Who’ll Stop The Rain?

When choosing our venue, we considered a lot of things: location, scenery, what they had to offer, and how we felt there. One thing we didn’t really consider? The rain back-up plan.

An outdoor ceremony was important to us: we didn’t want to get married in a church, and other non-church indoor venues didn’t feel very “wedding-y” to us. Plus, we both like spending time outside when it’s nice out. But. What happens if it’s not so nice out? When we picked our venue we were in denial that the weather on our wedding day could be anything other than perfect, but now that we’re drawing ever closer, it’s starting to sink in that it could be pouring, muddy, and awful on our wedding day.

The wedding party will be under the cover of the pavilion during the ceremony. But our guests will be out in the open, with nothing to shield them from the elements. Keeping the ceremony outdoors during inclement weather is definitely not an option.


We’ll be nice and dry under there”¦while our guests get soaked in chairs on either side of the aisle / Personal photo

Hive, I’m just going to be straight with you: I really hate our venue’s rain back-up plan.

Like, it would be devastating to me if we had to use it. I know you’re going to say that on the day of it won’t matter, that all I’ll care about is marrying Mr. Wizard. And I know that that’s true, and I’ll live if we have to use it. But, seriously, we only get to do this wedding thing once. I want it to be nice, and to live up to what I picture in my head, which is an outdoor ceremony. We don’t get any do-overs, so if we have to use the rain back-up plan, I will never get married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. And that makes me sad.

The back-up plan is to set up the reception hall with a makeshift aisle in the center of the guest tables. The guests sit at their tables for the ceremony, and we get married up front”¦in front of the head table. So, basically, for all intents and purposes, we’d be getting married at our reception. The appetizers and buffet would be all set up. The guests would pick up their place cards and find their tables. Some of them would be facing at awkward angles to watch the ceremony, and some would be really far away. There would be no divide between ceremony and reception, no “grand entrance.” And the guests would all be there to watch us take the formal family photos after the ceremony.

It just seems so”¦cobbled-together. Last-minute. I would be fine with getting married inside if they had the option of setting up an actual ceremony space (rows of chairs for the guests, no tables, an arch/candles/something to denote the “altar”), and then have their crew move the furniture around during cocktail hour so that it’s set up for a reception when the guests come back in. But that’s not an option, because there would be nowhere for the guests to go while this was happening. The winery is basically one room (the banquet room), with a small, separate storefront at one end. And that storefront will be open doing regular business during our wedding. Our contract doesn’t include use of the storefront area, so it’s out of the question.

So, for now, I’ll hope and pray and plead with the weather gods to have a dry, sunny (or even just cloudy! I’ll take clouds!) day on our wedding day. Send us good-weather vibes, Hive, we’re going to need them.

Does anyone else’s venue have a similar rain back-up plan as ours, or has anyone been to a wedding where the ceremony took place inside the reception room without it being reset? What was it like? Was it weird? Be totally honest, I’ve never been to a wedding like that so I can’t picture it, and I want to know what to (possibly) expect.


Mrs. Wizard

Wedding Date:
June 2012
Add a comment


  1. Member
    monique1218 394 posts, Helper bee @ 4:02 pm

    My fiance and I are CHOOSING to get married at our reception location…with guests seated at their tables during the ceremony. My aunt and uncle have a beautiful white arch that we are getting married under. We figure guests can just move their chairs if they are at a weird angle. We are having a processional and recessional and right after the recessional my fiance and I are going away for a bit to take pictures while guests enjoy cocktail hour. We WILL have a grand entrance when we come back to the reception space. I think it will be great!

    So I don’t think your plan B sounds bad. :)

  2. Member
    Michelle1227 18 posts, Newbee @ 5:40 pm

    My venue has 2 backup plans for rain – under the patio where cocktail hour is supposed to be (some wouldn’t be able to be seated though), or inside with your exact situation. I definitely panicked about it at first since neither are ideal, but there’s no controlling the weather. I’m going to do my best to just go with the flow and enjoy my wedding day no matter what.

    Thank you to everyone who said wedding ceremonies like this were actually a good thing. It put my mind even more at ease!

  3. Member
    xlittlemissbridex 532 posts, Busy bee @ 7:26 pm

    Our venue’s rain back-up plan is EXACTLY the same. Thinking about having to use it pretty much makes me want to cry. Our wedding is also in October in Michigan. Therefore, we not only have rain to worry about but freezing cold temperatures. I’ll keep our fingers crossed for both of us!! :)

  4. Member
    mrs.PHAN-tastic 129 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:09 pm

    I’m feeling the same way! But our wedding is in 10 days! We live and are getting married in central California. It has been a warm and dry winter but when March came it start raining atleast 2-3 times a week! I’m very curious to see the weather report for next week! Good luck to you!! Hopefully June will be good to you! In California it would be fine, but I’m hoping the same where you live!!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Sophia, Guest @ 11:30 pm

    Mrs Tartlet got married in her reception space and it was gorgeous!

