet, all the while shooting shots of you while you’re inside! Castles in particular have fabulous doorways with beautiful natural light, so it looks just like you’re outside!
Again as mentioned already, indoors can be every bit as nice as outdoors and it can let you capture some unique photos that you couldn’t get outside! And it’s dry and warm too especially in winter!
So from all the above I think you can see that a bit of rain on your wedding day isn’t a bad thing! Just enjoy the day, keep smiling, get married and leave the photography to myself or your photographer!