How to Prepare for Rain on Your Wedding Day

From waterproof mascara to the in's and out's of tents, this guide has everything you need to prepare for rain on your wedding day. Check it out!

By The Zola Team

couple with umbrellas
Photo by Konrad Brattke

When you think of ideal rainy-day activities, you might think of puddle-stomping in your galoshes. Or snuggling into your favorite blanket with a mug of cocoa and a binge-worthy TV show. Maybe you think of lighting candles and just listening to the storm’s orchestra.

Yet, there’s one thing that you might leave off of your list of favorite rainy-day activities.

Getting married.

But we’ll let you in on a little secret—rainy weddings can be amazing. With a little planning, you can prepare for a wedding that doesn’t just survive in the rain, but thrives in it. With this quick guide, we’ll show you how to do just that. Don’t focus on the rain, focus on the rainbow it’ll bring.

How to Prepare for Rain on Your Wedding Day Photo Credit // Tim Ryan Smith

How to Be Prepared for Rain and Have A Wonderful Wedding

Your first step to a sensational stormy day wedding? Mental preparation. Tell yourself that mother nature will bring rain on your wedding day. By expecting showers, you can be strategic in your wedding planning. Plus, you’ll save yourself from frantically checking your weather app during the rehearsal dinner. And if the sun shines on your special day, consider it an awesome surprise wedding present from the universe ☀️

Here are five practical ways to prepare for a rainy wedding.

#1 Make a Plan with Your Venue

Your venue is the best resource for making rainy wedding day plans. Walk through storm-related what-ifs with your venue manager and create a plan that fits seamlessly into you and your partner’s wedding vision. Even if your venue doesn’t offer an indoor option, they may have recommendations about how to create a backup celebration space. Chances are, if they’re in the wedding business, they’ve dealt with rain in the past and know how to make the most of it.

A Word On Tents

If you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding, tents can be a fun and festive backup option in case of rain. To keep your wedding day from turning into a full-blown circus, make sure you keep in mind:

  • Tent Placement – Plan ahead where you’ll pitch the tent. Look for higher ground to avoid flooding. Plus, the higher the ground, the better the view!

  • Flooring – Let your guests dance the night away by securing rainproof flooring for your tent.

  • Protection on All Sides – Heavy rain and strong wind makes for sideways downpour. By renting a tent with strong sides, you’ll be able to block out gusts of wind, keep in the heat, and stay dry.

  • Heaters – Keep yourself (and your guests) from experiencing literal cold feet (and other appendages) by having heaters on-hand.

  • Lighting – Light up your tent wedding with lanterns, twinkly lights, and lamps. This lighting will be especially romantic.

  • Electricity – Between the lamps, heaters, speakers, and various other machines that will be operating during your wedding, make sure the power supply at your outdoor venue can handle the bandwidth. If you’re worried, talk to your venue manager about renting a backup generator. Because the only sparks you want to fly at your outdoor wedding are between you and your spouse-to-be.

#2 Talk to Your Vendors

Discuss rainy day plans with your vendors before you book them. Reputable vendors will work with you to create a plan for every weather condition. Once you come up with the strategy, put it in writing. If the vendor already has an “Acts of God” section on their contract, read it carefully and don’t be afraid to follow up with questions, ideas, or to negotiate terms.

Rainy Day Wedding Tip: Call your caterers or drink vendors and see if they can include delicious weather-appropriate drink options on the menu. Hot drink options will help your guests relax into the stormy yet comfortable atmosphere of your wedding. Because what’s better on a rainy day than a spiked hot cocoa?

#3 Do A Rain Rehearsal

Once you’ve made your rainy wedding day plans, go to the venue with your partner and walk through your wedding. Do this from your point of view as well as your guests’ and vendors’ perspective. See if there are little things that might have gotten overlooked.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for as you’re conducting the rehearsal to avoid rainy wedding day pitfalls:

  • Where will guests need cover from the rain?

  • Where can guests put their wet coats to dry?

  • How will the caterers move the food into the venue without the food getting wet?

  • Who on your guest list might be prone to slips and falls? Can you assign someone to help them walk safely into the venue from the storm?

  • Are there pathways or other areas that could become slippery or muddy and need flooring?

  • Are there places in the venue where guests could enjoy watching the rain? Could you ask the venue to put comfy chairs and blankets there?

Rainy Day Wedding Tip: Rain might put things behind schedule. Try padding your wedding itinerary to accommodate for rainy-day delays. That way, if it takes a while for the venue to set up chairs in the new space or Aunt Guity gets her heels stuck in the mud, you’ll still be on track to say “I do.

#4 Keep Guests in the Loop

Well-informed guests are happy guests. Give your attendees a heads up about the wet weather, so they have ample time to prepare for a little (or lots of) drizzle.

