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8 Reasons why it’s okay if it rains on your wedding day {at Castle Hill}.

April 12, 2013

The other day I was chatting with a bride about her upcoming wedding at Castle Hill and she asked the inevitable question, “What if it rains?!” It’s hard to imagine that your wedding photographs would not be completely destroyed by rain at a venue like Castle Hill. It’s gorgeous there, and there are endless possibilities for photos. All of the pictures you’ve seen online show happy couples sipping signature cocktails on the lawn bathed in a golden sunset. Honestly,  it really is just like that at Castle Hill…most of the time. Then there are the other times, when it rains. Sometimes it rains so hard that it borders on scary. Windswept is a nice name for a summer home, or a boat…. but not for describing your wedding. Soaked… that’s not a good one either. So how did I answer the question about rain? With the truth. The truth is it sucks, it’s disappointing and it’s nobody’s first choice for weather BUT we’ve photographed amazing weddings in the worst of conditions. Foul weather forces us to rise to the occasion, to see things with a fresh set of eyes, to be inspired to do something different and something fabulous. I promised my caller a blog post about a rainy day wedding at Castle Hill, so here it goes: 8 Reasons why rain is awesome it’s okay if it rains on your wedding day, this particular venue is Castle Hill but the reasons apply to all venues really. This is the wedding of Lauren and Jonathan. It didn’t just rain on Lauren’s wedding it poured, of course starting just as they were having their first look…

1. EMOTION  The best photos from your wedding day are the photos filled with emotion, not the photos of the scenery and the details. Sure, a dramatic vista is nice to look at and a pretty shot of your bouquet is nice to have, but those won’t be your FAVORITE pictures. They’re style not substance. Substance pulls at your heartstrings. Substance and emotion are what make you able to relive the day over and over each time you look at the photographs. It’s why your favorite photo might be a blurry shot with random guests in the background and compositionally challenged. It’s your favorite because it was a natural moment and your groom is looking at you lovingly with his  hand on the small of your back. There are definitely technically better photos, but still that one speaks to you. Only one reason for that, emotion.

 2. COZY NOOKS AND ARTSY ANGLES As photographers, rainy weddings force us to look at a property from a different perspective, i.e. where are the cozy nooks?! Castle Hill has quite a few. All we really need is a cozy nook to place our couple in. Inevitably they cuddle up and canoodling ensues. Everyone knows canoodling makes for great photos. Another benefit of rain {when you aren’t standing in it}? Wind! Wind makes for some sweet veil action. If you can find a cozy nook, take it to the next level and throw in an artsy angle. Guaranteed it’s a shot that the bride and groom never would have had if it was a sunny day. Sunny is so boring.

3. Family and Friends  You are surrounded by the people you love most! Rainy weddings force us into small spaces. Forced togetherness, it’s great for families. Everyone will rally around you and your family photos and bridal party photos will feel very intimate.

4. Photography Trickery Your photographer might have some unexpected tricks up their sleeve. In the case of Lauren and Jonathan, we brought along a gorgeous vintage velvet backdrop to take some classic formals with a modern twist. Lauren’s color scheme was peacock teal and gold. We happened to have a peacock and gold backdrop so we set it up and voila, instant glamour!

5. Natural Light  Rainy day photos taken inside DO NOT EQUAL dark photos take with flash. Seriously, this is a pet peeve. Turn of the $#@! flash people! Today’s cameras are so light sensitive that dreamy photos like these can be achieved with very little light, in fact it’s preferred. When your day is grey, the light is even and soft. Even + soft = dreamy. All you need is some natural light from a window! Unless you are getting married in a basement, your venue should have windows- open those shades! Added bonus… the rain on the windows adds to the romance factor.

6. YOU CAME TO GET MARRIED AND THAT’S STILL GOING TO HAPPEN. This is the tricky part for most couples. They just REALLY want that outside ceremony. I don’t blame them! Here’s where emotion becomes our friend again. I promise you, once you walk down the aisle your sadness about the weather takes a backseat to your joy about getting married. We’ll get in nice and close to capture all that emotion. This is the real reason you are here, to marry your best friend. The backdrop becomes irrelevant when you are looking into each others eyes.

