Hmmmm….if you’re from the ‘Burgh this is quite a relevant question. Did you know that we rival every year with Seattle for which city gets the most rain in one calendar year?? Yes. That’s true. Pittsburgh is a very wet city so as you can imagine, we get the “What if it rains on my wedding day?” question alllllllll the time. And it’s a good one.
Ultimately photographers cannot control the weather. If we could we would make sure to have a mostly cloudy day with bright blue skies peeking out from those clouds. Bright sun causes horrible shadowing and we can compensate for that in a variety of ways but a blue sky with lots of gigantic, white puffy clouds is what we really want. But Mother Nature isn’t into taking orders for the day so we take what we can get. And this is why you want to seek out the best photographer you can for your wedding day. You are not only hiring us for our eye and creativity but you are also hiring us for our problem-solving capabilities.
So, what do you do when it rains on your wedding day? I was just presented with this question at the very last minute on Saturday because it was one of those typical Pittsburgh days where it just drizzled all day long. No breaks. So here is a small list of options I came up with that just might help you all out if Mother Nature decides to throw you a curve ball on your wedding day.
~Buy umbrellas. I don’t know if you have really looked into some of the new styles of umbrellas out there today but some of them are just gorgeous. From ruffled to double-layered, from simple to pagoda….you can really add some incredibly creative flavor to your photos with some of these. Just try to keep them mostly white because that makes a great reflector of light. If you choose solid colors then that is the color that will fall onto your skin in the photos. You don’t want chartreuse skin. And you can keep the tags on these with the receipt. So if it doesn’t rain you can return them. Make sure to have enough for the whole wedding party.
~Mellon Pillars. This is what we opted to do on Saturday. Yes, this location has been done time and time again but it’s a classic. The architecture is beautiful and we can pull off some really lovely shots in this location no matter what the weather is. The stone porch offers coverage from the rain so it’s a win/win.
~Allegheny County Courthouse. This one is on Grant St. downtown and it has a fabulous tiled ceiling on the stone porch. There are a lot of creative things you can do on this porch and it’s covered so there you go. Also–you can get a permit to shoot inside the courthouse. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the inside but it’s quite beautiful. If you don’t have a permit the guards there can *usually* be sweet-talked into allowing you to come in.
If you really want to be prepared and not leave it up to chance then I recommend budgeting a little extra money to be able to pay for either a permit for certain locations or for admission into some locations that you know offer some really beautiful backdrops.
~Phipps Conservatory. Phipps gets a bad rap for being pretty stingy with their space and rightly so. But it’s beautiful so I guess that’s what allows them to get away with it. But you can pay for a permit to be allowed to freely photograph throughout their facility.
~Carnegie Museum of Art. This is an awesome location with a lot of freedom for a minimal price. The museum allows you to go anywhere you want that all patrons are permitted to occupy and take as many photos as you want freely, just for the price of admission.
~Union Station Rotunda at the Pennsylvanian. This is a lovely location but it’s very expensive and very limiting. Everyone loves to get this iconic shot and you can do some really creative photography here….for the price tag of about $500. And I believe that gives you 2 hours (which is really about 1 hour and 15 minutes more than you need) and that only gives you admission to the exterior, not the interior and they must not already have another wedding scheduled that day.
Some people think spending the extra money on your wedding day is a bit extreme but if you plan ahead and have a “rainy day” fund it won’t hit the purse hard the day of your wedding. Also–what’s the point of paying for that fancy shmancy photographer if you can’t squeeze every penny out of them? Make sure you get all the big bang for your buck that you can. And consider this: how much smoother and more enjoyable do you think your wedding day will be if you plan ahead for a typical ‘Burgh day? Scrambling, worrying or getting wet is just wasting valuable time on your wedding day, which if you know anything about weddings, there is very little time to spare on your day. With a little planning ahead you can make sure your day is smooth, fun and completely uninterrupted.
So you tell me…what have I missed here? I’m sure there are a lot of wonderful locations in Pittsburgh that can be used as a back up for a rainy day. Anyone?