A Wedding Photographer’s Perspective
This is my 9th season shooting weddings, and the most tried and true piece of advice I can EVER give a couple is to not worry about rain, thunderstorms or snow on the forecast.
Now that my own wedding is a week and a half away, I can safely say
EASIER. SAID. THAN. DONE.
I totally get it! You’ve poured (no pun intended) so much time, effort, money, not to mention hopes and dreams into this one-day, once in a lifetime, epic commitment to the love of your life!
Thunderstorms on the forecast can definitely put a damper on whatever sense of ease you may have been trying to muster after so much planning.
I’d be lying if I said that seeing this forecasted for my wedding day didn’t make my stomach turn :
But then I had to just shake my head, close my eyes, and remember
one) Forecasts can change!!!
We all know that forecasting is rarely accurate, and that there’s no point worrying about it ahead of time. I could look at this tomorrow and there’d be a big sun sitting there, which wouldn’t make me extremely comfortable either.
See my next point for why!
two) Cloudy, rainy-day light is effing MAGICAL for photos.
The most incredible tones and beautiful even lighting always occurs on days when rain or storms are predicted.
I would say almost all of the most gorgeous weddings I’ve ever shot have been on days where it storms, at least for a little while.
The truth is that wedding days aren’t typically designed around the best light for photos, they’re designed with the purpose of fitting lots of important events into a timeline. As far as photos go- portraits are often taken in hot, harsh light that can be tough to work with and uncomfortable to be photographed in.
Why are cloudy, rainy days so perfect for light?
Imagine that clouds are one giant soft box/diffuser for that big light source we call the sun. It gives you perfect even light with no squinty eyes, no crazy color casts from clothing, foliage or the sky itself, and no blown-out highlights where the sun hits vs. dark shadows where it’s not.
While I know photos are the way to preserve the day in your memory and are extremely important to most people (including myself … cough cough BIASED), they aren’t the only important thing.
It still worries a lot of folks that a storm will disrupt the vision of how they saw their wedding going, which brings me to my next couple points :
three) Your Guests Won’t Mind
Everyone knows you can’t predict the weather, especially when you make plans so far out!
Your guests are ultimately there to celebrate with you – rain or shine!
Rainy days tend to be cooler and more comfortable. They’re easier on the eyes and the body. Out of all the weddings I’ve been to- the most agitated guests seem to be the ones who are sweating in bright hot sunlight, not those who are under umbrellas in a drizzle.
Bonus: Even if your guests get rained or snowed on a little- the camaraderie, the humor, and/or dramatic feel of weathering the storm with a couple who’s making a major life commitment to one another can ultimately add to the experience for guests instead of take away from it.
Not to mention – free booze at the reception is basically the duct tape that holds it all together without fail.
four) Look at the big picture…
At the end of the day- no matter what happens with the silly weather – you will be married to the love of your life.
Think about all of the proverbial “storms” you’ve already weathered throughout your life, the ones that gave you grit and character and made you into the person that your partner/future husband or wife fell in love with. We aren’t shaped by the perfect, and your wedding day doesn’t need to be either.
A little rain, snow, hail, whatever is not going to change the fact that you two are in love, and that this one day neither defines your past OR your future together. Only you two can do that!
So, if your wedding day is rainy and crazy and stormy- embrace it! You’re getting freaking married!!!!! And that’s something to celebrate, no matter how much precipitation happens to fall.
Now check out some more photos taken on stormy days to lift your spirits, and maybe even have you crossing your fingers for a little sprinkle on your big day!