When most couples picture their wedding day, they think of blue skies, a warm breeze in the open air and rays of sunshine caressing the face of their loved one as they say “I do”. However the reality of our Canadian weather is that sometimes, about 10% of the time in my experience, the clouds swoop in and rain on your long planned wedding day. Of course rain does not need to ruin your special day or dampen your spirits. In this post we dare explore the benefits of rain on your wedding day and provide valuable photography tips for dealing with and shooting in the rain. There are many reasons to welcome rain on your wedding day especially if you are prepared to do so.
First, cheer up! Rain in many cultures is considered to bring good luck as a symbol of fertility and cleansing. Lucky you! That may be far fetched for some at first glance but many of the benefits which rain provides are immediately visible on your wedding day.
Rain looks amazing in photos because colours during and after the rain burst with vivid vibrancy. Light cutting through rain clouds looks magical and majestic. Puddles reflect light adding texture to each of your images. Your flowers and nature around you look fresh and full of life. The even light bathes the faces of your loved ones reducing any harsh shadows which are often impossible to remove during a bright and sunny day. Personally I prefer shooting on a cloudy or slightly rainy day to shooting in full harsh sunny conditions. It’s true – some of my best images have been shot on cloudy or rainy days!
Your wedding day will also feel more romantic for all. It’s not just the photos which will benefit from a touch of rain. People have a tendency to snuggle up close during rain. Less than ideal weather makes people feel more connected and more attentive to the needs of others around them. A romantic rainy day wedding is somehow unforgettable by your guests who have an excuse to cuddle up close to their loved ones. Think back. Some of the best epic stories you remember were created in the rain and not on perfect sunny days. The most romantic kissing scenes in films? Yep they are always in the rain!
Although rain can be a good addition to your day, a lack of preparation for the rain, can sadly ruin everything. Just in time for the fall / winter wedding season, below are my top tips for making sure that any rain on your wedding day is a relative pleasure to deal with.
First, a positive attitude is needed by you and everyone around you. I get it, after months or years of planning every detail it may seem unfair that the weather does not cooperate. Decide now that a little bit of rain, even on your dress or suite, is ok! Think of the many above positives which the rain can bring and know that you have done everything you can to prepare for the possibility of rain as per my tips below.
Next, make sure you “rain proof” your reception and ceremony locations. Most receptions are indoors making this step relatively easy. Outdoor ceremonies always need a contingency plan ranging from a tent, a second indoor location option or at the very least umbrellas for you and your guests which can also be used for shade if the weather is sunny.
Finally, its a very good idea, especially in the fall months which are more prone to rain, to make sure that any wedding photography location provides an indoor or covered option. The best locations are those which provide plenty of opportunity for both outdoor and indoor photography. This way, if there is no rain, you can shoot outdoors or during a downpour stay indoors at the same location.
Some drizzle and minor amounts of rain are the most exciting options. In this case I strongly suggest shooting outdoors at your photography venue with a clear or white umbrella. I have found much success with this setup. Professional photography gear can handle light rain with little problems.
Most importantly, although today’s wedding dresses my look delicate they to can handle light rain, moisture and yes even a little dirt without any issues. In my experience a dump dress dries quickly when back indoors and comes clean when washed.
To make sure I minimize any dirt on the bottom of the dress during a rainy photo session I recently started using a clear plastic shower curtain liner under the dress when shooting my couples. The credit for this great tip goes to one of my brides, Jenna, who came up with this brilliant idea during her amazing rainy day wedding session. Thank you Jenna!
Photography venues which feature the desired outdoor and indoor shooting locations are rare and aren’t free to use. A permit is always required for such a location unless of course the location happens to be your reception or ceremony venue. Lucky you!
If your venue lacks such indoor and outdoor spaces, below you can find a list of recommended photography locations to fullproof your Rainy Wedding Day in Toronto.
- Allan Gardens 160 Gerrard St E, Toronto. Six indoor gardens amazing for fall and winter sessions. Cost of the permit 470 + HST for 2 hrs. Great location with a lot of greenery, warm and has plenty of natural light.
- University of Toronto if you love architecture, the UofT is a place to do your wedding session. Knox College, St. George Campus, Trinity College these are the places where we can create amazing indoor and outdoor photos. Permit required: $130 (HST included) per hour.
- ROM. If you love art, dinosaurs and geometrical architecture this is a place to go. Permit required.
- Centennial Park Greenhouse, 5 Elmcrest Road Etobicoke. Three greenhouses with beautiful plant collections. The main greenhouses includes 200 different varieties of tropical plants that bloom year-round! Permit required.
- Casa Loma, Toronto’s majestic castle which has amazing indoor options like the library or the greenhouse with a lot of natural light. Photo permit required: $680 for 1.5hrs.
- Evergreen Brickworks. 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto. It offers both green and industrial indoor and extensive outdoor options for your sessions making it useful regardless of the weather. Permit required. Cost of the permit: $350 (tax included) for a maximum 2 hours. Permit allows access to take photos throughout the exterior of the site, including the Frances and Tim Price Terrace, the Pavilions, and Koerner Gardens.
I sincerely believe that with the right attitude and my above tips your rainy wedding day will not be a washout disaster. Instead, it will be a wonderful romantic story full of emotions and magical moments which you will remember forever. I hope to be there with you capturing your special day while getting slightly soggy.