des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

Wedding Day Weather Woes

Sweet Beginnings

There are few people that I can say always make me smile, no matter my mood or the circumstances. Robyn, from The Modern Lovebird, is one of those people. So, who better to talk to you about some of the unpleasant wedding day possibilities – wonky weather- than her? I promise, she will always find the silver lining and be agile enough to adapt and shine. Enjoy!

We love photographing outdoors whenever possible because natural lighting is so very beautiful! But, of course, we cannot always predict how Mother Nature will be feeling that day – especially when plans begin months in advance! So, today we’re sharing a few pieces of info we think you’ll want to know as you plan the wedding + weather woes might come into play.  After all, we live in the Midwest! The weather is crazy fickle!

look to the past

But, wait! Maybe… it isn’t as fickle as we think?… Did you know that you can check the average weather for your day of interest? It’s true! When my husband and I began planning our day, we were looking at a few dates in August.  Of course, we knew it might be hot but we wanted to have an idea of the rain likelihood.  (We did not have a backup plan for our outdoor ceremony except a few prayers a tent on-hold just in case…)  When we looked up our favorite wedding date, we discovered that the average chance of rainfall on our day was 30% before 2:00pm and was typically only 10% after that. So, guess what! We planned the outdoor ceremony in the late afternoon around 4:00pm. (Of course, that was also the most flattering for lighting anyway! Read more about when we think the best outdoor ceremony times are here.) Of course, the averages are not going to predict the exact weather on your day, but they might help inform your wedding day schedule decisions a bit. Go ahead and Google your wedding day averages, or visit a statistics site directly, like WeatherSpark (

share your plan ‘b’

Ultimately, it is always best to have a plan “B”. (Do as I say, not as I did?) It’s not a sexy to-do by any means, but you just might have to work toward being prepared for unfortunate weather. Determine how and where you’ll move your event if there’s going to be a storm or extreme temperatures. That part’s obvious, probably.  And, maybe have some cute umbrellas on standby for photos if we’re able to take some in the rain. But then, please remember to discuss this back-up plan with all your vendors — your wedding planner, caterers, florists, musicians and other key players ahead of time… and especially with the photography team! Changing locations might require different types of lighting setups. When deciding whether or not to move your wedding into a climate-controlled environment, consider the comfort and health of your guests — especially the elderly, who may be especially sensitive to heat, cold and getting wet.  Our tip is to also choose a space with lots of windows for the best natural light. We believe that’ll be super helpful in your photos. But, of course… if truly severe weather (read: disaster-like) is in the forecast, we will gladly capture your special moments in a basement bunker, if that’s your choice. Because safety first, right?

keep calm

Next… and we can’t stress this enough… unless you absolutely have to, try not to check the weather for your wedding day until about 3 days beforehand.  Tell others not to tell you, either. It’ll be hard to avoid! We know! So, if you do check it and the weather doesn’t look ideal, just try to keep calm and take it all with a grain of salt. We’ve seen so many otherwise predicted rainy days turn out to be gorgeous + sunny. And there are so many times we’ve seen it rain early in the morning and then be beautiful by ceremony and portrait time. So, things change! And they change so quickly + often!

If it rains earlier in the day and we have an extra moment, it wouldn’t be the first time you’d see myself or one of our photographers helping towel off the chairs so your guests can enjoy your ceremony later on. We will help you with timeline details so that when plans need to change, we can make the most informed decisions.

trust your team

Of course, it happens. The weather isn’t ideal. When that happens, do yourself a favor and trust your team! You’ve hired professionals. And we’re glad to work alongside you to make decisions that will still get you gorgeous photos and a day that gives you minor amounts of stress. We’ve often seen similar weather-like scenarios play out and are glad to make suggestions for alternate locations or make conscious + informed changes to the timeline.  Your venue and wedding day coordinators might have valuable advice on what other couples have done in the past when weather went awry, as well. We’re there for you that day! So, let’s connect, discuss, + make sure you have an incredible day no matter what it looks like outside!

In the end, no matter what Mother Nature deals, you definitely can’t let it stress you out and put a damper on your day. By understanding the range of weather possibilities for your wedding day and preparing for all of them, you can check “weather” off your to-do list and rejoice in your special day, rain or shine.  Let us be your resource and we’ll have a successful day! We’ll get you two crazy birds hitched + you can live your happily ever after!… maybe even with an extra element of the story to tell!

xoxo, Jenn (& Robyn)


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