I'm Tori, a portrait and wedding photographer based in central New Jersey. Thank you for visiting my little corner of the internet; I'm so happy you're here. Come check out the full galleries from recent weddings and portrait sessions, behind the scenes, personal posts, helpful tips and more. Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if there is anything special you'd love to see in a future post. I hope to hear from you soon!
You’ll probably spend over a year planning one of the biggest days of your life, and to think about rain possibly getting in the way of all the perfection you have planned is SO not on the agenda. I get it! Let me ease your mind a bit though, because I’ve seen a thing or two over the years as a wedding photographer, and trust me, rain or shine, your wedding day is going to be freaking magic. I promise!
This one is something that often gets overlooked when you’re searching for your perfect venue! Make sure you ask them about their rain plan: are they planning on tenting the ceremony so you can still have it outdoors? Are they moving everything into the reception space and rearranging it again during cocktail hour? Do they have a covered patio out back? Do they have NO plan at all?!
Yep, there truly are some venue’s that seem totally frantic when rain comes because they don’t have a solid backup plan, which is definitely not something you want! Talk with the venue coordinator about all of your rainy day options ahead of time and know what protocol is when it comes to making changes.
You want to know how early or late you can make the call to move your ceremony indoors, you want to know that they can help recreate the magic you had planned for outside but in your cocktail space, you want to know that you can order a few extra rounds of finger foods at the last minute for your guests to enjoy while they wait for the rain to pass, etc. Get all the details, so you know that they know what you want to do!
What I find in most situations is that my couples are rarely the ones who are stressing. It’s typically the family or wedding party who is adding some tension to the day instead! Everyone has something to say about the weather no matter if it’s a gorgeously sunny day or if it starts to drizzle!
Try to be proactive about chatting with your people long before the wedding day and let them know that regardless of the weather, you want them to go along with whatever YOU want! If it starts to drizzle and you still want your wedding party photos out in the gorgeous garden with umbrellas, your wedding party will know to follow! If you want to wait it out and have your family portraits outside during the small window of dry skies at the last minute, your family will know to be ready! Just talk with them and remind them that you’ll make that final call and you hope for their support!
Whether we’re talking about rain, first looks, lighting, timing, or whatever, always trust your photographer! I promise you, I know what to do in every situation, and my creativity strikes when we’re in a funky spot like trying to dodge the rain or making umbrellas look cute as heck! I might say, “I know this sounds crazy, but I promise it’s going to look amazing,” and that’s when you know to just freaking go for it! 😉
That’s easy for someone else to say, right?! Well, it’s the best advice I can give because in the end, you’re marrying the love of your life and that is what this whole thing is about! Rain ain’t gonna stop that!! Everything will all work out and come together between your planners, venue, photographer, and all the other vendors who have your back! My couples are typically super chill and go-with-the-flow types, so taking a breather and just embracing your day for all that it is will make it 10000x’s more amazing!
Now, I know someone is going to be worrying about your hair or your dress, but all I want you to worry about is what YOU want to do! I always bring a stack of adorable clear bubble umbrellas for rainy days, so we can still get all of the magical portraits you’ve been dreaming of without having to take them indoors in a lobby! When my couples and their wedding party are willing to just totally embrace the rain, the images turn out amazing and so much fun! Plus, you all look like bad-ass troopers for making rain look so GOOD!
Plus, you can totally spice up your look with some cute pink rain boots and bubble umbrellas, so you can save your heels for the ceremony! Again, I always have umbrellas on deck, but if you want specific umbrellas to match the style of your day, go for it! I usually recommend clear or white to still allow for the natural light to come through without blocking your faces!
If you weren’t planning on having a first look, I would recommend considering one, based on what the forecast is looking like! Typically, it will rain on and off instead of consistently for 24 hours straight! If we can spot when the rain is likely coming, we can plan to rearrange some parts of the day to get you some outdoor portraits in those pockets of clear skies!
With the first look, we can at least have multiple windows of time throughout the day where we can go back and try outdoor portraits or have extra time to move around in the rain (rain boots are not the easiest to walk in!) Without a first look, we have one option – after the ceremony, during cocktail hour! If it rains through cocktail hour, we will likely be choosing an indoor spot for all of your portraits, wedding party and family portraits! I promise, a first look is SUPER romantic and special, plus you get some dedicated alone time to just love on one another, and then you spend way more of the day together than apart!
When choosing your venue, you should always ask about their rain plan! If you don’t absolutely adore it, you may want to consider looking for alternate backup options! Let’s stalk Google maps and find a local greenhouse, a museum, a university with covered walkways, etc. As long as it’s a well-lit, covered space, we will be good to go! A greenhouse is definitely ideal – lush greenery and florals, clear ceilings for natural light, and warmth. You CANNOT go wrong! We can get ALL of your portraits while staying away from the rain. Sounds amazing, right?!
Sometimes the timing of the rain passing and your ceremony are just minutes from one another, so if that means pushing your ceremony back a few more minutes, your guests will understand, and your vendors will know how to accommodate! If it’s within a 15 minute time-frame, you can definitely get away with pushing everything back a bit! Maybe chat with your officiant about shortening the original ceremony structure so we can get back on track right after!
Whaaat?! Not your whole wedding day, although, that would be a dream to hang with you two again! BUT consider a post-wedding portrait session with your babes to capture the portraits again! We will make the most of every minute of your wedding day, but if you’ve dreamt of having a magical sunset, we can totally plan to get you two dolled up again – hair, makeup, dress, and all – and find an incredible location for amazing portraits! Sometimes it’s even doable to make it happen the very next day at your venue!
So keep fingers crossed for a sunny day, but even if the rain does come, it will create the most epic and memorable photos, as well! You’re getting MARRIED and your day is about the start of a beautiful marriage, not just a picture-perfect day (which it totally will be regardless). Trust the people you’ve chosen to back you on your day; your vendors are here to make it seamless and stunning no matter what! Embrace it all and run in the rain together like it’s a freaking Nicholas Sparks movie!