Control what you can; embrace what you can’t

Dealing with weather insecurities when planning your wedding day

Published on Prepare to Wed

As I write this it’s raining. That’s what it does during the Spring in the Northeast… and the Summer, and the Fall and the Winter, too. Southern California we are not. It can be maddening trying to plan a day at the beach, a BBQ and especially a wedding. My wife and I were married on a beach in Tulum, Mexico and I was still stressing over the weather. It’s in my DNA. I try very hard to plan my outdoor activities with the understanding that I have to “control what I can and embrace what I can’t.” With that in mind, I offer some tips for dealing with the threat and occurrence of inclement weather on your wedding day.

Location, location, location
It goes without saying that if you are planning an outdoor wedding you need to have a “Plan B” in case of inclement weather for your ceremony and reception. But since your wedding day images are important to you, you also should have a Plan B for your images. It is the photographer’s job to find an ideal location for your group shots and portraits, but chances are you’ve spent a lot of time deciding on a wedding location, and aesthetics likely played a role in that decision. When looking at a venue, you undoubtedly envisioned how you would look on the rocks by the ocean or on the rustic bridge at the country club, etc. But if it’s raining these picture-perfect-day locations may be “out”. Don’t change your venue because of this, but think about it when touring a venue. Look for the covered porch or barn doorway. The spiral staircase or beautiful old window to frame your portraits. You get the idea. These are examples of the types of locations your photographer will be looking for, and if you look for them yourself when choosing a venue, and not just the obvious locations, you will be better prepared emotionally should a rain event occur.

Adding props can mean more fun
On a gorgeous day the scenery and natural beauty of your outdoor venue can likely speak for itself. On a rainy day, a few props can go a long way. Be sure to have an umbrella at the ready and consider a pair wellie boots, preferably one’s hand-picked to coordinate with your color palette. Not only will you feel more comfortable heading outside in the rain, your careful selections can add a fun and whimsical feeling to your portraits, as well as a splash of color to an otherwise gray day.

I’m grown up and I can do what I want
You make the rules. It’s your day. I’ve been at weddings where the bride wanted to stand in the ocean while winds from an impending storm tugged at her dress, or the groom wanted to be introduced with the theme song from Star Wars (I know, it’s not weather-related, but it was pretty cool and non-traditional). If it is raining, stomp in a puddle – you have boots, right? – or steal a kiss or two or three under the privacy of your umbrella. If you embrace the moment and the weather you just may feel like a kid playing in the rain again. And, at the end of the day, you should have had fun, right? Frame your attitude with this in mind, as opposed feeling like bad weather will ruin your day, and you will almost guarantee the weather won’t dampen your spirits on your special day.

As a photographer, I enjoy the occasional rainy-day wedding. I try hard to ensure that my clients are excited for the best and prepared for the worst the weather has to offer, and in most cases, if the worst is the reality we have just as much or more fun. And don’t worry, your images will still be stunning. Overcast days are a photographer’s friend. Harsh shadows are eliminated and scenes often contain less contrast between light and dark so details pop. Technically speaking, there are many benefits to a cloudy day, but from your perspective, it all starts with looking at the day not as a “wash” but as a different opportunity, and fully embracing it. Whether it rains or shines, ultimately it is your day and one you will remember forever. Focus on that and I know you won’t be disappointed even if it does rain.