 7. SOMETIMES THE RAIN STOPS long enough to get a few photos outside. When this happens, GO FOR IT! Do not worry about your shoes or the hem of your dress. Splash through those puddles, laugh in the mist, and throw caution to the wind {literally}.

8. THE SHOW MUST GO ON Everyone came for a good time, including you…so have one! Enjoy ever last soggy moment of your day because it all goes by so fast. Good news though, you’ll have beautiful pictures to remember it all by!

Convinced? No? Wow! Skeptic!

Okay then, read on… here’s a description of the day and some advice from my guest blogger… THE BRIDE HERSELF! THE INCOMPARABLE LAUREN!

Of all the things I thought our wedding would be a great example of, “what happens when it rains” is not one I’m thrilled to be.  
They say rain on your wedding day is a symbol of good luck.  If that’s the case, getting married on Sept. 28, 2012 was a true blessing because it RAINED!  As in, it actually broke records.  The whole day threatened to rain, but it didn’t start coming down until my now husband, Jonathan, and I had our first look.  It sprinkled for the first moments together and then it really started!  
For those planning their big day now, I suggest being very thorough in developing a rain plan, even if the weatherman is predicting nothing but sunshine, rainbows and unicorns.  Take the time to truly walk through with your wedding planner (either/both the on property coordinator and your third party one).  Understand exactly how things will flow, start to finish.  For example, where will your wedding party stage before? How will you and the wedding party be separated from guests that will also now be taking shelter? How will the receiving line work?  Who will be responsible for moving the décor inside?   
If you aren’t using a photographer who has worked at the venue before, be certain to also walk the space with them in advance, if at all possible.  We were truly fortunate that Mariah and Trish knew Castle Hill Inn so well – they never batted their pretty lashes and their cool demeanor kept me from a complete meltdown.  There was one point when one of the ladies was even genuinely excited to report she had scouted a new spot and angle to shoot in the rain that they hadn’t done before.  For a moment, I almost forgot it was raining!  Later, they discreetly pulled us away from guests when there was a break in the storm and we could get some stunningly dramatic outdoor shots. 
If you do think it is going to rain, embrace it.  Mother Nature is going to keep rolling right along with her plan, and if your outdoor soiree happens to be in that path, there’s no sense in fighting it.  I wish I’d thought to get myself some peacock blue rain boots or clear umbrellas or, really, ANY rain accessory to have fun in the circumstances.  Still, those photos we do have, even the ones where the rain is whipping in the strong wind, ended up pretty great.  More than great, actually, once my own cloudy vision cleared and I could truly appreciate what had been captured.    
I truly hope this helps to set your mind at ease. No matter the weather, it’s going to be wonderful. XO The Snap Girls
  1. Lauren Clifford Knudsen says:

    Of all the things I thought our wedding would be a great example of, “what happens when it rains” is not one I’m thrilled to be. But nonetheless, these amazing shots only skim the surface of how amazing our day was! Love the Snap! Photography ladies… and, of course, Jonathan Knudsen 🙂

  2. Amanda Lennerton says:

    <3 it!

  3. Toribio Buddy Esparza Gomez Jr. says:

    At first when I saw this, I thought you were tallking about Castle Hill, exas a suburban north of San Antonio, TX… It was later at the end of the article that I realized that it was an area in the New England part of the states… lovely pictures…

  4. Crystal Oesch says:

    I was always told it is good luck because “a wet knot is hard to untie”.

  5. Ordinary Homemaker says:

    It rained on my wedding day! I wrote some tips I learned here:

  6. Katie Senycz says:

    Thanks for sharing. This made me feel so much better. And, honestly, we had rain on our beach wedding day and I am IN LOVE with how it turned out

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