The majority of couples dream of a sun soaked wedding day with a beautiful blue sky and drinks outside, but unfortunately the weather isn’t something even the most organised of brides-to-be can control.
Whether you’re planning on having a totally outdoor wedding, an outdoor ceremony, or just want to host your drinks reception outside, here’s how to make sure that you’ll have a brilliant day even if it rains.
Talk to your venue in advance
If you’re getting married at an outdoor wedding venue, check if they have options for how to save the day if the heavens open.
Chances are, they’ll have a space inside to relocate to if it starts to pour, or they’ll have marquees ready to erect at a moments notice to keep your guests dry.
We’re not saying it won’t be disappointing for your day to not go as planned, but it will still be just a special - just different to how you imagined.
As well as checking your venue’s wet weather plans, you can put some measures in place yourself. Buy coloured umbrellas that tie in with your colour scheme for your guests to use if they go outside to explore the grounds, or to stand under if you hold your ceremony outdoors despite rain showers.
Consider organising some covered outdoor areas (marquees are a godsend!) so you can still enjoy the great outdoors, and provide plenty of hot drinks and blankets to keep everyone cosy.
Be flexible with timings
Chances are, you’ll have your wedding day timings planned to a tee, but you might need to be flexible and alter these as the day goes on.
If the rain looks like it might clear up later in the day, have your outdoor shots then rather than during the canapés; if it’s tipping it down when you arrive at your reception push the outdoor drinks back a while and spend time with your guests inside instead.
Not sticking to your schedule won’t throw the day off completely and can mean it runs more smoothly if you work with the weather rather than your timings.
Work with your photographer
“Bad weather certainly doesn’t mean that the photographs from your day will be dull or lifeless,” says photographer Sam Sanders.
“Generally with bad weather you will have plenty of clouds but this means there's a great opportunity for some really dramatic sky shots. On a windy day I would probably use props to help create a more unique photograph. Flags and kites work well, or even shooting the dresses moving in the wind.”
“When it rains I prefer to keep the newlyweds warm and indoors, but if there are minimal photo opportunities inside, it's nice to be creative out in the rain. I love capturing cosy shots of the bride and groom in each others' arms under a brolly. You'd be surprised how many couples embrace this moment and have a laugh together.”
“If there are periods of on and off rain I often use puddles as reflections to enhance a photo and bring a different dimension to the shot.”
“As the day is coming to a close, the sun is low and gaps in the clouds will produce great colour and contrast. A shot overlooking a landscape usually works well in this situation.”
“Remember to have a good look through potential photographers' portfolios as this will give you a good indication of whether they have experience with bad weather. In most cases of bad weather, it will mean having amazing shots that wouldn't have been possible on a sunny day, so embrace the bad weather it if it comes and don’t let a bit of rain or a dull sky affect your big day.”