It’s July. Summertime in the UK. When thunderstorms rarely threaten …

Looking at the weather forecasts, you might be led to believe that it’s October. Sarah and Gary, who had to delay their wedding date, moved their celebrations to the end of July. At date on you could reasonably assume the weather will be bright and sunny.

Not this July. As I was driving down from Faversham to their venue at Stonelees ( where their ceremony was planned outside in the beautifully manicured gardens, I could see sheets of rain falling and heavy bands of clouds in which I suspected there might be thunderstorms. I convinced myself that I was going in the other direction … and when I arrived, all was good. Some slightly dark clouds in the background. Perfect for Gary’s portraits …

groom portrait with thunderstorms looming in background
groom and best man with light grey suits and patterned linings

Oh and little Arthur. Such a smiling boy, and very camera ready!

I might have also found my new favourite wedding ring shot placement:

wedding rings with flowers and greenery behind

The guests were arriving … the bridesmaids were already here … and then Sarah made her entrance … as we could see (and hear) that thunderstorms might be imminent, we didn’t have too much time for pre-wedding photos and as soon as the registrars had completed their interview with Sarah, we did a few quick bridal party images …

bridal party, bridesmaids in red gowns

Sarah and Gary were part way through their ceremony when the thunderstorms increased and made their presence. And it threw it down. Luckily some guests had umbrellas as there isn’t much covered space in the gardens. The bridal party stood under the gazebo and I scurried around, covering up my equipment and continuing to shoot. Luckily for me, my trusty Nikons are, to a greater or lesser extent, waterproof .. and so is my camera bag. The registrars continued …

Sarah and Gary married in thunderstorms at Stonelees

Can you see the rain? By this time, it was nearly torrential and the guests made a break for the reception room. Sarah and Gary casually (and sensibly) waited until the rain had lessened somewhat and then made their way to greet their guests. The klaxons had sounded on the course which means that no-one should be out playing golf … or taking formal photographs!

The registrars completed the documentation and Sarah and Gary were able to sign the register and get their commemorative certificate in the comfort of the reception room. Canapés and drinks were served and I took the opportunity to take a look at the weather and to get some guidance from Bryan on the course and we thought that we might get a break in the weather for formals.

We did! We got through the formals in record time and also managed to take a few portraits of Sarah and Gary to make sure that, if thunderstorms returned, we were covered with at least some images of them together.

Then it rained again. But no matter, the guests were inside enjoying the food and drinks and then speeches. Usually, after the speeches, I go out in a buggy with the bride and groom in their own buggy to go for a buzz around the grounds for some more portraits. It was touch and go …

Ice cream anyone?

bride and groom serving ice cream to guests

We could see, on the horizon that the skies were clearing … so we quickly had our ice creams and jumped into the buggies. And it was worth it!

bride and groom photographs after a huge thunderstorm

I’m so glad that Sarah and Gary decided to come out. It would have been so easy for them to say no and to stay in with their guests. I always ask my couples when I see different light or another opportunity for great portraits … they can say no but I love it when they say yes!

Congratulations, Sarah and Gary, and I’m looking forward to editing and sharing your final set of images. Wishing you both many long and happy years as husband and wife x

beautiful sunset after thunderstorms

P.S. If you’re looking for a photographer who is happy to shoot in the rain, run like a crazy person to get the shot and suggests going bonkers on a buggy … then get in touch. You can find my details here on my site: