How to keep dry during a rainy wedding day

March 11 | meggyfin
Photo by Corey Torpie
Photo by Corey Torpie
I've read through your posts on how to keep warm, and how to keep cool at your wedding. But I felt there was one you are missing…

How to keep dry!

I'm having an outdoor wedding in the UK. Which means it could be anywhere from stupid-hot, to pretty chilly, fine and sunny, windy, or raining. And I won't have a clue which until about three days before the wedding!

Do you have any offbeat tips on how to keep dry?

-Alex

Obviously, our first piece of advice is to book an indoor wedding venue. Barring any roof leaks, that should keep you protected from all the elements. But if you've already booked an outdoor venue, clearly that advice won't work.

Here are some ways to make sure to keep dry while outside on your possibly-rainy wedding day…

Rent or purchase a tent

eccr2
Photo by Leah LaRiccia Photography

Depending on your budget, your tents can be as simple or elaborate as possible. You could even buy a smaller tent for cheaper than it is to rent one, and then: Boom! You always have an awesome event tent in case of rain.

King Canopy 12 x 20 ft. Expandable Canopy
King Canopy 12 x 20 ft. Expandable Canopy

Umbrellas as accessories

Heart Umbrellas
Heart shaped parasols! Photo by Hannah Millard Photography
We have an entire tag devoted to the awesomeness that is umbrellas. Of course, if you use an umbrella, you best make sure it's something fun like these guys:

Give umbrellas to your guests

Ecofetti Toss
Photo by Renee DeKona
They could do double duty as your wedding favors. Also, look at the cute photo op it makes!

Protect your feet

Photo by Sandra-Lee Photography from Holly and Jen's crafty rainy wedding.
Photo by Sandra-Lee Photography from Holly and Jen's crafty rainy wedding.

Wear your favorite Wellies, or use this an excuse to buy a fabulous pair of rainy day wedding boots!

Protect your tops

Brian_Emma_PrintQuality-82
Emma and Brian's geeky rainy wedding

Make sure you've added an awesome jacket, raincoat, or at the very least a wrap to your wedding outfit. You definitely want a cover-up if you're wearing white; that way your dress or your shirt won't get wet and see-through before (or during!) your ceremony. (…Unless you want to incorporate a wet t-shirt contest into your reception!)

We got umbrellas, tents, and clothing… what else do you suggest to keep dry on your rainy wedding day?

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  1. Just a tip from another UK dweller who got wedding'd last September (a very unpredictable month) and had multiple venues… Make sure you & your partner's dresses/capes/veils/long slacks/palazzo trousers have a way of being bustled, pinned, or rolled up so that they don't drag in the mud and wet leaves unintentionally. This goes even if you switch to an indoor venue in case of rain! Believe me, your lovely hems can pick up a lot of rainwater, mud, and dead vegetation on a short walk across wet pavement.

    I also second the suggestion of umbrellas. If you can't afford to buy them wholesale to give to your guests, make a note on your invitations reminding them to BYOB — Bring Your Own Brolly!

    Finally, if all else fails, the wind is up, and it's raining sideways, make sure you know a nearby pub or restaurant where your guests can take shelter and still stick together. You might even be able to continue the party there in a more informal way, if you win over the publican with your happy wedding vibes.

    I send good-luck wishes for a beautiful day! ­čÖé

    9 agree
    • My wedding day was cold and drizzly. I second the advice to think about your dress/outfit. I was so glad my dress was tea-length (and it somehow still got some mud splattered on the back, which thankfully came right off with a bit of bridesmaid help in the bathroom). Like others have said, think about your shoes and also your hair (will a bit of moisture ruin it?).

      We had some cute umbrellas in our wedding colors and it made for great photos.

      Make sure your guests know what to expect. For instance, our wedding was at a park, but in their fully-indoor event space. We were sure to be clear about the indoor-ness on the invites and website so that people didn't worry about dressing for the rain. Communicating in the case of an outdoor venue would be even more important.

      Bring a bunch of towels/rags. If it's raining I'm sure you'll find a million uses for them: drying off chairs, cleaning up mud splatters, etc.

      2 agree
  2. Haha, as a fellow Brit this made me chuckle, no way of telling what the weather will do! If you're on a budget I'd recommend keeping an eye on your local pound shops. We managed to get umbrellas in some of our wedding colours (red, purple, orange and pink) which we had on standby for outdoors confetti. Luckily we didn't need them, I hope you won't either!

    4 agree
  3. I wanted a May wedding, but held off until June to diminish the risk of rain ruining our outdoor wedding. It still rained, of course (turns out is was one of those rain-of-the-decade storms in our area…we just caught the leading edge). We had planned all kinds of outdoor games (bouncy house), and only got a reception tent as a precaution.

