The question of ‘what do we do if it rains?’ is always important when planning an outdoor summer wedding. Many couples make backup plans for their ceremony to move indoors, or the reception and dance floor to be under a tent, but don’t quite get around to creating a fail-safe photography plan in case of rain. Light is the most important tool for your photographer to create beautiful images, so it’s important to consider your options in advance to make sure the backup rain option isn’t the windowless bridal suite in the basement, or spare room in the event hall with overhead pot lights that can’t be turned off. If you’re at all unsure, make time to chat with your photographer. Ask about what they need to create the photographs you’re looking for, and maybe arrange a time to go look at the space together or send them photographs of different areas available to you.
Look at The Available Indoor Space
Most venues have indoor space available to use for photographs. It’s important to take a look at these spaces in advance however to make sure they have enough light for the photographer to work with, are big enough to fit the largest family photo you want captured, and have enough ‘clean’ floor and wall space available for your photographer to work with.
It’s also important to consider what else the indoor spaces will be used for in the event of a rainy day. Make sure the spaces you’re considering won’t be used for the cocktail hour, ceremony, or reception, as it’s hard to take photographs surrounded by guests, chairs, or venue staff setting up for dinner.
Look at Other Indoor or Covered Space at Your Venue
If you’ve rented a large venue, there may be other spaces available on the property that will work for photographs if it’s raining. If it’s just lightly raining, a section of trees with thick foliage will do the trick, or look for other buildings, covered porches, overhanging roofs, barns, greenhouses etc. Sometime the best photographs come out of a rainy day when you have to shoot in locations that aren’t ‘typical’ for your venue. Just make sure to run it by your photographer so they can plan accordingly in advance.
Look for Indoor Space Close to Your Venue
Finally, if there aren’t many good options for indoor space available at your venue, consider planning in some extra time and traveling to a different location for some of your photographs. This can be anywhere, from the air B&B you’ve used earlier in the day to get ready, to a store or restaurant open to having your take photographs there, to a rented space such as another venue or photo studio.
If this seems like the best option, make sure to discuss with your photographer, and plan this in advance so you have plenty of time to contact the location and make sure you’re allowed to take photographs there, or to purchase the appropriate permits or rental time.
In the past I’ve photographed in the parents’ house, a plant shop and coffee shop across the street, a library, a separate venue and a nearby restaurant. Almost any location can be used to create fun photographs, and as long as you plan in advance there’s no reason to worry about what to do if it rains on your wedding day!