What to do if it rains on your wedding day

Rain rain go away! Surely the mantra of couples all over the world when it comes to their wedding day. No matter what time of year you have planned your wedding day, everyone hopes it will be at least dry.

Unfortunately, weather is the most unpredictable beast and as a planner, the one thing we cannot control or handle for you. With the current spell of awful rain – its June!!! – and having spent the last weekend at a wonderful yet soggy wedding, now seemed to be a good time to share some tips for bad weather with you. So what happens if it rains on your wedding day?

First things first, don’t panic! Worrying about the weather on your wedding day and what it could be like shouldn’t stop you planning an outdoor celebration if that’s the dream. The good old British weather is a fickle beast so here’s my top tips if the weather isn’t looking favourable for your day, just in case…

Plan ahead

No matter what your venue is – full on field wedding or an indoor venue with outside spaces you’re hoping to use for parts of the day - have a wet weather plan in place in case you need to move things undercover. Being prepared with a wet weather plan means it will be less stressful for you if you do need it, and means your day will still be fabulous and run seamlessly as no-one will be scrabbling around or panicking about your plans being ruined. If you’ve planned outdoor celebrations you obviously want to be outside so you may be a little disappointed, but you can still execute your plans, just undercover until the rain passes. For example, if you are planning outdoor welcome drinks, your back up can be to just move them inside the marquee or building. If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, you may choose to have a smaller marquee as a back up to create an undercover ceremony space.


Embrace the raindrops

If it’s not all sunshine, embrace what you get! Work with your photographer and you can still get some amazing photos with fun umbrellas and moody skies. Your photographer will likely have experience of shooting wedding photos that aren’t all bathed in sunshine so if the weather forecast is looking a bit dodgy, have a chat with them before the day about any ideas they have to still get the shots you would like so you know what to expect on the day and when you get your photos through. You might have to be flexible on timings and pop out during the meal for example if the sun suddenly breaks through to make the most of it. And don’t forget, coloured umbrellas make for fun photos, but clear umbrellas won’t cast a shadow on your faces.

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Don’t worry about your guests

If your guests know it’s an outdoor celebration, most will have also been weather watching too and will come prepared with boots and brollies if needed. Don’t forget they are there to celebrate with you, and if that means getting a bit wet or ducking inside during the showers, I can guarantee they won’t mind. It can be handy to have a few brollies by the exits for dashes to the loos and the bar if they are all outside, and a few mats by the doorways for a quick feet wipe will also keep the flooring and the dancefloor drip and mud free (as much as possible anyway!) Make the indoor spaces cosy with indoor firepits (if available in your marquee) or open fireplaces in an indoor venue, and extra blankets in case the grey clouds mean the temperature drops a degree or two too low.


Set the tone

The attitude of the main stars of the day (that’s you obviously!) will set the tone for the rest of the guests. Unfortunately you have to go with the flow when it comes to weather, but if your guests can see that you are calm about any change of plans and still having an amazing time, they will follow suit.

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Speak to your suppliers

Before the day, check with any key suppliers what their wet weather policies are (if they have one) and check the small print of your contracts. Your marquee company may specify where they can and cannot set up depending on the ground conditions, many will have a policy for anything water damaged or if things are left out in the rain, and music acts in particular wont risk their equipment or instruments being damaged so you may need to be flexible on your entertainment, particularly if you have planned outdoor music acts.


Check the forecast…but not obsessively!

Keep an eye on the forecast up and until your wedding. It might be that it will only rain during certain times of the day. This will allow you to adjust your day schedule accordingly to fit your plans while taking account of the weather if needed.

While it’s tempting to keep checking it again, and again, and again!, long range forecasts are very changeable so don’t get too caught up in weather predictions too far out.

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Plan for a planner

If you can, hire a planner or an on the day coordinator and let them handle all the wet weather arrangements as needed, leaving you to have an amazing day instead of worrying about what’s getting soggy! Use their experience and knowledge to make sure everything is still a version of your dream day, and let them take the stress away.

Planning an outdoor wedding generally brings with it a set of unique considerations and challenges so make sure that any planner or coordinator you hire specialises in outdoor weddings, and has experience of wet weather days, so they know exactly what to do and how to solve any unexpected hiccups that may arise.



Be practical about your hair and make up

Rain may not be your best friend when it comes to your wedding day look (no one likes runny mascara and damp hair!), but you can still look flawless. Your glam squad will be able to waterproof your makeup and give you a trendy messy bun or flower crown that won’t fall apart from water and wind. The groomsmen should also opt for hairstyles that are as frizz-resistant as possible.


Come rain or shine, at the end of the day, you are still getting married to the love of your life. Wet weather on your day might not be ideal, but if planned for correctly, your special day can still be even greater than you could imagine. 

Photo credits:

Kim Williams Photography

Memory Cake Photography

Something Blue

Bee Holmes Photography

Vicki Knights Photography