How To Plan For Or Deal With Rain On Your Wedding Day

The risk of rain for an outdoor wedding can be worrying but with the right preparation, you’ll feel ready for any weather that comes your way.

Keep in mind a few important tips and you’ll be ecstatic for your wedding day rain or shine.

For a rainy wedding day, communicate with your bridal team and guests about a rain plan. Rent a tent to protect your guests from the elements, order customized towels as wedding favors, and choose a hairstyle and makeup that is rain resistant.

Continue reading for tips on how to plan for, and embrace, rain on your wedding day.

Expect the best, prepare for the worst

As frustrating as it can be, the weather is completely out of our hands. Every outdoor wedding should have a rain plan.

Act like there will be a 100% chance of rain on your wedding day so you will be mentally prepared in case the weather takes a turn for the rainy.

While many brides dread rain on their special days, rain can actually make a wedding one of a kind.

Rain adds a romantic atmosphere and will create unique wedding photos. In some cultures, rain on a wedding symbolizes good luck and cleansing. My tips below outline exactly what you should do in case of rain on your big day.

Of course, you could minimize this altogether by moving your wedding to somewhere with more sunshine, ever considered eloping to Las Vegas? if you have then you should read my full article on this great alternative to a rainy wedding.

But, if that’s not an option, then read on for my top tips for dealing with a possible washout on the most important day of your life!

Get First-hand experience

A rainy wedding, when done right, can be a fantastic experience despite the miserable weather. However, you need to know what you are getting yourself in for.

If you are planning a spring wedding or are getting married in a state where summer showers are common, making sure you cover your bases is just good common sense. Also, getting married in the winter (see my amazing article about this) could risk rain also.

Next time the weather turns to rain, go visit your venue and scout out exactly where your ceremony will be. Where is shelter already available? What happens to the ground, does it flood, does it get muddy? Where is it windy or sheltered from the wind?

It may sound a little extreme, but having this personal experience may help you create a perfect rain plan which makes the best use of the facilities you have available to you.

Communication is Key

If your wedding is advertised to your guests as being outdoors, make sure to keep your guests in the loop for a rain plan. Many of your guests will be wondering what the plan will be as they will not want to get soaked either.

Send out wedding invitations with a note in case of rain and direct guests to your website with the rain plan. Everyone likes being in the loop, and this will save you the stress of answering individual rain questions.

Communicating with your wedding team and vendors is also extremely important. Make sure the venue is aware of the forecast on your day. Have your wedding planner, venue, and venders up to date about rain plans. Your venue may have an indoor section they will be able to move you into in case of rain.

If you are having an outdoor ceremony and indoor reception, it could be possible to use both for the wedding. If you have a large team of people, staff should be able to flip the room in an hour or an hour and a half while you and your guests enjoy snacks and drinks.

It’s important that your DJ/ musician, caterers, and florist know about the possibility of rain. Your DJ may not be able to perform in the rain, and the guitarist that had plans to sing during the ceremony is not going to want to get their guitar wet. Trust your vendors’ input and be prepared to be flexible with their needs as they will certainly be mindful of yours.

If you are still undecided between having a live artist or a DJ, then you will probably find my article on this dilemma very informative, read my take on the decision here.

Rent Equipment

If your venue does not have the space to bring your wedding inside, it is time to rent a tent! Tented weddings create a wonderful ambiance and your guests will enjoy the sound of rain while you say your vows.

Ask your wedding planner and venue if they recommend any particular venders.

Tents can provide amazing wedding photos and can be decorated with flowers and lights to add to the magic of the wedding.

Tents are an added expense and can get pricy depending on how many attendees you will have. Make sure to allocate money in the budget for your tent so you’re not scrambling last minute.

The average tent rental ranges from $1,500-$4,000 per day. Research prices and vendors in your area beforehand and choose a vendor that delivers.

Get Creative

Rain on your special day is another opportunity to make your wedding stand out from the rest. The weather will provide a unique opportunity for fun giveaways, photoshoots, and more.  

Rain creates softer lighting that is ideal for pictures. And who doesn’t love to cuddle up for a photo when the weather isn’t great?

