Ok, so nobody really wants rain on their wedding day, do they?
We all imagine a perfectly bright, sunny, blue sky under which to say our “I do’s” or exit the church. We want to enjoy sunshine while we have our photos taken. We can choose almost every part of our wedding day and we spend months, sometimes years, planning it all down to the very last beautiful detail, but Mother Nature has a habit of changing everything. The weather is the only part of your day that you can’t control …
Even if your heart is set on a garden wedding, or a ceremony on the beach, it’s best to be practical, and plan for just in case. Because sometimes it does happen, even though you’re hoping it won’t.
None of your guests will be terribly happy if they have to stand out in the rain. Not only will they be getting wet, they will be entirely distracted by it. They won’t be listening to the ceremony. They won’t be watching. They’ll only be thinking about their wet clothes, ruined shoes, frizzy hair. You get the idea …
You simply can’t give your guests the experience you were hoping for, standing in the rain. The string quartet you hired to accompany you down the aisle will not play in the rain. Your photographer and videographer won’t risk damaging their equipment in heavy rain.
So look for a back-up venue. If yours is a beach wedding, hire the nearby surf club and use their balcony, if rain is on the horizon. When looking at garden venues, look for the ones that have pavilions, or large rotundas, or consider a marquee with sides. But remember that most rotundas are open sided, and that strong wind will more than likely bring the rain in sideways!
Ask your reception venue if they are available as a backup plan for your ceremony. Do they have the space? Can they accommodate your guests? Will timing be an issue? Don’t automatically assume that you can have the ceremony at the same time – it may need to be later in the day. Make sure you check the timing with all your suppliers, too. Some of them may have other bookings for the same day.
If the forecast is for “showers”, be smart and organise umbrellas for everyone. Enough for all your guests. And the bridal party. And the celebrant. You can hire them for the day. Get the cute clear plastic bell shaped ones for the bridal party – (they look fabulous in photos) – and black or white golf umbrellas for the guests.
In spite of all the best advice, I have performed weddings in awful weather. I have been freezing cold and shivering. Soaked to the skin. Shoes sloshing, squeaking and full of water. I have conducted guests to sing dum, dum da dum, to get my bride down the aisle, when musicians couldn’t play. I have co-ordinated and created umbrella walls. I have stood whilst every other person was covered by an umbrella and the drip, drip, drip of rain went down the back of my neck – and my front! There’s pretty much nothing I haven’t married through!
Your guests will thank you for considering their comfort. Your ceremony will be performed the way you hoped. Your dress will not get muddied and ruined. There are so many reasons why it is better to plan for all possibilities.
And when it all goes wrong, and out of nowhere comes a downpour that wasn’t even on the radar, right in the middle of the vows, I remind my lovely wet couple that if this is the worst thing that ever happens to them, then lucky, lucky them.
If Kim and Chris had not had a backup plan, this flash flood would have been disastrous. As it was, we had to run for our lives, get 100 people undercover and into the parking lot at Jones Bay Wharf, hide Kim and her beautiful dress from Chris and all the guests, get everyone into the restaurant, through the kitchen and then start all over again. Kim did make her entrance. They did have a beautiful wedding, we managed to laugh about it , later, when the sun reappeared, it was smiles all round.
Photography by Matthew Reed
Ms Gingham says: Outdoor weddings + Australian unpredictability of climate = BACKUP PLAN! Thanks to Robyn for this wonderful advice … and she knows her stuff because as a celebrant, she has attended many more weddings than I have!
Robyn says: I am quite possibly the happiest marriage celebrant in Sydney! Weddings are my thing! Nothing makes me happier than a really happy couple – every time.
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