We get it: looking at your wedding weather forecast and seeing that raincloud icon can be a real heart-sinker. But rain on your wedding day doesn't actually have to be a bad thing.
A few tweaks to your original plans can make a rainy wedding day feel just as magical as non-stop sun. This is true even if you're having an outdoor celebration. As we'll explain, you'll find there are even some benefits to wetter weather.
There are two main areas you'll need to look at: logistics and accessories. The first covers things like how you'll rethink the spaces at your venue and potential changes to timings. The second is about what you can get to protect you and your guests from the wet weather - and that's the fun part. From chic umbrellas to bridal wellingtons (yes, they're a thing), there are all kinds of rainy-day solutions that are as pretty as they are practical.
So as long as you put your contingency plans into action early enough, you're going to have an amazing time. Here's how to make rain on your wedding day work for you.
NB: We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.
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1. Prepare to Hear That Rain on Your Wedding Day Is Good Luck... a Lot
In some cultures, rain is considered good luck on your wedding day, bringing you, variously, health, wealth, fertility or a happy marriage. Chances are your guests will have heard this, so if the heavens do open, they're going to tell you. A lot. It's sweet from the first couple of guests; by guest 15, it could be getting on your nerves. Whether or not you believe in the superstition, just remember that they're only bringing it up to make you feel better about the weather. Not that you actually need cheering up, because your rainy wedding is going to be amazing.
2. Talk to Your Venue (and/or Wedding Planner)
An experienced venue will have options for wet weather contingencies. If most of your day is supposed to be outside, how much you'll need to change will depend on the forecast. With the occasional shower, you may still be able to enjoy some of the wedding al fresco, particularly if you hire some canopies or tents so guests can quickly take shelter in a sudden squall. With high winds and driving rain, you may need to move everything indoors.
3. Create Fresh Décor Ideas
If it's looking likely you'll have to move your outdoor wedding inside, think about how you can recreate a natural feel indoors. The outdoors-in look can be bewitchingly beautiful. Flowers will be key, so talk to your florist. To avoid going over budget, ask for arrangements with plenty of foliage, which is usually cheaper than blooms.
Think about other natural elements you can use to create a cool outdoors-in look - hay bale seating at a rustic wedding, for example.
Keep that natural feel going indoors with herbs at every place setting and potted herbs or plants on the tables. We know it's not ideal to have to rethink your wedding décor because of rain, but when you reassess your plans with a fresh eye, you may end up with a look you love even more than the original.
4. Check Walkways
It's worth double-checking that walkways to the venue will be safe for guests when wet. For example, if you're having a marquee reception, you may want to source some non-slip material that means guests don't have to walk directly on wet grass. Similarly, make sure there are plenty of mats at the entrances for guests to brush off their wet shoes.
5. Get Creative with Your Photography
Some of the loveliest wedding photos we've seen were shot in the rain. Ask your photographer for suggestions for set-ups - umbrella shots, for example, or you could find sheltered spots in the grounds of your venue. You can also just go for it with a kiss in the rain, although that's probably best saved for the end of the night so you're not sitting around in wet wedding attire! Your photographer may also want to switch up the timings to get shots when the skies clear - you can get an incredible natural backdrop after a period of rain. And be prepared for a last-minute dash outside for some pictures if a rainbow appears!
6. Rain-Proof Your Hair and Makeup
Get in touch with your hair and makeup artist to let them know about the inclement weather, so they can prepare to weather-proof your look. If your hair is naturally prone to frizz at the merest hint of rain, make sure you treat it to plenty of love in the run-up to your wedding with moisturising products. Alternatively, you could have a pre-wedding keratin treatment to smooth away frizz and add plenty of shine that should survive a shower or two. If you were planning on having your hair down, it may be worth switching to a chic updo, as these generally do better in wet weather than swishy blow dries.
7. Rethink Your Drinks
If the rain is bringing cooler temperatures, help guests feel snug by having hot drinks on offer, like a wedding coffee bar.
8. Include Towels
It's a nice gesture to include some towels, either at the entrance or in the bathrooms, so any guests who get caught out in the rain can quickly dry off!
Turkish Towels – £8.84 Each, Etsy
Turkish towels always look elegant, and they'll go with any wedding colour palette if you choose neutral hues.
Waffled Hand Towel - £4.99, H&M
This H&M hand towel is another easy-chic option that won't clash with your styling.
9. Add a Note to Your Wedding Website
We'd imagine many guests will check the forecast, but just in case, explain on your wedding website that there's a chance of rain - particularly if we're talking major downpours.
