Outdoor weddings are often the preferred choice of many engaged couples. There are numerous reasons for why this is, from more breathable and open feeling spaces to simply having stunning natural backdrops for those dream wedding photos. An outdoor wedding reception is often more relaxed and enjoyable feeling; it also lends itself to more simplistic décor that complements naturally beautiful outdoor spaces.
However, there is one key reason why brides-to-be aren’t always fully set upon outdoor weddings – the possibility of rain. Traditionally, rain is seen as a good luck sign and symbolises fertility and renewal; realistically, the prospect of rain pouring on your beautifully styled tables and damaging your dream wedding dress is an off-putting thought.
Outdoor weddings are consistently popular and many couples opt for open air celebrations, more so when solutions such as outdoor covered wedding venues are available. If you decide for an outdoor wedding, it’s vital that you have a plan B so you are not taken by surprise and left feeling very soggy.
Here are our tried and tested recommendations on how to create a successful backup/ rainy day wedding plan:
How to approach it with your planner
When discussing your wedding event hire and venue options, inform your planner on your preference for outdoor weddings. Remember that your wedding planner does not know your preferences unless you communicate them. The ideal situation is to have a wedding planner who uses their experience to work out what you require and does the right thing you’re your wedding without even being told, but wedding planners have their limits and it pays to be thorough on your part. Be upfront about every detail related to your wedding planning as long as it is a priority to you.
What to ask your venue
When consulting with an outdoor wedding venue, ask them about their options in case of bad weather. Find out if they have a protected space on-site where you can easily relocate. Can they transform the space to meet the needs of both the ceremony and the reception?
In some cases, you may need to rent a tent in advance. The venue manager or your local planner is usually in the best position to recommend a trusted rental company that they have worked with before.
12 Top tips for creating a rainy-day plan
When you are worried about something happening, the best is to imagine that it has already happened and look for ways of dealing with it. Imagine it is your wedding day and you are dealing with a downpour situation– what can you do to minimise this inconvenience? Here are some ideas for enjoy a rainy-day wedding to the maximum:
1. Prepare cute umbrellas for your guests
The best would be to rent them. Umbrellas will make the coolest rainy wedding photos and create a unique edge to your event. As newlyweds, you can carry something special like a clear vinyl umbrella with your monogram printed. (These also can double up as wedding favours)
2. Ponchos to keep guests dry and warm
Although they are not the most fashionable solution, they can be easier to handle than umbrellas. You can play a little with the colour scheme to make them more festive and personalise them with your initials as a souvenir from the day.
3. Be prepared for low temperatures
If you get married during winter and fear some rain, make sure you are equipped with heat lamps, cover-ups, and perhaps hot drinks to keep guests warm. Set up a cover-up/wrap station with cute signage to encourage guests to become more comfortable.
4. Bridal rain boots
Would you like to get some stylish rain boots but never found a good reason to splurge on them? Whether you choose a brilliant shade of white or pick a colourful set, you’ll make a great appearance and get to keep those boots for rainy days to come. Consider getting the bridesmaids matching rain boots as well. There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing! Another great option for personalising too.
5. Plan a short photo session in the rain
Rain offers the opportunity to take some pretty epic photo shots. Colours are more vivid and surfaces look glossy immediately after rain. Make sure you have alternative clothing etc. for after or during. Many photographers actually prefer taking pictures on a cloudy day. It is easier to get those photos right when you have control on the amount of light falling on your subjects. Ask your photographer what they think about rainy-day photo sessions and how they can help.
6. Consider event insurance
Fearing a huge storm on your wedding day? Discuss with an insurance company on their conditions for collecting bad weather insurance. Even scenarios like postponing the event are covered by some policies.
7. Rain-proof your makeup and hair
An experienced artist knows that bad weather happens so they will make sure you avoid disasters with your hair or makeup on your wedding day in case it rains. Your mascara needs to stay put, even if you shed a tear of joy or face a slight drizzle on the big day.
8. Weather-proof your wedding dress
Worried about mud splashes on your wedding dress? One option is to spray the hem with fabric protector spray – professional dry cleaners know what it is. Using an underskirt will also help you to avoid dirt on your dress. There are even dresses with secure bustles enabling you to lift the hem to keep the dress far enough from the soil. These protection methods are also useful if you want to spare your dress from other stains that can occur even in good weather (grass, dirt, etc.)
9. Beware of road closures
If the weather gets really bad, some roads might close, making it difficult for your guests to reach the venue. Keep an eye on real-time data on road safety and conditions. Better yet, assign someone to do it will be one less thing to worry about on your wedding day.
10. Ask vendors about their bad weather policies
If you are planning on live performers or certain caterers at your wedding, understand that they can cancel if the weather is too bad for them to properly complete their job. Ask about clauses related to bad weather and find out if vendors are wedding certified. Inquire about who will be your point of contact if anything goes wrong. A good vendor should be able to devise strategies for worst case scenarios.
11. Prepare a rainy-day-themed dance playlist
Songs such as Rihanna’s Umbrella have never been more fitting!
12. Embrace the rain
There is nothing you can do to change weather. So, the best is to accept it and adapt to it without overly stressing. Always keep in mind the most important fact of the day – you are getting married to the love of your life! As the saying goes – a dry rope might be easier to handle, but the wet knot is harder to undo.
The success of outdoor weddings during bad weather depends a lot on the venue and the planner’s experience. Outdoor covered wedding venues are preferred by most couples, with destination wedding venues being the top choice. Stunning outdoor venues like Villa Botanica have equally impressive covered areas and experienced planners that will maintain the magic of your day.
Villa Botanica is a private, coastal venue located on the Whitsunday mainland. We only ever hold one wedding a day so the entire 5 acres property is yours exclusively for the duration of your stay. And because we don’t want anything to rain on your parade, we stay closed during the wet season. This measure has been taken to avoid the risks of tropical weather extremes. Our unique wedding boutique in the Whitsundays is closed Jan through to April but awaits you for the rest of the year for the perfect custom wedding.
Best of all, Villa Botanica is an easy 10-minute drive from Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays, with an extensive range of accommodation, dining and tourism options that cater to every budget.
No matter what the forecast is, our experienced wedding planners will ensure that even if it rains, you still get your perfect day. For a beautiful wedding in one of the most exclusive outdoor weddings venues – rain or shine – contact Villa Botanica today.