05/21/2013 02:07 pm ET Updated Jul 21, 2013

Marry With a Chance of Rain: 4 Tips for Good Photos in Bad Weather

Brian Friedman

Many couples I photograph plan to have some portion of their wedding outdoors. But what if it rains? The truth is that the rain (or even snow!) can actually add to the beauty of the moment and the style of the photo. "Bad" weather is going to give you memorable and unique photos -- if you're prepared to take advantage of it! Here are a few things I tell my couples to do in the "unlikely event it rains."


1. Accessorize! Have a few really awesome umbrellas at the ready. (White is great for this, and also photographs really well -- red too!) Consider purchasing an alternate pair of shoes -- white Converse All-Stars, flip-flops, or even rain boots in a coordinated color -- so you don't ruin your actual wedding shoes! Match them to your bouquet or bridesmaids' dresses. Overall, think about fun ways of incorporating the rain into your day through fashion and accessories. Your photographer will have fun playing with this stuff too. (Bonus Tip: If you prepare accessories and it doesn't rain or snow, you can always return what you bought!)


2. Chose a short(er) dress. I've seen this a lot: The bride is wearing a really long dress and it gets soaked and dirty from the rain before the wedding even starts. If you know that rain or shine you want outdoor portraits, just consider a shorter dress. You'll probably be more comfortable in it anyway, especially in the warmer months, so going short(er) may not be such a bad idea! (Bonus Tip: If you are absolutely in love with long trains, find one that detaches or bustles. That way, you get two different looks in your photos and it doesn't become a rain and slush sponge outside!)


3. Whatever you do, don't panic! I always say, "Rain is romantic!" If you freak out, you'll stress out yourself and everyone around you, and the mood and resulting photos will suffer. The camera can't lie! There's no way of predicting the weather, and probably nothing more that you could have done to prevent it, so just embrace the moment. You're still going to get married and have a gorgeous day, so have fun! (Bonus Tip: You can always arrange for a backup location for portraits, such as your hotel or indoor ceremony venue.)


4. Trust your photographer. We love getting creative with the elements. Just know that we will handle the situation and get great photos! I personally LOVE when it rains or snows, and I love showing the precipitation falling. It's very dramatic and romantic! You can rest assured that no one will have the wedding shots that you have. Your photos will be 100 percent your own. (Bonus Tip: Look for puddles and big panes of wet glass -- they're impromptu mirrors! Your photographer can get some unique and surprising shots with these reflective surfaces.)


All Images ©Brian Friedman 2013

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