10. Weather-Proof Your Shoes
Even if the forecast is just for drizzle, it's worth tweaking your shoes to make sure you don't slip when you're walking around the wedding. Look for stick-on protectors to add grip to the soles of your shoes and heel stoppers so they don't sink into wet grass. We'd also suggest giving them a good dousing with a protective spray in the week ahead of the wedding, although check carefully that the formulation is right for the fabric.
11. Get Into Wellies
If you're expecting heavy downpours, it might be worth investing in some wellington boots for any time spent outside - you can always change into your wedding shoes once inside!
Short Gloss Wellington Boots - £95, Hunter
Hunter are the brand to know when it comes to high-quality wellingtons, and this white gloss version would be a chic investment for your wedding and beyond. One for the stylish bride.
I Do Wedding Wellies - £45, EverCreatures
We didn't know wedding wellies could be pretty until we saw this EverCreatures design. We love that creamy shade and bow detail.
Joan of Arctic Next Boots - £200, Sorel
Expecting chillier temperatures? Invest in Sorel's iconic Joan of Arctic Next, a lightweight boot made of waterproof leather. Yes, they're on the pricier side, but you can definitely wear them post-wedding to beat the British winter.
12. Choose a Waterproof Wedding Coat
If you're expecting rain on your wedding day, choose a see-through waterproof if you want to show off your dress while keeping dry, or white to fit with your outfit. Want to make a feature of your coat? Choose a contrasting colour.
Transparent Hooded Coat - £109, Rains
Danish brand Rains is the name to know for stylish rainwear. This transparent coat is simple and elegant, so it won't take away from your wedding dress. It has a hood, which will provide extra protection for your hair and makeup.
Stala Jacket 7357 - £90, Samsœ & Samsœ
This minimalist jacket is waterproof and windproof, and it's made from 50% recycled polyester, making it a planet-friendly choice.
Raincoat with Detachable Hood - £180, Cos
Expecting drizzle on your wedding day? This deliciously refined coat from Cos is made for light showers, and it has a gorgeous silhouette.
Mono Rain Poncho - £55, Hay
If your wedding dress has voluminous sleeves, it's worth looking for a poncho or cape to avoid crinkling them. This Mono poncho is a water resistant, easy-wearing option.
Waterproof Mac - £225, Protected Species
The highest compliment we can pay a waterproof coat is that it doesn't look like a waterproof coat. That's exactly what you get with this Protected Species design - a sophisticated trench coat that just happens to be waterproof, windproof and breathable.
READ MORE: 43 of the Most Beautiful Bridal Cover-Ups
13. Consider Guest Umbrellas
If you know your wedding is likely to be rainy, it's a nice gesture to include wedding umbrellas for the guests. That's relatively simple if you're planning a small wedding - you can buy a lovely design for each guest and these can do double duty as the favours. However, with a larger guest list, costs can quickly mount; the only budget-friendly way of providing lots of umbrellas is to bulk-buy cheap plastic versions, and that's not very kind to the planet. In that scenario, we'd suggest trusting that your loved ones will bring their own brollies, and just providing a few umbrellas for the absent-minded - check out London Umbrellas, who use 100% recycled material in their classic designs.
14. Invest in a Special Umbrella
Once your guests' umbrella needs have been met, make sure you (and the wedding party) have chic umbrellas that'll look good in any outdoor photos. Clear umbrellas work best, so they don't take centre stage in the pictures. Plain white will also do the trick. Of course, you might decide that a stand-out umbrella would be better as a contrast - if so, go for it!
Canopy Umbrella – £17, Hay
This clear umbrella is simple enough to be unobtrusive in the wedding photos but will still keep the rain off.
Clear Plastic Bubble Umbrella – £16.19, The Hitched Shop
The 'love is in this air' motto adds interest to this wedding umbrella. The bubble shape means it'll work even harder to keep your dry.
Just Married Wedding Umbrella – £18.95, Etsy
This 'just married' umbrella would make a cute prop for your newlywed photos.
Red Heart Wedding Umbrella – £22.95, Etsy
This red heart umbrella is a chic alternative to white or clear, but still stays on-message thanks to the romantic shape.
Raining Lips Umbrella - £34, Lulu Guinness
We love the print on this Lulu Guinness umbrella, and it's the kind of thing you can definitely use again after the wedding.
Black Long Umbrella - £49, Hawes & Curtis
For those who prefer a more traditional umbrella style, look to a British heritage brand such as Hawes & Curtis. Their black umbrella is simple and smart, and of excellent quality.
Keep your wedding on track whatever the weather with our ultimate planning checklist.