how to handle rain on your tofino wedding day

Taken at Lighthouse Park in Ucluelet, BC, by Lindsay

Taken at Lighthouse Park in Ucluelet, BC, by Lindsay

If you do a quick online search for images of Tofino weddings, chances are you’ll be quickly overwhelmed with an endless stream of sunny scenes, bright beaches, and picturesque sunsets. It’s those long summer days we often see on social media, but Tofino is green, and there’s a reason for it. We live in a temperate rainforest after all! Late Autumn and Winter can bring rain and storms to the coast, creating an dramatically beautiful scene, but not all couples are looking for rain. So, putting a solid and easy plan in place to manage the rain will help take your focus away from the storm and focus on your beautiful day. However, I’m always so amazed at how many beautiful sunny days we have on the coast.

Here are a couple ideas that can help you deal with the rain that might invite itself to your Tofino wedding:

1. Have a covered place to go

Tofino’s rugged beauty is generally the reason why so many couples plan their wedding here, but it’s all too easy to forget that getting wed in the wild, and especially in winter, might also mean getting wet. If you plan to do an outdoor wedding and it looks like there is rain on the horizon, make sure that you have a tent on the beach or covered area for guests to hang out in before and after the ceremony to limit time spent getting wet. You can also prepare an area indoors for the champagne toast. If you decide to keep everything outside, have everyone bring a raincoat and embrace the refreshing rain!

Most resorts hook guests up with rain gear

Most resorts hook guests up with rain gear

2. Be open to subtle changes in location

The beach is one stunning option for a wedding ceremony, but there are many other more sheltered options as well. Endless beautiful forest nooks are hidden right next to sand or beautiful beach homes where you won’t be feeling the rain quite as strong. As an added bonus, you’ll end up with some completely original wedding photos from a unique vantage point! If that is too hard to organize, Tofino also has a number of venues that meld into the landscape so you hardly notice that you are inside. Check out the sunset scenery provided by The Shore Pier, the incredible views of Cox Bay from the Great Room at the Long Beach Lodge, or the cozy settings at Middle Beach Lodge and Wickanninish Inn.

October wedding at  The Shore Pier

October wedding at The Shore Pier


3. Get those umbrellas and gumboots out

Work with the rain and have fun with your outfit! I bring white and clear umbrellas for the bride, groom and bridal party to help stay dry. They work great as photo props! They’re also a great way to bring everyone closer together, and come with some good laughs. Though not a permanent solution, a good set of umbrellas can help you through a surprise rainstorm during the ceremony or other outdoor portion of the event. Another fun idea is to accessorize with some gumboots. They’re functional, and bringing them for photos afterwards will help you stay dry and create some adorable stormy wedding photos.

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4. Change up your champagne toast

One of the quickest ways to stay happy in a cold and wet environment is by having something warm to put in your body. If it looks like the big day might be a bit chillier than expected, trade the champagne toast for a hot chocolate + baileys toast – or add it to the menu! Having a warm snack after the ceremony and before the reception is also a great way to keep your guests cozy and fueled.


5. Embrace it

Let’s face it – sometimes there’s no getting around the weather. There’s something to that though, and it’s a big part of why people come to Tofino to get married. A Tofino wedding will always have an element of the unknown, an adventurous aspect to it. Have fun with it and feel like a kid again!

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Getting married in Tofino means being surrounded by natural beauty and a wild coast. Rain and storms are just another glorious side to this special town. It tends to bring people back to being a kid and I often find there is so much more laughter in the rain. So a bit of planning and working with what the day brings can make sure that you’ll have the wedding of your dreams, rain or shine! As the wedding photographer, I will always work with you and the rain to get beautiful photos. No matter what!

how to relax in front of the camera

Ok. It is hard to stay relaxed in front of the camera on the biggest day of your life and when all eyes are on you and when you have never done a photoshoot quite like this one before. Totally understandable. I had a friend come for a visit who insisted on shooting a couples shoot for Pete and I. Pete is comfortable in front of the camera. I don’t feel the same way. My palms were sweaty, heart thumping and I wasn’t feeling very beautiful. I was still salty from our surf earlier in the day, so that may have had something to do with it. But (!), I ended up having the best time with these tricks and reminders.

