I've shot weddings before, but being in Minnesota they almost always have an indoor venue available due to the long cold winters that we have. I am coming up on a wedding that I will likely be shooting outdoors and in the rain. I'm not as worried about my equipment, I am more concerned with how to capture the shots that I need such as b&g alone, the wedding party, family posed portraits, etc while potentially being stuck in poor weather.

Should I come prepared with 10 umbrellas? Should I make all possible attempts to find a sheltered area for the posed portraits? Do I have an assistant hold an umbrella out of the frame to protect the b&g during alone shots? Just some ideas I've had, but I've never actually shot an outdoor ceremony during the rain.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Someone who did it should probably answer but in the mean time I'm guessing the answers should be yes, yes and yes. Get umbrella matching colors used at the wedding, that way, if they have to show, the'll make good props. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 16:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Instant up" gazebos with no sides and translucent top provide enough area to be clear of most rain and OK light. For extra points arrange one so it will stand OK on 3 legs, giving you a much larger obstruction free "window". (I've used Gazebos for this BUT they were there already and I was a "ringin" so did not participate in the planning. A "real" gazebo of any size can be very nice. (Whole bridal party in a too small gazebo also turned out quite "fun" on one occasion, but not for all shots of course). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 18:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt, So can you answer your own question now? I'd love to hear about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Xeoncross
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just an observation. My sister's wedding was held in Pittsburgh in June several years ago. The photographer had a list of sites drawn up that were specifically contingent to prevailing weather. The day of the wedding was overcast, and looked like rain. The photographer took us downtown, and shot everything in point state park, utilizing the gazebo there, as well as some downtown/street structures for shelter. It sprinkled a little, but the pictures turned out great. I guess the suggestion would be to scout out some possible rain shelter locations. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 19:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Therealstubot - The funny thing is, that is exactly what I ended up doing for most of the posed shots - I shot under a gazebo and it worked great. I'll probably write up an answer here to what worked best for me in the situation I had. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


I'll make clear that I'm not a wedding photographer (not even a professional photographer either). But, check out these links and it might help you get your brain thinking:



(Since I'm new to this site I could only post two links, but try google with obvious key words)

I think the basic idea is that, first - obviously - try all kind of protection; lots of (big) plastic bags for all sensitive equipment. Then, you should ask the happy ones how they wan't to do, that is if they are willing to stay outside etc. Then if you are indeed about to shot, try to embrace the weather - us it to your advantage; contrasts, colors etc. If you can't protect your gear, gently explain that you the happy ones in beforehand, some days before when you check the weather conditions - they will understand. Good luck!

  • \$\begingroup\$ It is highly possible, as per @dpollit remark in the question, that the equipment (at least camera and lenses, flashes may be different) is not sensitive to rain (weather sealed camera and lenses). This could obviously be different for other people... \$\endgroup\$
    – Francesco
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 16:03

We had an outside ceremony planned with a couple last year but it absolutely threw it down. It was a Chinese wedding and the bride had planned for two years to have an their ceremony outside. But on the day the heavens opened and we had to accept that things weren't going to be as planned. We retreated inside, but had to do the Bride and Groom portraits in the rain. We had lots of umbrellas and used space near to walls. We held the umbrellas over the couple and then pulled them away for some quick shots.


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