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How to Handle Bad Weather on Your Wedding Day

Apr 24

Weather is the one thing that no bride & groom can control about their wedding.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can go wrong, from rain and hail, to freezing temperatures and snow, to strong winds, dust and extreme heat. On most days of the year, the weather isn’t perfect, and that fact doesn’t change just because it’s your wedding day.

Sure, you can choose a date in the Spring or Fall and hope for ideal 70 degree, sunny weather that can come with those seasons, but there’s no guarantee.

But don’t worry! With the right attitude and a little preparation, there’s no need to stress about the weather, and you’ll have beautiful photos that reflect your unique wedding day!

Keep an open mind

While it can be tempting to check your weather app once an hour for weeks before your wedding day, resist the urge!

Each weather source will have different information, which could drive you crazy! It’s hard for forecasts to predict anything accurately until a day or two ahead of time.

Trust your photographer’s locations ideas

If there was a strong chance of rain before an engagement or bridal portrait session, we could just reschedule. Of course, this isn’t possible for your wedding. But if the weather isn’t ideal, don’t panic! Your photographer will make adjustments to their plan to ensure you’ll still have beautiful photos!

Regardless of the weather, your photographer will have many ideas (and backup ideas) of where to take photos at your venue, particularly for portraits. Even if the temperature is fine and it’s not raining, they may choose different locations based on the amount of sun. For example, clouds in the middle of the day may make it possible to use an area of your venue that we wouldn’t want to use in mid-day, bright sun.

Let your photographer use their knowledge of light and composition to choose locations that will be best in the weather conditions of the day.

This may include standing under a porch or using a wall to block strong wind. Every wedding day is different, which means that portraits at every wedding – even at the same venue – may be taken in different places.

Lauren Garrison Photography

It was FREEZING during this wedding, but look at Kayla and her bridesmaids rocking sleeveless dresses during the outdoor ceremony! Your mindset is a huge factor.

Don’t be scared to go outside

Unless the weather makes it actually dangerous to be outside, don’t be afraid to get out there and brave the conditions for a little while!

Choose to see the unplanned experiences as adventures and fun memories instead of annoying hassles.

If it’s really hot or really cold, face the temperatures for 10-15 minutes at a time. Enjoy the craziness of it all, and know that the indoors will feel amazing again soon.

Your photographer (and everyone else) will do everything possible to make sure you don’t get your clothes dirty or too wet and that your hair & makeup stays looking nice. Even if you need to move your outdoor ceremony inside or need to cut portrait time short, you’ll still have beautiful photos of your wedding.

Your vendors will roll with the punches, I promise!

It poured down rain before Jenny & Blake’s ceremony, but look at this beautiful sunset that showed up afterward. You never know what will happen!

 

Look on the bright side (literally)

Remember that the weather is out of your control, but what you CAN control is your outlook on it. Set your expectations reasonably and stay optimistic. If weather causes something to go wrong, remember that no wedding is perfect, despite what you see on the internet. It can NOT ruin the day.

Although really bad weather has been rare, I’ve been a part of weddings with a tornado nearby, where the venue flooded, and where intense wind almost knocked everyone to the ground. These weddings all had something in common… the wedding went on, and I’m proud of the photos we created despite the circumstances!

If the outdoor ceremony you’ve been planning for months gets moved indoors an hour before the ceremony begins, take a minute (and I mean ONE minute) to mourn the fact that this small part of the day won’t happen the way you dreamed, and then move on. Tell yourself “well, that sucks”, and then keep the day going. You’ll enjoy your wedding so much more if you go with the flow.

 

More ways to prepare for bad weather:

  • Have a backup plan for your outdoor ceremony or reception, whether that means moving indoors, using tents, or getting creative with your venue’s spaces.
  • Bring clear umbrellas… two or enough for your whole wedding party!
  • If possible, arrive at the venue earlier than planned to allow time for the weather to slow everything down.
  • Ask your hair & makeup artists for water-resistant makeup and for tips on retouching your look. Hair spray and bobby pins may be a lifesaver!
  • Bring towels and rain boots.
  • Add a warm shawl or jacket to your outfit.
  • Rent outdoor space heaters.
  • For cold weather – Buy inexpensive blankets for your guests. For hot weather – Buy paper fans for your guests. For Rain – Buy a few inexpensive umbrellas for anyone who forgot one.
  • Talk to your coordinator about who will handle last minute changes to the timeline or decor. That person should not be YOU!

 

I hope this was helpful! If you’re curious about other topics, let me know. I may write about it on the blog next!

 

Read more tips for brides & grooms >

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