Tom & Georgie’s wet marquee wedding in Geddington

September 16, 2019
Bride and groom portrait in Geddington

I bet this bag of giant chocolate buttons that you’re hoping it doesn’t rain on your wedding day.

I get to keep them, don’t I? Yay!

I’ll share them with you though because it was a safe bet. And because I’m right there with you on that one. We can all do without the damp wreaking havoc on our hair and our feet squelching in our Choos.

But Mother N is a fickle goddess! And this is the UK!

That’s why one of the most common questions couples ask me is:

“What will happen if it rains?”

And my reply is always the same:

“We’ll carry on.”

But I don’t mean that in a stoic sense.

I mean it in an “It’s all under control.” sense.

It’s all about being prepared.

Before your wedding, we’ll collaborate and create a flexible plan for your day. We’ll think through every eventuality and resolve any potential problems ahead of time. We’ll make a plan A and plan B. Maybe even a plan C too. So come the day you can concentrate on having fun, safe in the knowledge that your photography will flow with ease and the photos will be great no matter how inclement the weather is.

But the thing I don’t often say out loud (which I’m now going to shout out loud) is:

I LOVE BAD WEATHER!

There. I said it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a staunch storm chaser. Quite the opposite. I love snuggling up on the sofa with my doggos and a mug of earl grey listening to the rain hammering on the roof windows as much as the next person. Probably more.

And of course, I wish only the best for my couples for their wedding day.

It’s just that from a photography perspective, the weather plays a potent part in creating a unique story. It’s a big element of any wedding day and your photographs will be all the more special for it.

You can be sure I’ll rinse whatever weather you get to your photos’ advantage.

But I can’t do it alone.

It takes a team to tango in the rain.

But how exactly do you turn torrential wedding downpours into radiant wedding photography?

Well, let me share with you how Tom and Georgie, the new Mr & Mrs W, did it. They revelled in the rain on their wedding day. Because behind the scenes everything was planned impeccably to work with whatever weather Mother Nature delivered.

In the lead up to the day, relentless rain tested my positivity. And for days on end, the forecast for the wedding was 100% chance of rain all day. Imagine me hopefully checking my weather app every day, willing the forecast to change. As luck (or good manifesting skills) would have it, the chance and amount of rain lessened as the day drew nearer. Hoorah!

The day before, the forecast had improved. As I set my alarm and turned my phone to flight mode for the night, it had improved even more. I might get away with this, I thought.

Come the wedding morning, I opened the blinds and grinned at the blue sky. A promising start but the ceremony wasn’t until 3pm. Would the weather hold?

As I walked to the church, grey clouds were brewing and wispy drops of rain were hitting my camera lens. Avoiding the rain didn’t look like a possibility.

St Mary Magdalene church in Geddington, Northamptonshire
The Eleanor Cross, Geddington, Northamptonshire
Groom laughing with the Vicar and his Best Man at Geddington church
Mother of the groom arriving at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Usher greeting wedding guests at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants

Sure enough, the drizzle came and a wave of colourful umbrellas brightened the church path as the guests dashed into the church.

In comparison, Georgie was nonchalant about the rain and looked serene walking through the village on her Dad’s arm, carrying her train over her arm and relishing the moment under the protection of an elegant umbrella.

Wedding guests arriving in the rain at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Wedding guests greeting each other at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Ushers waiting for the bride to arrive at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Groom waiting for the bride to arrive at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Close up photo of groom's spotted socks at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride and bridesmaids arriving at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride walking into church too early at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride and her dad walking up the church path at St Mary's in Geddington, Northants
Groom greeting the bride at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Groom looking around at the guests during the declarations at St Mary's in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom during the vicar's address at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Wedding readings at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Wedding ceremony at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride signing the register at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Witness signing the register at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Couple looking at their marriage certificate at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Wedding recessional at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Newlyweds walking out of St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants

Happily, the showers stopped during the ceremony, so Tom and Georgie stuck to their plan to greet their guests as they came out of the church. But as the guests waited patiently in line for the last few people to exit, the wind brought more dark clouds and the odd drop of rain. We all worried we’d get wet. Except for Tom and Georgie. They had a steely determination that the rain wouldn’t stop play. Indeed the rain blew through, holding off long enough for confetti and the walk to the reception.

