1. Get married in the rain!
Just kidding. Most people probably don't grow up dreaming of rain on their wedding day. Yes, it is said to be a sign of good fortune/fertility or whatever- but as my dad says, "that saying was made up by someone whose daughter was getting married on a rainy day to keep her from flipping out." If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you HAVE to be prepared for rain. I know everyone says this, and you hear it and are like "yes yes, I KNOW." But inside (and I know this, because this was me), you are thinking "it won't rain on my wedding because it's my wedding and it can't." Let me tell you- it can. And it does. But it's not the end of the world!!! Take it from me- my husband and I got married during a 15 minute outdoor ceremony while it rained and rained on us. Was it still a perfect day? Absolutely. Would I change anything about it? Not at all. Here's a list of some things that helped me through my own rainy day wedding.
1. Have a plan.
My venue was a state park, so our ceremony and reception were both at the same location, and both outdoors. When you are booking your reception venue/tent, remember that this is (most likely) your backup location for rain! Our (unused) rain plan (I'll get to more of this later) was to do the ceremony under the tent with our guests seated at their tables. Because one of my favorite aspects of the park was the flower-covered arch at the ceremony site, we (I say we, but it was my bridesmaid and her mom) put together a lighted arch from Michael's and decorated it with ribbons, and purchased giant flower pots overflowing with flowers to put it in. Being as prepared as possible for rain will make the transition much easier if you do have to go with your backup.
2. Practice your plan!
At our rehearsal, we ran through our regular plan several times, and then we also ran through our rainy day plan. This included coming out of a different door on the house to make the walks shorter. This included changing up which way the boys came down the aisle so they could hold an umbrella over their escort.
3. Get some umbrellas.
My dad ordered a bunch of giant golf umbrellas online prior to the wedding. He ordered solid white ones, and some pink and white ones. You'll see one of the white ones featured in my wedding photos. You can find some really great deals online. Or, you can ask around from friends and family to see if they have any extra. If your budget allows, try to do this in advance, even before you have the weather report- you don't want to be scrambling the week of your wedding to find giant umbrellas that you don't mind having in your photos because the weather report is predicting rain. We had enough umbrellas for our bridal party and some additional for grandparents/guests.
4. TRY NOT TO PANIC.
Take a deep breath. You'll make it through this, I promise. Remember: it's a wedding. Maybe it's not the wedding of your Pinterest dreams, but it's YOUR wedding, it's finally here, and at the end of the kerfuffle- you'll be married to the person of your dreams. Just remember that.
5. Be spontaneous and laugh a lot.
Here's the part where I tell you my story. Sometimes, you do all these steps. You bought the umbrellas. You made the plan. You made the backup arch. You practiced the night before. And the day of the wedding, it's overcast but holding off. The wedding ceremony is at 2. Everyone is seated in their chairs in front of the rose garden. The music begins to play. The guests of honor begin to walk down the aisle. And then... AND THEN... the rain starts. Your guests pull out their umbrellas- and your dad grabs one for you (the bride), but some of the guests don't have umbrellas. Your bridesmaids and your groomsmen don't. You lament that there are TEN GIANT umbrellas in a box inside the manor house, but you're already being escorted down the aisle by your dad and OH WELL, looks like you're doing this thing in the rain!
That's what happened to us on our wedding day. We stood there while it showered on us, and we stared into each other's eyes and smiled, and laughed, and rolled our eyes, and cracked up at every water reference made in the ceremony- which was quite a few because of the location. Was I upset that it was raining? No. I was worried about my guests, but it was a short ceremony and if they were really bothered, they stood under the giant tree. I even improvised something about the rain into my vows as I was reading them. The officiant cracked a joke about the rain as droplets fell from his hair onto his kindle. And then it was over, we were married, and everyone went under the tent. And the rain eventually stopped.
If you make this big, you can see the raindrops!
But now we have a story. Something uniquely us. And very fitting. Of course we got married out in the rain- why wouldn't we? That's so very Alissa and Scott.
One final word of advice- take precautions with your shoes in case of mud. Scotch guard them. Buy the little shoe caps to keep from sinking. Trust me.
Wedding photographs by Melissa Barrick.