A bride’s worst nightmare: rain on her wedding day. With a growing popularity of outdoor ceremonies and receptions, many couples find themselves obsessively checking the forecast in the days leading up to the event, hoping that Mother Nature is on their side. Unfortunately, none of us have control over the weather, and if you’re going to celebrate your marriage among nature, you have to accept all aspects of it from sunshine to rain, for better or for worse. But a rainy wedding day does not mean your dream wedding is ruined. In fact, a little rain can make the day extra fun, extra special, and even extra romantic.
Nobody hopes for rain on their wedding day, and some people may even go as far as to say that it is bad luck, but for many cultures, a rainy wedding day is a sign of fertility (rain waters the ground that produces new growth). It also signifies cleansing and renewal, washing away past sorrows and troubles so you can start your marriage and your life together shiny and new. In France they say Mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux (“Rainy wedding, happy marriage”) and in Italy Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata (“A wet bride is a lucky bride”).
Rainy and overcast days lead to excellent photography opportunities (your photographer might even be secretly delighted). Clouds create a soft, diffused light, which can turn out some gorgeously romantic wedding photos. This will also be a great opportunity for some unique shots in cozy nooks and corners since your photographer has to get creative to find a beautiful shot while keeping you (relatively) dry. Even adding umbrellas can create a romantic image that also keeps you dry.
Think of all the great romantic movies we all love: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Garden State, and of course The Notebook all have climactic kissing scenes that are all the more romantic caught in the rain. Not only will kissing your sweetie outdoors in the rain give the day (and your photos) and extra romantic element, but the reception indoors will feel all the more cozy with all your family and friends as it rains outside and the photos and moments you can have together under canopies or building overhangs can make the moment feel extra intimate, especially since it’s not likely that your guest will be following you around outside as you take your photos.
Real Life Rainy Weddings
Bride, Meg, had hail and tornado warnings forecasted the morning of her wedding, she says. “Our guests swear it provided an intimate event having 170 people huddled on the deck of the sailing school as the rain fell behind us! The rain lifted at 4:45PM just as the ceremony was ending – perfect timing for pictures. The less than ideal weather had produced breathtaking clouds and, later, turned the entire sky this pink-purple color. It was truly magical!”
Wedding photographer, Jonathan Ivy, recalls his first rainy wedding shoot saying, “It added a bit of a flair to the schedule but it helped make the photos UNBELIEVABLE…I hope this answers your questions, “What do I do if it rains on my wedding day!?” Our answer, “Bring beautiful umbrellas and enjoy your day”!”
Avital Andrews gushes about how fresh and in love she felt after her rainy wedding, “You know when it’s pouring or freezing or otherwise untenable outside and you just feel crazy lucky to have a solid roof over your head and there’s a fire roaring and just the right song playing and you’ve got the exact person or people you need with you and you’re swaddled up in a chenille blanket and there’s good food and something hot or strong to drink and life just feels perfect in its moment? Project that immense coziness out into wedding size and you start to approach the unexpected level of intimacy our rain created for us.”
Tips for Surviving Rain on Your Wedding Day
- Make a plan as early as possible (preferably before it’s too early to panic about the forecast). Ask all your vendors ahead of time what they do in case of rain and have an indoor location or tent setup ready.
- Get creative with umbrellas. Buy uniform colors or material that allows light to shine through. Think of the umbrellas as an accessory and embrace them.
- Take special care of your hair in the weeks (and months) leading up to your wedding. Moisture and humidity can create frizz, but using conditioning or oil treatments in preparation for the wedding will help your hair look great no matter what.
- Embrace the fact that you’re going to get a little wet and don’t hold back. You might be terrified to ruin the hem of your dress or that your hair might lose hold, but you don’t want to hold back on the fun, happiness, and amazing photo opportunities because you’re afraid of not looking perfect. Laugh, splash, have fun, and feel the love of the day.
- You’re getting married! Remember that no matter what the weather is, no matter how much your plans have to change, you are getting married and that moment will shine brighter than the sun ever could.
Have you gotten married in the rain or attending a wedding in the rain? How did the rain affect the experience and what made it special? Share your stories in the comments section below.