“Rain on a wedding day is good luck!” doesn’t always help an anxious couple, but Tara and Len’s wedding at Harvest View Barn certainly proves that rain is NOT the end of the world! If anything, it’s a frenemy, and with a little planning ahead, it can add a dash of magic to your day that sunshine just can’t beat.
Tara and Len: Wedding Planning, and unplanning
Tara and Len were high school sweethearts. When they decided to tie the knot, decisions were made down to the very last flower petal to make sure their day was as perfect at their love story— they’d waited SO long! I met Tara ahead of her wedding day for a boudoir session she booked ages ago for a well thought out gift to her future husband. When she showed up to her session, she had every outfit nailed down, every accessory, and even a sparkly clean engagement ring. She’s the kind of person that is good at planning, likes plans, and likes everyone to follow the freakin’ plan. Long story very short, their wedding day did not go according to plan at all.
Tara and Len were originally supposed to have a gorgeous, sunny wedding day in Jersey along the shore. That was, until COVID caused them to have to uproot entirely. Graciously, this couple picked up their entire day and shifted it to the quaint city of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where Harvest View Barn sits overlooking fields upon fields of green. A little (okay, COMPLETELY) different, but gosh those views! Tara’s mom and MIL spent countless hours helping plan, replan, and change plans over and over to make sure their children’s day was the best it could possibly be.
Their Wedding Day at Harvest View Barn
On the day of their wedding, forecasts called for thunderstorms ALL day long. Both Tara and her coordinator were worried about pictures. It never cleared up and we had looming gray skies from sunup until dusk. Y’all, the heavens opened up just minutes before their ceremony. Harvest View set up an indoor seating chart inside their beautiful barn to keep guests dry, and Tara broke out the umbrellas.
All of what would have otherwise happened indoors, from Tara and Len’s first touch and letter reading, to their ceremony and cocktail hour, happened inside and it was PERFECT. A little challenging? Yes. A little off the cuff? A bit. But totally gorgeous anyway? YES.
Harvest View provides an entire farmhouse for their couples to use, which includes separate groom and bridal suites, giving us the perfect backdrop for teary gift exchanges and getting ready. The farmhouse porch complete with vintage-y looking rocking chairs wasn’t bad either 😉
10 Tips for Dealing with Rain on your Wedding Day
- Discuss with your venue coordinator BEFORE you book the venue. Tara and Len were incredibly lucky in that their venue offered a rain backup plan that didn’t include a white popup tent or drying off chairs (which is fine, but stressful!) No couple wants to prep for bad weather, but in the event that you do have more than just rain— in this case, thunderstorms— you need a backup plan with your venue coordinator! What will go where? How will you keep everything organized? Where will you set up the bar/food/chairs/tables? All of these things can be discussed with a venue coordinator.
- Keep flexible. Everyone wants you to have the best day ever, and just because it rains doesn’t mean it can’t be magical. Try to stay as flexible as you can when plans go awry, and if you’re the kind of person that needs everything one way, familiarize yourself and have a solid plan for both rain AND shine.
- Hire professionals. Ask, ask, ask. True professionals have the proper backup plan and equipment when it comes to rain. That guy you found off Thumbtack may not.
- Choose backup locations ahead of time. Tara and Len only had on option for rain, which was gorgeous. In some cases, you may have multiple options and it should not be left up to your coordinator on the day of to decide where a backup space will be created. Consider things like natural light, which may be more beneficial during a ceremony than a reception, colors which could help you determine your floral and wedding party styling, and how to make the most of any sunny-day decor (see Tara’s florals on the mantle!)
- Bring CLEAR, matching umbrellas. See below.
6. Accept that you may get wet. Tara and Len definitely got rained on a little here, but with time to make touchups before the reception, it didn’t really matter! If you can embrace the weather and do your best not to fret about wet hair or a little mud on your shoes, you can make memories that are worth every water stain and speckle of mist!
7. Leave room in your timeline for changes. Every Brey Photo wedding package comes with a one hour consultation and suggested timeline for a seamless day. Those timelines include breathing room for weather issues. A little leisure time in a timeline (anywhere from 5-10 minutes here or there will do!) will give your vendors valuable time to make quick decisions that make your day 110% flawless— even in the pouring rain. Whether that’s swapping shooting times or negotiating extra time with a stylist for rainy touchups, plan a timeline as if a hurricane was about to swallow up the venue. Drastic? Yes. Necessary? Double yeah.
8. Embrace it. This one is especially important to all wedding photographers. Rain can be so cinematic and drool worthy. Dancing in the rain? Gorgeous. Kissing in the rain? Movie classic? Wedding in the rain? People freak out. NO! There can be something so artistically and uniquely beautiful about letting yourself experience the warmth of your husband’s skin against yours in the rain, the cold breeze blowing through an open venue window, or a dance underneath drizzly skies. There is NOTHING wrong with a little water unless you fight it.
9. Remember that your photographer’s job is to capture your real day, not your Pinterest board. This is the hardest one on the list to hear, and even harder to practice. So much planning goes into a couple’s dream day, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the job of your photographer and film maker are not to capture what you planned on. It’s to capture the reality, so that you and your family will have something tangible and real to hang onto. Fake skies, editing out rain, re-shooting a wedding day… none of that was your day, so none of that should be your legacy.
And finally, number 10. Remember that this was never, ever, about the weather. Your wedding day was always about your person, marrying them and starting the rest of your journey together— rain or shine.
Love the barn look of Harvest View as much as I do? Check out these posts to see more of the same vibe:
Hair: Sam Curcio
MUA: Kat Winter
Gown: Irini’s Originals
DJ: Dave Shaffer
Film: Bob Hogan Productions
Florals: Floral Design of Mount Joy