What to Do if it Rains on Your Wedding Day

Is anyone else singing that Alanis Morisset song in their head? Whether you are planning an elopement or a 250 person wedding in New York City with venue staff, you need to have a backup plan in case of bad weather. Think clear skies and perfect light are the only formula for a perfect wedding day? Think again. This couple took full advantage of a snowy day in New York.

While it’s always good to check the weather, We can tell you from experience that you never quite know what you’re going to get. We understand that bad weather doesn’t necessarily fit in with people’s idea of engagement pictures. If there isn’t time to reschedule your session, we don’t want you to worry; rain can be a great addition to your photographs.

Our cameras are water resistant, and after living in New York for eight years, we’ve shot countless sessions in the rain. Regardless of the weather remember that you are marrying the person of your dreams and it’s going to be the best day no matter what. Regardless of the weather remember that you will be with the person you love and we promise it will be a fun adventure! Also, you’ve got options, and we’d love to share our expertise! Finding public space that’s indoors in New York City is a bit tricky, but it can be done.

Here are our top nine ways to beat the rain on your New York City wedding day:


1. Your Hotel

This is the most convenient option, a lot of hotels in New York City are designed so beautifully and if you are staying there the chances of us shooting portraits in the space is very high.

2. New York Public Library

Outside: This is definitely one of our favorite go-to spots. There are two stunning covered archways, and they are open to lovely natural light. It’s the perfect nook for a small ceremony and is also great for portraits or family photos.

Inside: No weddings are allowed inside the New York Public Library unless you have a permit.

3. Bethesda Terrace

One major positive on rainy days is that the park has fewer tourists. We can jump in a cab and get as close to the terrace as possible. From there you will have to walk with an umbrella to get underneath the arches. There’s plenty of room for guests. Bonus: there are often street musicians playing so you might get a complimentary musical accompaniment.

4. Ladies Pavilion

We can jump in a cab and get as close to the pavilion as possible. From there you will have to walk with an umbrella to get underneath Ladies Pavilion. It’s small, but if it’s just you, and officiant, and a couple of friends, you can definitely make this spot work.

5. Rented Space

Peer Space, Airbnb, and Breather are all fantastic options for renting space for a day or an hour or two. Let us know if you want help finding one that is best for lighting and location!

6. Top of the Rock

Inside: This is a great location and is easy to clear out, it isn’t iconic New York, but it’s a nice clean background and space. Top of the Rock is perfect for a quick ceremony and family portraits.

Outside: The views won’t be super clear on a rainy or snowy day, but you can always run out with an umbrella and get an image that has a snow globe effect.

7. Subway

This option is a little less popular, but we absolutely love photographing underground. It’s a great option if it’s too cold or rainy on your wedding session. It’s even fun to use the subway to get to reception instead of a taxi!


8. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal isn’t our favorite location, which is why it’s last on our list. It’s usually very crowded and the light isn’t great, but it’s indoors and heated and can be beautiful if done right. If you want this as an option, try to avoid rush hour.

9. Rock the Umbrella!

We saved the best for last if you’re able to get a little wet and have an adventure we’re ready to capture it. Don’t forget to bring cute rainboots!

Sojourner Society was started by Bethany and Tarun, a wife and husband team of wedding photography and videography serving Brooklyn, NYC, and beyond. We specialize in authentic, timeless, and documentary wedding photography. Are you planning a city hall elopement? Click here to view our wedding portfolio or contact us for availability and pricing. Happy wedding planning!

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What People Are Saying

Emily Reid

Bethany photographed our small, intimate wedding in the Strand Bookstore Rare Book Room, and we could not have been happier with our beautiful photographs! Bethany captured the evening perfectly, and we were especially impressed with how inconspicuously she photographed all the happy, spontaneous moments during the evening. She was so wonderful to work with as well - very professional, but also personable and kind.

Lisa Goeddel Burnsworth

I cannot say enough wonderful things on how professional, fun, and peaceful it was to work with Bethany. The entire process from engagement pictures to discussing locations of wedding pictures, selecting the shots we wanted with family, to wedding party photos was such a great process, and she helped me with decisions all along the way. It helped me stay calm and gave me such a relief to know that her professional and artistic demeanor would capture all of the moments so we would never forget them!

John Williams

Bethany is so more than just a fantastic photographer. She's professional, communicative, open, warm, and she made us feel so comfortable. In the days leading up, Bethany worked with us to put together our day-of schedule, even making sure we added in time for my partner and me to sneak away during sunset for a private moment and some dreamy photographs. We were blown away by all the little moments she captured that exhibited all the joy around us that day. Words can't even describe, but it's safe to say we are so happy with our photos and will truly treasure them forever.

Kimberly Morse

We were incredibly fortunate to be able to have Bethany shoot family photos for us near our home. It was something I had put off for years. In just a few minutes, she took the best pictures, everyone was comfortable and relaxed, and the shots show the real personality of our family without being posed and stiff.

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