As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a big increase in the number of couples wanting to get married outside. Pretty much every venue I shoot at across Cheshire, North Wales, and the North West has embraced this trend, and offer beautiful settings for couples to get married outside. One of my favourite venues to work at is Tower Hill Barns in North Wales, where couples opting for an outdoor wedding ceremony can get married in a stunning outside space under a railway bridge: this really does make for some unique wedding photography. Another venue I love to shoot at is Thornton Hall in Cheshire, where outdoor ceremonies take place under the Garden Pagoda and Lakeside Arbour. There really is an abundance of options now for couples wanting an outside ceremony, and they can result in some outstanding wedding photography.
But of course, we live in the UK, and as we know the weather is notoriously unreliable. So how do you ensure that you capture the perfect outdoor wedding photographs, whatever the weather? Here are my top tips…
Embrace the weather for some beautiful wedding photography
Working as a wedding photographer in North Wales and Cheshire has taught me that sunshine is never guaranteed! If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, it’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in place just in case. If you’re faced with really heavy rain, the likelihood is you may have to move your wedding indoors: your venue should be able to help you plan ahead for this, and provide a second option that you love almost as much as your first choice. However, if there are just a few scattered showers you may still be able to hold your ceremony outdoors.
I recently shot a wedding at one of my favourite venues in North Wales, Tyn Dwr Hall. Emma and Matthew’s wedding took place on 11th March 2022, which seemed to be the perfect Spring wedding date. However, as anyone who lives in North Wales knows, the weather can’t always be relied upon, and it rained for most of the day! However, Emma and Matthew just embraced the weather, which made for some uniquely beautiful photographs:
What I take away from this is that whatever the weather, you can capture some amazing outdoor wedding photography. In fact, “bad” weather might even make your photos even more interesting and beautiful! I would advise brides and grooms to not worry too much about the weather: it really is the one element of your day that you can’t control! Instead, embrace it whatever happens and take the opportunity to work with your wedding photographer to create some truly unique images.
Plan for a sunny day too!
Conversely, you might want to plan ahead in case you get a bright, sunny day too! Think about it: you don’t want to have the sun shining directly into your faces as you say your vows- you’ll be squinting at each other, and in all your wedding photographs!
The ideal opportunity to think this through is when you visit your chosen wedding venue. Take a look at the outside spaces and consider where the sun will be during your ceremony. The team at your venue are the experts in matters like this and will be able to help you decide on the ideal positioning and timing for your ceremony, which should help to result in some flawless wedding photos. Another person who may be able to help is your wedding photographer: if they have worked at your venue before, they will be well-versed in the best places for photography and will be happy to help.
Think about your hair and make up options
Of course, the most important thing on your wedding day is that you feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful. So when it comes to planning your hair and make up, those things should always be at the top of your list of considerations. However, if you’re keen to get married outdoors, it might be worth thinking about the kind of hair and make up that will be best-suited to windy weather or a bit of drizzle.
It is always worth letting your hair stylist and make up artist know that you are planning to get married outside, as they might be able to make a few tweaks to give your hair that extra hold, or your make up some additional staying power! A simple change to waterproof mascara will combat the odd drop of rain (and of course, those happy tears!). And if your hair is prone to frizzing in damp weather, hair stylists can suggest products that can help, or may suggest a pretty up-do which will keep those fly-aways intact!
Find a wedding photographer who understands shooting outside
Most wedding photographers love shooting outdoor weddings: we love natural backdrops, countryside views, and of course- natural light! But as you can see from the above, shooting outdoor wedding photography isn’t always easy, so it’s always advisable to choose a wedding photographer who has a lot of experience in outdoor wedding photography.
A wedding photographer who understands outdoor weddings will look after everything from a technical point of view, taking into account time of day, type of light, the weather, and ideal positioning for shots, leaving you free to enjoy your day.
If you are getting married in North Wales, Cheshire, or the North West, and are considering an outdoor wedding, I would love to chat. I’m experienced in shooting outdoor weddings, and would be happy to help you plan your wedding photography. Please feel free to get in touch.