  6. Member
    mswizard 554 posts, Busy bee @ 5:27 am

    Ohh I’m so glad to hear that people have done the ceremony-in-reception-space thing and it didn’t suck!! You guys seriously talked me down from a ledge here :) And thanks for all the good weather juju!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Brittney, Guest @ 5:35 am

    Wiz…I have been to SEVERAL weddings where this was the case. We sat at the reception tables, and the Bride and Groom and bridal party stood up front. After the ceremony part, the bride/groom and bridal party all left the room (just as they would have processed down the aisle) and then re-entered after their pictures. Still allowing for the grand entrance!

    Also, just remember, it could always be worse. My best friend’s wedding was in Nashville the year of those horrible floods. Her outdoor wedding/outdoor reception had to all be moved inside of a tiny farm house. We were rushing around moving these people’s furniture so as to fit everyone who could make it (over half of their guests were unable to make it due to the flood waters) in. All of her decorations and DIY efforts were rained out (as we had set up all the decorations the night before/morning of when it seemed it was just going to be a drizzle). Only a few were salvageable – and we did the best we could to use those decorations to make the fireplace in the farm house a somewhat alter.

    In the end, it was beautiful. My friend was disappointed that she didn’t get to have the wedding she had dreamed of, but was so thankful that we were all there to help make the best of it.

    I only tell you this, because it helped to keep my perspective when my outdoor wedding was threatened by Irene last summer. It really is true, whatever happens you’ll be married, and that’s what’s important. But rest assured – it’s ok to be disappointed if the outcome isn’t what you want.

    Sending you tons of positive thoughts and prayers for good weather!!

  8. Member
    FutureMrsSpencer 526 posts, Busy bee @ 6:54 am

    This is exactly why we are getting married in my church. We chose our venue because it was one within our price range that offered an outdoor ceremony space. After talking with the owners, we realized that Memorial day weekend is hit or miss when it comes to the weather in NJ. We can get rain and heat all in the same weekend. He showed us that we would have the ceremony all in one room and we both said “CHURCH!” There is something about having everything in the same room that I am not comfortable with. Even though it is all the same, I just want that element of surprise when our guests walk into the ballroom for the first time. As much as I love the outside space at our venue, I can’t risk the chance of rain. So my church it is!

  9. Member
    WoodenShoes 389 posts, Helper bee @ 11:34 am

    i may have a useful tip from a guests perspective! ill start by saying here in the netherlands, a couple has to get married first by the state at city hall, and then if they want to, they can get married at church. when a couple of our friends got married, their city hall portion was outside right by the water with a really beautiful (semi enclosed) gazebo. so pretty similar to your situation. they were covered but guests were exposed. their rain plan? no rain plan. they wouldve had to pay twice, (once for the indoor room and once for the outdoor space). on their wedding day, it rained. and we brought umbrellas!! she even had a pretty white one to carry as she walked down the aisle. so assuming it isnt torrential hurricane weather, maybe just tell your guests to bring umbrellas! it worked for us :)

  10. Member
    kmnowlan 207 posts, Helper bee @ 1:15 pm

    Check out Mrs. Tartlet’s wedding! Everyone was sitting in their reception seats, just turned. It was gorgeous!!!

  11. Member
    kmnowlan 207 posts, Helper bee @ 1:17 pm

    @39bride- I’m sorry for your loss. I think you have beautiful perspective. While I’ll admit, I was very worried it would rain on our wedding day, I agree with you that marrying your best friend is what is important. Thanks for bringing us all back to what is really important on our big days!

  12. Member
    kikigurl 172 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:09 pm

    I was just married on March 24th. My ceremony was on the beach and the reception on the pavilion overlooking the ocean under the stars….it didn’t happen. It was gorgeous all week leading up to my wedding day. Heck it was gorgeous all morning leading up to my ceremony and the radar showed small spots here and there but nothing to make us say lets go indoors. So we set it all up and everything was ready to go… I put on my dress I had less than an hour and I see the dark clouds roll in. I looked at the radar it seems those small spots clumped together and made a big cell. Then down came the rain. I didn’t cry I kept saying it will be fine they are moving everything…I really didn’t know what was going on my coordinator was handling it. Then I called my now husband who was hanging out with the guys and as soon as I heard his voice I couldn’t keep the tears from coming. It was heartbreaking all the hardwork I did was destroyed by the rain. I did end up having the ceremony outside under the gazebo when the rain let up after an hour and sun shined again. The day was dry and beautiful from then on. I got my pictures on the beach it turned out fine. My decor was ruined and the reception was moved indoors but I got over it. I saw how much fun everyone was having I just didn’t care anymore. It all worked out. So my advice is go with what you want and even if it doesn’t turn out perfect just know it will be okay. Good luck and best wishes to you and all the brides out there :)

  13. Member
    Sparkle030 196 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:01 am

    when is the wedding. ive tried to find your wedding date and i cant!

add a comment

Find Amazing Vendors