Recently, I've had the honor of doing so many great outdoor fall weddings. But, in the past month, three of them got a nice wedding gift from mother nature; rain. While I try to prepare for everything, there are some things I cannot control. While it isn't always a happy phone call or email I have to make, the truth is, the earlier you are prepared for the possibility of rain, the better. Here are some tips to help you out:
1) Always have a rain plan: you cannot predict everything, so if your wedding is falling in any months where rain could be a possibility, the best thing to do is to have a plan in place as soon as you begin your wedding planning. It's not worth it to plan an outdoor wedding and hope that it doesn't rain. I suggest finding out from your venue what back up plans they have and indoor options that are available to you. For a wedding I did at the beginning of October, that wasn't an option, as it took place at a private home. I had (thank goodness) placed large tents on hold 8 months before the wedding. You do risk the chance of losing some money with this plan, but if it's your only option, do it. I was relieved to know that we had tents being installed three days before the wedding, while other couples were frantically trying to secure tents. It's not worth the stress!
2) Accept defeat when you have to: I really hate to make the rain call, it hurts me as much as it does my clients, but the sooner the decisions are made to go with the rain plan, the better everything will flow. We've done a few game time decisions, but sometimes, you don't get to make the board room you are being put into look as good as it can. If your wedding is on a Saturday and you see on weather.com that the call is for 80% storm weather, take that as a fact. You still have time at that point to make a call to your florist or rental company to secure more items or change your current ones to fit with the new location. You'll be happier and more comfortable knowing that you have made your plan B location look as good as it would have outdoors.
3) Make the guests comfortable: say the weather calls for slight scattered showers for a brief period of time on your wedding day, and you make the call to go for it. Make sure that you (or your fabulous coordinator) secure enough umbrellas, canopys, etc. for your guests to be comfortable. Remember, they are dressed up for your wedding, and to expect them to sit on wet seats doesn't always go over well. When the rain was approachin for last Saturday's wedding, I made a run to Walgreens and purchased 15 umbrellas and came equipped with plenty of towels to dry off the seats right before the guests arrived. The guest were very appreciative and it made the cold, foggy, wet weather not as bad! Even the groom secured some coffee from Peet's and we had a nice little coffee station set-up for guests to warm up by.
4) Protect your dress, hair and makeup: you've spent enough on it all, why let the rain ruin it? Make sure you have a large golf umbrella, and many helping hands to help hold up all sides of your dress. One drop in the mud, and even a shout wipe can't help that! Make sure to also have a small can of hairspray (usually your coordinator will have this on-hand in the emergency kit) for the frizz that usually comes with the damp weather.
5) Stay positive: you don't want the weather to ruin one of the biggest days of your life! Take some deep breaths, put all the worry on your coordinator, and just relish in the beauty that the rainy weather gives you in photos (this isn't a lie, it really is a fact). Also, I've heard just a few thousand times that rain is good luck on your wedding day, so embrace it like my clients below, Loralie and Kevin did and all will come together beautifully. Your day will be amazing no matter rain, sleet, hail or snow!
In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the amazing warm fall weather we are having in the bay area currently and wish you all happy planning!