What If It Rains On My Wedding!?

This is the #1 question, the biggest fear, we hear in the wedding industry. Rain. If you’re one of my midwest brides you know that the weather around here changes quicker than Kim K’s hair. So here is an emergency plan you can create to give you some peace of mind.

1. Prepare your portrait session.

So it’s the week of your wedding and they are calling for rain- call around and try to reserve an indoor location (there might be a fee). My personal favorites are conservatories/botanical gardens that still let natural light in. Belle Isle + Ann Arbor both have one. Call about their hours and reservations. Your portrait session photos are some of the most important, if not the most important, from your big day. Securing a pretty indoor location (WITH NATURAL LIGHT) will help a ton. You could even try renting a really fancy airbnb for portraits (and to get ready in?). Hopefully your venue has a good indoor spot. You don’t need much for a pretty location - our favorite locations are wide open rooms with window light. It doesn’t need to be crazy.

Chicago Wedding Photographer


2. Umbrellas and raincoats!

I try to keep umbrellas always packed in the car for wedding days. If anything, have a super large umbrella to tuck the bride & groom in for a few outdoor shots (you won’t see the umbrella). You can get umbrellas for the bridal party if you wanted. I would suggest investing in some raincoats (or garbage bags) so the bridal party won’t have raindrops covering their dresses while traveling.


3. Embrace the rain!

This is risky and not for everybody. Imagine how romantic it would be, at the end of the night, to have a rain pour session. Sure, your hair and makeup might be a bit messy in the end but imagine how romantic those photos would be. You could also just do some shots in the rain including the umbrella OR you could do some backlit flash rain shots, which tend to be a crowd favorite.


4.  Find a big window.

Photographers can make a lot of magic with a big window. Even a medium window. If nothing else, just find a window and we can make it work. The natural light is truly all we need to make some pretty, evenly lit photos.

5. Don’t let the rain affect your smile.

If you’re mad about the rain, it’s going to show up in every photo. This is your big day! It’s been said that rain on a wedding day actually brings good luck! You’re marrying your best friend, don’t let the rain dampen (lol) your mood and take the joy from your eyes.

6. Work around the rain.

It’s not often we have a constant downpour on a wedding day, although it has happened. See what time it’s supposed to rain, improvise the day of, and maybe go out for photos during a break in the storm. This might be tricky depending on time frames but if you need to make your ceremony run late or rework the reception schedule, it’s totally okay. This is YOUR day.

7. Flower Wall or Geometric Backdrop. 

I saw this on Pinterest last week and I’m obsessed. If you can find an open room, preferably bright, you can set up your own little photo station for bridal portraits. These hanging flowers (you can DIY) provide color AND different angles you can work with. This would be a great idea for the reception area as a photobooth, but we could use it for the portrait session as well. Two for one! I have a board on Pinterest dedicated to these types of backdrops so you can see some examples. 

Rain is inevitable. Although not ideal, it isn’t AS bad as you might think. Sure it causes some hiccups but it will still be a beautiful, cozy day. Just plan ahead and leave a bit of extra time for improvising!


photos by : Autumn Thornsberry + Nick Najduk