No one wants to talk about the potential for rain on your wedding day. You're planning for the perfect day, right?? So obviously rain shouldn't be part of that equation. But the truth is, Mother Nature could care less and she just does her own thing! So you need to be prepared, should an uninvited guest - I'm lookin' at you rain! - decides to show up.
Let's say you're a brave bride with nerves of steel, and the possibility for rain on your wedding day is a risk you're willing to take. For some couples, the potential of maybe having to go with plan B is well worth the reward of a beautiful outdoor celebration. Truth be told, outdoor ceremonies and receptions are my favorite! When you're looking at venues that offer outdoor space, you should also consider that venues ability to support a rain plan. Is there an indoor space you could use, just in case? If not, then is putting up a tent over your plan A ideas possible, and do they allow tenting on their grounds? And you'll want to put a tent on hold through a rental company if using a tent is plan B. As you're developing plan A, it's really important to also talk about your plan B if you're planning a celebration with outdoors events, such as a ceremony, cocktail hour, and/or reception. How are you going to pull all 150 guests indoors? How will rain affect the flow of events? These are all important things that you'll want to think through as you're planning for your outdoor wedding.
But maybe you're the type of person who can't handle the stress of an outdoor wedding, so you are planning a wedding with indoor venues (i.e. a church, ballroom, museum space, etc.). There's nothing wrong with that! In fact, I fell into this category when I was getting married almost 6 years ago. It's stressful dealing with the unknown, and I knew I didn't want to handle having to switch to a plan B, when my heart was set on plan A! I hate to burst your bubble, though, because you're not out of the woods - you still have to think about unfavorable weather, even if your wedding is going to be held indoors. You'll want to think through how your guests are getting to the ceremony and reception, should the weather become a factor. Do you need to provide transportation from the hotels, now that rain is in the forecast and guests can no longer easily walk to the venue? (This scenario is a common occurrence for weddings here in Uptown Charlotte!) Where will portraits take place with your photographer? Do you have umbrellas available? All very important things to think through to ensure a smooth wedding day and a great experience for both your family and guests.
While we always want to be prepared, we never want to obsess. Please don't obsess over the potential for rain or let an unfavorable forecast ruin your planning experience! Ultimately you cannot control the weather, but you can control how you react to it. So make plan A and make plan B, but don't focus all your attention on the "what if". I think it's good to be ready, but I don't really starting discussing plan B with my couples until we have a forecast to consider. All of these questions and scenarios are all examples of things you should discuss with your vendor team. Let the professionals guide you to make the best decision for your wedding! It's their job, after all - so lean on them and their expertise.
I'd like to add that in my 6 years of experience in wedding planning, I've only ever had to pull a ceremony indoors that was originally planned to be outdoors once. That's right - once! Sure it's rained on more than one occasion forcing a change in portrait location or a timeline delay, but we were still able to move forward as originally planned! For one of our weddings, the rain started just as the ceremony was about to begin. We knew there was potential for rain that day and we were closely monitoring the radar all day. The bride had her heart set on getting married outdoors, and we wanted to make that dream come true! So we went on a rain delay, and set-up our string quartet indoors and also started serving champagne to guests who were gathered indoors for a mini cocktail hour. As soon as there was a break in the clouds, we were able to quickly wipe down all the chairs so that the ceremony could still be held outdoors. We escorted guests to the garden and started just 15 minutes late. And everything was perfect - it was like the rain never happened!
See what I mean?!
Rain on your wedding day isn't the end of the world. Trust me, I want my clients weddings to match the picture in their head, too! So while I know it's not ideal, a little rain won't stop you from saying "I do" - and that is what truly matters!