Having been a Texas Hill Country wedding photographer for the last ten years, I know how quickly your wedding day forecast can turn unexpected. Texas is known for not being able to make up its mind when it comes to the weather. The truth is, real weddings aren’t always sunshine and rainbows – but some of my favorite photos have come from in-the-moment, couldn’t ever replicate this wedding day Plan-B’s. I’m here to share my helpful tips and “things didn’t go as planned” wedding stories to show you how to have your dream wedding, even in bad weather.
As a photographer, I’ve experienced every wedding hiccup under the sun, and it’s my job to always be ready to pivot and capture the beauty in every moment. It’s important that my couples know I have their back no matter the weather. It just takes a little planning, trust and
pixie dust creativity.
Your dream Hill Country wedding is an outdoor ceremony, so how do you prepare for when it rains?
When you know there’s rain forecasted, it’s important to be flexible and take any window of opportunity you can. Even if you end up having to move your wedding indoors, you can always reorganize the timeline to ensure some stunning outside photos. With rain forecasted during their wedding, Elizabeth & Kevin chose to do their first look and portraits in the morning, and it was such a sweet way to start their day.
If you’re not afraid of getting a little wet, the rain is a special opportunity to create your own cinematic moment. My couples know that I’ll do whatever it takes to get the best shots possible, even if that means following you around the dance floor with an umbrella (like I did for this romantic first dance in the rain at Elm Pass Woods).
Even if you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, there are so many amazing Hill Country venues that have great Plan B indoor ceremony locations. Choosing a venue with a backup ceremony site – one you love almost as much as your outdoor spot – will ease so much wedding planning stress.
TIP: You’ll want to look for venues with a lot of windows.
Every wedding photographer wants to be able to shoot in dreamy natural light, but the reality is, that’s not always going to happen. Especially on a rainy day. The key is trusting that your photographer can work their wizardry in any environment.
If you’re planning an outdoor summer wedding in Texas, there’s a good chance the temperatures are going to be 90 and above. These are some of my favorite ways to keep yourselves (and your guests) from melting.
We’ve all seen Texas weddings with fans, and there’s a reason they’re so popular. Fans are a completely personalizable wedding souvenir and delight guests of all ages. If you don’t offer them, they’ll probably end up using their programs as fans anyway, so go ahead and make it something extra special!
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many outdoor wedding venues don’t have A/C here in the Hill Country. If your dream is to have an outdoor wedding in the summer, make sure you and your guests have someplace cool to retreat to.
It’s easy in all the chaos to forget to do something as simple as drink water, but this is critical for everyone involved, especially in the summer months. You can offer water bottles next to the guest book or ensure the bar is open right after the ceremony so guests can sip refreshments while you’re taking portraits.
Many people think rain or high temperatures are the biggest problem when planning an outdoor wedding in San Antonio or Austin (and everywhere in between). But Texas is known for it’s extremes swinging both ways. If you’re getting married anytime from October through March in the Hill Country, it’s important to have ways to keep your guests warm, just in case.
Your photographer should be able to plan out your shooting schedule so that you can get those outside shots you dreamed of, but also ensure you stay toasty and warm.
One of the best ways to create an unforgettable experience for guests (and yourself) is to lean into the weather forecast. With so many Hill Country weddings taking place in the heat of summer, a colder wedding day is going to naturally stand out. You just want to make sure it stands out for the right reasons! Let guests mingle around fire pits during cocktail hour or provide warm blankets they can cozy up with during the ceremony. Little touches that celebrate the moment (rather than fight it) are guaranteed to make your day unique and memorable.
One of my favorite things about colder wedding days is that my couples get to express themselves through layering and accessories. Have your bridesmaids wear matching shawls or furs that pair perfectly with their dresses. Or on cold, rainy days, give the entire wedding party matching umbrellas. Planning out these additional accessories in advance makes all the difference, ensuring everyone is comfortable and no one in your wedding party is wearing clashing sweaters, jackets, etc.
At the end of the day, it’s SO important that you have a photographer you trust by your side. They’re the one person (other than your partner) that will be with you every step of the day.
As long as you’re flexible, embrace the moment and remember why you’re there in the first place – to celebrate and marry your person – I’ll champion your love and vision no matter what comes our way. And, I promise we’ll have fun while doing it!