Article for Bride / Groom

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Weather forecast calls for ... by Love Tree Photography

Published:  June 29, 2013

Weather is one of the greatest contributing factor is epic wedding pictures. Unfortunately the weather we get isn't always the wedding weather we planned for - but by following these simple tips, and being prepared for any weather situation you can ensure your wedding portraits are epic no matter what the forecast is.

The weather man is calling for: Chilly rain or snow.

   Play up the wet. Purchase umbrellas in advance. Clear umbrellas are a great way to let in lots of light and stay dry. Alternatively choose colours or prints that match your wedding theme. Leave the tags on so they can be returned if you don't need them. Matching colourful gumboots under a wedding dress can also be a fun way to play up the rain. After all, the weather is all part of your story.

   In the cold weather dress appropriately. Invest in a bolero or a faux fur muff or coat to stay warm. If your dress is long enough to hide them, wear your winter boots. Find cute matching scarves. If you are cold and uncomfortable the expression on your face is going to show it. Being in front of the lens is a vulnerable place to be as it is, so don't make it any more uncomfortable for yourself than you have to.

   Opt for an indoor location that means something to you. The movie theatre you went on your first date at, or the bowling alley where you met at your friend's birthday. Choosing a location that has significance to you both will mean a lot more than portraits in a hotel lobby. Plan ahead though. Specialty venues may require a release from the owners to shoot inside, and may take extra time to travel to.

   Pick up hot beverages to keep the wedding party warm. Besides, what could be cuter than sharing some hot chocolates in the snow with your best friends?

   Invest in a Tide-to-go pen, some soda water, and a blow dryer if you have concerns about getting your dress dirty for the reception - but be aware that sun or rain, careful or not - your dress will be probably be filthy by the end of your ceremony, especially if you have a rain.

   Have you makeup/hair artist swing by for a quick touch up before the ceremony if you are doing a first look, or before the reception if you want to freshen up before dinner.

   Invest in hand warmers. There are a variety of brands such as Heat-Factory and Grabber. You can purchase them at most sporting goods stores (like Mountain Equipment Co-Op or Sport Chek) or home hardware stores (like Canadian Tire or Home Depot). You simply open them, shake them and they instantly heat up to keep you warm on the go. Put an extra pair in your shoes too!

   Since the sky gets darker faster in the winter either plan to do portraits earlier in the day, or make plans to shoot dramatic portraits at after sunset. We recommend planning your portraits for 1 hour before sunset. They usually take two hours so it will give you a chance to get beautiful golden light (if there is any break in the clouds), the actual sunset, and interesting nighttime lighting. If there is no break in the clouds you'll likely get a deep blue cloudy sky, which can be equally as dramatic as a sunset.

The weather man is calling for: A heat wave.

   Wear sunscreen. Choose a foundation or primer with SPF in it.

   Avoid mid-day ceremony/portraits. Any photographer will tell you the worst time of day to shoot is between 11am-4pm. Unfortunately, this is when most couples plan their portraits. Instead opt for portraits that are closer to sunset. The light is more flattering at that hour and you end up with epic oranges skies that most others don't get the luxury of having in their wedding photographs.

   Set up a chuppah. In traditional Jewish weddings the couple is wed under a chuppah, which is like a small canopy. You don't necessarily need to be Jewish to reap the benefits of these gorgeous canopies though. They provide shade from the sun, so you don't squint through the ceremony, even soft lighting which is flattering on all skin types, and make for a great place to shoot family portraits after.

   Pack a small cooler of ice water &energy bars for your wedding party. Avoid excessive alcohol until you're back at the reception. Dehydration and heat stroke are no laughing matter and it happens more often than you think!

   Pack some dry hand towels and oil blotting sheets for sweat & sheen. A little baby powder under the arms and on the thighs will stop dampness and chafing as well.

   Consider having the guys ditch their jackets for a portion of your portraits.

Kendra Coupland,  Love Tree Photography  (Burnaby | BC)