Wedding Advice: What if it rains on my wedding day?

Laura arrives in good spirits despite the weather.
Laura arrives in good spirits despite the weather.

I remember clearly when my daughter was two years old (she’s now 12), she pulled a pillow case on her head and said “Look Daddy, I’m a bride.”

I realised then (and subsequently it’s been borne out by numerous chats with my brides), that your wedding day is usually a very, very long time in the planning. Whilst you’ll have control over many factors in the preparation – the venue, the dress, the caterers, the fiancé (!) the wedding guests etc. you’ll have no control over mother nature.

It used to be, in my memory at least, that if you set a summer date for the big day, you could more or less plan on a lovely sunny afternoon. These days, it seems the weather is often upside down. Beautiful December mornings, crisp and misty and unseasonably warm. August? Torrential rain and downpours.

The effects of the weather can be mitigated of course by your choice of venue. If it it’s a civil ceremony in one location, it’s fair to say that it will probably be easier to deal with adverse weather than with a situation where the church is a drive away from the reception venue.

Best Man and Usher wait for the bridal party, fully equipped in case the downpour starts.
Best Man and Usher wait for the bridal party, fully equipped in case the downpour starts.

Of course it’s easy for wedding professionals like myself to say “Don’t worry, the weather isn’t important on the wedding day…” but that’s less easy to deal with when you’re counting on wonderful weather to complement your outdoor ceremony and/or wedding reception.

Like a lot of things in life, the two most important factors are a bit of preparation and the right attitude. Whilst it’s true that a damp wedding day is not desirable, it needn’t ruin the celebrations. It’s essential before the big day (and this has a carry on effect that extends far beyond the weather) to remind yourselves of the real reason for the event. It’s as easy to be in love in the rain as it is in the sunshine.

Remember that you’re there to marry the one that you love and to commemorate the day with a fun celebration with your friends and family. In fact, this article was prompted by Sam and Luke’s recent outdoor wedding that I photographed at Taplin’s Place in Hampshire. I am sorry to say it rained for the entire outdoor ceremony but the bride and groom and their guests were brilliant and a terrific atmosphere pervaded because of this attitude and optimism despite the downpour.

bride arrives in the rain
Daniella smiles through the raindrops
rainy day wedding
Sam, whose wedding inspired this post arrives for her outdoor wedding at Taplin’s Place.


Even on the best planned wedding day, there is going to be the odd hiccup or two. This is to be expected. When it comes down to it – as long as you and your loved one are there and there is somebody to conduct the wedding ceremony, the rest is window dressing as they say.

If you’re choosing a winter wedding, you’ll probably be planning to spend all of the day inside. You’ll have chosen a cosy, warm venue with enough room for all the guests and plenty of comfortable seating. If it’s a spring or autumn wedding, one factor you should take into consideration is the amount of space inside the venue should the day turn out to be less than hospitable in terms of the weather. Some wedding venues have beautiful exteriors and wonderful gardens but are less than impressive inside.


Wedding photograph at Pennyhill Park Hotel
Jodie and David at Pennyhill Park Hotel. This was taken a few minutes after the rain stopped.


If you’ve planned an outdoor ceremony, again you need to have a solid Plan B. Your venue will help you here of course with advice and information. Of course, it’s quite difficult when you visit a venue to picture a hundred or so guests filling the space. Ask your photographer if he or she has any wedding images of the venue to visualise how it would look. One sneaky tip is to drop  by on a Saturday and (discreetly) check out the venue as it fills up with wedding guests. You can then get an idea of how your guests will fill the space on your wedding day.

Rain at your church wedding means that everyone gets inside promptly :)
Rain at your church wedding means that everyone gets inside promptly :)

Plan for wet weather. You can buy or hire large white umbrellas online which is a good idea of the weather looks dodgy. Consider alternative footwear if you would like to go outside for some photographs together. At one winter wedding I photographed, the bride had got hold of some white wellington boots (normally used in the catering industry). She stayed dry and warm and they didn’t show under her dress!

If your journey by car takes more than 15 minutes or so, it’s wise to leave early in the rain. As we all know, a couple of raindrops seem to bring the roads to a halt these days. The plan anyway should be to arrive in the vicinity of the church or ceremony location early and wait around the corner for a few minutes. In this situation, leaving a little earlier shouldn’t make much of a difference to the timings and will make all the difference to the grooms blood pressure if you’re on time!

The main advice of course is to smile through it all and enjoy the day for the right reasons. Adverse weather won’t make any difference to the photographs if you’ve booked an experienced wedding photographer. They will produce the goods under all conditions – at least you’ll have a few good stories about the day in years to come.

Interesting in booking a photographer with a wealth of experience in all conditions? Get in touch for a no obligation chat. Limited availability for 2015.


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