Every now and then we have a wedding where a family member or bridal party member walks up to the bride and says the words, “Don’t panic but…” This usually ends with, “…Bobby forgot his tie.” or, “…the florist forgot one of the bouquets.” The day before Jill and Josh’s wedding day, the first words Jill heard were, “Don’t panic, but we have no power. The tent got blown away in the monsoon storm last night. So did most of the tables, chairs, and decor. The field is too muddy for vendor vehicles to even try to drive through. Oh, and all the white table cloths are covered with mud.”
The wedding was supposed to be hosted at Jill’s parents’ property. They had spent months preparing all of the details for the glamorous estate celebration where 200+ of their friends and family would be gathering the next day to celebrate.
Well, it was clear that Jill and Josh’s outdoor Summer wedding was going to be nothing like what they had planned. But let me be the first to tell you. It ended up being everything they hoped for!
Luckily for us, Jill and Josh had the best people supporting them. Immediately everyone pitched in to get our on-the-fly Plan B ready. The first thing on our list was to find a new venue. Josh’s brother was a volunteer firefighter and he got the firehouse locked in as our new location.
Over the next 24 hours we hustled around town to get everything set up at the firehouse. We sent groomsmen to Home Depot for a generator and supplies in case power would be an issue. We sent bridesmaids bargain hunting for tablecloths and decor through Target, HomeGoods, and the downtown thrift store. The Father of the Groom convinced a local restaurant to let us borrow a couple of high chairs for the day. The night before, my assistant and I made adjustments to the floor plan and seating chart to match our new venue layout.
On the big day, all vendors and guests re-routed to the firehouse. Jill and Josh exchanged vows and rings in front of their loved ones. And even though her lifelong dream of becoming a Mrs. at the house she’d grown up in didn’t happen, she still says that the ceremony was romantic and PERFECT. From there, the duo let loose in the firehouse, enjoying their fun, personal, and relaxed reception. The dance floor remained packed all night. I’ve never again seen a bride with such a huge smile plastered on her face all day long. To this day, it’s still my favorite wedding memory of all time.
Today, we’ve got five tips for how to prep for and embrace your very own MAGICAL rainy wedding day — just like Jill and Josh did four years ago. Check them out below!
No.1 HAVE A RAIN PLAN
This starts with venue shopping. When you are on the hunt, make sure you ask what a venue’s backup plan is. We recommend that you stay away from all venues that don’t have a Plan B option established and well practiced. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to have a transition that is anything but seamless.
Once you’ve got your venue locked in and the big day is getting closer, it’s best to decide upfront what adjustments will be made in the case of rain so you don’t get stressed out by it in the moment. If the weather report shows the potential for rainclouds, your photographer, venue coordinator and day of coordinator will all work together to create a flexible timeline that incorporates all of your special moments with outdoor and indoor options. We’re talking about those moments like having a first look with your fiancé, praying with your ladies ahead of the ceremony, and making a grand exit. As long as your pros know all of your big rain-or-shine moments, they’ll be able to make things happen.
No. 2 GET YOUR SUPPLIES
If it’s the week of your wedding and you’re pretty sure that rain is going to make an appearance, make the decision upfront that you are going to have FUN with it. Grab your MOH and go shopping for supplies. Large clear umbrellas are a must on our list to capture the kind of dreamy and cozy rainy wedding photos you see all over Pinterest.
Another great idea? Rain boots for yourself and your bridesmaids in your wedding’s color scheme! Talk about some super cute photos that will make you BEAM every time you see them!
No. 3 APPOINT YOUR UMBRELLA HOLDER AND DRESS PROTECTOR
The one point of rainy day anxieties we hear the most from our brides is that they’re nervous that their hair, makeup, and dress will be ruined. This is a totally normal worry to have cross your mind! After all, you’ve dreamt for a long time about how you will look walking down the aisle to your love. “Drowned rat” isn’t what you had in mind.
This is the time to call on the boyfriends / husbands / dates of your bridesmaids to lend a hand — well a whole arm actually — to be your Official Umbrella Holder for the day. If you have enough umbrellas, you can likely even enlist a few guys so all of you girls can quickly make it from the car to the venue unscathed. Most guys don’t mind getting a little wet if it means their efforts will ensure the beautiful bride arrives in perfect condition. And as a bonus, it gives them a job to do while their lady is by YOUR side focusing on her bridesmaid duties.
You should also ask one of your bridesmaids to be in charge of keeping the train of your dress out of any puddles as you make your way from point A to point B.
No. 4 RELY ON YOUR VENDORS
You have to remember that experienced wedding vendors handle rain situations often. They’ve also likely handled snow, hail, windstorms, blazing heat…Mother Nature is no match for the problem-solving creative mind of a pro wedding vendor. Your wedding coordinator will already have a Plan B, and probably a Plan C, in mind. Because that’s just how our brains work. And that’s what you hired her/him for! To make sure you enjoy the day fully no matter what surprises come up.
No. 5 RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
We think one of the best parts about a rainy wedding day is the photos. Yes we’re serious!! While all you might see is dark gloomy clouds hovering over your special day, your photographer sees a backdrop of romantic mist, soft lighting, no one squinting from the harsh glare of the sun, no weird shadows (Happy Dance!), and a fabulous opportunity to be extra creative with the help of your cute-as-can-be umbrellas and rain boots. And you might even get the free gift of a gorgeous rainbow at some point in your day. THAT is a sight you’ll never forget.
Now, we know that with all the tips we’ve already shared with you, you’re kinda secretly hoping you get a rainy wedding day…but wait, there’s more!
You might actually forget the rain because the people around you will be so attentive to your needs. Everyone will be so concerned about keeping you happy that they will all want to make your day special. Your vendors will be at the top of their game. Your besties won’t leave your side. And your guests will be in the ultimate celebratory mood.
If it’s raining outside, no one will be wandering around the venue’s grounds to find the perfect Insta-worthy photo spot. Instead they’ll be enjoying your first dance, cheesing it up at your photo booth, and dancing the night away! There’s nothing that brings people together for an amazing time like a rainstorm.
On my parents’ wedding day it rained. It also snowed. I’m fairly sure there was hail. There was some sort of wind storm. AND the sun came out for a brief hello. Married now for 29 years, they have loved each other steadfastly through thick and thin. I’m fairly sure they’d say that bad weather might just be one of the best surprises on your wedding day.
Check out more of our wedding planning tips HERE.