Envision your outdoor wedding. Your fiance and family are gathered; your dress looks perfect. The birds are chirping, and it starts pouring rain—wait what? Even though summer is most reliably the nicest season of the year, no wedding is completely immune to problems with weather. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can predict very far in advance either. So, roll your sleeves up and get ready for some last minute preparations if you see, rain, storms, or a heat wave on the horizon.
It’s hard to plan ahead for rain, but you should always approach your chosen venue with a contingency plan from the get-go. Have a rain location already worked out if possible, so all you have to do is head inside when the drops start to fall.
Not everyone may think to have a plan B, but don’t worry! There are still many things you can do to alleviate problems with rain on the day of. Have a pair of rain boots you wear when a bad storm rolls in? Wear them during your ceremony! Picture you and your bridesmaids wearing adorable rain boots, and think of the cute, unique photographs. This will avoid mud on expensive heels and dirt between your toes. Another quick fix? Clear umbrellas! Provide your bridesmaids and groomsmen with them for the ceremony so they are still visible to guests and in photos. These shouldn’t be hard to find in a store nearby, but if you have trouble, try the internet. Rush shipping (or Amazon Prime) should be able to get them to your doorstep in time.
For the rest of your guests, put together a quick call list of phone numbers and inform everyone of the predicted weather situation. Apologize for the inconvenience and inform them that they’ll need to wear appropriate shoes and coats, and to bring their own umbrellas. Or, if you have the extra budget and time, buy a bunch of mini umbrellas in bulk and plastic flip flops to give out as favors.
The most common weather preparedness tool for a wedding is a tent. To most, a tent isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing, but it can be dressed up. Use fresh flowers, lighting, or chandeliers to create a beautiful ambiance to make the tent feel like it’s not even there.
What if the sun is shining, but just a little too bright? If you get to your big day, and you’re worried you may look like you just went swimming during the ceremony, have a couple things handy to fight the heat. Fans are miraculous, so order a bunch in bulk and set them at the entrance to the seating area for everyone to grab. You can also decorate personal battery-powered fans with faux flowers, beads, or glitter so guests can cool down during the ceremony and reception. Personal fans will provide guests with a relief they will be so thankful for. You can even make your programs into fans!
Unfortunately, it is common for wedding guests to forget about hydration during a wedding ceremony and reception. Be sure to have water bottles all around, on pretty tables or in trendy buckets filled with ice. With these bottles readily available, it will leave guests feeling at ease that water is nearby if the heat starts getting to them. Having to call an ambulance due to heat stroke or dehydration can definitely put a damper on the big day.
Another unfortunate situation that comes with hot weather is bugs. Try putting out bug lamps and providing bug spray for guests to make sure there will be none in sight! Since summer is common for pests, you should have no problem finding what you need at a local lawn and garden store.
A sudden summer storm is pretty much the worst case scenario for weather. You can get quickly flooded out of an area before you have time to react. And, even if you have an outdoor tent for rain cover, if it’s too windy or lightning is nearby, it will be uncomfortable and unsafe to stay outside. In this case, you will need an indoor location instead.
If a storm pops up suddenly, without warning, get everyone inside to safety first, and then get ahold of your venue manager immediately and enlist help from family or your wedding party to get every thing in order while you make adjustments on the fly.
If the forecast suddenly changes to stormy on the morning of or the day before, start contacting your venue and vendors as soon as you can to change plans. Most locations will have some kind of alternative for you; they’ve likely dealt with a weather related emergency before. It will take a lot of phone calls, but all of your guests, and even your vendors, will appreciate your preparedness and quick action.