I’m going to say straight off that stormy and dramatic weather makes for excellent photographs. Yosemite seems to come alive when storms pass through, which makes perfect sense considering how Yosemite was formed. Quick, think of your favorite Ansel Adams photograph of Yosemite. Dramatic, right? Chances are, it’s also stormy.
On a practical level though, no one wants to spend their wedding day soaking wet. At least not at first. It’s rare that I talk with a couple that is planning their wedding and hoping for seemingly bad weather. Yet when I’ve talked with couples that have been married in the rain months after their wedding, all of them tell me they wouldn’t have wanted anything different. You see, the weather becomes part of their story, part of their wedding. Just look at Heather and Mark in the photograph above. See those dark spots on his jacket? That’s where it soaked through with rain during their wedding ceremony. See those smiles on their faces? Getting soaked didn’t stop their love.
So if you’re just in the planning stages, why worry about the weather, when there is nothing you can do to change it? The simple fact is if you’re planning to get married outside in Yosemite (which is just about everywhere in Yosemite), you have no control over what the weather will do on your wedding day. Sure, if you don’t want to be blazing hot on your wedding day, maybe the middle of summer isn’t the best option for you. But what happens when your wedding day comes along and you learn that it’s going to be pouring during your ceremony? As the saying goes, you can control your reaction to the weather.
The good news is that if you’re planning an elopement or small intimate wedding, you’ll probably have some flexibility. A few days before your wedding you’ll have a somewhat realistic view of what the weather might do (notice there are lots of qualifications here because I have yet to see 100% accurate storm forecasting). If you see rain as likely for your wedding, you get to make a decision. If you are okay with the possibility of a wet wedding day, I’d recommend you get a good umbrella and enjoy yourselves. If not, call your vendors and see if it’s possible to adjust the wedding time during the day to avoid the storm. Often storms hit hardest at one time of the day and taper off – it might be possible to find the sweet spot just before or after a storm. You might also see about moving your wedding to a different day and avoid the storm entirely.
If you’re planing a large wedding with set timeframe, you effectively have two choices. You can make sure that you and all of your guests will share your same excitement for standing in rain and snow for the wedding ceremony, or you can create a backup plan to move things indoors for safety. This obviously adds lots of stress that you don’t need (and it’s a great reason to hire a good wedding planner just in case this happens), but there are options. If you are having your wedding at the
Ahwahnee Majestic Hotel’s Wedding Lawn, you will have the option of moving to the East Portico to stay dry. If you are planning your wedding outside at one of Yosemite’s approved ceremony locations, there really isn’t much else to do other than to get umbrellas. Again, this is where the weather and the beauty of Yosemite become part of your wedding day experience.
So that brings us full circle. You have a few options in case of bad weather, and we can help you shuffle things around if needed. The bottom line is that we really don’t know what the weather will be on your wedding day until your wedding day. Heck, maybe you’ll get super lucky and have a frozen lake that we can get to. And no matter what the weather is, it’s still your wedding day and that’s the most important part.