In the Issue

How to Prepare for Rain on Your Wedding Day

Don’t let Mother Nature put a damper on your wedding day. Plan ahead with these trusted tips.

To Tent or Not to Tent

If you choose a venue that doesn’t offer an indoor space in the event of rain, then a tent is an option. But keep in mind, it’s not that simple to construct. “Wedding tents don’t pop up like camping tents,” says Jess Wegner, owner of Jess Wegner Events. “You will need to give the tent company fair warning that you will be needing one and hope that they have one available.” They can also get quite expensive, running anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $10,000, depending on the style that you choose, explains Leslie Cole with Marquee Event Rentals. While policies vary with companies, at Marquee Events, you typically need to book a tent no later than a month out (so not exactly last minute). “Normally a month [out] is fine, but it’s based on availability of the tent and equipment needed and how long the city requires to get a tent permit,” says Cole. And then there’s the deposit. At Marquee Events, it’s 50 percent down. If you cancel before 10 days out from your event, you get that deposit back. Later, though, and you’ll eat the cost.

As the Saying Goes

We’re sure you’ve heard this one: Rain on your wedding day is good luck. While no one really knows where this comes from, various theories have to do with the fact that rain washes away all your troubles and woes, thus bringing good luck and abundance. Another theory is that it signifies fertility, as rain nourishes crops and vegetation. Our personal favorite, though, is bride Anya DiGann’s theory, which echoes the Hindu belief that rain leads to a strong marriage. “I finally learned why they say rain on your wedding day is lucky,” she says, “because a wet knot can never be untied!”

Picture Perfect

Rain can put a crimp in your wedding photos, so it’s important to know what questions to ask your photographer before the big day to make sure he or she is prepared. One of the key questions: If you have to move the wedding inside, is that photographer experienced with photographic lighting? “If there is any chance of your wedding being indoors, ask to see [the photographer’s] work indoors—a lot of it,” says Dallas photographer Carter Rose of F8 Studio. “So many photographers claim to specialize in ‘natural light,’ which can spell disaster if you get forced indoors.”

Speaking From Personal Experience

Take it from a bride who’s actually been there: Rain will not ruin your wedding day. Anya DiGann had an outdoor wedding planned at Nasher Sculpture Center, but by 2 p.m., she and her wedding planner knew that they were going to have to shift to plan B. But having that plan—and a coordinator to put it in action—saved the day. “Liz [Ise with Chancey Charm] took over shuffling everything around to bring my vision to life in the indoor space, and she also figured out how to flip the ceremony and reception spaces without disrupting anything in the timeline,” DiGann says. “If you are doing outdoor, commit to hiring a coordinator you trust.”

Take It From an Expert

According to Jess Wegner of Jess Wegner Events, the most important thing is to make sure you love your backup plan as much as your first plan. Also, ask the venues what options they have for inclement weather and how that would change the logistics of the wedding should rain strike. She advises passing on the site if there’s not a feasible way to move the wedding indoors. “If you are considering an outdoor venue, the manager should have a lot of experience on what to do if the weather becomes disagreeable,” Wegner says. “If there is not a backup plan on-site, you might strongly consider another venue.”

Solve Rainy Day Dress Dilemmas Planner

Jess Wegner recommends having these items on hand to keep your dress looking spotless, even on a rainy day.

  • Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover
  • Shout wipes
  • A helping hand to carry your train
  • An extra pair of shoes to wear outside
  • Several large golf umbrellas

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