What To Do When it Rains on Your Wedding Day in NYC

What to Do When it Rains on Your Wedding Day in NYC

So you’ve looked at the forecast every day for the past month. It says rain… boo! Then SUN! Horray! Then inevitably switches back to rain. First things first. While it’s always good to check the weather, I can tell you from experience that you never quite know what you’re going to get in NYC. I’ve had the forecast call for downpours and then had sun and have had the opposite happen as well. Don’t stress too much. Focus on the good stuff: at the end of the day, you’ll be married and that’s the most important part. However, I know that is much easier said than done. If you ARE going to check the forecast, don’t start doing it until a few days out.

Rainy Day Wedding NYC

But really you ask, what DO we do if it rains or there’s a blizzard? This is actually one of my most frequently asked questions. Fortunately, you’ve got options and umbrellas can always make a cute prop! Finding public space that’s indoors in New York City is a bit tricky, but it can be done.

Rainy Wedding Photos NYC

Here are a few spots to consider in New York City if it rains/blizzards/hails/is freezing on the day of your wedding or elopement:

Your Hotel: This will obviously vary from person to person. However, if you’re lucky enough to be staying in a suite or larger room, a hotel with a nice lobby or covered deck or rooftop somewhere, or perhaps an Air BnB with a nice living room space and natural light? We can work with that. Look around your space and you might find it might just work well as a back-up. Other things to be on the look out for: are there buildings nearby with overhangs or large windows? If we can be outside but covered from the rain or have natural light this can work out quite well for photos. Bonus? You can get some excellent jumping on the best photos post ceremony!


NYC Elopement The Plaza Hotel

In the past, I have had very good luck taking photos in the Beekman Hotel downtown. This iconic hotel is also very close to the City Clerk’s Office, making it a great one to duck into for portraits if the skies decide to open up!

Beekman Hotel Elopement NYC

Grand Central Grand Central is my most used back-up location in case of inclement weather. It’s indoors and heated and can be really beautiful. There are a number of spaces that can work well for ceremonies and it also can be good for portraits afterwards. Keep in mind the closer you get to rush hour, the busier it’s going to be. There are definitely spots that are less busy, but there will always be a bit of an audience.


New York Public Library:

This is a good spot if it happens to be just slightly raining. On either side of the main entrance there are beautiful archways that are covered, but open to natural light. They make a great spot to have a small ceremony and are also great for photographs. If you’re looking to have a ceremony here, it’s best to go outside of opening hours like earlier morning or Sundays.

There are a few other public open indoor spaces scattered around mid-town. You can actually search for various options throughout the city and check them out here.  Another decent one is the Black Rock Park Ave Plaza at E 53rd and Park Ave. This space is located around many midtown buildings with large overhangs, allowing outdoor light with covered from the elements abilities.

Jane’s Carousel: This is a great spot for photos if you happen to be near the Brooklyn waterfront and want to step inside. It’s heated in the winter and riding the carousel is always fun! Having a very small quick elopement ceremony here I imagine could be possible pending on the attendant, though technically a permit is required. However you can always take photos inside if you’re just looking for a fun warm spot for portraits!


Covered Spots in Parks: 

Bethesda Terrace: While I don’t normally recommend ceremonies here as it can get very busy, on rainy days the park tends to be much less crowded. You will have to walk outside to get here, though once under the terrace, you’re good to go. There’s also room for a crowd, so if you have a guests, this could work well. Bonus: there are often street musicians playing so you might get a musical accompaniment.


Ladies Pavilion: Again you have to walk outside to get here, but once you arrive the pavilion is covered. It’s small, but if it’s just you and maybe a witness, you can definitely make this spot work in the rain or snow.

Rainy Day Elopement

Highline: There are sections of the Highline closer to the Standard Hotel that are covered. There are also several cool buildings in the adjoining meatpacking district that have large overhangs allowing photos outside but still out of the rain making this a good rain back-up.


Museums: There are loads of indoor museums in NYC, however, many of them are not particularly friendly to professional photography and weddings. Your best bet is the Museum of Natural History. I have photographed a few engagement sessions and even a quick ceremony here and it went off without hitch. Your ceremony will have to be quick, and no clearly big wedding dresses or bouquets are going to be admitted. I have heard that the Whitney is a possible location that can be more forgiving, however I have personally never photographed there before.


Rented Space

I’ve had good luck with clients renting spaces on sites like splacer and peerspace. These allow you to rent space by the hour and there are lots of creative spots to chose from.

Get a bit wet and rock the umbrella! 

Ok, so this isn’t a rainy day back-up and it’s not for everyone. But sometimes if you’re willing to roll with the punches and maybe get a bit wet, the photos will be awesome. I’m always up for an adventure and if you’re game, we can find a way to make it work. I have a stock of huge clear umbrellas that I always bring along so we’ll be set to go no matter the weather.

Rainy Day Elopement NYC


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De Nueva Photography specializes in NYC elopements and weddings. I'm also available for engagements, proposals, and family portraits.


Not having a local wedding or elopement? No worries. Travel is literally my favorite thing and my passport is always ready. I’m available for travel worldwide.




Email: info@denuevaphoto.com

Phone: 347-560-1625