The weather in central North Carolina has been awfully drizzly of late. It started this past Saturday. I woke up to a soft thunderstorm, the kind of weather that makes you happy to be warm and cozy and sleepy in bed. My first thought, snuggling up against my husband, was that we were lucky there was nowhere either of us needed to be. My next thought?
"Someone in this town is having an outdoor wedding today. Hope they have a back-up plan..."
It's impossible to predict the weather for your wedding day. Even if you've checked the weather reports obsessively (and believe me, your interest in the weather will rise to heights you can't even believe in the week leading up to your wedding) sudden changes can occur. This is especially true for North Carolina, where weather rolling in from the mountains means afternoon storms tend to pop up from April all the way to September. You can buy a farmer's almanac or study historical trends or even consult your Magic 8-Ball, but when the wedding day arrives all bets are off. If clear blue skies are an absolute requirement for your wedding day, you'd better scrap the idea of an outdoor event altogether. However, if you're willing to risk it, you need a plan!
STEP 1: HAVE A PLAN
Without a plan, you're going to end up with some soggy - and possibly angry - wedding guests. Make sure that you have an indoor space available for your wedding. If you're being married in a public park, maybe they have a picnic shelter you can use in case of inclement weather. If your wedding is on a golf course, ask if you can reserve a room in the clubhouse. If there is no indoor space at your ceremony venue, then perhaps you can move the whole shebang to your reception site. Being married on the dance floor with guests seated at dinner tables has worked for other brides, and it will work for you too.
In addition to securing a space for your wedding, you need to know that you've got all hands on deck. Before the wedding day, it's critical that you've got someone ready to implement your back-up plan. Secure a wedding coordinator or an employee of the facility to help you out, and do it at least two weeks before the wedding. You'll need them to bring all your rentals, decor, and floral arrangements indoors, and they will also need to inform your guests that plans have changed.
STEP 2: HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE
Even if the weather is terrible (or the cake is a little dry, or your first kiss is awkward with all those people watching) your wedding day should be a day of joy. Just remember what it's all about - making a commitment to your partner and starting your new life together. Any little hiccup will likely make for a good story down the road.
Remember, too, that wedding day rain is said to be lucky! In Italy, there is an expression for this - "“Sposa Bagnata, Sposa Fortunata,” which means “Wet Bride, Lucky Bride.” Rain is a symbol of renewal. It cleans the air and washes away dirt and pollution. Symbolically, it washes away the past and leaves a clean slate, which is a perfect way for couples to begin their new life together. Rain feeds the earth and helps new life to grow. Because of this, rain is a symbol of fertility in some cultures. For couples who want a large family, chancing into rain on their wedding day is truly a bit of good fortune.
STEP 3: HAVE FUN!
The best moments at weddings, and the ones that can lead to the best pictures, are the unexpected ones. Rainy weather can open up a whole world of possibilities that just aren't available to sunny-day brides. For example, you could make a quick switch from your intended cake topper to this one. It's a good-natured nod to the weather, and one that your guests will likely find charming.
Because the rain will likely play a major role in your wedding day, you may want to capture some of it to save along with the rest of your wedding day treasures. Set out a bucket or a cup to catch the rain, then pour it carefully into a collection vessel. That can be a small stoppered bottle, a perfume pendant, or a vial on a chain. If you can manage it, you could even use an old Christmas bulb as shown in this photo.
Finally, there are the photo ops. If for no other reason, rain is lucky because of the fantastic shots your photographer can get. Rain can be extremely romantic, even sexy, which is why the rain-soaked kisses from The Notebook and Spider-Man are so iconic. The weather also lends itself to photos that show off your playful side. You can get a shot of the wedding party under funky umbrellas. You can pose in your wedding gown with a pair of cute rain boots that match your bouquet. You could be snapped laughing with your new spouse as you throw a coat over yourselves and run to the getaway car. Plan for rain, and you can end up with a wedding album that will have all your friends praying for rain on their own wedding days.