Good morning! It’s the start of the first work week of the new year – time to start those new routines, resolutions and take control of 2016! Now, if you missed it, I started a new blog series called Coffee Break with SJP. This series will go up in the 10 o’clock hour every Monday morning, and is all about providing education for my wedding clients.
Today I’m going to be talking about the weather. No, not today’s weather, but bad weather on your wedding day. Okay, I was there. I was the bride freaking out about the weather being terrible on our wedding day. Specifically, it was last year and I was having an outdoor ceremony the first weekend in May after we faced the worst winter on the books. Oh yeah, in April there was still several feet of snow on the ground! Now, like every wedding, the weather always works out – for better or worse – and becomes a memorable part of your wedding day.
It is only natural to want perfect weather, BUT bad weather doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Some of my favorite photos are from rainy or snowy days! Below are a few tips to make the most of a wet forecast on your wedding day.
1. Adjust your attitude – We’ve all been told this before, but it couldn’t be more true. Another term I like to use is “PMA” – POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE – which my dad always preached when I was growing up. If you go into your wedding day ready to embrace the day rain or shine, then in my opinion, the rain will never put a damper on your day. Take the above series of photos. It started down pouring after the outdoor ceremony at White Cliffs Country Club, but the bride and groom were up for running on the beach with an umbrella. It was soggy, but as soon as we got to the beach, a beautiful rainbow appeared. Now, this was pretty lucky, but my point is that this couple fully embraced the weather, and as a result, we captured these oh-so memorable photos.
2. Plan for the elements – If the forecast calls for precipitation, you shouldn’t go into your wedding day without a plan b for your ceremony, reception or even portrait locations. There should always be a rain plan! If I see rain in the forecast, I always advise on the best rain plan for portraits. This can be inside the venue, or even under an awning that protects you from the elements. If it’s only raining for part of the day, there’s the option to work around the rain. For example, a couple of years ago I worked with a couple who had planned on not doing a first look. The day before the wedding, the forecast called for 100% chance of rain the second part of the day. The bride and I quickly reworked the photo timeline to allow time for a first look, and most of the formal portraits before the ceremony in order to make the most of the dryer weather. Of course, she had to bump up her hair and makeup times, and transportation times, but it all worked out!
3. Accessorize! – Rain or snow on your wedding day helps tell the story of your day. There’s no reason why you should hide the fact that it was raining! I have a couple of umbrellas I always have with me, but if you want to outfit your bridal party with umbrellas, then go for it! Also, ask your bridal party to bring their rain boots! This presents another great photo opportunity, and everyone’s feet will be happier.
4. Be realistic about your hair – I absolutely love when brides wear their hair down on their wedding day. It adds movement to every photo and can be breathtaking in photos! If the forecast calls for rain, and you’re planning to wear your hair down, think about how your hair normally reacts with moisture. If your hair is anything like mine, it might be best to wear it all up so you don’t worry about your hair having frizz in your photos. If you simply don’t care, then more power to you – you’ll rock it!
5. Enjoy every moment! – This is the most important piece of advice. If it does rain (or blizzard as depicted in the photo above!) do your best to smile as you’re standing under that umbrella, and be present as you’re spending time with your love on your wedding day. I’ll never forget Christa and Rob’s New Hampshire wedding more than three years ago. It was raining all day, and when it came time for the reception, the winds and rain picked up and the tent almost toppled over! Throughout it all, these two enjoyed every moment and were able to remain in good spirits. I have been fortunate to shoot some of their friend’s weddings over the past few years, and we still talk about that crazy weather! A rainy or snowy day will become a part of your wedding day story, and something you can share with your family and friends for years to come.