How to Photograph A Rainy Wedding Day (And Do it WELL!)

November 7, 2017

Step One: Be Prepared

The first step in any situation is to over prepare ALWAYS. Do the prep work prior to a challenge, and your challenge won’t be so scary! We keep a kit that includes umbrellas and a few other items in our truck at all times because you never when weather can turn around surprise you. Worse comes to worst, you brought 10 umbrellas to a wedding and never had to use them!

Our Rainy Day Wedding Kit

1) Umbrellas: We recommend purchasing clear umbrellas for your rainy-day kit as they allow a little bit of light to filter through the top and don’t leave a strong color cast on your subject! You can purchase them off of amazon here: Clear Bubble Umbrellas. We would recommend having at least ten of the exact same ones for the entire bridal party so that everyone can have their own umbrella during bridal party portraits! This allows you to get incredibly creative with posing larger groups outside regardless of the weather!

2) Reflector: When you’re limited to photographing under cover or using window light as your primary source of soft, natural light, having a collapsable reflector is a game changing tool! It especially comes in handy for bride and groom portraits, and collapses down to a reasonable size for transportation!

3) Non-Abrasive Wipes: Raindrops can easily fall onto your lens when shooting in the rain and we keep these handy to clear off our lens whenever necessary! We keep a few in our camera bags at all times, rain or shine!

4) Extra Clothes: It also helps to keep ponchos or a spare rain jacket in your car as well and a change of clothes. We always have extra pairs of shoes in our trunk in case we need it and recommend doing the same! You never know when you’re going to get caught in a storm or trip and get mud all over yourself. It would be terrible to have to walk about the reception space all night in soaking wet shoes – talk about blister central!

5) Download the Dark Sky App: You have to download this app. It is so accurate and also works with your Apple Watch if you use one on wedding days like we do. It will warn you when rain is approaching which is great for cases where you have to change the timeline around last minute to get some portraits WITHOUT rain, or switch to having a first look! Seriously, it’s a life saver.

If you have any other preparedness suggestions, be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

Step Two: Find Good Indoor + Covered Outdoor Options

When it rains, you have to get a little more creative about where you photograph group portraits! Some signature spots: Porches, Covered Corridors, Sun-Rooms, and even Garages when you open up the doors! If you have the ability to scout out your location in advance this can be a huge help in your overall strategy. We love photographing weddings at locations in cities and on college campuses that have large covered pathways and corridors to photograph underneath because there are always great options for covered outdoor areas!

Covered Outdoor Options with Good Light May Include:

  • College Campuses: Covered Corridors, Open Libraries, and large spaces for group portraits.
  • Porches: Front Porches are always a good option for a protected space with natural light.
  • Garages: If you open Garage doors, it allows for a lot of natural light to filter in!
  • Public and Government Buildings: State Houses and Monuments (with the proper permits) are often covered and open for public use! Many of these buildings are also made with bright marble which acts as a natural reflector for beautiful, soft light!

Rooms with large windows are also fantastic as you can create that same sense of natural light indoors as well! We love a good hotel room window for an intimate bridal portrait and then finding a lobby for the bridal party if there are sufficient windows! Whenever we’re unfamiliar with a location and there is a significant chance of precipitation, we’ll arrive 10 minutes early to do a quick scout session!

Costola Photography Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Step Three: Stay Positive and Be Creative

One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is to have a positive attitude when the weather takes a turn for the worse! The bride and groom are already going to be stressed when they see storm clouds on the horizon and by embracing the situation with a positive, “how can we make this incredible” attitude, it helps to keep everyone calm!

We often tell our brides, “Don’t worry about the rain! If it rains, we will make that one of the most beautiful and iconic parts of your wedding day!” And we’ve found that rather than avoiding the issue all together, it’s best to step up and embrace it. Don’t run away from the rain, but look at it as a unique obstacle that presents a spectacular opportunity for image creation! There is so much you can do with rain, puddles, reflections, and the cozy stroll of a couple under a big umbrella! Rain is a part of that couple’s story… So use that to creatively inspire your work!

You can also tell your bride that if she gets a bridesmaid to put a jar out in the rain, that she can use the collected rain water to be blessed by her priest and used during their first babies Christening! Rain is amazing!


To Make A Long Story Short: Be Prepared, Find Good Cover, Stay Positive & Be Creative!

Rainy Day Weddings offer a unique opportunity to create beautiful images if you’re prepared and inspired! It also helps to have a couple that is up for anything… including a little stroll together under a big umbrella!

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about costola

meet andie

At home near the sea. Ever-focused on beauty and the thrilling art of creation; found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After 15 years of capturing couples and families during the most precious times of their lives, she can truly say that this is exactly where she is meant to be. When she isn't photographing weddings, Andie enjoys the outdoors alongside her husband, Tony and daughters, Ava & Audrey.



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