Most brides dread rain on their wedding day, and hope for clear skies and sunshine. Unfortunately nature works on her own schedule and a rainy day is a possibility. In Gauteng, where I do most of my weddings, we have dramatic thunderstorms in summer (read wedding season). This has two advantages: it is over very quickly, and it is dramatic.
Many people believe that it symbolizes good luck and in some cultures, rain on your wedding day symbolizes fertility, unifying and cleansing.
From a photography perspective, rain can make photos look really interesting and stylistic. The clouds act like a big soft light box, which produces a soft dreamy quality to the photographs, with very little contrast. This means that while I have to dodge the harsh sun when taking your portraits at 3pm, I can get stunning flattering light everywhere.
A dark sky or lots of clouds also makes for a dramatic backdrop. Just before a rainstorm there will be gusts of wind and this allows your dress and veil to dance in the wind. Loose hair can look romantic flowing in the breeze. All these elements make your photos much more dynamic, romantic and interesting.
Rain will happen whether you cry about it or not. The best advice is to prepare for it, especially if you get married in December, January or February. Have a rain plan to be prepared:
Bring an interesting umbrella and a large golf umbrella
The large golf umbrella will keep you and your dress dry when you have to move between venues. An interesting umbrella like a coloured Chinese umbrella makes photos fun and gives a pop of colour. Remember it will probably not rain all the time, so they can work well as a prop.
A veil ~ Your veil, flowing in the wind, looks wonderful. It doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive; a large piece of soft tulle over your head works great. This is also a great prop to play with, and gives that bridal look. Like I say: You can put a veil on a tree and it will look bridal.
Have rain boots or extra shoes ~ Coloured, cute rain boots have been around for a while now and the trend is so loved that I do not think it will go away soon. If you are afraid of soggy lawns and ruining your satin pumps, have a pair on standby on your day. You can always use them later in the garden. I would also suggest having a second pair of shoes to use for the photo session so that your beautiful wedding shoes do not get ruined in the grass and puddles.
Decide beforehand if you are prepared to get wet? The classic “notebook” movie photo is still a favorite of couples. Maybe you do not want to be so drenched, but a few drops will not bother you too much. Be prepared with extra towels, extra socks, a man’s shirt and even an extra dress if you are willing to go all out.
Have an indoors/covered location in mind ~ Many venues offer places that is covered, so if it rains there is still places to work in. Make sure your bridal room is large and pretty enough to have photos in there.
Be flexible with timing and listen to your photographer ~ You may have to move a few events around to offer time for photos. The reception may have to start earlier, so your cake cutting may have to move to another time slot. Be open to suggestions if a change of events is needed to make the most of the day. Your photographer is well trained to work with this kind of weather, and we can make suggestions to have things moved around. Your guests will understand if you are not walking down the aisle if there is a downpour at that moment.
Keep your sense of humour ~ Be relaxed, trust your photographer and smile. Just going with the flow and having fun will make for great memories and lovely images.
Lastly, if all else fail and a monsoon hits your wedding day, a post shoot is the only answer. Some days it rains buckets and no amount of planning will rescue it. Relax and enjoy the party, We can still get all your family and entourage photos inside, on another day you can get dressed again and meet up to get the couple photos. It is not the same as on the wedding day; it is event better! No stress to get to the reception, no waiting guests and you can get dressed up again.
At Moments by Annalene Photography, a post shoot due to rain is free, so you do not have to worry about incurring extra costs.
Article courtesy of Moments By Annalene Photography