The last thing couples want on their wedding day is rain however, sometimes it is simply unavoidable.
It is important to remember that the couple getting married are the stars of the ceremony and their attitude will set the tone for the entire celebration. So, with this in mind, let Forevermore Wedding and Event Coordinators put your mind at ease and your anxiety to rest as we set out tips and advice for what to do if it rains on your wedding day and how to prepare for it.
Preparing for Rain on Your Wedding Day
- Be Prepared with a Plan B
Making your special day a success all comes down to planning and that goes for the weather too.
Regardless of whether you are planning a spring, summer, autumn or winter wedding, it is vitally important that you have a Plan B in the event of unfavourable weather conditions. This means that if that dreaded rain cloud does appear, you can still relax and enjoy your wedding day as you have already organised a back-up plan and put the necessary elements in place.
Having a Plan B seems obvious however, this is simply because it is so important.
Consider all of your options, and if you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, perhaps consider putting up a marquee, canopy, moving to a more sheltered area or although not ideal, it is extra helpful if you have the option of switching to an indoor ceremony at the last minute. If this is an option, figure out the best course of action when it comes to making the transfer of chairs and décor from outdoors to indoors. Perhaps your venue will organise that an additional set-up of décor and chairs is also arranged indoors in the event of rain. This is an aspect that you should discuss with your venue beforehand.
If you have elected to be inside, think about the transition from car to venue, not only for you and the bridal party, but for your guests also. Work with your venue and review your options. Maybe they can allow guests to drive up closer to the venue thus avoiding stepping in mud or alternatively, arrange for ushers to stand by with umbrellas. Chances are, your venue has had to deal with rainy weddings in the past and they might just have the perfect solutions.
If you are having a marquee think carefully about the type of flooring you choose. Coconut matting is a cheaper option however, if it rains it can be very difficult to walk on whereas wooden floors will weather proof your venue even against the wettest downpour.
- Communication with your Vendors
Just like your venue, your other vendors have likely encountered rain during their events before. Ask them what precautions they typically take to avoid any mishaps and take their advice into consideration. It is important to ensure you and your vendors are on the same page when it comes to your backup plan, as they will be doing all of the legwork on the day itself. Trust them and their opinions.
Talk to your photographer to find out if they have shot a wedding in the rain before and do they have ideas for how to make it more fun, exciting and unique. A good photographer will have a back-up plan for bad weather. However, it is always worthwhile showing them around the venue before the big day so they can see possible areas to shoot if photographing outside is impossible and this will save time on the day. Keep an open mind regarding shots on a rainy day as good Photographers can take some beautiful shots in the rain.
As disappointing as you may consider the rain is, the light actually makes for a better photograph than bright sunshine and your umbrellas will make for super fun props.
- Wedding Dress
Inevitably, if it rains, your dress will get wet however, minimize the damage for longer gowns by opting for a dress with an underskirt that can be hooked up to protect the top skirt.
As the entrance to the ceremony / venue may be wet and muddy from sodden guests feet before your arrival, ensure that you have selected a member of your family/ friends to bring a sheet or large towel with them so that the wet entrance can be wiped dry just before you arrive, thus preventing your hem getting wet and dirty prior to your big entrance.
We would strongly advise that you arrange for a member of your family or friend to solely be responsible for ensuring that the bride and groom have umbrellas to hand between transfers from the ceremony, vehicles and venue. Again, having this arranged before your wedding day, knowing that you will get minimally wet in the case of rain, will help you relax and be less anxious on your wedding morning.
- Umbrellas, Umbrellas, Umbrellas
The options and colour choices are literally endless when it comes to choosing umbrellas not only for the bride and groom but for the bridesmaids, wedding party and guests. From clear bubble umbrellas, pagoda parasols, vintage parasols to heart shapes umbrellas, the choice is exciting and limitless.
As your guests may not be as prepared as you for the rain, it is always a lovely and quirky idea to have an umbrella and wellie stand filled with some pretty umbrellas which you can match to the colour theme of your wedding day or alternatively, go for a blast of colour and patterns for a more vibrant look which would look fantastic in photographs.
Have fun with wedding décor using wellies and umbrellas, perhaps filling wellies with flowers and hanging umbrellas from ceilings or tress. If it is going to rain, whilst there is not much you can do about it, you may as well have fun and embrace it.
- Summer Wedding
If you know that entertaining rain on your wedding day is something you are really going to stress about, to the point where it takes over and you end up dreading your big day, choose to have a summer wedding as it is less likely to rain. Yes, this is obviously not a guarantee (not least in Ireland) however, the chance of rain is reduced somewhat.
- Make-up and Hair
If you want to keep your make-up looking perfect for the whole day, including if it rains, set your foundation with a primer. Wear waterproof mascara and water-resistant foundation, just to be extra safe. Discuss this with your makeup artist as he or she will have the knowledge to advise you.
If you are worried about humidity and wet flattened hair, consider a beautifully messy bun or relaxed flower crown. These styles are on trend and prefect for avoiding frizz.
- Caution vs Reckless
If the clouds are looking dark and ominous in the morning, even if the forecast has not been consistent, it is important that you think ahead. Do not ignore that tiny inkling you are harboring in the back of your mind and trust your instincts, even if people are telling you not to think about it.
Remember that your safety and comfort, not to mention the safety and comfort of your nearest and dearest, comes first. Just because it is your wedding day, that does not mean you can adopt a devil-may-care attitude toward your family and guests. Do not make your closest friends and family stand or sit in the rain, umbrellas or not.
- Be decisive
Do not be afraid to make a judgment call. Make your decision to proceed as planned or whether to implement Plan B at least an hour before the ceremony. Once you make your decision, do not go back on it. If the backup plan is already in motion and the rain stops, keep moving forward with Plan B. Being indecisive about the already complicated plans by trying to reverse them will only cause confusion and more anxiety.
There are so many wonderful things about experiencing rain on your big day. For one, it is considered to be a good-luck sign for the future of your marriage, so take it as an omen of lovely things to come. Not only is it supposed to signify fertility, it also represents a long lasting marriage and the washing away of tough times.
Secondly, cloudy and rainy days make for excellent lighting for your professional pictures and think of the amazing couple shots that just became available!
Not to mention all the endless colourful umbrellas and props you can use to add unique character to your wedding day.
Whether it hails, rains or shines, remember the true meaning of the day and enjoy every second.
Remember that “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain”, Vivian Greene.