Updated: Aug 22, 2019
It's supposed to be good luck, isn't it? However, when the heavens open and the rain falls many brides are left panicked and scrambling, especially should they have their heart set on an outdoor wedding. Hair frizzes, makeup runs; it's a disaster. Unfortunately the fine art of weather control is yet to be mastered by the powers that be, so when grey skies loom the best a couple can do is plaster on a grin and hope the weather passes quickly. Pretty bleak isn't it?
How about if I said you needn't stress over a few drops of rain and that you could actually utilise a downpour to your advantage? All it takes is a little planning and preparation and before you know it you'll be whistling away to 'Singing in the Rain' as you skip your way through puddles under the dramatic blanket of a grey sky. So, without furtho ado, here are my top tips for making the most of rain on your special day. Who knows, perhaps after reading this entry you'll be begging the heavens to open so you too can plan a rainy day wedding of your own.
Plan on 100% chance of rain:
So you've selected a date smack bang in the middle of Summer. There's absolutely no need to worry about the possibility of precipitation, right? Wrong. Sadly, things do have the tendency of going pear-shaped when you least expect it and if you ask me it's always better to be safe than sorry. Thankfully, there is a plethora of ways in which you can prepare for any potential weather throughout the entire planning and booking process. In the end it won't matter in which season your wedding is. You'll be ready no matter what!
Start by keeping in mind any difficulties your vendors may face in the event of rain and work with them to find viable solutions. Does your outdoor venue have a backup undercover option such as a marquee or hall you could use in an emergency? Will your florist and stylist have the flexibility to decorate a different space? Will the rain hinder their ability to make deliveries? Does your DJ still have everything they need to set up in the backup location, or a small tent in which to keep his equipment safe and dry? While you may never have to resort to such drastic measures you can rest easy knowing you've saved yourself an enormous amount of stress by having a plan B in place should Mother Nature turn against you.
Know what you can do close to the date:
There you are, frantically refreshing your weather app every two minutes, but alas, the rain is simply refusing to budge from the forecast. It's time to make sure you have everything you, your bridal party, and your guests may need in order to stay warm and dry. Coming to your rescue are a host of last minute hire options, many of which will not only work alongside your wedding, but dare I say, add to it. You can purchase matching umbrellas for your bridal party, with clear plastic options being a popular choice for wet weather brides everywhere. Still going ahead with an outdoor ceremony and dreading the thought of looking out on a sea of mismatched umbrellas (peppered with the iconic Bunnings monstrosity, of course) whilst saying your ‘I do’s’? Consider hiring them for your guests as well. You'll be glad you did the moment you get your photos back!
So your guests are dry, but the rain has also brought about a substantial drop in temperature. Once again, hiring is an option if your venue is unable to supply heaters themselves, but don’t just stop there. Pick up a bunch of blankets your guests can drape over their laps during the ceremony and keep the goosebumps at bay. For a more personal touch, get your whole family involved and round up as many of Granny's old crocheted Afghans as possible. It's a beautiful display of sentiment and you just know granny will love seeing her rugs keeping everyone toasty warm on the day.
Make sure you don't forget about your shivering bridesmaids either. If you are at all worried about your ladies feeling the chill in their dresses, accessorise with matching coats or stoles for an eye catching solution. Is it going to be a particularly windy day? Avoid hairstyles prone to frizz and keep the designs realtively simple, allowing for quick touch ups on the go.
Finally, we all know that rain and mud go hand in hand, so should you and your bridal party be traipsing across anything other than concrete for your photographs, I have one word for you: gumboots. These days you can find gorgeous gumboots in almost any shopping mall, or if you have a little extra time, the options available online are truly endless. Spare your beautiful heels (and your ankles) the wrath of the mud. I assure you, there is a pair of boots for every bride and every aesthetic. And speaking all things photography and mud, instead of placing your painstakingly put together bouquets on the soggy, muddy ground between shots, pick up a tarp from your local hardware store and spread it out on the ground to act as a barrier. Your flowers will be perfectly preserved and muck free come the end of the day!
Keep your guests informed:
It may seem obvious but should you have to change anything in regards to the timing or location of the ceremony and reception be sure to send out a message to your guests letting them know. While you're at it, tell them of any thing they might want to bring and advise them as to what kind of attire and footwear may be appropriate for the changed conditions.
If, when booking in your date, you believe there is a reasonable chance of poor weather consider adding an "In the event of rain" note to your invitations with all of the relevant information. This way your guests can be as equally prepared as you are. As with everything wedding related, forethought is key!
Embrace the rain and have fun:
Now, the time has finally come to put an end to your absentminded humming of "Rain, Rain Go Away - come again another day". There is simply nothing left for you to do except embrace the weather and make the best of the situation. The show must go on and despite your worst fears it will be an unforgettable show for both you and your guests. In the end, your wedding is supposed to be the happiest day of your life and you shouldn't let something so entirely out of your control get your spirits down. Instead, think of all the perks that come with a rainy day and the multiple ways in which you can incorporate those elements into your day.
Talk to your photographer about ways in which you can work the weather to your advantage. Puddles make for some stunning reflective photography and you now have those beautiful umbrellas to use as props as well. I can see it now; a beautiful portrait of you and your new spouse wrapped up together under a single umbrella. How very romantic!
On the other hand, why not use your umbrellas as fun props for imaginative, lighthearted shots. Just because the sky is gloomy, doesn't mean you have to be gloomy too!
When it comes to a blanket of grey clouds I think we can all agree they create a certain sense of drama. Against the backdrop of the dark sky all other colours appear exceedingly vibrant and the filtered sunlight offers a softened atmosphere, while at the same time miraculously eliminating the urge to squint. It's the perfect recipe for some truly striking images and any experienced photographer will be able to deliver a gallery full of mood filled memories you and your partner will cherish forever.
At last, it's time for the reception to get underway. Make sure the heaters are on before enhancing the cosy atmosphere further by serving hearty food and warm drinks. Afterall, who doesn't love a delicious cup of hot chocolate or an aromatic glass of spiced mulled wine on a wintery evening?
The simple truth is wintery weather makes the perfect backdrop for a warm, intimate wedding, even if an indoor celebration isn't what you originally envisaged. It may be hail and howling winds outside but with a little planning and imagination not only will you pull off an unforgettable wedding, you will, in fact, weather your first storm as a married couple with some serious style!