Newlyweds share a kiss together in the rain under the protection of a white umbrella.

Rainy Day Wedding Photos

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Is Rain Really Lucky?

There's two opinions about horseshoes and luck. Some people recommend hanging the horseshoe with the ends (heels) pointing up so the good luck it brings won't drain out. Others believe in pointing the heels down so the good luck falls on anybody passing through the doorway.
There are two opinions about horseshoes and luck. Some people recommend hanging the horseshoe with the ends (heels) pointing up so the good luck it brings won’t drain out. Others believe in pointing the heels down so that good luck falls on anybody passing through the doorway.

Rain on your wedding day need not dampen your spirits or ruin your wedding photos.

In fact, many cultures consider a little rain on your wedding day lucky.

Doing a quick search on the internet, rainy wedding days can represent:

  • Fertility – Watering the ground lends to fertile plants and fields, a concept that symbolizes the wedding couple’s fertility, specifically around having children
  • Cleansing – Washing away the tough or sad times in your life
  • Unity – Considering the expression “tie the knot”, understand that wet knots are harder to untie
  • Renewal – Washing away the old and starting with the new
  • Tears – Symbolizing the last tears a bride will shed for the rest of her life (now that’s a tall order!)

10 Tips for Rainy Day Wedding Photos

I don’t know about the wisdom of these traditions, but my husband and I had rain for a good part of our wedding day. Fortunately, the rain stopped before the ceremony and the clouds parted during our vows. I took that as a sign of good luck. Note that we’ve been married for 15 years and counting.

Regardless of your beliefs, you will want to manage your plans proactively to anticipate the weather. Based on my years of photographing weddings, often in the rain, here are my top 10 tips for surviving rain on your wedding day:

1 – Create a Wet Wedding Weather Plan

A wide angle view of the chairs set up for a wedding ceremony protected under a white tent.
This wedding planner for this spring wedding anticipated rain and wind. A space heater and plastic covers over the exposed sides of the ceremony area make for a higher level of guest comfort. Photo by Anne Stephenson.

Weather in most states swings from sunny to rainy in a heartbeat.

For this reason, if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, consider an alternate location. You may also find the outdoor ceremony/indoor reception combo works well as most times you can simply move your ceremony indoors.

Discuss your options, including portable heaters (if it’s chilly) or fans (if it’s warmer and humid) with your venue manager. Alternatively, find a tent rental company at the ready and confirm the week of the wedding for setup.

2 – Talk to Your Photographer

Wedding party in yellow and gray stand in front of the temple's gold doors underneath the protection of the temple alcove.
For this rainy day, we took advantage of the Temple’s overhang that made the perfect cover for the wedding party photographs.
Due to the shallow depth of the space, I frequently needed to shoot out in the rain. A good raincoat, bonnet cover for your camera, and ideally an assistant with an umbrella (or a kind soul) all help!

Ask your photographer if they have ever photographed a wedding in the rain. Find out if they have any ideas on how to make it fun and safe. Go through your vendor suggestions and discuss Plan B should you face a downpour. You will want backup locations large enough to accommodate group photos.

3 – Stay Informed of the Forecast

Intensely blue and gray storm clouds.
Keep tabs on storms with apps like WeatherBug and Dark Sky available on your cell phone or through Alexa.
Photo by Anne Stephenson.

Be prepared! Apps on your phone, Alexa, IFTT–there are many ways to keep an eye on the forecast these days. Staying in the know ahead of time will give you a chance to think ahead and make arrangements.

For example, perhaps your driver can pick you up straight away at the door vs. your walking to the car. Consider changing into your dress at the venue vs. wearing it right away. Be smart and think ahead.

4 – Look for Covered Outdoor Areas

A bride and groom laugh under the chuppah during a Jewish wedding.
The rain did not dampen the spirits of this couple marrying in a traditional Jewish ceremony in Chautauqua Park, Boulder. When a sudden wind and rainstorm blew in, the wedding party moved to the side of the nearby building, which had been discussed and arranged as Plan B during the planning process. Photo by Anne Stephenson.

Many wedding venues feature covered areas. Consider gazebos, overhangs, canopies, or even the inside of front doors. If it’s misting rain, it may even be relatively dry underneath trees in a heavily wooded area.

5 – Bring an Alternative Pair of Footwear

Close up of the maid of honor tying the laces on the bride's unconventional bright yellow Chuck Taylor sneakers.
A pair of bright yellow Chuck Taylor’s makes a fashion statement at a wedding.

Rather than ruining your new white shoes, take along a pair of Converse or rubber Wellies to wear. Even if it clears, the ground may be soggy. If your gown is long, you can hide these unconventional shoe choices underneath. Or, you can show them off for some fun photos.

6 – Use Heel Protectors

This tip applies whether it rains or not. Keep your heels from sinking into the grass with plastic protectors. Slip them on and off as needed.

7 – Keep Umbrellas (And Blankets) On Hand

A large tin bucket decorated for a wedding holds blankets to keep guests warm during rainy day wedding photos.
Keep guests comfortable in cold, rainy weather with blankets. If it’s warmer and humid, consider handing out fans.

Be sure to also throw in a few Disposable Rain Ponchos for Adults and towels for you and your guests.

Matching umbrellas to your wedding color scheme makes great accessories for group photos. However, you will want to default to a white or clear umbrella for the majority of your photos. Colored umbrellas tend to reflect back onto skin tones.

My favorite umbrella that I keep with me on wedding days is a Clear Bubble Umbrella. As the saying goes, “If you bring an umbrella it won’t rain.”

8 – Check Vendor Policies for Rain

A wedding floral display on the ground at the front of the ceremony includes colors of navy, blue and white.
Check with your florist to see how rainy or damp weather can impact your floral arrangements. Also, if you are responsible for any damage to rented vases or urns if wind and weather strike.

Read the fine print on your contracts and ask questions. Will your musical trio still perform in rain? Should the vases get damaged in a storm, will your florist charge you? Know your responsibilities in advance to be sure.

9 – Stash an Emergency Beauty Kit

A bride receives help from the artistry of her friend in applying her makeup.
With the help of her friend, a bride touches up her eye makeup.

This may seem obvious, but remember that damp locks and makeup will require you to touch up.

Make your own beauty emergency kit including a towel, comb, brush, hair spray, and makeup.

10 – Wear a Smile Inside and Out

A sudden Boulder rain and windstorm catches this wedding party off guard during their photo session.
Weather can change in mere seconds in Colorado. This is one of my favorite wedding photographs. As the wind and rain take over, notice how the bride looks calm and centered. Photo by Anne Stephenson taken in Chautauqua Park, Boulder, Colorado.

The most important tip for surviving rain is to sport a positive attitude. If you have a smile, so will your guests.

Rather than seeing rain as a damper on your wedding day, think of it as an adventure. Have your private moment of frustration and get on with having fun.

Happiness, as they say, is contagious and even if your guests get a little damp, they will likely follow suit and your lead.

This post is not sponsored, but you will find affiliate links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change, but I may make a small commission based on your purchase.

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