The weather man is a liar 90% of the time! No offense to any weather men/ladies reading this but you guys will be the death of me!
One week there is a heat wave warning, so stop everything we need to find sun umbrellas – PANIC… only to be left cancelling them a day before the wedding because it’s raining.
Non-traditional wedding venues have so many pluses (really the do) but can sometimes mean that if you haven’t pre planned it, having a rainy day plan B is not as simple as it would be if you were using a traditional wedding venue with a million empty halls on standby.
Don’t go cancelling your non-traditional venue just yet though because I have a few tips on how to deal with a last minute change of weather that leaves you in the rain on your wedding day when you thought you would be frolicking in the sunshine!
Get a tent.
This is probably the most captain obvious suggestion of them all, but by getting a stretch tent in you can keep the majority of your other arrangements the same. Same table layout, dance floor area etc.
If you are looking at doing a totally outdoor wedding for a big number of people with absolutely no undercover options, I would always suggest getting a tent quote and keeping them on standby.
These types of logistics are also why I love smaller guest lists. When you have 30 people vs 130 it is much easier to plan around them, even at short notice.
Change formal seated tables into informal cocktail seating.
If you have any option for cover, say you were having your ceremony in a small barn or hanger and your reception out in the open, swap them around.
People are more likely to weather a storm (literally) for 30 min while you say ‘I do’ if they know they are headed to cover with a warm meal and some wine.
If the space doesn’t allow for formal seating swap it out for cocktail tables and chairs or mix and match both. Most people will understand and have no problem sharing a seat/standing for a bit while they eat. Ask them to roll with the punches and they usually will.
Send people home early.
This may sound like the most anti-social suggestion ever BUT if it is going to stop you from having a panic attack or breaking the bank then do it.
Get a bunch of umbrellas or ask guests to bring their own, soldier through the ceremony in the rain and then send people packing.
Obviously this works better if you are having a smaller wedding and an informal day to begin with. ie 20 people for a mid-morning high tea.
Snap a few pics with them, get beautiful little boxes, fill them up with the treats you had planned for the day, make up ‘take home’ bouquets from the flowers you were going to use for décor then thank them for being good sports and go rock a dramatic rainy couples shoot.
This gives you more time to enjoy the weather rather than spending the whole time worrying about people and if they are comfortable. (The people who want to stay and brave the elements will stay and the ones who don’t will be very content to get home early and enjoy your packed goods there)
Make the bad weather a ‘thing’.
If you can’t change the situation, claim it! Guests will feed off the energy you bring to the day, so if you can happily put on your wellies and walk around with an umbrella all day so will they.
Embrace it as part of your story, have fun with it. It’s going to make for really great photos and some epic dinner party conversations.
If under cover space is tight re purpose it and make it evolve as your day goes on. There is nothing stopping you from using the same space for your ceremony then changing it up into the reception area and then the dance floor later. Just get people to leave the space for a few minutes while it gets changed or better yet make them part of the move.
People love feeling useful and part of the family on your wedding day and not just like bystanders at an event.
Keep an open mind and don’t panic
Obviously this is easier said than done, but remember, nobody knows that the way you are doing it now was not your original plan. It may not even rain, so don’t waste precious energy and prep time making yourself miserable and stressed. DO what you can and then let the rest just play out.
Either way come hell or actual high water you will be marring the person of your dreams and that is MUCH bigger than the weather forecast!
Do you have a rainy day wedding tip or story to share? Please leave it as a comment below, I’d love to hear how you made the best of the weather.
Much love (come rain or shine)