How to Rock a Rainy Day Wedding

Rain on the wedding day can translate into disaster for many brides. As wedding photographers, we must not only be prepared for inclement weather but we must also embrace it. Doing this in a creative and decisive manner can not only simmer anxiety for the bride and groom on their wedding day, but it can also produce incredible imagery for your clients.


This is rule number one. When it rains, don’t dodge the drops but rather show them off. If it rains on a wedding day, show that it did.


If rain is expected, have a game plan for both rain and shine. A plan will prevent you from having to make last minute, uncertain decisions. Having two plans will set the expectations for your clients, allowing them to enjoy their day and enable you to put all your brainpower into being creative. Map out where you are planning to shoot group formals and where you may take just the bride & groom. It is easier to move through the rain with just two people rather than the entire bridal party. Knowing your locations and having a plan will certainly calm your bride and ensure her confidence in you.


Talk through plans with everyone: your clients, wedding coordinator, musicians, officiant, etc. This enables a smooth workflow for everyone. Rain can cause wrinkles in timelines and put all those involved into a tizzy. Help diffuse stress and uncertainty with a cohesive photo plan and then be sure to communicate it.


Find indoor and outdoor locations. Use the lobby area of a venue to create a romantic vignette. Seek out alternative spaces and rooms you may have otherwise overlooked. Stairways, doorways and windows can become unique (and dry) settings to show-off venues that the bride and groom so carefully selected. Embrace awnings, doorways, windows and overhangs. Then, do what you can to get them outside!


Get your bride and groom excited for the weather to be wet without it raining on their parade. Cute rubber boots, raincoats and umbrellas can all be fantastic props to prove they didn’t let a few raindrops ruin their day. Rather than sharing an umbrella, give each the bride and the groom their own. This will offer them a little more peace of mind as well as prevent anyone from being blamed for the other’s wet shoulders. Bring plenty of umbrellas for the entire bridal party. A colored umbrella can add a great pop and focal point to an image. Talk to the bride days before the wedding to excite her about the potential idea of rainy day props!


Have an assistant hold an umbrella while you focus on shooting. Wear a raincoat and boots. Then, ditch your shoot sac and bring just your camera. Having one camera and nothing else to carry allows you to focus on getting the shot and working quickly. 


This may seem obvious but asking permission to go outside from your bride and groom is important. Even if you have already set expectations ahead of time of what the plan is in case it rains, getting consent from your clients on their wedding day will confirm that they are still up for ‘getting a little wet’. Walking outdoors when it’s raining may seem like a good idea on paper, but when faced with the challenge, a bride or groom may quickly change their mind. Move quickly through the shoot with your client’s wellbeing at heart and check in frequently to make sure your bride and groom are still game for braving the storm. Remember to thank family members and the bridal party involved as well. They too invested money and time into this day and thanking them for going the extra mile will be much appreciated.


Be creative with light and if it’s your last few minutes at the wedding, don’t be afraid to get a little wet yourself for the sake of a shot. Backlighting rain at night with video light while slowing down your shutter creates movement in your images and really shows off the rain. This last image of the night can complete a series of remarkable photos so be sure to capture this romantic evening shot before packing up to go home. Your clients will thank you!

Remembering these few simple tips on your next rainy wedding will not only wow your clients but will make you their wedding day super hero…followed by plenty of referrals, of course.

2 Responses to “How to Rock a Rainy Day Wedding”

  1. William says:

    I know it is hard to believe, but here in Bristol on the South West coast of England, I have never had to shoot in the rain. on the rare occasions we have had rain on the day of a wedding it always brightens up later for the photos. At some point my luck will run out and it will rain, your piece on “How to Rock a Rainy Day Wedding” is really good and helpful. :-)

  2. Brandy says:

    Not even facing a rainy day wedding at the moment, but I read this and felt a release of tension for that future day of dread. “Rain is ok. There is a way to make awesome pictures on a rain day. See, somebody just wrote it out in black and white!” Really very common sense type advise here, but shared with a very reassuring sense of confidence and experience.

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