In a place like Ottawa where rain is almost always somewhere in the forecast, we get asked regularly about options for photo locations in the case of rain. Not every wedding is at a venue with perfect indoor options for photos and we understand that rain is something couples are always anxious about. Even if there is only a small chance of it on your wedding day, you want to know your options.
NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE (NAC)
Despite what I said above about most places not being free, this one is an exception! The NAC allows any of its public spaces to be used for photos free of charge. It is a beautiful space, more recently made even more beautiful with some new additions and upgrades. This policy could change, so be sure to confirm with the staff at the NAC before making your plans.
It boasts beautiful architecture and elegance throughout its indoor space. It is a wonderful indoor option in the case of rain, or even if it is dry outside! As a bonus, if the rain does clear up and you want to make your way outside, you are in walking distance of many other great urban photo location options (Confederation Tunnel, Chateau Laurier, the Locks, & Parliament)!
MUSEUM OF NATURE
MUSEUM OF NATURE
The Canadian Museum of Nature is another great option for indoor wedding photos in the situation of rain. It includes incredible natural light and intricate architecture (both modern and historical) The Museum does require a reservation to limit the number of weddings using the space at a time. They also charge $100 for the use of the space during museum hours. You can find more information regarding this here.
CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM
The Canadian War Museum's lobby can be used for wedding photos during museum hours for a fee of $50. Its unique interior (and exterior!) architecture makes this a nice option for wedding photos in the case of rain.
With such an interesting exterior as well, you may find yourself wanting to step outside with an umbrella or use it once the rain clears up.
NATIONAL ART GALLERY
The National Art Gallery of Canada is a beautiful building with incredible architecture, high arching ceilings and plenty of lovely, natural light. They will rent time to couples wanting to use the space for their wedding photos. It is a more expensive option then some ($350), but also a nice option for indoor wedding photos in Ottawa.
Another nice aspect of the National Art Gallery is the close vicinity it has to outdoor options in the situation that the weather clears (Major's Hill Park, The locks, outside Chateau Laurier, Parliament, & Confederation Tunnel).
Speaking of Confederation Tunnel, that is another great option for getting cover from the rain, even if you don't opt to go indoors. Directly across from and under the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, confederation tunnel has an epic staircase and an interesting, arching opening to the street level above. Although not a particularly large area, there are several options for interesting photos under its cover as well as nearby if the rain lets up.
ROCKCLIFFE PARK PAVILION
If an indoor location is not what you are looking for and you would prefer to stay outside as much as possible but still want something covering you from the rain, then the Rockcliffe Park Pavilion is a fantastic option. It boasts a nice view of the river and strong stone pillars. Unfortunately, short of renting it for $400, it can not be reserved, but it can be used on a first come first served basis.
Another similar option to this would be the gazebo at Walter Baker Park in Kanata.
I should mention that each of these place's policies and fees could change at any time so, although I will attempt to ensure that all the information here is correct, I encourage you to do your own research and confirmation before relying on this post's accuracy.
Another fantastic option would be to brave the storm, come rain or not. I bring several large black umbrellas to every wedding as an option for couples to use in the case of rain. They can make interesting props and rain itself can make for dramatic photos. Sometimes it's just worth it!
© Joey Rudd Photography www.joeyrudd.ca Ottawa Wedding Photographer