Wedding guests coming out of St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride greeting her cousin at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Confetti at St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom leaving St Mary's church in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom leading their guests through Geddington village in Northants
Spring wedding bouquet by Julia Dilworth

There was also enough time (but not a second to spare) to get everyone into the garden and the group photos completed super speedy style before the pent up clouds burst spectacularly, sending everyone dashing to the marquee for cover. Thank goodness for all those umbrellas they had on hand! And a huge heartfelt thanks to the ushers for quietly and efficiently gathering the guests for the photos leaving me free to actually take the photos.

It was as if the next rain shower had been timed to the second! I’m so pleased we were able to do those groups done before it started again. Plan B was to do the groups inside the house, which would have been fine. But Georgie’s parents had put so much love and effort into making the garden a beautiful background that it was lovely to be able to make the most of it.

Bride and groom arriving at their drinks reception in Geddington
Guests arriving at private garden drinks reception in Geddington
Guests enjoying drinks reception in Geddington
Wedding guests chatting during reception in Geddington
Wedding guests chatting during reception in Geddington
Family photo at a wedding in Geddington
Bride and groom portrait in Geddington
Bride and groom portrait in Geddington
Bride and groom portrait in Geddington
Rainbow umbrellas at a wet wedding in Geddington, Northamptonshire

Once in the marquee, I got stuck into capturing some natural photos of everyone enjoying the drinks reception. Thankfully Tom and Georgie chose a clear roof for their marquee which let in lots of lovely natural light. That’s so important for documentary wedding photography. It would have been dark and challenging otherwise.

Clear roof marquee in Geddington, Northamptonshire
Marquee drinks reception in Geddington, Northants
Wedding guests sheltering in a marquee while it's raining

Half an hour later? Bright blue sky and blazing sunshine! Tom & Georgie were keen to have a photo with all their wedding guests so, with the help of their ushers, everyone gathered on the lawn for that.

Marquee wedding reception at home in Geddington, Northamptonshire
Photo of everyone at a wedding in Geddington, Northants

And there they stayed drinking and chatting for another half an hour or so … until the heavens opened again!

View through rose arch at a garden wedding in Geddington, Northants
Bride laughing with her friends in Geddington, Northants
Wedding guests laughing in Geddington, Northants

And this is how the rest of their day went. Rain. Sun. Rain. Sun. Rain. Sun.

It was mentally draining keeping up with the constant change, continually switching between formal photo mode and documentary photo mode to work around the weather. But Tom and Georgie took it all in their stride, went with the flow and laughed it off, which made my job much easier and meant I could still get all the photos they wanted. And more.

Marquee wedding at home in Geddington, Northants
Marquee decor for a wedding at home in Geddington, Northants
Naked wedding cake on an oak barrel in Geddington, Northants
Father of the bride making a speech at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Guests laughing at the speeches at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Bride lit by the sun during the speech at a marquee wedding in Geddington
Guests listening to speeches at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Best man's speech at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants

And what ho!

A rainbow! In a perfect arch right over the marquee!

What a beautiful bounty for Tom and Georgie’s wise planning and carefree attitude. We all felt triumphant after that!

Rainbow over the marquee at a wedding in Geddington, Northamptonshire
Evening party at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom cutting their cake at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom's first dance at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants
Bride and groom's first dance at a marquee wedding in Geddington, Northants

Here’s what we can all learn from Tom and Georgie to make sure a wet wedding doesn’t get in the way of great wedding photos …

Five ways to make wet wedding photos about the rainbow, not the rain

  1. Be realistic. Hope for the best, by all means. But don’t ignore the potential for rain. Be prepared and make a plan for what you’ll do if it rains.
  2. Chill. It will be what it will be. You’ll have a great time whatever the weather. As long as you’ve followed step one above!
  3. Buy or borrow some pretty umbrellas. And lots of them. Have them at the church (some guests will forget theirs) and task your ushers with taking them back to the reception for trips in/out of the marquee.
  4. Keep your formal photos to a minimum. That way you stand a better chance of being able to do them outside during a break in the rain. Just in case you can’t get outside at all, keep your groups small enough to fit in the inside space that you have.
  5. Finally, be flexible about when you do your formal photos. Be prepared to move quickly and drop what you’re doing if it stops raining. Ignore everything but your photographer so they can be done before it rains again. And if there’s a rainbow … run!

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