Here in Adelaide, wedding day weather is a bit of a lucky dip. We have sunny July weddings and stormy December weddings and everything in between. There’s actually an average of 124 rainy days a year in Adelaide. I’ll save you doing the math on that one and tell you that, that means there’s a one in three chance you’ll have to contend with rain on your wedding day here in our beautiful city.
Alanis Morissette says that it’s ironic, old wives tales say that it’s good luck, but let’s be honest, as a bride planning your dream wedding, rain on your wedding day is not exactly what you’re hoping for.
Unfortunately, as much as we might like to, we can’t control the weather. (Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we could just add that to the wedding budget?)
Rain doesn’t have to spell disaster though. Rainy day weddings can be just as beautiful as bright, sunny ones (an overcast day can make for some gorgeous photographs, just saying), but the key to a successful day and avoiding any rain-related pre-wedding panic is planning ahead.
So, here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you plan your big day.
Venue Choice and Backup Options
If you don’t have your heart set on a particular venue just yet, the easiest option is having both your ceremony and reception at an inside or covered location. This is likely the best option to save you the most stress leading up to the big day. No being held hostage by the rain, or heat for that matter – no backup plans needed.
However, if having your wedding out in nature is a priority for you (we’ve no shortage of beautiful beaches and forests and farms along our Adelaide coastline!) then you need to have a plan in place if the heavens decide to open.
Talk to your venues and organise some shelter. Perhaps you’re planning a forest or beach ceremony and a reception at a separate venue, or even an outside ceremony at the same location as your reception. Does your venue have a space you could move the ceremony last minute if rain doesn’t let up? What costs would be involved? Get an idea of how it could work and have a solid idea in place and enlist people you trust to make the move on the day if needed.
If your whole wedding is in the open air, it might be best to consider hiring a marquee for shelter. Your guests might tolerate a light drizzle for your sake, but you really don’t want the fact that they got soaked through to be the standout memory from your day.
At the very least you’ll need a place of refuge for your bridal party and more sensitive guests. (This is true of any weather by the way!) If you’re fairly confident rain won’t be an issue, even having a small gazebo can work as a more affordable option. Hell, you can even leave it in the box and return it if you don’t use it – Just make sure someone knows how to assemble it on the day!
Similar to venue choice, chat about other possible photography locations if rain makes your first choice inaccessible. A good secondary location is somewhere close to your reception and close to shelter, and ideally somewhere that has paths that are still easy to navigate in a wedding dress and shoes when it’s been wet.
If you like, you can even discuss the option of indoor photographs. It might not be the first thing you picture when you think of your wedding photos, but a gorgeous indoor locale with a good amount of natural light can certainly hold its own against its outdoor rivals.
Communicate With Your guests
Be aware that your guests don’t know everything you know about your wedding day plans. Don’t assume common sense will prevail or that they’ll pay as close attention to the weather forecasts leading up to the day as you will.
Will it not be fully covered? Tell them to bring an umbrella. Is there a chance the ground will be muddy? Suggest they wear boots. Cooling down in the evening? Let them know to bring a jacket. Your guests just want to be comfortable so they can focus on celebrating with you and enjoying the party, so help them do that.
Remember that your bridal party are your guests too and be kind in what you ask of them, clothing choices or otherwise!
Most importantly, know that even if the rain comes, it will not ruin your wedding day. The memories that will last the longest, by far, will be those of the promises you make to the love of your life and the joy of being surrounded by your favourite people. I know, I know, it sounds cheesy – but trust me, it’s true. So take a breath. It will be beautiful.