Get all your bridesmaids together with matching umbrellas and matching rainboots for an adorable photo shoot. Kiss under an umbrella with your significant other, and embrace getting a little wet.

Be sure to communicate with your photographer about specific rain photoshoots. Your venue might also have a place in mind that will be great if it rains like a gazebo or partially covered area. Think outside the box and you’ll love how your photos turn out!

Keep an Eye Out

Just because it does or doesn’t look like it’s going to rain on your special day doesn’t mean it will or won’t.

Keep an eye out for the weather a month, week, and the day before your wedding. You might be able to get away with having your outdoor wedding run as normal if the rain will miss the ceremony by an hour.

A one hundred percent chance of rain doesn’t always mean rain. Forecasts can change at any minute, so make sure you’re not shocked if it doesn’t rain on your wedding.

If you rented a large tent and the sky blue as can be, try not to dwell on money wasted. You can still use the tent for some shading for guests or use it during drinks and hors d’oeuvres before your reception.

Wedding Favors

Rain grants a chance to have fun wedding favors that your guests will be happily surprised at getting. You can get really creative with wedding favors and give favors that guests will keep forever.

For your bridesmaids, look into monogrammed umbrellas. Personalized matching umbrellas will make for the cutest wedding photos. Check out Etsy for some sellers who will work with you individually to create the perfect umbrella for your bridesmaids. 

If umbrellas aren’t your thing, matching or monogrammed rain boots is another option for a killer photoshoot. Pick out colors based on your wedding theme and walk down the aisle in style! MarleyLily has some cute monogrammed boots starting at $45 per pair.

Your guests will likely be a little wet, so order custom towels for everyone. Customize the towels with your wedding date and you and your fiancé(e)’s names.

They will love the extra warmth and will think about your wedding every time they use the towel. You can get personalized towels at BedBathandBeyond.

Create an Ambiance

Rain makes a lot of people feel cozy, so embrace the rainy day to make for a great wedding ambiance. If you are having your wedding in a tent, consider renting some heat lamps to help keep your guests warm.

Consider having warm apple cider guests can sip on during the ceremony. After you say “I do” when you’re waiting for the reception to start, have your wedding team set up a hot chocolate bar to really get into the comfy spirit.

Have Extras

Having extras during the rain is very important. Pack extra towels for you and your bridal party. Ask everyone to bring an extra pair of socks or two to have in a bag. Your wedding planner, maid of honor, or mother can be tasked with keeping a bag of the extras close at hand.

If it is a cold and rainy day, be sure to pack blankets for everyone in your wedding party. You can choose matching blankets or order customized blankets for an extra special look.

For you and your fiancé(e), order a blanket with your names and your wedding date or choose a favorite picture of the both of you to get printed on the blanket. Get your photographer to take some nice pictures of the two of you snuggled up. You can order customizable blankets at Shutterfly.

Be Realistic

Having a realistic idea of what your hair and makeup will look like if you have a rainy wedding date will save you a lot of stress.

Talk to your stylist about looks that are low maintenance and will not be ruined if they get a little wet. A curled and messy low bun or a half up-do will be better than a full head of curled down hair getting rained on.

Consider your makeup options especially if it is going to pour on your wedding day. Choose mostly waterproof makeup and a more simplistic look as you will require more touch-ups during the day. Have your makeup bag nearby and don’t go too crazy with the eyeshadow.

Have a Positive Outlook

Your wedding is happening rain or shine, and the best thing you can do is have a positive outlook on it. While you can definitely be upset for a little bit, it doesn’t do you or your wedding planners or party any good to be caught up about the rain.

Think of all the bright sides of having rain on your wedding day: an especially cozy ambiance, cool wedding favors, and amazing wedding photos. Prepare for a rainy wedding day plenty in advance and you will be happy about how your day goes rain or shine.

Phil & Lea Hawes

We are Phil & Lea Hawes and we got married in 2019. We have planned (mainly Lea) two weddings together. The first was a small ceremony in Hong Kong just for us and our parents at a registry office. Our other wedding was a larger family wedding in Taiwan. Having planned two very different types of weddings and dealt with all the demands and hiccups which come with it, we are uniquely qualified as a writing team to give sound advice to other couples embarking on their own wedding journey.

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