As some of you might recall, I am a big fan of inclement weather. No sun? No problem! A Tennessee winter is relatively mild, yes, but I am still planning for low temperatures and some form of precipitation. That said, rain, sleet, or snow can cause some major issues for your upcoming wedding day. Here are a few tips to help you plan your wedding day weather-contingency plan!
For the bride: Think waterproof makeup and a no-panic approach to what you cannot control. You can hope for the best but prepare for what you can. If you’re worried about rain, make sure you bring your favorite water-repellent outerwear.
If you’re worried about snow, grab a cozy knit sweater or your favorite pea coat. Either way, I’d recommend sporting waterproof cosmetics. A spontaneous photoshoot + rain + mascara + your gorgeous white dress could quickly become a less than photogenic affair.
For the wedding party: Help prepare them for the upcoming inclement exposure with rainboots and umbrellas. If you have the funds, you might consider supplying your nearest and dearest with individual articles of brightly colored rain gear. You can purchase umbrellas for less than $3 apiece at Amazon.com or IKEA.
Alternatively, it’s a pretty safe assumption that the majority of your bridesmaids and groomsmen own (or can borrow) a basic black umbrella for the day. Either way, you will be showing your wedding party you care and simultaneously might get some visually stunning photographs. Win, win!
For your wedding guests: Give them as much advance notice as possible! Use your wedding website to emphasize your location (particularly if it is an outdoor location). Provide a link to real-time weather updates. Ask your wedding party to provide a heads up and/or friendly reminders by word-of-mouth. Some guests will inevitably come ill-prepared but you can still offer due-diligence on the front end.
For your photographers/videographers: The greatest gift you can offer is your flexibility. Yes, a great photographer or videographer is going to come with a rain plan set. No, chances are really good that you won’t get those outdoor photographs if you’d be stepping into the rainstorm remnants of a hurricane. But if the sun peeks out, you might consider temporarily vacating your perfectly planned timeline to take a few photographs that won’t leave everyone involved soaked and soggy. Alternatively, you could consider scouting out locations on site that offer natural light while still providing overhead cover.
For the indoor ceremony and reception: You’ll have a bit easier time planning for your weather what-ifs. Create a space where people can rid themselves of their water repellent attire: a coat check for rain-soaked overcoats or a few racks for umbrellas sporting a large population of raindrops. A stylish coffee bar will help warm up even the coldest of rainy days.
For the outdoor ceremony/reception: A covered area is imperative. You may be able to get away with oversized umbrellas for a drizzly ceremony. However, for your reception, plan to move the party to a fully covered and enclosed area. A nearby building and/or a tent (preferably with sides and a flooring option) would work nicely. If you’re planning an outdoor soiree, ask your venue how they usually approach rainy day events.
are independently wealthy or are having an intimate gathering, you might consider offering each guest an umbrella, poncho, or blanket. (This would be a rather pricy endeavor but I imagine it would make for a useful and appreciated gesture.) Additionally, plan on bringing several old towels during the day. You can use them to wipe up water on benches, puddles on the edges of the dance floor, or collected water in an entranceway.
With inclement weather a near-guarantee for me, I am planning for precipitation on the front end. Do I have any readers who have experienced great (or not so great) rainy day wedding events? Please share in the comments below!
Lauren Miller is a northern born, southern bred girl planning a January wedding. She lives in Memphis with her fiancé, Mitch, and their two dogs, Bosco and Cassidy. She loves dogs, traveling, and fresh food. Check back for regular updates on her adventures in wedding planning, detailed how-to guides, and design inspiration! You can also follow her on Pinterest.