How to Prepare for a Rainy Day Wedding

A bride and groom kissing in a car with raindrops on the window.

Rain on your wedding day: it’s the kind of horror only Alanis Morissette could imagine. While there is an old superstition that claims a rainy wedding is a sign of good luck, most couples go out of their way to avoid it—especially if they’re getting married in the great outdoors.

Of course, no one can predict the weather, and sometimes a little rain does interrupt your wedding plans (but for the record, when this happens it’s not actually ironic). If you want the wedding to happen in any weather, it’s best to be prepared. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for a rainy wedding.

Have a Sheltered Venue Available Just in Case

A white tent on a lawn set up for a wedding in case it rains.

If your wedding is taking place indoors, a little rain may not even be a problem. Sure, your guests may have to hurry inside from the parking lot, but soon enough they’ll be warm and dry, having a good time despite the weather. However, if you’re planning on an outdoor event, the rain can easily upend your plans.

For this reason, I suggest that every couple ask potential venues about their rainy day plans. Find out if there’s a space kept open in case of rain (and if there is, make sure you check it out; you wouldn’t want to discover at the last moment that a room you hate is your only option). As long as your guests have a sheltered space to gather, your wedding can continue—rain or shine!

Watch the Clouds (And Keep Vendors Updated on Your Plans)

As your wedding date approaches, pay attention to the weather forecast for your venue’s area. If it looks like rain is on the way, be prepared to initiate your wedding day “Plan B.” Of course, you don’t have to throw in the towel right away (forecasts have been known to be wrong), but it is important that you’re ready to make that judgment call if needed.

Once you do decide that it’s time to move to the rainy day plan, you need to let your venue and vendors know immediately. Many of them have their own pre-wedding to-do lists, and a change in the overall plan could put a wrench in their tasks for the day. The sooner they are in the loop, the smoother the celebration will be.

Keep Guests Informed of Changes to the Schedule or Location

Depending on how the rain changes your wedding plan, your vendors may not be the only people you need to notify. Let’s say that, in order to avoid the rain, you’ve decided to push back your ceremony for a few hours and let the storm pass. Your vendors will want to know that they have a few more hours to finish setting up, and your guests will want to know that things will be starting a little later.

Obviously, alerting all your guests to changes like this can be a real hassle. But if the rain starts falling unexpectedly, it’s only polite to let your friends and family in on the plan. Ask your bridal party to help send out texts and phone calls, or even post an announcement on your wedding website and social media to alert everyone.

Grab an Umbrella (And Maybe Some Towels)

A bride and groom under a clear umbrella in the city on a rainy day.

Whether you move the ceremony inside or simply brave the elements, you will inevitably need an umbrella for a rainy wedding day. After all, no bride wants to get their wedding dress wet (unless you’re doing one of those “trash the dress” photoshoots), and keeping covered is the best way to avoid ruining that gorgeous gown.

If you think it might rain on your big day, make sure someone brings an umbrella to the venue for you. And while you’re at it, you might as well bring a few extra rainy day essentials for everyone: a few cheap umbrellas and a pile of dry towels can go a long way toward cheering up cold, wet wedding guests.

Update Your Beauty Routine to Be Waterproof

Every woman knows that the rain can wreak havoc on your beauty routine. Matted hair, smeared foundation, dripping mascara—frankly, it can be a real hot mess. But if you’re expecting wet weather (or even if it takes you by surprise) you don’t have to settle for subpar hair and makeup. Just ask your glam squad to give you a weatherproofed look!

Instead of long, beachy waves, go for a romantic braid or elegant updo; these styles will hold better in the rain than simply wearing your hair down. Also, opt for waterproof mascara (an extra perk: it won’t run if you cry during your vows) and a few extra squirts of setting spray. With just a few minor tweaks, your makeup will be rocking—even in the rain.

And Finally—Laugh it Off!

A bride and groom running in the rain and laughing.

This is by far the most important thing you can do to get ready for a rainy wedding. So many couples have very high expectations for their special day. They’ve been dreaming about it for years and they want everything to be perfect. The rain can throw a huge wrench into those expectations, leaving you feeling disappointed—one emotion you should never have to deal with on your wedding day.

If you find yourself down in the dumps over a rainy wedding, take a minute to remember the great things about your day. Your family and friends have all come together. You’re going to have a pretty amazing party. You’re still going to marry the love of your life. If you keep those things in mind, you’ll realize that the rain is no big deal—this will still be one of the best days of your life.

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