April Showers Bring May Flowers - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography
Future Brides, this one is just for you!
I don't know about you, but ever since I was a little girl, my mood, thoughts, and even outlook on life has been deeply affected by the weather. Now that I think back on it, I think I struggled with a small amount of seasonal depression ever since we moved to the Midwest when I was a kid. It's a very real thing and you can't quite understand it until you've spent more than a few winters in the Midwest. Let's just say that I feel like a completely different person in February / Early March than I am in July! I have a seriously hard time thinking optimistically by Mid-March. Honestly, every little obstacle seems to carry a cloud and it's really hard for me to see big picture at that time. ...but then, April always comes. Filled with hope and new life and even as I sit here in Starbucks without my full length down parka by my side, I can feel my heart coming alive again. Thank God taxes were scheduled for THIS month and not in February or March. We've still got a little ways to go, but as I walk out my front door and see little bits of green popping up through the dirt, I'm reminded that the hardest part is over and I feel like we can conquer anything!
Come rain or come shine, I thank God for April.
For us, April is the catalyst of our work season.
At this point, we have had the honor of capturing two Downtown Chicago weddings for the month of April and both of them couldn't have been any more different. This week's wedding was idyllically sunny. Not a cloud in the sky and a gorgeous 72 degrees from beginning to end. Last week's wedding was 35 degrees, crazy winds, thick clouds, and on-again off-again rain. Do you want to know what I LOVED about last week's wedding? Despite the weather, our born and raised native Phoenix couple smiled from beginning till end. They never once let the weather get them down. They laughed, smiled, and held each other close to stay warm. Nothing could get them down. Their day was perfect because it was THEIR day.
As we enter Spring Wedding Season, we receive countless emails from Brides regarding the forecast of their wedding day. We have a couple of tips and tricks to help our couples to prepare for a rainy day, but ultimately, as much as we like to have all of our ducks in a row ahead of time, Mother Nature ultimately gets to decide how she feels on the day. We completely empathize with the anxiety of a Bride dreading rain on her wedding day, but we always remind her that even if it is cloudy or rainy or windy, it’s their day and that’s what makes it beautiful.
Can we let you in on a little secret of ours?
We ADORE rainy wedding days.
It's true. At this point, we've had the honor of documenting a couple hundred weddings and we can honestly say that some of our all time favorite days to capture rained from begging till end. We want to encourage every Bride to abandon their fear of rain on their wedding day and here's why:
1. Rain can help every couple abandon any expectation or comparisons they may be carrying over their Wedding Day.
I can honestly say that I feel bad for Brides who are planning their weddings amidst a Pinterest saturated wedding industry. Don't get me wrong. I have had my fair share of being sucked into the black hole of Pinterest far too late into the night. I find the most incredible recipes, home decorating ideas, and even parenting tips from this awesome resource, but just like a majority of social media that plays a part of our daily lives, it is SO hard not to compare our lives to the carefully curated perfect moments of other's lives. Pinterest, in particular, is an incredible resource for Wedding Inspo or DIY how to's. However, after spending time pouring through hundred's of carefully selected photos, it's hard not to carry perfectionist standards over every part of our own wedding days. That's why the rain can be a blessing. It can help couples abandon their preconceived ideas of how the wedding day "should" be and help them let their hair down to embrace what their day is really all about.
2. As photographers, we think an umbrella can be a best friend.
Umbrellas are an adorable way to make our couples get close to each other for pictures. Enough said!
3. You can't help but let loose and let go when you play in the rain.
If you are up for playing in the rain, then we are too! Genuine, real, and playful moments are what we are aiming for, so in some ways it could be great fun. Again, this all goes back to letting go of our preconceived ideas of what our wedding day "should" be and just focusing on what it is really about. The two of you, having fun, embracing the moment, and letting life be what it is.
4. The lighting is perfection.
From a photographer's perspective, cloud coverage is our best friend. From the moment the day starts till the moment it ends, we are constantly assessing the light. The clouds give us the ability to place you absolutely anywhere while avoiding the challenge of finding even light.
5. The colors are perfection.
On a cloudy day, the colors POP! Personally, we love color! Portraits on a cloudy day are some of our favorite because they allow color to truly stand out and avoid being washed out by luminous light. For instance, a Bride's green eyes will be particularly green on a cloudy day. Those red lips will stand out for a pretty pop. The colors in her bouquet will be vibrant and any color in a Groom's suit will be more saturated. We love that!
6. Cloudy days are awesome for skin tone!
Plain and simple, your skin will be gorgeous on a cloudy day. 100 points for that! Can I get an Amen?
7. And now that we've mentioned our most favorite reasons to shoot in the rain, here are some helpful little reminders and tricks to prepare for rain on your wedding day:
- Invest in two umbrellas for the two of you! We really suggest investing in two clear umbrellas (they become their own light box to illuminate your pretty faces) or in a color that you really like that goes with your day. Be very careful about choosing an umbrella with a pattern on it. We want the two of you to be the stars of your wedding portraits. Not your umbrellas.
- Encourage your entire bridal party to do the same. A suggestion to take one more thing off your plate would be to assign someone to buy umbrellas of your color choice. Again, clear umbrellas would ROCK a group shot for the bridal party. If you have a large bridal party, then you only really need one umbrella for every two people.
- Invest in an adorable pair of rain boots that you wouldn't mind getting muddy! That way you can protect your gorgeous wedding day shoes and not worry about having fun for photos.
- Encourage your bridesmaids to also bring along cute rain boots! If they already have a pair, then let them come as they are. Or, if you have a specific color you want to go for, send a little note ahead of time so they have enough time to come prepared.
- Ask your makeup artist to give you a pop of color that morning if it's going to be a cloudy day. Maybe a bright red lip? Or some color for your eyes? Choose one or the other and you wont regret having that pop for your photos.
- Investigate your indoor photo location options ahead of time. That way, if it is straight up monsoon down pouring, you have a backup plan and you don't feel stressed the day before or on your wedding. We strongly suggest finding a location that is not too far away from where the action is taking place. Lots of windows and natural light are your best friend when choosing an indoor location. Also, be sure to inquire with each location about permits. Some may require a permit ahead of time, so do your homework and ask about what may be needed in advance before your dates gets close. If you are at an absolute loss as to where to go for indoor photos, then venture out to a nearby garden center greenhouse. The lighting will be lovely and it will most likely be warm and cozy.