What to do if it rains on your wedding day

Your wet weather wedding tips.

Even in sunny Queensland, it can rain on your wedding day!  In Brisbane, where we get more sun than rain, it is good to have a wet weather backup plan in place, just incase it rains on your wedding day.

I know you imagine your big day with blue skies and the sun shining, we are in the sunny state after all. Don’t be too upset if it does rain, the light on overcast days creates amazing photos. After the rain, the colours are vibrant, leaves are glossy and rich. Plus the stormy rain clouds can make for some dramatic images. And besides, you have been planning your special day for so long, that you don’t want to let a silly little bit of rain spoil the one day you marry your sweetheart.




As wedding photographers, we have to be prepared to shoot in all weather conditions, and that includes rain and wet weather conditions on wedding days.

I always like to look on the bright side. And well theren’t isn’t really anything you can do about the weather, so let’s embrace the rain. Afterall you only have one wedding day and what is important, is that you are getting married!




There are a few little tips that can help you prepare for if it rains on your wedding day.


Wet Weather Wedding Tips & Planning for a Rainy Wedding Day!


Wet Weather Backup Ceremony Venue.

Have a wet weather backup ceremony venue. Many venues that have outdoor ceremony gardens, usually have an undercover or indoor wet weather backup, possibly a gazebo or even an onsite chapel. Simply discuss this with your wedding venue in advance to find out what their wet weather backup option is.

If the ceremony venue doesn’t have an indoor or undercover backup, then look for some alternative options nearby. Possibly your reception venue has an area you can utilise or they can swap over your reception room after the ceremony. Other ideas for inside ceremony spaces might be:

  • the local community hall – Samsonvale Hall in Samford or Brookfield Hall
  • an art gallery space – GOMA and The Queensland State Library have spaces available for weddings
  • warehouse spaces such as Vieille Branche and The High Church in inner city Brisbane are available for hire as event spaces for ceremonies and receptions.
  • chapels – Latrobe Chapel in Paddington, Broadway Chapel in Woolloongabba or The Little White Chapel in Maleny
  • or you can always hire a marquee or tipi to setup in your space

All the above would make suitable options as your Plan B.

Brisbane venues such as Lightspace, Mirra and Vieille Branche can swap out their indoor ceremony space for your evening reception.

Gabbinbar Homestead in Toowoomba has several ceremony options; the outdoor garden ceremony area, the Pavillion which is a large covered gazebo without sides so you still get the feel of being outdoors in the garden, as well as the Ballroom or Conservatory.

While you will have to pay to reserve a backup wet weather venue, it’s worth having that peace of mind.




Or you could always stick with your original plans for an outdoor ceremony and just pop up the umbrellas …




We just suck it up and go out into the rain and create beautiful wedding photos with our umbrellas. The misty weather actually creates a backdrop for beautiful romantic photos. The last thing you want, is to let the bad weather play a part in ruining your wedding day!

As your wedding photographer, I have at all times in the boot of my car and on hand ready to go, a bunch of clear umbrellas for my couple and the bridal party. I prefer the clear umbrellas as they help let in light from above to avoid dark eyes and faces, I avoid black umbrellas for that reason.




Finding Shelter.

I can also place the couple and bridal party underneath an overhang, awning, or some sort of overhead cover to keep them dry. Then I step out into the rain and shoot back towards the couple standing under cover keeping dry. That way not all your wedding photos have to include umbrellas. The advantage of hiring a professional photographer, is that our professional cameras are built with weather-seals making them weather proof and more capable of handling wet weather than consumer camera gear.


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Second Pair of Shoes.

If we will be romping around in a field or paddock of long grass for the bridal portraits and location shoot with the bridal party, then throw in another set of shoes or gumboots, to keep your fancy wedding shoes from getting wet and preserve them for the evening celebrations.


Don’t Panic.

More often than not, I find that it only ends up being a light drizzle of rain and falls in batches, so there is often a break in the rain to head out for photos.

For a number of weddings, in the morning it has looked like it was about to pour raining, but by the time the ceremony came around, the rain had stopped and even the sun was shining. That’s why I never listen to weather reports leading up to the wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have a wet weather backup plan ready to go if you need it, but for so many weddings I have photographed, the backup venue wasn’t required. That’s why I don’t have too many wedding photos in the rain in my portfolio.


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A Professional Wedding Photographer is worth their weight in gold.

Maybe I am bias, but a professional wedding photographer is worth their weight in gold on a wet wedding day. Years of experience and knowledge will really pay off in stressful situations such as a rainy wedding day. An inexperienced photographer just starting out, and especially your friend with the big fancy camera, will struggling in the bad conditions to produce quality photos. There are technical challenges that come with weddings, especially wet weddings in low light conditions, that an inexperienced photographer would struggle with. But a professional that shoots weddings week-in, week-out, is familiar with the running of a wedding day and what to expect when, but easily can adapt to changes and stressful situations, that when throwing on top some wet weather, can handle with ease.




While our professional cameras are weather resistant to a point, they can’t withstand heavy amounts of rainfall over a period. The camera and lenses can get wet and still function, but there is a point where the camera and lenses take on too much water and will start to malfunction, if not stop working altogether. Not a situation I want to be in on a wedding day! Now, of course, this is just one of many reasons why I have back-up camera gear, but the better solution is to find an alternative location for the wedding photos.

In the case of heavy or torrential rain, then it is best to find alternative locations where their is more shelter or an inside venue. Possibly the hotel foyer of where you got ready or the reception venue. Bridges create shelter underneath, creating good options for wet weather and I have certainly made use of the bridges in South Brisbane and West End here in Brisbane.




Great news, there’s a stack more tips from where this article came from!
In fact an entire library of resources for planning your wedding.
Consider it your personal e-library. Grab a cuppa or a wine and dive on in.
Get reading …

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