 
  1. Wear something that makes you feel amazing.

    Whether you’re planning an engagement shoot or your wedding day shoot, wear something that makes you feel amazing. If it is an engagement shoot, talk to your photographer ahead of time to get some tips on what to wear (I foresee an upcoming blog post topic). As you look for your wedding dress, keep in mind what you really love and feel good in. This will make you glow come wedding photography time!



2. Know your photographer.

This is a very good reason (among others) why an engagement photo session is a wonderful thing to do. It can help so much if you know your photographer, even if it’s just a little bit. These are all things I really really love! Even finding a small connection helps you feel more comfortable. When I have photographed an engagement, it has helped both the couple and me get a feel for the dynamics, so once the wedding day comes it moves a lot more smoothly. And you are way less nervous! 3 things I love are dogs, coconut chocolate ice cream from Chocolate Tofino and sharing amazing recipes (here’s my recent fall favourite from Oh She Glows). You can learn a little more about me by checking out an earlier blog post.

3. Have a drink!

No joke. A little rosé goes a long way. It removes those initial jitters and allows you to fully get into it without thinking about it too much.

Champagne anyone?

Champagne anyone?

 

4. Remember you are with the love of your life.

This might be the most important tip. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of this lens pointing right at you and you needing to look or act a certain way (it happens to all of us!). I you remember that you’re with the love of your life and put all of your focus on him or her, it can help you relax immensely and be as natural as possible. A good way of doing this is pretend you haven’t seen each other for a couple of days, or it’s friday and you finally have a moment to just simply be together after a busy week.

A little forehead kiss goes a long way

A little forehead kiss goes a long way

5. Plan more time.

As a photo shoot goes on, you get more and more comfortable. Scheduling multiple shoots throughout your wedding day, or taking more time for the bridal photos is setting yourself up for ultimate ‘in-front-of-the-lens’ comfort. As a photographer, I love having more time with the bride and groom to capture them in their most natural state. It also means we can go to several locations!

6. Have fun with it.

Have fun with the process. Dance with each other, get your love to spin you around or pick you up and tell each other jokes. Don’t be afraid to be yourselves and have fun with each other! If you have ideas or props that will allow you to have more fun or be more comfortable, bring them. The photographer will always work with you to make it the most enjoyable experience!

 
making silly faces is adorable…

making silly faces is adorable…

….and leads to these beautifully natural moments.

….and leads to these beautifully natural moments.

 

I have put these simple actions and reminders into practice with my clients, as well as my camera-shy-self, and it has made a huge difference. My goal with each shoot I do is to channel in as much positive and fun energy so we can have a blast and capture the love all at the same time.

Want to learn more? Let’s connect…

5 places to pamper yourself on your Tofino wedding weekend

Tofino itself tends to be a relaxing place. Beach walks, surfing, comforting snacks, beautiful views. Sometimes, you need more than that. There’s nothing like having healing hands give you the full restful experience you need, especially before the big day.


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Here are the top 5 places to pamper yourself on your wedding weekend (or any other time!):


  1. Sound Skincare

Owned and operated by Rylee, (actually one of the sweetest people in town) Sound Skincare focuses on facial treatments with a natural and holistic approach. She is a licensed esthetician, and is certified in Pastiche Advanced Skin Analysis. So she knows how to use science to identify the root cause of skin problems (magic!). She is also certified in microneedling, an anti-aging modality that produces new collagen and ellastin, resulting in full skin rejuvenation. Skin firmness (fine lines and wrinkles), texture (scarring) and hydration. Again, magic! Sound Skincare is located right in downtown Tofino.



2. Ancient Cedars Spa and Steam Cave

The spa, located seaside at the Wickanninish Inn (North Chesterman Beach) is beautiful with some unique treatments, but the steam room is the real gem. Unless you know someone, this is the only one in town. Give your pores a warm vacation! Sometimes I like to have a cold(ish) shower afterward to close up the pores and bring my body back to perfect temperature.



