Hello! #WeddingWednesday is a space created for education and exchange of ideas on topics related to planning a wedding in Puerto Rico, wedding photography, and wedding-day hacks. Here you'll find a very broad range of information on stuff I think will help you plan a better wedding in Puerto Rico, and have proper expectations for it.
As I write this blog, it’s raining and in this hot summer we’re living, it’s quite refreshing. As I was staring out the window, the rain distracted or should I say inspired me to remember all the instances I’ve had a rainy wedding. The number seems small in comparison to the non-rainy weddings, but still it is one of the biggest concerns and most frequent questions clients have when booking my services for both photo sessions or wedding photography.
Needless to say, I’m ready and available for working under any conditions as long as they’re safe for both parties, and I would need more than rain to stop from capturing amazing photos. But, as with any event of such magnitude, we need to assess every wedding and evaluate how rain would affect us.
Your Wedding Date will heavily impact the risk of rain.
In Puerto Rico, we use "summer" and "winter" as time references, not seasons. Living so close to the Equator, we live in a never-ending summer: temperatures don't shift more than 15 degrees Fahrenheit from the coldest to the warmest day of the year. The most significant change we'll see during the year is the frequency of rain.
It rains all year, but we have a dry season during the first half of the year, followed by the wet season: our dreaded hurricane season. This is not to say that rain only happens during the wet season or that it will rain at a wedding during this time, but only that, if you're getting married from June through December, you should pay extra attention to your rainy day plan.
Assess your wedding venue
When booking your wedding venue in Puerto Rico, especially for outdoor events, you should ask about backup plans regarding rain.
- Has flooding happened before?
- Is there an electrical generator in case electric utilities fail? Will generators power the event totally or partially?
- Are walking areas paved or tiled, or will guests walk on wet dirt/sand/lawn?
- Would an outdoor venue have a roofed space where you could move the event in the case of a rainy day?
- When does the backup plan go into effect? Who has to make that call?
- What if my wedding happens during hurricane watch?
These are big questions, and the failure to ask them, in my experience, leads to unnecessary uncertainty for couples on their day when the skies start turning gray.
Assess your wedding guest list
Are your guests flexible, or do they have special needs? Many of my outdoor rainy weddings end up with a big party in the rain. Guests are there to have fun, especially if they've traveled from far away to make it to your wedding. Are your guests that kind of people, or would you need a roofed backup plan?
Prepare for a Rainy Wedding Day
Now that you have assessed the impact of rain on your wedding day, it's time to prepare—logistically and emotionally!
Rainy day Wedding backup plan
- Please consult with your venue, vendors, and planner about their needs and mode of operation during a rainy event.
- Prepare the layout of your wedding in a way that favors the tables and vendor positioning under a protected area. For example, as a photographer, I can move around to avoid my equipment from getting wet, but a DJ can't move their heavy equipment on a whim. Try to set up the DJ station in an area that will protect all their electronics.
- If your wedding venue has no roofed areas, incorporate tenting into your wedding budget. Consult with your planner and rental company when you should make the call for bringing the canopy in if needed.
- Some clients choose multiple venues for their wedding day; on a sunny day, they're within walking distance, but on a rainy day, a quarter of a mile trek is not an option. Consider the option of adding transportation to your budget.
- Have an umbrella station as wedding favors.
We can control many things at a wedding, but no one can control the weather. The best of all is, no one expects you to!
Weather is the element most likely to influence a wedding timeline, and as long as you've crafted a flexible timeline, it will not ruin the day. Of course, it's unlikely that rain will fall continuously for the 24 hours of your day, so I'm always positive we'll have a beautiful, meaningful day, but that's up to YOU.
We'll probably have to wait a bit longer for each part, get a little wet, change the order of things, have nighttime photos instead, dance under the rain, and move to different locations than expected, but the thing I can't do is take good portraits of people in a bad mood.
And this goes for everything; big or small, mishaps will happen on your wedding day. They have occurred at the 500+ weddings I've worked at by now. But you can't let weather, or anything, ruin a day that was so carefully planned, expensively paid, and anxiously awaited.
It doesn't rain lemons, but we'll still make that lemonade.
The best thing about rainy days is they give the most epic sunsets.