Try these strategies for keeping guests informed and rain-ready:

  • Update your wedding website with information about weather contingency plans.

  • Send an “In Case of Rain” card with rainy day wedding directions in your invites.

  • On the big day, let your guests know if any plans will change due to rain. It’s also helpful to give them a weather update and a recommendation for how warmly or waterproof-ly they should dress. Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • Use positive language in all your communications. Avoid words like “We’re sorry to say” or “We’re disappointed” when you’re sending updates. Try phrases like “Thank you for your excitement” or “We’re looking forward to celebrating with you, rain or shine.” If you set an upbeat example, your guests will follow suit and embrace the rainy day plans.

#5 Have Rainy Day Supplies on-hand

While your vendors and venue will pitch in to make your wedding stunning, it’s smart to have your own favorite rain supplies ready. Consider:

  • Lots and lots of fluffy towels
  • Cozy blankets
  • Floor mats to dry feet on
  • Extra umbrellas and ponchos for guests
  • Hair dryers and hair care supplies
  • Extra tarp to keep tables and chairs dry
  • Waterproof makeup
  • A backup outfit you love, just in case you need to jump into something dry

Don’t Call It Rain-Prepping, Call It Rain-Accessorizing!

When one door closes, another door opens... to a room full of wonderful rainy day accessories. Rain-friendly and aesthetically pleasing accessories will add a unique flair to your wedding day.

Consider:

  • Bright rain boots in your wedding’s color scheme
  • Clear or colorful umbrellas for the photo session
  • Customized umbrellas as party favors
  • Formal raincoats, trench coats, or other lovely outerwear

5 Bright Sides to Rain on a Wedding Day

You read that right. These are actual bright sides to rain on a wedding day—not fake ones we made up to try to make you feel better.

#1 Stunning Photos

A rainy day can be a powerful aesthetic in your wedding photos. The soft diffused lighting and mist-effect of rain can add a level of ethereal romance. Let your photographer’s creativity loose with props such as umbrellas or bright rain boots. And you better not miss this photo op for a newlywed kiss in the rain! Can you say, swoon?

Rainy Day Wedding Tip: If you’re going to use umbrellas in your photo, be mindful of the umbrella casting a shadow on your face. Use a clear umbrella to let the light in and keep the shadows (and rain) out.

#2 Longer-Lasting Flowers

Cooler temperatures with increased humidity will keep your gorgeous centerpieces and bouquets in fresh bloom. If your wedding ceremony is one that lasts for days (or even a week), the rain will suddenly seem like a small blessing in disguise—at least, as far as the flowers go.

#3 A Romantic and Intimate Atmosphere

According to romantic comedies, rain makes everything more romantic. If it’s true in rom-coms, with a little planning and perspective, it can be true for your wedding, too. Picture it: raindrops tapping musically on the venue’s roof, the gentle glow of candles or twinkly lights, and maybe sneaking out with your new spouse for a laugh-filled dance in the rain when all’s said and done.

#4 A Pollen-Free Wedding

Allergy-havers, rejoice! Rain naturally decreases pollen in the air. Your allergy-prone guests will welcome a reprieve from red eyes and runny noses. Well, red eyes and runny noses might happen anyway from happy tears, but that’s for a better reason.

#5 A Sign of Good Luck

What does rain on your wedding day mean for your relationship? According to many cultures around the world, a rainy wedding day is a wonderful sign. In some Hindu traditions, rain on your wedding day means a long and happy marriage. In Italian tradition, rain on your wedding day means bounty and fertility.

Whatever your cultural beliefs, lean into the positive and take the rain as a good omen from mother nature.

To Love and To Cherish, on Sunny Days and Stormy Nights

If you’re proactive in your planning and find opportunities to embrace the weather, your rainy day wedding can be stress-free, memorable, and joyous. The rain might even encourage you to stop sweating the small stuff. Instead, you can focus on what’s most important about the day—the person who will be by your side, under your umbrella, and at the altar.

So if it starts to look a bit overcast on your special day, just remember that you’ll have someone to weather this storm—and every other storm that comes—for the rest of your life.

How to Prepare for Rain on Your Wedding Day Photo Credit // Tricia La Ponte

Expertly Prepare for Rain on Wedding Days with Zola

Remember, a little wet weather won't even bother your big day as long as you make a rain plan with your wedding venue and vendors, and keep your guests well informed. Keep all the important details front and center for your attendees with an accessible wedding website.

Build a custom wedding website with all the important details using Zola’s free wedding website service. We can help you keep your guests in the loop whatever weather befalls your wedding day. After all, our motto is Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night...

No wait, that’s the quote on the US Postal Service building in Manhattan. But how about we borrow it and tweak it a bit?

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep us from helping your wedding be perfect.