How to Prepare for Rain on Your Wedding Day

Don't let a few drops (or a deluge!) spoil your special day.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: Beale & Wittig

While you may not be able to convince yourself that rain on your wedding day is good luck, being über-prepared for showers will help you stay focused on the important stuff (like the fact that you're getting married).

1. Secure a rain location.

Whether you've planned just the ceremony or the whole wedding to be alfresco, make sure you have a sheltered alternative. You might get away with garden vows in a drizzle, but what about a downpour? If your venue doesn't have an indoor option, or you can't bear the thought of moving everyone inside for a bit of rain, book a tent (with sides at the ready in case of wind and cooler temps). If needed, where will the tent be pitched? A high point means water won't pool around your wedding. Consider flooring (the ground might be a muddy mess) and space heaters. Think about easy yet effective ways to decorate a tented ceiling, like string lights or paper lanterns.

2. Keep guests in the loop.

Informed guests will be better equipped for inclement weather … and happier! If the party's going to be outdoors, let your guests know on the invite. If the forecast promises precipitation, update your website with rain location information and remind guests to bring umbrellas. Some couples getting married during particularly rainy months (April showers!) choose to include an "in case of rain" card along with their invitation.

3. Speak to (and trust) your vendors.

Find out how rain affects their game before you book them, but even if you didn't, it's always helpful to discuss a grim forecast even ten days out. Because you've hired professionals, they'll be prepared and know what adjustments they need to make. Be open to schedule tweaks or menu changes (steaming versus chilled), and don't worry about photos! Rainy days yield some of the best wedding snaps … romantic, fun, and magically spontaneous.

4. Visualize the day with heavy rain.

Picture how a lot of rain might affect how the day unfolds … everything from guests' arrival (perhaps not so timely) to relocating from welcome cocktails to ceremony (that's a lot of puddles). Where will guests put their sopping rain gear? Will they need their umbrellas again to get from one part of the party to the next? Devise and circulate a schedule with a little more wiggle room, and accommodate for any envisioned hiccups.

5. Accessorize!

Wellington boots and umbrellas in colors (or patterns or styles) that either tone in with your wedding palette (or style), or make it pop, will make for memorable pics … not to mention happy feet and hair for you and your bridal party. Consider a bolero or shrug to keep you warm.

6. Be practical.

Waterproof mascara is always a must, but think hair dryers in the bathrooms, a bunch of towels, extra golf umbrellas, even a few large sheets of plastic tarp to throw over chairs before guests arrive, especially if you're not getting married at a traditional wedding venue. Select a hairdo that's less prone to frizz. You don't need to splurge on a second gown (unless that was always part of the plan!), but pack a super-pretty backup … in case you need to change into something dry.

7. Prepare to take it in stride.

Besides the practical contingency plan, ready yourself mentally and emotionally. Know that some things are beyond your control. Know that laughter makes everything better. Know that the photos will be awesome. Look forward to fun, weather-appropriate options, like offering hot cocoa and spiked cider as guests arrive, or dancing in the rain at the end of the night. Remember that (rain or shine!) you'll still be marrying the love of your life.


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