3. Breedom Massage Therapy

Breedom is an adorable and relaxing massage therapy space located downtown, Tofino. It’s brightness and vibe make you feel like you’re in a cozy cocoon of soft pillows and warm tea. They have a great roster of massage therapists with various backgrounds and specialize in sports therapy and other massage methods.



4. Hot Springs Cove

This place. It is so beautiful, and the water is hot! There are a couple of ways to get there. One is to fly, which is about a 20 minute flight and you get beautiful views of the coastline and mountains. The other is to take a boat. It is around 1 hour to get there and there are some gorgeous little zones and caves you can see from the boat. Sometimes you can see whales! The pools are a 25 minute walk down a boardwalk and the pools cascade down to the sea. The pools get cooler the closer to the ocean they get. At a higher tide the bottom pool gets some sea water rolling in. It’s very refreshing! It is a super fun option for the whole bridal party and if you take a boat, it is around 6 hours roundtrip.

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5. Sacred Stone Spa

This spa that has some great packages to offer, especially for the day before your wedding day. They offer a large amount of services, including an infrared sauna and eyelash/eyebrow tinting.


lacey and ryan - a wedding at middle beach lodge

The day was a bright cloudy day at Middle Beach Lodge. A beautiful resort five minutes outside of downtown Tofino. The tide was on its way out and the bridal party was getting ready in their beachside cabins. When I arrived, Lacey’s smile lit up the room and she gave me a huge hug. The rest of the day went exactly like that. Big smiles, so much love, and we had a blast the entire day.

Lacey and Ryan were such a joy to work with. My cheeks were hurting by the end of the day from smiling, laughing, and the fun of being part of their beautiful day. Thank you to Middle Beach Lodge, and a big thanks to Lacey and Ryan for having me be part of this wedding full of love.

 
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Bridesmaids - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding guests - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding ceremony - middle beach lodge, tofino
Groomsmen - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding ceremony - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding ceremony - middle beach lodge, tofino
TOFINO scenery, middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding guest, middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding reception - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding guest - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding reception - middle beach lodge, tofino
wedding reception, middle beach lodge, tofino
first dance, middle beach lodge wedding
first dance, middle beach lodge, tofino wedding
middle beach, tofino
 

Venue and catering: Middle Beach Lodge Resort

Flowers: Crab Apple Floral

get-to-know Lindsay - photographer at Lovesea

Hi! I'm Lindsay, a Tofino-based wedding photographer. I've been based in Tofino for the past seven years and no matter where I go in the world, I am always so grateful to come back home. 

Photo by  @katwillson  taken at cox bay, TOFINO

Photo by @katwillson taken at cox bay, TOFINO

I feel it's important to know your photographer, so here's a short story about where I come from. I started to take photos when I was seven years old. My grandfather was a naturalist and photographer. I learned a lot about photographing landscapes and birds while we went on banding trips around BC, Alberta, and the Arctic. He was my hero! After he passed away, I continued to travel and take images. It evolved from birds and landscapes, to people and love in beautiful settings. Now, I am a wedding photographer and, every now and then, I photograph for editorial and commercial projects. Sometimes I get in the water to shoot surfing too!

I've explored Tofino extensively. By foot, off-road vehicles, boat, plane, canoe, all of it! I know the perfect little spots for intimate wedding photos, where the best sunset watching spots are (hint: it's season dependent!),  and where (and when) to find the best acai bowl in town. 

If there is one thing I have learned in my time living in Tofino, it's to have compassion for the land and water we are living and working on. So, we made lovesea wedding photography a 1% for the planet company. Yay! This was a long time coming and I am so happy to have made the leap. 

When I'm not taking images or editing, I go for long beach walks (actually), go surfing, shoot photos with my medium-format film camera, and eat a lot of Chocolate Tofino ice cream. The salted caramel is the absolute BEST. If you ever have questions about where to surf that day or where to get a good snack, I am here for you :). I love to travel and have been to 30 countries in Asia, South America, North America, and Europe. I couldn't tell you what kind of food I like the most, but I'm often seen eating a juicy mango over the kitchen sink. 

Well, that's me! I love stunning scenery, beautiful details, and people in love. I hope you share your love story with me :).

Reach out and ask me anything! 

Best,

Lindsay at lovesea