A happy couple outside during their fall Raleigh wedding after a rain storm by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Weddings | Rainy Wedding Prep

Rain…..Let’s be honest, it wasn’t what you had hoped for on your wedding day. As a Raleigh based wedding photographer, I have gotten that midnight email from a frantic bride asking me, “What can I do if there’s bad weather in the forecast on my wedding day?” I know rain sounds like news that no bride wants to hear, but let me just start off by telling you — rain doesn’t ruin your wedding day! You can do many things to prepare for rain on your wedding day. These are my personal tips for getting the best possible Raleigh wedding images despite less than perfect weather.

A happy bride playing in the rain during her Raleigh wedding bridal portrait session by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Weddings | Wedding Venue Rain Preparation

One of the most effective ways to prepare for rain if it rains at your wedding is to select the right venue from the start. While researching venues, search for locations that offer indoor ceremony options with natural light. Natural light is essential for glowing wedding images, especially on a day that might make you spend more time indoors. Look for venues that have large open windows, neutral walls, and access to covered areas outside that provide a natural ambiance while protecting from the elements.

Another item that is very important when it comes to the wedding ceremony or being indoors for long periods of time in general due to the weather – If you dislike the way the inside of the venue is decorated, dislike the color of the walls such as wood orange paneling, or don’t like how dark the indoor areas are, then you won’t want to move indoors if the weather forces you to. There’s no hiding the overall decor of a space in photos, and no hiding the lack of natural light for glowing wedding images.

A loving couple enjoying their first look at an indoor Raleigh wedding by JoLynn Photography

While wedding planning with the venue or wedding coordinator, understand indoor and outdoor options at your venue. Discuss what is plan “B” if the outdoor areas are not able to be utilized. Understand what outdoor covered areas are available for photography opportunities for items like couples portraits or bridal portraits. Venues with large covered porches, covered pavilions, gazebos, outdoor tends, and even thick canopy-like trees provide great protection while still being able to utilize the glowing outdoor elements in your wedding images.

A glowing bride enjoying her Raleigh wedding bridal portraits by JoLynn Photography
A blushing bride on her Raleigh wedding day enjoying her bridal portraits by JoLynn Photography

Raleigh Weddings | Rainy Day Wedding Timeline

A solid wedding timeline on any wedding day is important, but even more essential on a rainy Raleigh wedding day. Be sure that your wedding coordinator and wedding photographer are tracking a weather radar to understand when there is a break in the weather. Most times, when less than perfect weather hits, there are breaks in storms, and those breaks are what you want to be ready for. Even if it is just 10 minutes of little to no rain, you want to utilize every opportunity appropriately, as it will make all the difference in the world in your wedding images.

Soft glowing light will be limited, so I recommend prioritizing formal wedding images early in the day while there is still natural light across the day. If you wait too late in the day to begin your formal wedding images, you are minimizing your opportunity for potential breaks in the weather later in the evening. Typically I would recommend knocking out some of the formal wedding party images and/or formal family portraits before the ceremony. However, if the weather is limiting you, prioritize your formal couples portraits and bridal portraits before moving on to formal images with wedding members.

A stunning Asian bride on her Raleigh wedding day by JoLynn Photography

Be prepared for your timeline to shift. It will take extra time to round up family members for pictures, travel from location to location, and even to set up photos when there is rain. You can avoid some of these delays by having a planner or day-of coordinator there to help direct guests and move things along.

Embrace the rain and be ok with getting a little wet! Don’t be afraid of a little adventure on your wedding day! Roll with the day, and remember it is your mindset that makes a wedding day special.

Raleigh Weddings | Rainy Day Essentials

A rainy forecast doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor photos!! I love clear umbrellas because they allow light through and can almost disappear against a foggy/rainy sky. Along with those gorgeous heels you’ve been planning to wear, plan for boots too. Since the ground will be wet and likely muddy, boots are a must! Bonus points if they match your wedding colors. Avoid multi-colored umbrellas if utilized for wedding images. If you don’t have clear, opt for a neutral solid-colored umbrella such as black.

A happy couple outside during their fall Raleigh wedding after a rain storm by JoLynn Photography

Rain can mean wind, so if you hoped to wear your hair down (and it doesn’t hold a curl extremely well) that might not be the best idea. Updo’s tend to stay better than loose curls. Talk to your hair and makeup artist about what options they suggest for the best long-lasting looks. Discuss if you want to have your hair artist stay until after your portraits so that they can fix any stray or unwanted pieces, or simply embrace the fly-aways after the rain storms die down.

A glowing bride enjoying her bridal portraits after a Raleigh wedding rainstorm by JoLynn Photography

One way to add some romance and soft ambiance to your wedding day decor is to utilize candles and uplighting. This is especially important when you won’t have a sunset or as much daylight due to the weather. Create a warm and glowing feel to your images by adding lots of candles to your reception decor.

Glowing candles and warm table decorations from a rainy Raleigh wedding day by JoLynn Photography
Warm candlelight wedding decor from a Raleigh wedding by JoLynn Photography

While rainy Raleigh weddings may not have been part of the plan, it can be an opportunity to create beautiful, timeless, and elegant photographs that tell a unique story. By choosing the right venue, investing in stylish rain gear, and working closely with your photographer, you can prepare for any weather condition and make the most of your special day. Embrace the rain, stay positive, and remember that love shines even on the rainiest of days. With careful preparation and a joyful spirit, your rainy wedding day in Raleigh can become an unforgettable and enchanting experience for you, your partner, and your guests.

While preparing for your Raleigh wedding, reach out today to discuss your wedding photography rain plan here.

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