“Clouds create flattering lighting that acts like a natural instagram filter!”


Luxe Elopements - Byron Bay rain edition


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 🙂 


scroll for *case studies* with galleries!

Why 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)! 

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Why your iphone weather app - sucks!


DO NOT read your phone weather app – you will drive yourself crazy 😉 For the most accurate weather report for our region I recommend “Accuweather” 24-48 hours out, even the night before can change dramatically! We often get rain through the night and it clears for sunrise. 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 3am. 


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: 

 

OPTION 1:

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! 


OPTION 2:

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!! 


OPTION 3:

Alright, let’s say there is a major weather event (Cyclone / Flood / Covid / Road Blocks)… we have a few options:


  1. We will give you a list of indoor wedding venues you can book
  2. 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! 
  3. We offer you a free postponement within 12 months 🙂 


Case studies

Beach to farm - summer rain


Amber and Liam had a sunrise (mini) micro wedding at the beach in January 2023, summer being our wet season. Amber was finishing her PHD and the school holidays were the only time they could get married. We knew 48hrs out that we weren't going to get a *break in the weather* with light rain due most of the day. They had 20 odd guests and were planning a boho picnic with breakfast grazing platters after their wedding, at the beach!


We had no choice but to PIVOT. We organised Bramblewood Farm wedding venue only 15mins from the original ceremony location, this meant it was easy for all of the guests to relocate. The owner of Bramblewood Farm offered a heavily discounted venue hire fee to help them out. They had a SUNRISE wedding and wanted a FRIST LOOK together. Our team drove the couple up in seperate cars, to the peak of the property where the sunrises for their first look. The guests waited in the undercover hut where we had setup the ceremony to the side. When there was a break in the weather we could hold the ceremony outside. We swapped the *boho picnic* (low tables, cushions and rugs) for traditional tables and chairs in the undercover area. The musician setup in the same area. Everyone was DRY and comfortable :)


We had longer breaks in the weather and got through everything - ceremony, singing, guests congrats, group photos with guests and 2 x newlywed portraits sessions! Scroll through the gallery to see how dreamy the lighting was!

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Mountain and an adventurous bride


Deep in the Tweed Hinterlands at the base of Mount Warning at Mavis Kitchen, we had a full blown thunderstorm approaching! The radar was RED with possible hail. I gave our couple a few options (including indoor at the venue/cabin they were staying at) and it was a HELL NO! She wanted to play in the rain and we said WHY NOT :) Her Mum giggled at me and said that her daughter (the bride) has always *marched to the beat of her own drum* and a wedding in the pouring rain was *on brand* - LOVE IT! We knew it was going to be a quick and fast thunderstorm, they usually pass quickly. We pulled out the clear umbrellas, Leisa (Celebrant) put a brave face on and the heavens literally opened for the first kiss! We then played in the mud and had SO MUCH FUN!

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Break in the weather


Another Summer sunrise wedding in Byron Bay, our wet season. It had been raining on and off all week, standard Summer in a tropical climate. 24hrs out we could see less than 1mm of rain due at 8am (when we would be packing down). We woke up to it pouring rain BUT knew it would clear. The trucks had to wait in the dark and the team pitched in to set up an entire styled ceremony and picnic in the last 15mins (they really are the BEST!). Our trusted weather app and radars were right, heavens cleared for the entire wedding! We got everything done until the *very* last 15mins where we got a little rain during the end of the picnic. Everyone was happy and the lighting was breathtaking! We didn't get a *golden* sunrise but the clouds create soft, flattering skin tones and dreamy portraits :) PS. How cool was the Flower-MAN!

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Clear, rain, clear, sun


Sunrise in Summer at Cabarita Cove, Tweed Coast! It was raining all evening and the radar was CLEAR. We took clear umbrellas *just encase* because often the rain/storms go out to sea and you can get the tail end or a tiny cloud for a minute - we want to protect the hair ;) We started the ceremony and right before the vows we got a quick dump of rain that cleared by the first kiss! Cloudy portraits, sun popped out just as we were heading back. A little bit of everything!

01 / 21

Absolute fucking wipe out!


This is a case study proving, it's all about your ATTITUDE! This wedding was set in Byron Bay during the El Nina weather events. Torrential rain with gnarly winds!!! The radar was insane, the bride really wanted a *beach* wedding and I am always up for doing it for *The Plot*. The wind was spraying sea salt and rain directly into my lens which makes the images *soft*. I'll be honest, Leisa and the guests were not keen for this one haha We had a quick ceremony in the sand before it was unsafe amount of rain and we finished on the porch. Then the couple and I drove to the headland and RAN up for portraits! We had around a 15min window to get as much content as possible. I have never been so wet haha We smashed it and then on the 1.5hr walk (run haha) back the bride suggested jumping in the ocean... they were already wet! We knelt *safety* so it's an optical illusion being waist deep. We still talk about this day! Remember, the couple had the CHOICE to do everything at the AIRBNB but they wanted an ADVENTURE and epic story to tell :) Mum was NOT impressed ;)

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Wet and wild in byron bay


Okay, I'll admit, I drove home wrapped in a picnic rug I found in my boot because I was DRENCHED! As your photographer, I stand in the rain and move around, so you don't have to. My assistant holds an umbrella over me but I move so much it doesn't do much. I had a long coat over my camera to protect it while shooting. We gave the couple the option to move everything to their Airbnb but the bride chose to risk the rain and have the Byron Bay beach wedding she dreamed of! We setup the styling in a little lookout to be more protected from the wind and rain, when the heavens opened up we ran down to the beach and played!

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Feb Edition = hot, humid and fainting!


This is what normally happens... a week out from your wedding you are checking the weather and it says it's going to rain. What ends up happening is it's 30+C and 90+ HUMIDITY! Guests are burnt, vendors are dehydrated and you get the perfect Australia outdoor wedding :) This couple and their guests travelled to us from ALASKA! We explained in detail what the weather would be like in February, it's Summer and our wet season. The humidity is horrendous and the mozzies will eat you alive - we are brutally honest haha. We organised these beautiful Micro Wedding at Tides Estate in Byron Bay. We had plenty of wet weather backup options. The bride was adamant she wanted the ceremony under the Figtree and reception in the orchards = that she got :) She sent me a picture of the pool the next day - thunderstorms rolling in. Standard Summer babes! What did we learn? No point in worrying about the weather a week out from your wedding, I promise it will be amazing :)

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