It’s been raining A LOT this wedding season. I don’t have the weather stats in my hand, but it sure feels like we’ve had more rainy weekends this summer than not. At the beginning of the season, there was one particular bout of weather that really took all of us by surprise. Remember that freezing cold, windy, rainy Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend??
That day I had the opportunity to photograph the wedding of two incredible people at Mountain Lakes House in Princeton, NJ. Hannah and Elliott are not just adorable in every way, but the kindest souls you can imagine. I was so delighted to work with them.
We were in touch about the details and timeline of events for their wedding over the course of the days and weeks beforehand, but as the days got much closer we noticed the weather forecast getting more grim by the hour. Two days before the wedding I got the last details email from Hannah, and a question from her that broke my heart a little:
“The forecast is horrible for Saturday, we’re both really bummed out about it, do you have any strategies for still getting to use the grounds even with rain or mud?”
I really felt for Hannah & Elliott, and I wanted them to have the best day possible, but good weather did not seem to be in the cards. I also knew we would be just fine with careful planning. I can rely on my 20+ years in wedding work and my own experience of plenty of rain on my own wedding day to understand how it feels to be the couple in that situation, but also how to make the most of it.
Here’s some of my best advice for bad weather wedding days that I shared with Hannah. I hope you never have to use it, because you’re going to have 100% perfectly blue skies on your wedding day! But if you don’t, you’ll know just what to do.
1. Touch base with your planner (and photographer!) early and often to make sure you have a solid Plan B for each part of the day if you are getting married outside. That means an alternate space for the cocktail hour, ceremony and reception. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect if the worst weather happens and having a plan will alleviate some of the stress.
2. Photos with umbrellas and rain/snow boots are the cutest! This is a fact. So go ahead and buy the cutest weather-proof footwear and any attire you might need to be comfortable for a couple of minutes outside. If you are up for adventure, I will most definitely ask you to go outside with me to capture a moment together. It will probably bring a smile to your face to look back on those photos of you in the rain or snow and remember just how the day looked and felt.
3. Moment of zen. We can control a lot of things, but we cannot control the weather. My advice: just roll with it. Try to let it go and think about all the people gathered around you that love you so much! They are all on your side and rooting for you to have a great day no matter what.
4. Even an awful weather forecast usually has some breaks in it. I will keep a close eye on things so that if we have a moment to grab photos in between rounds of rain, we can take advantage of it.
Hannah and Elliott shared with me that my last minute advice really helped soothe their nerves. I love looking back at these images and thinking about how Hannah took my advice to heart. We had a great Plan B, we had umbrellas and covered places to take photos when we needed to. Hannah had the most adorable blue Crocs, and we had an adventure walking around the gorgeous Mountain Lakes House environs in the mist and the rain capturing the most romantic and fun images. That’s a perfect wedding day in my book! Much love and the biggest mazel tov to Hannah and Elliott!