Picture this: You’ve been planning your wedding day for months, if not years, alongside your significant other. The menu has been carefully curated, the invitations have been sent, and the wedding venue has been booked—whether that’s a picturesque park in Oregon or a destination wedding at Disney World.
Now, let’s jump a few months ahead to the big day. Your hair is done, the dress is on, and it’s almost time to walk down the aisle. However, you take a look outside of the window to find that... it’s raining.
At first, you might be absolutely gutted to have downpour on your big day. That’s totally valid, especially if you were dreaming of a sunny, warm outdoor wedding and reception. However, rain on your wedding day doesn’t have to be a downer—it may actually be a sign of good luck!
Superstition aside, though, the best way to handle rain at your wedding is to be prepared. “There should always, and I stress always, be a rain plan or bad weather plan set in place, as knowing that you have a backup plan makes you calmer and, many times, gives you the confidence to wait it out,” says Karolina Wahlman, wedding planner, event stylist, and founder of Wahlman Weddings. "By being prepared for the unfortunate downfall, we can better adapt and smoothly transition from the original plan to plan B without negatively affecting the event."
So, what should that plan look like? Women’s Health spoke with wedding planners about creating a rain plan for your wedding day and managing stress around potential inclement weather, so you can have a memorable celebration—rain or shine.
Is rain on your wedding day good luck?
Basically, rain on your wedding day means just that: rain. However, in some cultures and religions, rain on your wedding day is actually viewed as a sign of good luck. According to Hindu tradition, rain on your wedding day means that the marriage will last, since a wet knot is more difficult to untie, says Sarah Lema, director of sales and lead planner at Mavinhouse Events. That’s a sweet sentiment for those who believe it, and a great way to reappraise a situation that many may not view in a positive light.
What’s more, working together to handle rain on your wedding day can signal your strength as a couple. “You will definitely hear people quoting this superstition on wedding days where rain is seen, and the philosophy behind it is really meant to imply that with rain being the worst of luck on your wedding day, everything from here should be uphill,” says Manda Worthington, the founder and CEO of wedding planning company Mae&Co. Creative.
Should I have a rain plan?
I can't emphasize this enough: yes.
“Having a good plan B in place is essential to ensuring that your big day goes off without a hitch, no matter what weather may arise,” says Jessica Seeley, senior manager of client experience for Anna Lucia Events. “Let's say your venue is outdoors with no indoor rain backup space. You wouldn't want to be stuck without a covered space for you and your guests in the instance of rain.”
If you have a wedding planner, they can and should help you make arrangements for a back-up option. “Wedding planners are oftentimes checking all of the weather apps and speaking with weather forecasters the week leading up to the wedding to be prepared for what is to come,” says Seeley. If you don’t have a wedding planner, you can still keep track of the weather diligently in the weeks prior to your big day. The same applies for contacting vendors, photographers, and stylists.
What should I do if it rains on my wedding day?
All of this said, if it rains on your wedding day, it’s really NBD. Your wedding planner has been there and done that—they know how to navigate these situations that are really out of our control (aka, the weather).
In the event of rain during your nuptials, here are some tips you’ll want to keep in mind while planning for the big day.
1. Have umbrellas readily available for guests.
This is usually a no-brainer for rain, but when you have to focus on everything else for the big day, it may easily be overlooked. “Transparent ones that can be shared on two people are the best and look great in photos,” says Seeley.
2. Have a covered space or tent available.
If you’re having an indoor wedding, then you don’t need to worry about this. However, for outdoor receptions, you’ll want to have a tent on site to provide suitable protection from the rain and other natural elements.
“As much as we love a dining al fresco moment, we always encourage a tent for outdoor receptions. It's too risky for electrical lighting and audio equipment, linens, and tabletop decor to not have the reception space covered in our region,” says Lindsey Morgan, owner and creative director at the Colorado-based Bello & Blue Events.
3. Mentally prepare for the rain.
The easy part of preparing for rain is to have the actual plan in order (i.e., umbrellas, tents, and towels). It’s the mental preparation that can take an even bigger toll. “Keep your expectations realistic and make a plan in your head, before anything else, for how you will proceed with your day, should it rain,” says Worthington. “This will put you at an entirely different level of ease if it starts to rain on your day because you will have already personally prepared yourself for the possibility.”
4. Ask your vendors how they handle rainy weather.
Many wedding vendors have gone through an unexpected rainy wedding, so they know the lowdown. Some venues may have umbrellas on hand and rags to wipe down outdoor furniture. “These are important questions to ask upfront, even at your venue tour, so you know how your team handles inclement weather,” says Lema.
As for photographers, many will know how to take advantage of the weather to give you stunning shots despite a little bit of rain—the same goes for the hair and makeup teams.
“For example, having the beauty team remain on-site for touch-ups can give the bride confidence to embrace the rain and take photos outside, and the hair and makeup artists can help ensure the VIPs are photo-ready for the remainder of the reception, even if they get a little damp at one point,” says Morgan.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to remember what’s truly important on your wedding day—the love you have for your partner, and being surrounded by friends and family members—rather than those pesky rain droplets that will, eventually, go away.
Meet the experts: Karolina Wahlman is a wedding planner, event stylist, and founder of Wahlman Weddings. Manda Worthington is the founder and CEO of wedding planning company Mae&Co. Creative. Jessica Seeley is the senior manager of client experience at Anna Lucia Events. Lindsey Morgan is the owner and creative director of the Colorado-based Bello & Blue Events. Sarah Lema is the director of sales and lead planner at Mavinhouse Events.
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