It’s a bride’s worst nightmare (especially if you’re planning an outdoors ceremony)…you wake up on the morning of your wedding day and it’s pouring with rain/blowing a gale/insert bad weather description here.
Now obviously the weather is totally out of our control. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure you have a beautiful wedding day even in “bad” weather. Here are my top tips;
#1 Have a bad-weather backup ceremony location if you are planning an outside ceremony.
Think outside the square if you need to. If you are having a separate ceremony and reception venue (quite common here in Queenstown) and your ceremony venue doesn’t have enough room to move your ceremony indoors, check with your reception venue if they might be able to accommodate you. Or you could look at another location entirely, rent a marquee etc.
Keep in mind that outdoor ceremonies often have minimal set-up and therefore it IS often possible to relocate at fairly short notice.
Even if the weather ends up being better than forecast on your wedding day if it’s been looking dire all week and you don’t have a backup ceremony location it can you cause a HUGE amount of un-needed stress.
#2 Get your experienced wedding pros to help you make the dreaded weather call.
You have (hopefully) hired experienced local wedding pros to take care of the important parts of your wedding day. Obviously they probably know the area, your venue and it’s weather patterns well and may be prepared to step in and help you make the dreaded weather call (do we move to the bad weather backup ceremony location or is it “full speed ahead!” despite those thunderclouds on the horizon…).
This is one more way your trusted wedding pros can make the wedding experience less stressful for you.
#3 Set a deadline for your weather call and stick to it. And don’t second guess your decision no matter what.
If the forecast looks “questionable” set a time that you (or your wedding pros) are going to make the weather call and stick to it. And once you make the call commit to it. If you move the ceremony indoors and it ends up being fine, well it’s better safe than sorry sometimes. But consider erring (slightly) on the side of caution…
#4 Have a Plan B (and possibly C) for the other parts of your wedding day as well, not just the ceremony.
There are quite a few parts of your wedding day that will be affected by challenging weather conditions, it’s not just about the ceremony. You’ve got all the group, family and bridal party photos (the “formals” as American photographers like to call them) and the location photos, possibly the post-ceremony champagne and canapes, etc.
The best way to be prepared for bad weather during these parts of the days is to have a Plan B (and possibly C) and stay flexible and trust your photographer’s judgement and experience. For example, ok so you’ve planned some dramatic sunset mountain-top photos for your wedding day but it’s blowing a gale and the skies are flat and grey. If your photographer suggests you shoot at a different location (eg a beautiful – and sheltered – forest) instead, consider taking their advice.
#5 It’s all in your head.
For your wedding photographer one of the greatest challenges of getting weather they didn’t hope for on your wedding day is not actually dealing with the conditions, it’s changing your mindset so you can still see the beauty in the situation, even if the weather/light isn’t what they wanted.
Beauty is everywhere, we just have to open our eyes to it. Some of my favourite wedding photos were taken in “marginal” weather – strong winds, ominous thunderclouds, snowstorms etc. But if your photographer mopes around all day thinking “I really wanted blue skies for this wedding…” they are going to be so busy feeling sorry for themselves and moaning about the “bad weather” that they won’t see that amazing shot/beautiful light that is right in front of them…
#6 Be prepared.
No matter how beautiful your venue/location/you and your fella are and no matter how good your photographer is, if you’re freezing cold/roasting hot/totally wind-swept/starving hungry/dying of thirst chances are your wedding photos won’t look great.
Be prepared for the weather and being outdoors – bring something warm you can throw over your shoulders, even if it’s only in between photos, have some food and drink with you (it’s amazing how often the bride and groom/bridal party are starving for several hours on their wedding day, even though they are spending a fortune on food and booze!), bring insect repellent, sunscreen, whatever you might need if you were going for a hike/camping instead of getting married!
Or better yet, hire a photographer who will take care of all those details for you.
#7 If you can’t laugh about it you’ll probably cry.
Even the most relaxed and smallest of weddings usually have at least one moment of craziness where things just don’t go how you expected or planned.
It might be the weather, it could be a multitude of things. Often times these things (yes, despite all your planning) are out of your control. You’ve GOT to have a sense of humour on your wedding day or you will be one big bundle of stress.
Be prepared, have a Plan B and C, but if something doesn’t go your way and you can’t change it…let it out, laugh, and roll with the punches. It’s all any of us can do.
I hope these simple tips help you have a more relaxed, natural and fun wedding day.