This time last year my biggest worry was “What if it rains at the weekend!”. That's because exactly 12 months ago we had 6 weddings to cover in the week.
There are of course many worries in the run up to a wedding - what if the Bride or Groom change their mind moments before the ceremony or what if a bitter ex shows up fuelled with booze and 5000 stories of that time you went to Amsterdam! What if the venue catches fire the night before and what if Scarlett Johansson finally gets one of the 248 love letters you sent her and agrees to fly you to LA and marry you on Santa Monica Beach.......... There are SO many possibilities BUT the most realistic and possibly the most common worry is that it may rain! From experience I can safely say that if it does rain on your wedding day, there is no stress. It doesn’t affect the day and everything will still happen the way you planned and more than likely at some point you will be able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, along with some photographs. I have photographed hundreds of weddings in the rain and we have managed to capture some stunning images. For sure the hardest part of wedding photography in the rain are the group shots. Depending on which venue you have chosen we may be able to take the images indoors. If not we can wait and see if there is a break in the rain, or worst case scenario can do them straight after the ceremony in situ.
I have found that the best shots we have got in wet weather are with couples who understand that their garments may get a little damp and the bottom of that £2500 designer wedding dress may get a little dirty. It may even end up with a few wet leaves stuck to it! It's nothing that won’t clean up when you get it dry cleaned before putting it in a vacuum bag and stuffing it in the loft for the next 60 years! So, if you are brave enough to get a little damp then you will need a nice umbrella. I would advise all couples to invest in a show brolly. If your wedding is in January or July, lets not forget that we live in England and it could rain at any moment! Like most wedding photographers, we will carry umbrellas and each of our vans have a stash of Keyhole branded brollies. These are great for keeping all of our kit dry and helping guests to and from locations. However, for the Bride and Groom you need a special umbrella. There are many on the market ranging in price but for around £20 there are some fabulous options. In terms of photography you want something thats not overly intrusive, so lets rule out those super cool Formula 1 brollies, or those frog and lady bird shaped ones. We are looking for something white, clear, or of a pastel shade. As well as looking good it needs to be big enough for a couple, there are also some umbrellas that are not waterproof…... I know right! One option is this standard white brolly from Jolly Brolly with a lovely wood effect handle. This photographs very well whilst providing shelter for you both.
Etsy offer these personalised umbrellas which are a great idea however they don't photograph as well as you may think. Personally, I don't like the idea of having a branded umbrella for Bride and Groom in the wedding photographs. Plus the style isn’t as nice as some alternatives. However, these are super cool and I would likely get a few for the bridal party and guests. After all, they would make a super keepsake after the wedding!
Etsy also offer this heart shaped brolly which photographs superbly. It's unusual shape provides photographic opportunities that we can really work with, whilst the ivory colour provides a break from grey skies and helps to create depth in the images. However, the unusual shape does mean you may end up with wet shoulders, but those stunning shots will be worth it!
Now for the non waterproof option which is perfect for those of you who want to live dangerously! Amazon have a range of lace umbrellas and these do photograph extremely well. They allow a lot of light to pass through and have a texture which breaks the depth. However, they don't work with all dress designs. You can get some lace umbrellas which offer that all important waterproofing plus they are generally available in a selection of colour options.
In summary, despite the month you have chosen for your wedding, buy at least one ‘photo ready wedding umbrella’. If the budget allows, buy some extra ones which guests can use and maybe even take home as a souvenir.
Even though we have detailed some options here, there are also much cheaper options you can buy and these can be found in the likes of Home Bargains and B&M. These are excellent and can be purchased for a couple of pound, though we would still recommend a larger and individual umbrella for the bride and groom to be used specifically for the wedding photography.
Remember, although you plan for bad weather no matter what happens, the day will be incredible. Come rain or shine you will likely have the best day of your life and a little rain isnt going to spoil that!