In our little corner of the world, it seems like all it has done for the past two months is rain. Since I run in a lot of wedding circles, I’ve heard a lot of couples (and their vendors) freaking out about rain.
Rain is a thing that happens. You can’t do anything about it, your fiancee can’t do anything about it. Neither can your mom, your dad, your best friend, your wedding planner, your photographer, your venue….or even your priest. Since it’s a thing that happens, you should plan for it.
Rain does not have to ruin your day. It doesn’t even have to be a big deal. I’m saying this from someone who has not only filmed beautiful rainy day weddings, but as a former bride who had a rainy wedding day.
Rain can’t ruin your day. Worrying about rain MIGHT ruin your day. So plan for it.
Chris and I were married at a local venue. Our original plan was to be married on the gorgeous stone patio, in front of the pretty white gazebo. The forecast did not look good, and on the day itself, it looked even worse. Grey, rainy, and predicted to go on most of the day. Less of a chance in the afternoon, when our ceremony was scheduled. But when the venue called me to make the final call, I asked them to move everything inside. We would have guests seated at their tables for the reception and get married on the dance floor. They re-arranged everything a bit, and it looked gorgeous. It didn’t actually rain during our ceremony time, so we could have been outside. But I would have worried about it all day (and it was also shockingly cold). We were all happy and cozy inside, and 12 years later, I can honestly say that I was perfectly happy with our ceremony being moved indoors. It’s okay to have an indoor location in mind, just in case of rain.
I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that my #1 tip for surviving rain is to have a Plan B.
Sometimes, the Plan B is to just wait it out. Often the rain won’t stick around all day, when the weather breaks, you carry on with the wedding. When the rain hits, you take cover. In 2015 we had one wedding where the Mother of the Bride made it halfway down the aisle before the rain came. Everyone took cover and we did the whole thing over 15 minutes later.
Vince and Salena had planned a sweet, intimate backyard wedding. When the forecast started to look gloomy, they had extra tents and sails brought it. They had gorgeous sunshine for their ceremony, but it rained pretty heavily for the first part of their reception. So heavily, and with so much wind, that the band couldn’t have their equipment on. The wedding party was seated under this huge sail, and every time the wind whipped through, the sail went flying into the air. They raised their arms and screamed as if on a roller coaster. It was amazing. The storm passed, the band started up, and the reception carried on.
Other couples have gone as far as to order umbrellas or boots that match their wedding decor to help the wedding party get from place to place in style. If you don’t have time to special order ones, the ones you have on hand will do an awesome job and add a personal touch to your day as well.
My second tip is to allow extra time.
You’re going to want time to touch up hair and makeup if you have to go outside at all, so be sure you build that into your schedule. Your hair stylist and makeup artist are professionals, and know how to deal with all kinds of situations. But, they aren’t miracle workers, so if the weather is very bad you’ll need a touch up or two, and they can give you tips on how to maintain the look you want.
You also want extra time built in just in case the rain passes, especially if you have your heart set on some outdoor photos. Allow your photographer the freedom to duck outside with you any time it’s dry enough to grab those photos without worrying about setting the whole schedule off.
Last, use it to your advantage.
The rain can add some gorgeous imagery to your day. If you embrace it, it’s something special, unique, and memorable. Something that will set your wedding apart from all the other blue sky weddings. Is there anything more romantic than being huddled together under a giant umbrella with the love of your life as the rain creates a natural buffer between you and whole world?
I see a lot of wedding photos, from a lot of fabulous photographers, but this photo from my friend Kristin at Kristin Hurley Photography remains one of my all time favorite wedding photos. Check out her blog on Ben & Caroline’s Greenbrier Wedding to see a great example of how rain does not have to ruin your wedding day!
Another colleague recently shared on one of our forums about a wedding she had just filmed. It was an indoor wedding, but the weather was just horrendous. Right as the reception dancing was kicking off, all of the power in the venue died. No music. No lights, other than the scattered candles for decor. Everyone pulled out their phone flashlights, made a circle around the dance floor, and started singing. And dancing. And having an absolutely fabulous time. I’m sorry friends, but it just doesn’t get any better than that. She said it was one of the most powerful things she’s ever seen (coming from someone who films dozens of weddings a year, that means a lot).
In fact, a rainy wedding may have been what inspired Chris and I to finally tie the knot ourselves, all those years ago. We attended an outdoor wedding together. It started raining partway through. We all just sat there and got wet. As the ceremony finished, we just looked at each other, realized that none of this other stuff actually matters, and that we were finally ready to commit to marriage. After the ceremony, the rain passed, we all dried off the best we could, and enjoyed the day with our friends, family, and the new couple. Then we started planning our own wedding.
So what’s your favorite rainy wedding day memory? If you’re a bride planning your wedding, are you worried about rain? Tell us all about it!