Monday, September 21, 2009

Making the Most out of a Rainy Wedding Day!

As summer fades to fall on much of the continent, brides-to-be will be nervously checking weather forecasts, booking backup locations, consulting their photographers, and preparing for what many brides consider to be their worst nightmare: RAIN. But FEAR NOT oh Brides, there is much to be had from a wedding day that finds itself surrounded by inclement weather! Read on to find out how you too can both prepare for and make the most of a Rainy Wedding Day!

Recently I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding for a creative and inspiring couple in Vancouver's Chinatown. It rained off and on throughout much of the shoot, but Denly & Jeff, as well as their Maid of Honour & Best Man, didn't let the classic Vancouver rains dampen their fun. Here are a few samples from their wedding that you might find helpful in planning your wedding day if rain is a good possibility...

While I couldn't find many interesting puddles without being sprayed by busy traffic, I did notice that the pavement had a beautiful black tone to it thanks to the fresh wash of rain. The gritty texture and rich contrast provided nice close-ups and the shimmer of water on asphalt created some lovely reflections on an otherwise dreary day.

Shooting downwards can also help to avoid rain drops on the lens as well as dull gray skies in the photos. Speaking of overcast skies, they are not all bad! Cloudy days that are still bright can provide great diffused lighting which eliminates harsh shadows (prevalent on sunny days, but there are ways to deal with that too!) and squinty eyes. Picking the right season, time of day, and locale can all help to avert sunburns and squinty eyes, which may be your best bet for photos if you're sensitive to the sun in any way.

One surefire way to punch up your photos and the spirit of the event on a rainy/sunless day is to inject bright, playful colours into your accessories, flowers, and decor. Want to step it up a notch to ensure a stunning result no matter what the weather? Opt for venues that showcase either vibrant seasonal palettes, (fall leaves, spring blossoms etc., though timing is not entirely predictable) rich architectural gems, or aesthetically-pleasing cultural spaces. Denly and Jeff chose Chinatown for their wedding ceremony and photo shoot (Ceremony photos to come...stay tuned!) and WOW do their photos ever pack a punch!

If you're wedding colours don't include electric hues and you're still wondering how to make sure your photos will still turn out great in the event of clouds and rain, request that more Black & White, Sepia or other monochromatic effects be applied to your images. You won't notice the colours OR lack thereof, and will instead be drawn to the timelessness of the style and obvious sentiment of the subject matter!

On the practical side of things, umbrellas of all sorts, shawls, gum boots and hats are practical props you can bring along in case of showers. If you're truly worried about heavy rains, scout out a few spots with awnings, porches, covered stairwells, trees with large canopies, and archways to allow for some cover should the heavens let loose. And if you're truly planning on cutting the cords on all tradition on your wedding day, run headlong into the rain and let your photographer capture a puddle-jumping experience to remember!