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Planning for Rain

rainy wedding day

Ian Bursill Photography

Here comes the rain again and it’s a stark reminder even a summertime wedding doesn’t mean it won’t chuck it down on your big day. You have to face facts. There’s no point getting silly over the possibility of rain. It’s the UK for crying out loud and even the best host can’t do anything about the weather. Having said that, you can and definitely MUST make a sensible plan of action to prepare for it.  If you want to tell yourself it won’t rain on your wedding day then good luck, off you go, have a super day. If however you want to plan your day like a professional then read on.


Some blogs will tell you a bright pair of wellies and a fancy-schmancy umbrella will solve everything but in my experience it takes a bit more planning than that to ensure you’re perfectly prepared. When you read this post please bear in mind I’m writing it mainly for those of you having a marquee/tipi/barn/outdoors/DIY type of wedding BUT pretty much all of my advice stretches to solid structure venues too. What do we say when planning a wedding? Never take anything for granted! So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

1. Insurance

Whatever wedding you’re planning, large or small, you should consider getting insurance. You might want to think about this even more if you’re planning an outdoors wedding – if there is a hurricane (highly unlikely but it has happened) your tent providers must put Health & Safety first and may not be able to erect the damn thing at all! With that unlikely but all the same possible scenario in mind you’d do well to put insurance on the top of your list. Make sure you CHECK THE SMALL PRINT to ensure the policy covers everything you expect it to and if in doubt, ask the insurers. John Lewis have a handy comparison chart for you to work out the amount of insurance you might need.icon

2. Flooding

Ask all, but especially waterside, venues about their flooding history. Does the land flood badly when it rains heavily? This may sound extreme but the field behind us becomes a lake in quite a short space of time when we have heavy rain in our village. If the land is prone to flooding ask the venue what THEIR Plan B will be. If they don’t have one you might want to reconsider this venue!

3. Parking

If necessary is it possible for guests’ cars to be parked nearer to the marquee/tipi? I know of one venue where you literally walk over half a mile to get to the marquee. That’s all well and good for your friends embracing the rainy festival spirit but it’s a massive no-no for a hostess to expect her elderly guests to walk this far in the pouring rain {or for some, even in bright sunshine!}. No one wants to lose granny to pneumonia because of your poor planning! Bear in mind too that no one wants to be pushing their car in their best suit at one in the morning when it’s stuck in the mud. Check for hard standing parking where possible. I’ve seen this happen at a friend’s birthday party. It took five of us to get him moving. Times that by all your guests and hey, we’ve got a mud bath!

4. Flooring

If you’re having a marquee/tipi check with your provider about the type of flooring they provide. No one wants to be squishing around on soggy matting thank you very much. It’s details like this that often make the difference between quotes so before you rush off to book the cheapest, compare the quote like for like.

5. Brollies and wellies

Check with your transport provider what they provide in case of rain. It wouldn’t hurt to pack a pair of wellies for each of you too – just in case things get a bit muddy! There are plenty of wedding friendly wellies to choose from online if you want to stick to white or cream but of course you can go for pretty florals and bold colours to match your theme.

rainy wedding day

Ian Bursill Photography

6. TLC for your guests

Ask your ushers to, well, usher your guests to shelter to and from the church or venue using large brollies. This is especially important for your older guests. The last thing you want is them getting drenched and sitting around all day in wet clothes – not good. If it’s forecast to REALLY chuck it down, consider getting your ushers some festival ponchos to keep them dry if they don’t have a suitable raincoat. They’re really cheap to buy so you might even consider providing them for your guests if they have to walk some distance to your marquee or tipi.

7. Coat Rails

Your beautiful chair covers will look just lovely with dripping rain coats draped all over them NOT! To avoid wrecking ‘the look’ you’ll have to take matters in hand if you’re DIYing your venue. Invest in a coat rack or two and plenty of hangers.  Ikea sell a range of affordable coat rails although some are sturdier than others so check the reviews! A good hostess will allocate a suitable place for coats whatever the weather so check with your venue/tent providers to see if they provide this as standard. If not, get on it and make it happen.

8. Photo Oooops

That venue you visited that sold you on the outdoor photo opps? The sweeping lawn, glorious flower beds and amazing woodland. Just where will you be standing if there’s a rainstorm going on? If you’re booking a venue purely because of the amazing grounds then you MUST address this question. Study the inside of the building and identify {ideally with your photographer} the photo opportunities. If the inside of the venue is naff then decide whether you want to take the risk. It’s your call.

9. Towels

If you’re having a DIY outdoor wedding take some towels to dry off benches and chairs after the rain has gone.

10. Little Ones

If you’ve planned outdoor games to keep the little ones amused it might be wise instead to have an indoor games table. Pile it high with board games, puzzles, crayons and toys to keep them occupied – ideally positioned away from the cake table if they’re going to be running around. You don’t need a smashed cake to add to your rainy day!

Let me finish by saying it rained on our wedding day and when our carriage driver put up the hood I asked her to take it down again. How often would we get the chance to journey along the coastal road in a horse and carriage! We wanted to make the most of it and would you believe after a few yards the rain stopped and the sun came out. So I guarantee no matter what the weather, if you’ve accepted the possibility of rain and prepared for it you’ll have a blast.

bridesmaids in the rain with umbrellas

Folega Photography

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