Planning an Outdoor Wedding? Here's What You Need to Do


words by | Eve Green

Some of the most beautiful backdrops for wedding events take place in an outdoor venue. However, the choice to hold any part of your wedding day, from ceremony to reception, comes with a big caveat: weather is unpredictable. Downpours aren’t the only atmospheric issues that may put a literal damper on an outdoor wedding, high winds, even snow can seriously impair the outcome of an outdoor wedding. Remember Phoebe’s blizzard wedding debacle on the popular television series “Friends” or the frozen florals in “Father of the Bride?” Consider our tips for what you need to do to when planning an outdoor wedding so that the biggest day of your life isn’t impacted by inclement conditions.

Create an Emergency Backup Plan

The best way to set your wedding day weather fears at ease is to work with an outdoor venue that has a well rehearsed emergency backup plan. We recommend the following items as bare minimum requirements for a solid emergency plan.

  1. Secure a tent or backup location
    Some outdoor venues have alternatives available, such as an indoor chapel or ballroom in the case of rain. Don’t take risks, especially when there are high winds and/or lightening. The safety of all should drive the decision making process in such an emergency.

  2. Have professionals on standby
    To ensure a smooth transition from outdoors to in, keep all your wedding day professionals updated on any potential changes so they are able to quickly adapt and move any necessary equipment. If the worst happens and everything has to be moved indoors, they will be ready to act quickly.

  3. Have rain gear at the ready
    If there is a downpour, the bride may need to be whisked through the rain in a wedding gown. Have plenty of umbrellas, tarps, and maybe even a pair of rainboots on hand to get from place to place without getting soaked.

  4. Consider insurance
    Some venues may offer event insurance to help prevent losses for the couple if weather seriously affects the outcome of the day.

  5. Plan according to season    
    If that gorgeous garden, rustic farm, or romantic wooded glade is the only place you can imagine saying “I do,” set your date in the late summer or early fall, traditionally the driest times of the calendar year. Precipitation isn’t your only outdoor problem to consider. Oppressive heat and humidity, muddy ground and mosquitoes can also have a negative impact on the wedding party and guests.

Let It Be

If you have opted to go the outdoor wedding route and have taken all the aforementioned precautions, now is the time to mentally move on. With long range weather forecasting, most weather related issues will appear on the radar long before the bride is expected to make her appearance, allowing precious time to reorganize. Don’t waste mental energy focusing on the what-ifs. But, you can’t control the weather. Don’t obsess. Instead, spend that time enjoying the rest of your wedding planning. You have a backup plan, so everything that is possible to be under control, is. Don’t let worrying about it rob you of those precious moments leading up to your special day - and we predict there will be many!

Look at the Brightside

At the end of your wedding day, rainy or sunny, you and your love will be married and that’s the goal! If your wedding day does end up getting rained on, don’t forget there are actually some benefits to a rainy wedding day! Not only will you have some awesome photos captured in the rain to remember the day by, some cultures consider rain on your wedding day to be good luck and symbolic of cleansing and renewal.