So, in the wedding word, we have our own very special and very dangerous 4 letter word: RAIN!!!! Alanis Morisette even sang about how ironic rain is on your wedding day. And I know so many brides that live in the fantasyland of “It can’t happen to me. It can’t happen to me.” I hate to break it to you. It can. You can pray and beg and think good thoughts all day long, but the reality is this, there are lots of wedding days where it rains. So it’s pretty important to be thinking about rain when you are planning your wedding day to make sure that if it does rain on your wedding day, you are covered.
Things to think about when you are planning your wedding to make sure you don’t fall into the rain trap:
1. Make sure that your venue has a Plan B:
There are some great venues out there for rain weddings. Some of my favorites in the area (Athens, GA) are The Thompson House and Gardens and The Engine Room. They both have big wide open spaces where you can move your ceremony indoors if you need to, and you can also have your reception indoors as well. And they both have great natural light for indoor portraits as well. The Thompson House and Gardens also has wraparound porches that make great vistas for rainy day portraits. Having a venue with a Plan B is also not a bad idea in case you have unseasonal weather. It could be super cold on our wedding day in October when you were expecting nice temperatures.
These are all things that you want to consider when thinking about a venue and the possibility of rain. Don’t just block it out of your mind and say it can’t happen to you.
If you are like me and you love antebellum homes, there are some that have ballrooms built on where you can have your ceremony and reception. There are some that don’t. And then there are the barns. Some can be okay for rain weddings, like Antique Acres, but some are less than ideal for a rain wedding. Sure, you can always tent it. But let’s be honest about tents ladies. They kinda suck when it rains. You have to put sides on them, and the chances of the water not leaking in under the sides is slim to none. So your guests will have wet feet and your DJ may have to stop playing because of electrocution hazards. There are all kinds of stuff that could go wrong with tents. And they can be expensive. Recently, I heard of a bride that spent more on her tent than she did on her venue. So, and this goes double if you are on a budget, if you pick a venue that needs to be tented in the event of inclement weather, you need to make sure you plan financially for that. Really, as a wedding photographer, I don’t recommend it. Because where do you take pictures then? Do you really want your wedding pictures to all be under a tent?
But with a Plan B venue, you don’t have to worry quite to much about all of those umbrellas and you and your guests getting wet. Here is one of my favorite rain weddings in a Plan B venue.
2. Make sure that your photographer has experience with rain situations:
This is extremely important. You don’t want to get into a rainy day situation and have a photographer that doesn’t know what they are doing. Rainy weddings take a lot of planning photographically to make them stunning (something I will talk more about later), and that makes it very important to have someone that knows what they are doing. My team actually has a rainy day kit that we take whenever we think we will be dealing with a rain situation. Also make sure that your photographer knows how to deal with low light situations because where there is rain, there are clouds, and where there are clouds, there is no sun which equals no light. Right now, it is very popular in photography to be a natural light photographer. I would consider myself to be a mostly natural light photographer as that is what I prefer. However, it’s extremely important on a rainy wedding day that your photographer has a good knowledge of flash. You don’t want your photographer practicing on you! Who wants to be washed out by a flash on their wedding day?! So don’t hesitate to ask your photographer to show you their rainy day weddings when you meet with them (YES! Meet with your photographer before you book them: Here’s a post that explains why). And if they don’t have any rainy day weddings to show you, that is red flag number one.
3. Have a great wedding planner that has dealt with rain in the past and knows how to:
This is just as important as having a photographer with rain wedding experience. I’ll tell you a story. I had a wedding once that only had a 20% chance of rain. We were all set for an outdoor ceremony. My husband rolled up and said, “It’s about to rain.” I was convinced he’d lost his mind. He showed me the radar. Um… yup, it was about to rain. The event designer had no clue. They were also catering so they were super busy with the food and not paying attention to the weather. Sure enough, the downpour started. The paper programs (which had already been placed in the chairs… sigh) started getting soaked. My team and I were out trying to pull them in as fast as possible. And when the event designers finally noticed the weather, they had to get all of the chairs in and dry them off which took a lot of time. The wedding was delayed by about half an hour. Now, the event designers should have known that rain was imminent. It’s their job to stay on top of that. If they had of, the paper goods and all of the chairs would have already been inside by the time the rain hit. So make sure that whomever is in charge of your ceremony setup knows what they are doing. My favorite planner in this area is Southern Sophistication Designs. They are well prepared for rain weddings!
4. Take a peek at the statistics for your region on the rainiest and driest months of the year:
It’s important to think about whether or not you are putting yourself in front of the firing squad when you pick your wedding date. Statistically, there are months that are drier than others for every region. In Georgia, October is statistically the driest month of the year. I don’t think I have ever had a rainy wedding in October. And I have shot a LOT of October weddings here since it is also the most popular month for weddings in Georgia. The spring is much wetter here, as is December and January. So it’s important to think about that. US Climate Data is a great resource to use for these statistics. Just remember, if you are looking at Atlanta numbers, for instance, but getting married in Savannah, your statistics will be completely different. So make sure that you have the right area of your state!
And now, we are a week out from the big day. You take a peek at the forecast and there it is. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! RAIN!!!!!!! You planned so carefully. You picked what should be a dry month. And now, it’s saying it’s gonna rain. Okay. First off, calm down. Have your hunny or maid of honor pour you a Cosmo and breathe (here’s a cosmo recipe if you need one). It is really not the end of the world, especially if you have followed the above 4 steps. And let’s be honest, the weatherman’s (or woman’s) track record with accuracy can be pretty dismal. I have seen a weather forecast go from 20% to 60% to 0% all in the span of 36 hours. So, don’t panic. Even if it says 80%, it might not rain on your wedding day. Now, if we get down to about 48 hours before the big day and it still looks like rain, there are some things that you can do to still make your wedding day fabulous! And that, ladies, I will share with you in my next post!! Be sure to sign up with your email here to get notified when that post comes out! In the meantime, check out this post.