What if it rains on my wedding day? I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked this question. Everyone hopes for the best. Everyone wants a gorgeous sunset. Everyone wants to feel comfortable at their outdoor ceremony. No one hopes for rain. I’ve had couples hope for snow, but rain is a major no no when it comes to the perfect wedding day.
Let me start by telling you a personal story. I love the rain. Like I’m the sort of person who goes outside when it’s raining. I don’t believe in umbrellas and thunderstorms are my absolute favorite. Even though I love the rain so much, when it came to my wedding day, I wanted that perfect weather. I wanted the gorgeous sunset and pretty Fall colors. I didn’t want a torrential downpour mixed with 30 miles per hour winds and 40-degree temperatures. Oh, I should also mention hail! Yep, it hailed on my wedding day in October.
Going back to the fact that I love the rain, I should also mention that I hate the cold. When I first saw the forecast for my wedding day 10 days out, I was still hoping for the best. We’re in the midwest. The weather changes a million times a day. It’ll be okay. Five days out, the weather was looking even worse. On top of the rain and the cold, we now have a high wind warning. Greaaaaaatttttt….. It’s okay. It can still change. It’ll be fine. Everything is fine. Two days out and it was still looking like the worst possible weather conditions. Rain, hail, 100% cloud cover, cold, wind. Yay…. So, I accepted my fate. I would not have THE perfect wedding day.
So, I did what any crazy person would do….I ordered thermal leggings from Amazon and shawls for all of my girls. I decided to wear pink 10-year-old rainboots. I wasn’t going to let the crappy weather impact my day. I should also mention that I wrote on the invitations that my ceremony would be happening outside rain or shine. The universe was like “challenge accepted.”
Looking back on it, my day was absolutely perfect. Yes, we were cold and wet, but I wouldn’t change any of it. Our ceremony was 100% us. From the very necessary selfie at the altar to the best man forgetting the rings to us putting on the rings in the wrong order, nothing about our ceremony was perfect but it was perfect for us.
Why am I telling you this story? I’m telling it to you because sometimes it rains on your wedding day and that’s totally okay. It’s what you choose to do with the forecast that is completely in your court. If you’re wondering what to do if it rains on your wedding day, keep reading.
1. Have a wardrobe plan!
It’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan in case the weather is not in your favor. Don’t do what I did and count on Amazon to overnight your thermal leggings. Or, maybe think about purchasing new rainboots so you aren’t stuck wearing a pair you bought your freshman year in college. If I had a game plan, the 24-hours leading up to my wedding would have been a lot less stressful. Along the same lines, don’t think you have to stick to your original plan. I planned on wearing pretty pink heels. I also planned on not wearing a shawl and I sure as hell didn’t plan on wearing $10 thermal leggings under my wedding dress. Your wedding day is about marrying the love of your life. What you wear down the aisle is a very small part of the whole equation.
2. Talk to your photographer about a photo plan!
Whenever my couples come to me worried about the weather, I give them a choice. 1. We can embrace it and go with the flow, or 2. We can find an indoor alternative. Honestly, I prefer embracing the rain. The rain is one of the many aspects of the day that makes it special to you. If you dreamed of having an outdoor ceremony with outdoor portraits, go for it. Your photographer should accept whatever choice you make. If my couples decide to embrace it, I always have clear umbrellas with me and am ready to make our portrait time short and sweet. If my couple decides to move the festivities indoors, I’m ready with a list of suggested portrait locations. With the right lighting setup, your photographer can make any indoor location look good. Even if the couple decides to move the ceremony and portraits indoors, I try to convince them to give me 5 minutes to play in the rain. Backlit rain shots are some of my absolute favorites!
3. Inform your guests in advance about your plans!
There’s nothing worse than showing up for a friend’s wedding only to discover you have not dressed appropriately for an outdoor wedding. That’s why we decided to put outdoors on our invitations. Even though we clearly told everyone about our plans, my family still tried to convince me otherwise. Stick to your guns and don’t let anyone get in the way! If you want an outdoor wedding, go for it! It’s your day. Don’t worry about your friends being uncomfortable for 30 minutes as you take a few portraits. They love you and will get over it. Thankfully I had the best group. Everyone was cold and uncomfortable, but my wedding party never complained about anything. They supported my decision throughout the whole day and everyone had a blast. As long as your guests/wedding party/family are prepared for what’s to come, they will support whatever you decide to do about the less than ideal weather conditions!
So, if you’re wondering what to do if it rains on your wedding day, hopefully, I helped ease your mind! To summarize, it’s your day. Do whatever makes you happy. If you want to get married in the rain, get married in the rain. If you want to move everything inside, it’s okay. You will still get a few gorgeous rain shots and possibly even an incredible sunset (stormy sunsets are the best). Rain on your wedding day is never an end-all.
Side note: If you know someone who is getting married on a rainy day, for the love of God, please stop telling them it’s good luck. This never helped anyone feel more comfortable and will probably make them want to punch you in the face. Not that I know that from personal experience or anything…. End rant.