It’s everyone’s unspoken fear: you’ve been prepping for months, maybe years for this day and you’ve just checked the forecast. Bad news, RAIN! Though there are things you can do at the last minute, it’s always in your best interest to create a solid Plan B in advance. Especially if your outdoor wedding venue doesn’t have an indoor space on premise. (ahem, I can relate… I had my wedding in my backyard!). Here are 10 savvy tips to ensure your wedding day is fabulous, even if the weather report calls for rain on your wedding day.
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1. Rent Sturdy Tents or Marquees
First things first, don’t let a downpour dampen your spirits. You know the old saying! Rain on your wedding day is goodluck! As a solid Plan B measure, look into renting high-quality, weatherproof tents with translucent panels. They’ll keep the rain out while maintaining the beautiful outdoor ambiance you’re after.
Most tent rental companies also provide recommended sizes on their website based on your wedding space and expected guest count, so you can ensure adequate coverage to keep the festivities going as planned with light to moderate rain. Here’s a great article by Brides.com for everything you need to know on finding the right wedding tent.
2. Provide Guests with Umbrellas or Canopies
Another great plan B option for anticipated light rain is to provide umbrellas to your guests. You can buy a pack of bulk clear umbrellas that’ll serve as both a shield from the rain and a fashionable accessory! Plus, you can snap some really epic umbrella photos, because, why not?!
You can also consider incorporating some smaller canopies to provide some coverage throughout your outdoor wedding space. These can also serve as shade on sunny days. Place them strategically around the event area to offer cover where needed.
3. Opt for Rain-Proof Seating and Flooring
If it rains on your wedding day, one way to ensure your guests stay comfortable is by using waterproof materials for seating, like hard plastic chairs that can easily be wiped down ahead of the ceremony. You might also consider laying down sturdy, waterproof flooring or rugs to prevent any mud mishaps.
4. Consider an Indoor Backup Plan
It’s always good to have a backup! Scout out a nearby indoor location that can accommodate your guests and all the wedding festivities if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Light rain is no problem, but in the case of heavy persistent rain, or lightning, a tent won’t suffice unfortunately so unless you’ve got a flexible timeline, considering an indoor back up plan is wise.
There a are many budget-friendly DIY venue options you can consider so you aren’t adding a ton to your budget.
5. Incorporate Weather-Resistant Decor
An outdoor wedding and rain calls for weather-resistant decor. Select non-floral wedding decor that can withstand a little rain, such as lanterns, potted plants, and string lights. And in the case the festivities need to move indoors, these versatile items can effortlessly transition from an outdoor to an indoor setting.
6. Plan Flexible Seating Arrangements
Prepare adaptable seating arrangements that can easily fit into a tented or indoor space. For example, round tables tend to be more easy to reconfigure than rectangular banquet tables, as they can be nested together to fit different size spaces. Be ready to make adjustments to ensure your guests are comfortable and happy, no matter the setting.
7. Prioritize Guest Comfort (and Yours!)
Make sure your guests feel right at home by providing heating lamps, fans, or cooling systems if the indoor setting differs from the original plan. If it rains on your wedding day, keeping your guests comfortable will ensure everyone has an enjoyable time, despite the weather.
Don’t forget about yourself! In the case of rain, nothing is worse than slopping through mud with gorgeous heels. If weather calls, it might be worth considering some alternative attire and footwear.
8. Keep Everyone in the Loop
Keep your guests in the know about the outdoor setting and suggest they come prepared with their own umbrellas and appropriate footwear to tackle the weather. Wedding websites are great as you can use them to communicate these details to all of your guests at once.
It’s equally, if not more important to be in communication with your vendors and any Plan B weather scenarios that are in place. Be sure they are comfortable adapting to either setting and are ready to snap into action if needed.
9. Monitor the Weather and Decide Wisely
Keep a close watch on weather forecasts leading up to the event. Decide on a specific timeframe ahead of time—ideally the day before or the morning of—when you will make a final decision to move the event indoors or implement your contingency plan.
As a very last resort, use the 30-30 rule: if you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If it’s 30 seconds or less, suspend outdoor activities and seek proper shelter. Wait 30 minutes after the last thunder before resuming any outdoor activities.
10. Implement Your Contingency Plans
Last, but not least, when it’s decision time and you’ve confirmed there’s rain in the forecast for your wedding day, work closely with your vendors to tweak the event timeline and logistics as necessary.
In the case of light rain, you might just tweak the timeline or say “to hell with it” if you’ve already got a tent or umbrellas ready to go. If the forecase calls for heavy rain or lightning, be ready to move your festivities indoors. Ensure everyone is on board with the plans and knows their roles to ensure the contingency plans get carried out seamlessly.
Rain on Your Wedding Day FAQs
Embrace the rain, go with the flow, and take those epic rainy day wedding photos. With a a solid backup plan ready, including tented areas, umbrellas, and an indoor option just in case, you’ll be prepared rain or shine.
Stay positive and focus on the love and joy of the day. Make use of tents, canopies, and other protective measures to ensure your guests’ comfort and enjoyment despite the weather.
Use waterproof garment bags for transporting to your venue and have someone hold an umbrella over you while on the move. Plan for a separate indoor area where you can wait before making your grand entrance and consider laying down carpets for aisle runners to protect your dress from mud.
Final Thoughts About Rain on Your Wedding Day
Let’s face it, an outdoor wedding and rain aren’t a farfetched scenario. You may have even been to a few of these. So, if this becomes your reality, don’t fret.
Be practical about what makes sense for your wedding and your vision. For my backyard wedding, we went with tents over all of our major ceremony and reception spaces and did not have an indoor scenario (except for our home, which let’s face it, would not have been able to fit all 125 guests!). In the case the wedding turned for the worst though, we were prepared to explore alternatives.
The important thing to do is to remember to keep a positive attitude, be comfortable and ready to make some adaptations if needed, and have some of these smart Plan B strategies in your back pocket. By keeping all of this in mind, your wedding day will be nothing short of magical, rain or shine. You’ve got this!
The Savvy Swaréy