“What if it rains?”. This is one of the most commonly asked questions during elopement and wedding consult calls with couples. What do we do if the weather is bad?! And I get it. You have this vision for your day of it being a beautiful 65 degree day with clouds - oh wait, that’s my vision lol.
But in all seriousness. No matter how hard we try and plan something, there’s always the chance that it won’t go accordingly. No one usually hopes for a storm to roll in on their wedding day, and at an outdoor elopement it can really cause panic!! However, the beauty of elopement is that there is a ton of freedom and flexibility, and rain doesn’t need to make it any less amazing of an experience!
While there are specifically more rainy seasons in the year that you can avoid, the weather can be unpredictable in any given month! You can’t plan to completely avoid the possibility of rain, but you can prepare for how to make the most of it. If postponing your date isn’t an option (some elopement vendors may allow for flexibility if the forecast isn’t ideal), I want to give you some tips on preparing to elope in the rain.
How to prepare for rain on your elopement day
It's good as you start to plan your elopement day and start your packing list that you think about the weather. If it rains, are you prepared? Do you have everything you may need just incase? I always like to have my couples think about this well ahead of time so they're not scrambling the day before. Go through these preparations and see if there is anything you can get or make sure you understand before your day.
Prepare with waterproof gear (not water resistant!)
A good raincoat can go a long way, so can a good rain cover for your backpack! Don’t forget to bring a plastic bag or cover for your phone, vow books, or any important items!
Purchase clear umbrellas (they make better photos!)
These are a photographer’s favorite tool in the rain! Not only are they cute, but they allow in natural light and don’t cover up faces. Standard umbrellas are often flimsy and smaller than a good clear plastic umbrella, which means extra protection too!
Wear appropriate footwear
If your elopement day requires any sort of hiking, wearing good sturdy shoes with proper grip are very important. The last thing we want is a slip on a wet rock, or soggy socks! Always bring a comfy spare pair of shoes for the car ride too!
Having backups of items such as socks, long underwear, sweaters, etc. is a good way to ensure no one gets too cold or stays wet for too long! If our travel time gets delayed it’s great to have extra snacks and layers to keep us cozy too.
Make a plan B. and C.
Having backup location options is helpful if the weather prohibits a certain hike if the trail is flooded, or if a road is closed. Always download your maps offline and be prepared if your day has to move inside. I will always have some options ready to give my clients in case something happens and we can’t get to our original location, and this is something we can discuss in the planning process!
However, the other plans will be dictated on how terrible the weather is. If it's drizzling, we may be ok with our original plan. If it's pouring
Get in the water
If it’s raining, why not just embrace it and get in the water?! Find a river, waterfall or something where you can jump right in or even grab a canoe! This can be a fun way to just take whatever weather comes at you and be spontaneous. I’ve had couples who want to say their vows in the rain. There’s just something magical about it. But you can totally celebrate afterwards by taking a dip with the rain falling on you!
Items to bring or purchase in case of rain
If rain is in the forecast, then it will be more calming if you are prepared. That way, if it does end up raining, you are ready for it! You have everything you need into order for the weather to not ruin your day. Although, I promise that nothing could ruin the day you elope. It's magical no matter what the weather may throw at you! But here are some things that I'd recommend purchasing or bringing if you already have it.
Especially if you’re trying to embrace the rain, bringing towels will be beneficial for afterwards. You definitely want to dry up and keep warm. Here are some of my favorites, including dry towels which dry quickly and are more compact for packing. Honestly, my partner and I bring dry towels every time we travel and we live by them. They are compact and easy to pack up. Plus, they dry quick!
Ponchos / clear umbrellas
I always have both of these in my car just incase. If you are having guests and rain is in the forecast, I’d highly recommend purchasing more of either ponchos or clear umbrellas. Plus they are always good to have! Ponchos are great if you don’t want anything covering your face for photos or have your attire soaked. But umbrellas are cute and will keep you mostly dry.
Footwear depends on what you are doing for your elopement day. If you are hiking, then proper hiking boots with traction will be important. Some trails can get really slippery and muddy, so having appropriate shoes for your feet will be important. Think of trying to get boots that have water resistant material along with traction on the soles.
If you aren’t hiking, then maybe you grab some cute rainboots to embrace the rainy weather. You of course could also do sandals like Birkenstocks. Just make sure they are comfortable and aren’t going to be slippery if they get wet.
Getting rained on at a wedding day may not seem ideal, but it doesn’t have to be a negative thing! There are some beautiful moments that can come from it: flowing waterfalls, moody foggy skies, cooler temps in a warm season, and all of the nourishment that our lands get from it! It can be a fun experience for a couple to say I do in the unexpected rainfall. Keeping a positive mindset and embracing the day is a beautiful way to start a marriage - rain or shine!
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