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What if it rains on your wedding day?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Bride coming out of the car while father and groomsmen hold umbrellas above her on a rainy wedding day

Image Via Benjamin Stuart Photography

I hear you. You had your heart set on a beautiful outdoor wedding since... forever, and your Pinterest board is full of glorious outdoor ceremonies and candlelit wedding tables under fairy light canopies. You booked to see venues with spectacular grounds and already have a vision of how it'll all look on your special day.

This is all well and good IF the weather plays ball. But this is England and we all know that sunshine isn't guaranteed.

Finding out if your preferred venue has a good contingency plan BEFORE you book it is crucial. Don't get swept away by the beautiful grounds - make sure their indoor space can accommodate all your guests and the setup. Try picturing the decor you had planned for outdoors inside too. Does the dining hall have large windows flooding the room with afternoon light? Is the ceiling height good for having that grand indoor vibe? Will the interior decor clash with your preferred colour scheme? Don't get caught short because it will only lead to disappointment on the day and your wedding photos will look dramatically different from what you always imagined.

Having a solid Plan B for an outdoor wedding ceremony and celebration is crucial due to the unpredictable nature of weather and other potential challenges. Here's why having a backup plan is so important:

Weather Uncertainty:

Outdoor weddings are susceptible to weather changes, including rain, wind, extreme heat, or cold. A sudden weather shift could disrupt your plans and make the outdoor setting uncomfortable or even unsafe for guests.

Guest Comfort:

Ensuring your guests' comfort is a top priority. Unfavorable weather conditions can lead to discomfort and dissatisfaction among attendees, affecting their overall experience.

Protecting Decor and Setup:

Outdoor setups involve elaborate decorations, seating arrangements, and technical equipment (such as sound systems). Sudden weather changes can damage these elements, causing inconvenience and potentially leading to last-minute adjustments or repairs, all coming out of your pockets. You might have to consider hiring a sail tent or tipi if your venue cannot accommodate for indoor celebration because it is not large enough, and you might have to hire love regardless of whether you use it or not. Sailtents, marquees, and tipis get booked up far in advance for all the reasons mentioned.

Photography and Aesthetics:

Weather can significantly impact the visual aspects of your wedding. Rain, for example, might affect the lighting and backdrop for photos, potentially hindering the quality of your cherished memories. The venue's interior will also impact your wedding photos significantly. Your photos might look much darker than you wanted.

Vendor Coordination:

Your vendors, including caterers, photographers, and musicians, need a clear plan to follow. A well-communicated Plan B ensures that everyone is on the same page, reducing confusion and stress in case of sudden changes. This is where a good wedding planner comes in handy and is worth their weight in gold. Not only will they be able to advise you, in advance, about all possible scenarios, but they will also be able to coordinate Plan B for you by communicating and coordinating with all suppliers involved.

Guest Experience:

Your wedding is a special day not only for you but also for your guests. Having a well-executed Plan B shows that you've considered their well-being and enjoyment, regardless of the circumstances.

Minimizing Stress:

A solid backup plan can help alleviate stress for consider you and your partner. Knowing that you have an alternative arrangement in place provides peace of mind and allows you to focus on enjoying the day, leaving your wedding planner/coordinator to make sure you do.

Legal and Permit Requirements:

Outdoor weddings often require permits and adhere to specific regulations. Having a backup plan that fits within these parameters ensures you remain compliant with any legal or permit requirements.

Smooth Transition:

If you need to transition from an outdoor to an indoor setting, a well-prepared Plan B ensures this transition is done smoothly and efficiently, minimising disruption to the schedule. Again, your wedding planner/coordinator will ensure this happens with minimal disruption and stress to you.

Unforeseen Challenges:

While weather is a common concern, other unexpected challenges, such as vendor cancellations or technical issues, could arise. A backup plan can help you navigate these situations more easily.

Guest Communication:

If you need to activate your Plan B, effective communication with your guests is essential. Clearly conveying any changes in advance helps them prepare and adjust their plans accordingly. If you have a wedding planner on board, they will do this for you.

Financial Investment:

Outdoor weddings often involve significant investments in decor, rentals, and other elements specific to the outdoor setting. A backup plan helps protect this investment by ensuring that it can be utilisaed in an alternative setting.

If you're planning an outdoor wedding such as a tipi festival wedding in a field, you will have to consider investing in umbrellas, wellies, kagools, heaters, and blankets.


Ultimately, a well-thought-out Plan B demonstrates your foresight and commitment to creating a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, regardless of external challenges. Planning an outdoor wedding involves challenges, yes, but having a planner on board will minimise the stress you will be under tenfold. And most importantly, don't let the rain ruin your wedding day. Embrace it, go with it. The most important thing is - you are marrying the love of your life!

If you need a pro to guide you throughout your wedding planning, help you nail the perfect wedding design, and run the day for you, don't hesitate to get in touch here. (But only if you can handle a serious amount of enthusiasm.)


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