Rain on your wedding day – wet weather planning

With living in the deep South, it would be remiss of me to skip discussing wet weather planning for your wedding day. Today we are going to talk through how to plan your wedding day logistics around wet weather (or other inclement weather such as snow or high winds).  While you can’t control the weather, if you have a solid plan in place, you can relax a little and worry less about checking the forecast in the week leading up!


The picture above – that’s my wedding rehearsal. It wasn’t pouring, but it certainly wasn’t sunny. That’s what happens when you are getting married in early Spring!

Where will you get married if it’s raining?

If your wedding venue does not have an area that’s covered or suitable for wet weather, then you’ll need to suss out alternative arrangements. Remember the vast majority of weddings will be too big to chuck up a standard 3 x 3m gazebo, and a marquee is not a quick-fix (needing a couple of hours and few hands to get it up).

Think outside the square – is your reception venue able to accommodate you? Are there any local halls close by that could fit everyone in? We arranged the local smallbore shooting hall for our alternative venue – my husband is a target shooter, so we had the contacts, and the hall had plenty of chairs, a nostalgic, vintage feel to it, and it was flexible – we didn’t have to pay if we didn’t use it.

That’s another point to consider – and another reason people stick with their outside venues even in a howling gale – you will probably still have to pay your ceremony site fee, even if you don’t use it. That’s something to take into consideration when you are booking your wedding venue.

Putting plans in place for your wet weather wedding arrangements

You need to ensure that your wet weather venue is organised in advance, because the alternative wedding venue needs to be listed on your marriage license.  That means you can’t decide the morning of the wedding to scrap your garden ceremony for a random hall you’d only just hired the night before.

The week of the wedding can be a bit stressful. One of the many little things you’ll find yourself doing is checking the weather forecast. It’s a big call to switch your wedding ceremony to somewhere else, and chances are, you want to make that call as close to the wedding day as possible. You could even wait till the wedding day if you wanted to.

With the weather looking crummy the whole week before my wedding, I ended up with a deluge of texts and phone calls from guests asking if the wedding was still going to be at our original venue. It stressed me out so much that I ended up ignoring them – what did they think, they’d be left out in the rain for a bride who was happily getting hitched elsewhere?!

Making the decision to transfer the wedding ceremony elsewhere

If it’s pouring down and you’re resigned to the fact that an outside wedding is not going to work, it’s time to kick into action. The bride will probably be tied up with hair and makeup appointments during the morning, so the task of changing venues oftentimes falls to the groom and groomsmen – or the wedding planner, day-of coordinator, or venue coordinator if you have any of them.

The first priority is to redirect guests to your new venue. Send out a group text message, get people on the phone, and ask the original wedding venue to direct guests to the new ceremony spot. Some couples send out “rain cards” with their wedding invitations which makes this process a heap easier.

You may need to start the wedding ceremony a little later to allow guests to travel to the alternative venue also.


What can you do about wedding photos if it’s raining?

If you’re getting married outside, you might have planned to get your wedding photos taken outside as well. Even if you do manage to have your wedding ceremony outside, the weather in the lead up to your wedding day can put a dampner on photo plans. We were originally supposed to have our photos at a beautiful spot at the top of the Maungatuas:


However, pouring rain the week prior to our big day washed out access (which was already dodgy – we were using four wheel drives to get in there originally).

As a result, we had to shuffle our wedding photos to a new spot which neither we or our photographer had scouted! It worked out in the end, but I do admit I was a little disappointed we didn’t get our hilltop pictures that I’d been dreaming of during our wedding planning.

There are some incredible photos out there, where wedding photographers have embraced the rain.  If you’ve got a great wedding photographer, don’t panic about wet weather alternatives for your photos – that’s your photographer’s job to figure out!

Remember, there’s nothing you can do to control the weather – but you can make plans and remain flexible in the face of a little rain. And at the end of the day, they say it’s lucky to have a wet wedding day.

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