When I speak to couples regarding their wedding day plans, at some point I can pretty much guarantee that the “W” word will arise! Even when speaking to couples already married, you will often hear the “oh we were so lucky with the weather” or “it absolutely bucketed down all morning then cleared up”, and I suppose this is an extension of our general day to day weather obsession in Britain! I think we do this because we genuinely never know what to expect living here; we can have snow in May and daffodils popping out in January…..which definitely keeps us on our toes and gives us something to talk about!
So, how do we prepare for literally any type of weather on your wedding day?
Well, as far as my preparations go, of course I always check the weather forecast, but as we all know, this is of limited use! I have photographed in all different types of weather and, like everything else in life, there is no one perfect weather condition to suit a wide range of photos. Most people hope for a clear, bright day, but there are pros and cons to each of the elements….sunshine can be beautiful and everybody loves a clear blue sky, but harsh shadows and intense heat can create problems. I can overcome these by using my experience to read the light and decide where I create my images…I may backlight my group photos if the sun is in a suitable position, or I may spot some natural open shade, or I may even choose to photograph indoors in the harsh afternoon light then use the beautiful, soft, gentle light when the sun has dropped, later in the day. If it rains, then I have plenty of lighting equipment to photograph indoors and I must say, in over 450 weddings there has never been a single day when I have not been able to get some photos outside, even if just for a couple of minutes, and remember, with rain comes clouds and they can look incredibly beautiful on wedding photos. An overcast day on the other hand may have a less interesting sky, but will give more opportunity to vary the backgrounds on the photos (and I can always add a little tickle of contrast to the sky when I am post-processing), and as for the wind, we can always head indoors, wait til it dies down, use a building as a shield, and of course fully embrace it and capture those veils flying in the air! For these reasons, it does not help me to pre-visit a venue as I need to be completely flexible when deciding where to take the photos on the day; photography is light and light is determined by the weather, which is, of course, completely unpredictable. I only had a problem with the weather once, when I was photographing a wedding at St.George’s Hall in Liverpool….the M6 was completely treacherous with heavy snow so I drove over the night before and booked myself into a hotel for the night, to make sure I was there on time, which is obviously something I would do again for any of my couples.
You can trust me completely to make the best decision as I know exactly what I am looking for, and you do not need to think about this at all on the day….you literally need to hand over the reins to the professionals, and just enjoy every second. Also, please don’t worry that I would ever make you stand in the cold or yomp through a muddy field just to get a shot! The photos are extremely important, but if you are cold and upset about the mud then this will also show in the photos and that is not the look that I am going for! 😉
As for what you can do to prepare….just remind yourself not to worry about it all. This may seem counter-intuitive when talking about preparations but the weather is the one thing you can’t change and the only plan that you can put in place is to have suncream, umbrellas, pashminas and possibly wellies, at the ready, and remember that your day will be absolutely incredible, whatever the weather!