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What do we do if it rains on the day of our engagement?

Updated: Feb 18

engaged couple holding hands and walking towards a cliff

What do we do if it rains on the day of our engagement?

This is by far the most popular question receive from couples as they are anticipating their engagement session in Asheville and we’re here to re-assure you that it’s going to be okay :) The blessing truly is the curse when it comes to our beautiful blue ridge mountains that people travel for, far and wide! As magnificent as they are, much of what you see is considered a temperate rain forest. During the summer it rains almost every day! Similarly, when it comes to the summer, this is when most of our couples love to have their engagement photos taken, so naturally they can get disrupted by the weather on occasion.

Due to the frequency of this question slipping into our email, we decided it would be efficient and helpful to go ahead and address it with a quick blog. Below we will be answering your question fully and going over all the things we consider when it comes to the weather and your engagement session!

engaged couple kissing in front of the biltmore estate

Things to know right out of the gate:

-It rains almost every day in the summer in the Asheville/WNC area

-Most of the time, it will rain in the late morning/afternoon and clear up around sunset

-Asheville can have a 100% chance of rain, and there’s still a chance it won’t rain on your engagement (most of the epic engagement locations are outside of the city 45 min. +)

-It can be raining on one side of the mountain and not on the other

-The weather changes here, daily and sometimes, hourly. Don’t stress on what the forecast says 2 weeks out, it’s usually wrong

-Usually the most vibrant sunsets come after a good rain

-The cloud cover provided by a rainy forecast can give you beautiful soft light which is ideal for engagement sessions!

What do we do (specifically)?

If it rains on the day of your session we encourage our couples to do one of two things:

  1. Reschedule

  2. Look at a different location

In the event that you are just not able to reschedule:

We refund you the majority of your session. The $100 non-refundable retainer fee is not returned.

How do we plan too best accommodate for our couples?

The week before your session, we start watching the weather forecast to get an idea of what it will do. If the weather is looking bad in the day or two leading up to your session, we will reach out and give you the option to 1) reschedule, 2) move forward, or 3) switch locations. For couples that choose to move forward or switch locations, we try to make a call an hour or two before your session is scheduled by watching the radar.

This is important because often times the location you have chosen may be raining heavily, but by looking at the entire region we can usually find a similar spot where it may not be raining. In these cases we will give you the option to switch it up if you would like. (Note: Sometimes if the rain lets up, there may be what we refer to in this area as a 'white out', where even though it isn't raining, the clouds and fog engulf everything, including the mountain views, there's never a guarantee)

engaged couple sitting on a tree while kissing

Is there an indoor option for us to shoot?

While there are portrait studio options for rent in the area, most of them require a reservation in advance. This is something you can do simultaneously to your session to have it as a plan B and something we have had couples do in the past. Whether you use it or not, you would still be charged by any professional studio because they have reserved that time for you, whether you decide to use it or not.

What about indoor options that aren’t studios?

There are a handful in the area, but most do require permission in advance to shoot there.

What about…..

The Biltmore (popular question). The only indoor option there where you can shoot is the Conservatory. There is an admission fee to access any of the grounds on the estate, or you can be a pass holder.

The Grove Park Inn - Doable sometimes, but permission is required in advance with your photographer’s insurance being up to date and on file. Often times they will tell you where you can and can’t shoot. In our experience they usually tell you you can’t shoot where you would want to, and the places you can shoot, you wouldn’t really want to. Also, the last time we checked, they were limiting portrait session approvals to guests only.

The Grove Arcade - You are able, but it tends to be crowded and there isn’t much variety and space.

A lot of other ideas couples sometimes have for potential indoor spaces are coffee shops, breweries, wine bars, book stores, air bnbs, etc. In most cases, all of these are going to require permission in advance if they are to be approved at all, and in some cases, a fee.

woman laughing as her fiance holds her hand

Something to consider before switching to an indoor option:

We find most of our couples want to do their engagement in the Asheville area for the scenic surroundings with mountains and waterfalls being the most popular. If this is the case for your engagement and what you’ve been envisioning, the odds of an indoor option are not likely to leave you feeling satisfied in terms of getting what you want from your engagement images. It isn’t to say that you can’t have a beautiful indoor session that rocks, but if mountains or waterfalls are what your heart desires, we wouldn’t suggest switching up last minute to an indoor option just based on experience of having worked with hundreds of couples for their engagements.

If you’re wondering what to do if it rains on your wedding day, click here!

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