    Once it looked like it was going to be SERIOUS rain, we rented a tent for the ceremony location for the guests and scrambled around to find a smaller canopy for the officiant and us to stand under. Our invitations did advise everyone that this was an OUTDOOR wedding and to dress accordingly, so luckily everyone brought umbrellas (I went on a shopping spree ahead of time to stock up on more just in case).

    Aside from wearing a shrug and holding umbrellas in all of our wedding pics, things didn't change too much. We had to have a lot less games, and had to improvise a few more last minute.

    OH!! Also, I had made tons of paper bunting triangles to hang up under the reception tent, and made over a hundred paper pinwheels. Turns out, paper does not like dampness! We decorated the tent the evening before, and by the next day most of the pinwheels curled slightly at the tips, which was fine…but the paper bunting pinwheels all curled, from a slight crescent to tight rolls. We had to scramble the morning of the wedding to take down the worst ones and replace them we the extra paper triangles I had lying around. So…the paper bunting triangles were a flop. Use cloth.

    So, my advise: rent a big tent, get tons of umbrellas, and avoid leaving paper items outside even if they're under cover.

    Here's our rained-out wedding: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jmdsnowflakes/sets/72157630521442354/

    1 agrees
  4. As someone who comes from a U.S. state that is notorious for unpredictable weather, my advice would be to have a backup indoor venue in mind for worst case scenario-type bad weather (like if it's pouring down rain with thunder or the temperatures are extreme). It is also a good idea to inform your guests of this possibility (and your backup plan) somewhere in your invites.

  5. I just got married at the end of September and it POURED rain the entire day. Thankfully, all of our main acitivities were inside and we had hired a bus to drive our guests between the hotels and the locations as we got married in the middle of the Northwoods.

    My first bit of advice is to make sure you have several large golf umbrellas on-hand, as with most wedding and bridesmaids gowns, a regular umbrella isn't going to cut it if you want to stay really dry. It was also helpful that a few of our good friends acted as unofficial rain ushers, and helped guests get in and out of the bus and the locations whilst staying dry. We also had a red heart shaped umbrella for the pics, and we used it. The pics turned out very pretty, so make sure you have at least one umbrella that is photo-worthy.

    My biggest bit of advice is for brides that don't want to wear wellies on their wedding day: have a back-up set of sensible shoes that you don't mind getting wet. My main shoes were to be red suede Chi Mahara rose covered heels and I never even wore them. I thankfully had a back-up pair of red ballet flats that I ended up in for the pictures and wedding because I got so wet and cold, having to change shoes and walk in heels with freezing cold feet just wasn't going to cut it. My little ballet flats got completely shit kicked, but that's why I bought them. I later changed into moccasins for the reception once all the major pomp was done and I could relax. I can wear my Chi's for our anniversary every year and toast to my red flats that took one for the team.

    5 agree
  6. Here is my tip for wind (which can accompany rain) from someone who wears a lot of skirts and kilts, get some light weight fishing weights and safety pin them to the inside bottom of your dress/kilt they should be light enough that you shouldn't really feel them, or rip the fabric but they will add enough that your clothing wont go flying up in front of your guests!

    5 agree
  7. I don't have a ready solution to this photo problem, but I might have come up with one if I'd thought about it ahead of time.

    It poured at my late May, summer-camp wedding. There was plenty of indoor space for festivities, but outdoor photos were tricky. My husband and I walked around camp with our photographer after the ceremony and it was so rainy that we huddled under our umbrella and ended up with lots of similar photos (us smiling under an umbrella and us kissing under an umbrella in many locations.) Our photographer did a great job of bringing out the color and making the photos beautiful, but if I had it to do over again, I would have looked for a way to get more variety.

    1 agrees
  8. This is such a big deal over here in Washington (our weather is a lot like yours over there in the UK). I ALWAYS ask my brides early in their planning process what their rain plan is. Outdoor ceremonies are beautiful, and really popular around here because of all the lush farms and parks and other green areas, but it's so important to be prepared in case you have a really rainy (OR super hot) day. Tents are great for both causes, because they will provide shelter from the rain or shade from the sun.

    What you wear is also a great point. You don't want to be dragging a huge heavy dress through the mud – so if you don't have an indoor backup, it's best to go with something that can be picked up at the very least. Pro-tip: bring lots of baby wipes – they're great at getting mud off of clothes. I fell in my dress on a wet gravel driveway, and thanks to baby wipes nobody knew that I didn't tell!

    1 agrees
  9. I totally agree with allpowerful, make sure you seek out some alternate locations for taking pics. We had great photographers that suggested we take pics in some random places (i.e. the garage) while we were waiting for the rain to calm down. They ended up being some of the best pictures. We also wanted to be able to get some of the beautiful fall leaves in our pics, and ended up using the porch of one of the cabins on the property that allowed for the leaves to show behind us. I am so thankful that we have a lot of pics other than us standing under an umbrella.

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