Rain on Your Wedding Day?
80% of our couples are having a destination wedding and are unfamiliar with Byron Bay and Tweed Coast unique weather system. You are reading this because you checked your weather app and it says it’s going to rain on your wedding day – enter *meltdown mode*!!
DON’T PANICK, we’ve got you! 🙂
Firstly, if you are a week out from your wedding pleeease don’t panic, 99% chance the weather report will drastically change due to our unique weather pressure system. You only need to “panic” if there is a major weather event like a cyclone up North QLD or flash flooding – typically in March every 5yrs.
Let’s be honest, it rains every week on the East Coast of Australia. That’s why Byron Bay is lush, green and we get so many rainbows! The good new is Byron Bay/Tweed Coast has a UNIQUE weather pressure system due to the sea air and mountain ranges creating a pressure system. We don’t get rain non stop like Melbourne or Sydney… we get epic storms that last 15-20mins and go out to sea! It will often rain in the morning (remember the unique pressure system?) and clear up by lunch. As a photographer I dream of stormy days because the lighting is everything! I will explain below.
2021 El Niño @ Wettest year in 10 years!
9 out of 10 times the weather doesn’t affect our sunrise or sunset Elopements 🙂 You might have seen on instagram the start of 2022 has been wet and wild for us! We had a once in 100 year floods in Lismore (45mins south of Byron Bay) and we are experiencing an El Niño year which should end mid-year. Follow our Instagram because I share all the crazy stories in hopes to reassure you even IF the BOM radar is red AF, 10mins later we are producing epic photos 🙂
What does lighting matter?
Lighting is KEY to beautiful photography. We have already scheduled your ceremony time to lead nicely into golden light portraits. What does this have to do with rain on my wedding day? EVERYTHING 🙂 Clouds create a natural instagram filter! Harsh sunlight casts unflattering shadows down your face, it highlights texture (fine lines etc) and don’t get me started on squinty eyes and sweaty pits haha. Stormy days create the same soft and flattering lighting we usually have to wait all day for (Golden light)!
The wet season months are Dec, Jan, Feb and can sometimes lead into March (every 5yrs we get floods). The cooler months are considered the dry season, 20C days and crisp 10C nights between May and Aug. We have two peak wedding seasons: March to May and Sept to Nov. Spring is the most popular time of year for weddings on the East Coast but we do get quick storms. They are usually 15-20mins and go out to sea. It’s easy for us to wait it out and have a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The storms often create flattering lighting and vibrant colours!
PHONE WEATHER APPS and why they royally SUCK!
DO NOT read your phone weather app – you will drive yourself crazy 😉 For the most accurate weather report for our region I recommend “Accuweather”. The phone apps pick up on the REGION of Northern Rivers, NOT Byron Bay or Tweed Coast towns. If it’s going to rain 1hr inland in the mountains it will say “raining in Byron Bay” – UGH these apps freak my couples out and are the death of me. ALSO, your phone weather app will say “rain/storms” all day even though it’s only a 1mm shower at 6am.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT’S GOING TO “PROPER” RAIN?
We handle it for you 🙂 Sarah-Jane will keep a close eye on the weather for you. You will find the hourly report will change constantly leading up to your day (just to mess with you haha). You will receive a text message 24-48 hours before, with a weather update.
We have a 3-step plan:
We adjust your ceremony time 30-60mins to dodge a storm (90% of Elopements are sorted with this method). If you have a 5pm ceremony we move it to 4pm and start Hair and Makeup an hour earlier. This gives us ample time to “wait out a shower or storm”. There will be heavy cloud coverage which gives you flattering lighting and means we can shoot earlier 🙂 We will bring the clear umbrellas for the couple, you bring the positive attitude!
Okay, if there is a storm or heavy rain predicted and moving your ceremony time is still a high risk. We assess your package / guest count and Airbnb suitability as a wet weather backup option. This avoids you having to book and pay for a wedding venue.
For example, if you have a Barefoot Elopement with no guests it’s easy to “wait it out” in the carpark. If you booked our Signature package (styled ceremony) with up to 25 x guests we might recommend moving your ceremony to your Airbnb (most in Byron Bay are stunning!) so guests are comfortable. THEN the couple and Sarah-Jane can grab the clear umbrellas and brave it outside for BREATHTAKING portraits!!
Alright, let’s say there is a major weather event (Cyclone / Flood / Covid / Road Blocks)… we have a few options:
- We will give you a list of indoor wedding venues you can book
- On your wedding day we focus on fulfilling the legal ceremony. Couples usually have a honeymoon booked so we come back when the weather clears to shoot your newly-wed portraits. We organise hair and makeup to come to you again, on the house!
- We offer you a free postponement within 12 months 🙂
Your ATTITUDE will either make or break your big day!
Hands down your attitude with make or break your experience 🙂 You can’t control the weather. You are eloping – make it an adventure! The funniest and most memorable wet elopements have been when the brides says “F&%k it!!!” and we go for it! We recently had a few couples jump in the ocean for steamy shots! Often the weather clears up and there was nothing to be worried about in the first place, or we get a rainbow – Mother Nature has a good sense of humour 😉
Check out these beautiful shots on stormy days:
Cyclone Debbie 2016
Heavy cloud coverage, storm rolling in, sun cracked through the clouds
Electrical storm due, moved ceremony an hour, heavy cloud coverage. Dry.
100m over the 24hrs.100% cloud coverage. Watched the BOM radar for a break in weather and got the ceremony done with handful of guests. Then we drove and run up to Broken Head Headland (no rain!) and smashed out an entire session in 15mins. Got a little wet on the walk back – decided to jump in the ocean afterwards!
HUGE storm BOM radar was red. Bride said FUCK IT! Her Mum said “She always wants something different” and boy did she get it 🙂 Clea umbrellas and fog… rain stopped, fog lifted right at the first kiss! We got wet and wild and had so much fun getting portraits.
Was suppose to be 100m of rain. El Niño year of rain, start of the floods. We setup the ceremony under the house *just encase*. It didn’t rain but sprinkled right after I took the vineyard photos. Hot and humid and turn out perfect!
Raining all week. Watched the BOM and waited it out. Heavy cloud coverage. Unexpected sprinkle mid-ceremony so we moved under the veranda. Didn’t stop the rest of the evening!
Stormy sunrise elopement at Xmas (wet season)!
Stormy sunrise. Watching the BOM we knew there would be a sprinkle as we started then it cleared!
100% cloud coverage. Threaten rain but didn’t rain all day. Soft/unique lighting