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7 Rainy Day Wedding Portrait Tips

Feb 18, 2020

When your wedding day is approaching, I’m watching the radar like a HAWK. I’m basically a part time meteorologist the week of your wedding day. And I’m sitting praying for no rain right beside you.

However, if it does end up it will be no big deal. Cloudy days for weddings can be equally amazing as sunny days too. Your photographer has the skill set and knowledge to make it work so you still have beautiful portraits of you both, your friends, and your family.

I’ve compiled some tips in case rain is a fear of yours, or you’re anticipating showers on your day. (with included photos from rainy wedding days!)

1. Try Avoiding Looking at Forecasts until max 3 Days Out

When’s the last time the weather forecast was 100% accurate? The closer it gets to your wedding day, the more accurate the weather forecast will be. I always recommend to not worry until 2-3 days out. Even then, the weather can drastically change, especially in the summer. It can rain all morning, but then be gorgeous by 2 pm. So take it with a grain of salt.

2. Pay Attention to the Precipitation % and Times

Usually, if the percent is 49% or below, the chances of rain are pretty slim. If it says 50%, have a backup plan in place just in case. Anything over 55%, the chances are pretty high, but you never know. It’s also important to see what time of the day it says it’s going to rain. If it’s only raining at 5 am – 12 pm, you may be okay!

3. Have Backup Portrait Location Planned

If it’s looking like rain may be a possibility for your wedding, have a backup portrait location plan in mind with your photographer. If you’re in the city, you’re in luck! There are tons of back up spots that are covered and beautiful indoor locations as well. Many require a permit, but it will be worth it if it ends up down-pouring during portrait time. I always have a Plan B with my couples so we’re prepared.

4. Do a First Look

The first look is amazing for many reasons, and you can see that HERE. A first look can help avoid any late afternoon, evening rain issues that may pop up. There are plenty of weddings where it was supposed to rain around and after the ceremony, but it’s clean up until the ceremony. Since the couple had a first look, the rain wasn’t even a stressor because we knew all bridal party, family and couple portraits would be done by the time the rain hit.

5. Bring CLEAR Umbrellas

Clear umbrellas are a great way to still be able to take photos outside, while still staying dry. A clear umbrella will allow the natural light to peek through so you have amazing, flattering light on your face and stay 100% dry.

6. Look for Pockets of Dry Times

This is more of a tip for your bridal party and photographer because I recommend staying phone free on your day. When looking at the radars the day of your wedding, look for pockets of dry times and low rain %. On a rainy wedding day, I’m always looking for pockets of dry skies so we’re able to take advantage of it.

7. Lastly…

It’s okay to be bummed, but at the end of the day, don’t worry! Your wedding day is going to be amazing, rain or not. Keep an open mind, have a backup plan, and enjoy the day.

Summer Chicago Wedding
JW Marriott Wedding
Iowa City, Iowa Wedding


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