What if there is rain on the wedding day?

Wedding Photography at Holimont in Ellicottville NY

The question about rain on a wedding day is one of those you need to answer the most as a photographer. You shouldn't sweat it too much, out of more than 100 weddings I have covered with photography and videography only two of them had rain during the entire day. And those were on one weekend. So chances are less than two percent. 

My general take on it: Unique weather makes for unique photos. You can see in the photos below that the ceremony in the rain looks stellar. All the umbrellas, everybody embracing it and being super happy gave us the chance to capture photos and footage we wouldn't have without the rain. It makes it different in a good way, just because it is so out of the ordinary. One of my favorite photos from an engagement session ever was photographed in light rain as well. 

What you definitely should avoid as much as you can is checking the weather prediction weeks in advance. Those mean next to nothing as everyone knows from experience. Here is what happened on the wedding day the photos below were taken. In the morning I checked the weather and there was a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms around 6pm.

Weather prediction was completely wrong even the day off

In the afternoon, about 2 hours before the ceremony the bride, Jess, asked me if there was a chance of rain. I checked again and the thunderstorm chance was now more around 9pm. Then, surprisingly it started raining about 30 minutes before the ceremony. So even on the day of showers can be hard to predict. 

The ceremony was supposed to be on top of a ski mountain in Ellicottville, NY. Jess had always dreamed of getting married there. Of course there was a plan B to do the ceremony under a roof, but when it started raining about half of the guests had already taken the ski lift to go up. So it would have been tough to change plans at this point.

Any wedding is an unpredictable event to some amount, so these things just happen. But they can also make the wedding day since those will be the stories that will be told for years to come. Embracing it like these wedding guests did is definitely the best way to deal with that. 

On a side note: This was my first time working together with Samantha Nelson from Ellicottville Events. Her team did an amazing job and was hands down one of the best wedding planners I've worked with so far.

Some of the amazing vendors of this wedding: 

Wedding Planner: Ellicottville Events
Hair and Make-Up: Jenny Wilson from Salon-go-go!
Band: Match City
Venue: Holimont Ski Resort

What is candid wedding photography?

Capturing weddings in a photojournalistic way has become way more popular in the last couple of years. While traditional wedding photography used to be all posed photos mixed with maybe a few images that actually told a story, a modern wedding gallery looks like a story of the day. It is basically a documentary approach of capturing the day in the way a photojournalist might shoot. 

Of course a lot of bride and grooms reach out to me because they are interested in candids, natural, unposed photos. That is basically what I do 85 percent of the day. During getting ready I rarely change much, during the ceremony I obviously don't change anything. Cocktail hour is usually prime time for those candids, since I can just walk around the guests and capture a lot of candids in a short amount of time. 

The only time that involves posing is group photos and couple shoot. A line of people that look straight into the camera is obviously not candid. Have them look back at each other makes is a little more natural, you could call it staged candid. And in the couple shoot it is pretty obvious that the bride and groom didn't randomly hug each other with that perfect backlight behind them and I just happened to be there and took the photo. But the way they pose, should at least appear as natural as possible which makes it feel more like a genuine moment. 

The wedding of Laura and Craig happened to be an amazing example of a day that is ideal for the way I work. The first look and couple shoot before the ceremony gave me a lot more time to photograph guests. That is one of the reasons I recommend doing a first look. Not only has the photographer more time to photography your guests, you, the bride and groom, can also spend more time with all these people who might have traveled from far and you haven't seen in ages. 

Ceremony and Reception: Ginny Lee Cafe @ Wagner Vineyards
Music: Finger Lakes Platinum DJ
Hair and Makeup: April Birchler and Nicky Gonzales from Tangles Hair Designers and Day Spa, Rochester NY