What to do When It’s Supposed To Rain During Your Outdoor Wedding

Not gonna lie — this is a great reason to hire a wedding planner. If you’re a bride who wants a back-up plan for everything, make sure to have someone lined up to make the switch from outdoor ceremony to indoor/covered ceremony if it is supposed to rain during your nuptials. We have the perfect example of how hiring a wedding coordinator was a great idea for Kate + Michael. It was such a pleasure working with them!

We live in South Dakota, so the weather is always unpredictable! Who knew that September 30 would bring rain?! And who knew it would rain at exactly 4:00 (the time of their ceremony)?! Hitch Studio, their hired wedding planner, was ready for anything.

The plan was to set up their ceremony in the Cottage Garden at McCrory Gardens in Brookings, SD. We successfully conducted the rehearsal outdoors (complete with the dog/ring bearer, Ace!) and everything went smoothly! The next day, it rained most of the day and there were plans to have an outdoor tent, an outdoor dance under the pergola, lawn games, and most importantly, the outdoor ceremony. The days before the wedding, it was a relatively easy change to move the dance indoors, skip the lawn games, and cancel the tent rental for the dance. But Kate and Michael had their heart set on an outdoor wedding under a willow tree. I don’t blame them! It was beautiful!!

We rented and set up over 100 chairs in the Cottage Garden for their ceremony to begin at 4:00 in the afternoon. About 3:15, we had to make the call. Should we leave the ceremony outside? Or move it indoors just in case it started raining again? What do you do?! Kate and her mother, Victoria, had a heart-to-heart. I didn’t interject. I wanted this to be their decision — on their terms.

Options if it rains on your wedding day:

  1. Delay your wedding by an hour or so. If the forecast looks like the rain will let up in less than an hour and your caterer is okay with delaying the food by an hour, there is no harm in starting your cocktail hour a little early and keeping your guests mingling indoors during the rain for a while.
  2. Move your wedding indoors to an alternative location and keep it on time. Get help by spreading the word to guests that the location has moved, and have help (wedding planners like Hitch Studio) to be located at the previous location in case any guests showed up there. They can re-directed to the new location and/or time.
  3. Keep your wedding outdoors. Maybe the rain will stop during your condensed ceremony. If you want outdoor pictures in front of the perfect background, maybe it’s worth the risk. Be prepared that some guests will join you for the reception only — or not want to walk through the mud to get to your ceremony. Again, wedding coordinators like Hitch Studio can put down wood boards and other solutions to avoid mud and mess. (You don’t want to have to worry about that on your wedding day!)

Kate eventually decided that everyone would be more comfortable (and less muddy) if we moved the ceremony indoors. With a 45-minute heads-up time, we transformed her entire indoor reception space — to an indoor ceremony space, complete with an aisle and an altar! Because they had hired a wedding planner, they had Renee Halgerson and her Hitch Studio team completely ready to make the transition in the rain. We got wet. They stayed dry!

We made her reception look like this!

After the ceremony recessional, we picked up all the rose petals and pumpkins and transitioned it back to a dinner reception while the guests mingled in the beautiful lobby for cocktail hour! The bride, groom, and their families had nothing to worry about as we made it all happen — on time and on point.

One thing no one expected, and only a wedding planner might notice, is that there was another wedding concluding at the same time Kate and Micheal’s was starting. As you can see from the photos, there were glass windows behind their “altar” with a view of the patio and gardens. The other wedding taking place in McCrory Gardens that day, decided to stay outside, and as guests were walking back to the main exit/entrance, they were standing on the patio and visiting. You could see random guests from another wedding behind them during their vows! Hitch Studio immediately split up our team to intercept and ask any strangers to move from being in the background of Kate & Michael’s precious wedding photos!

It was an amazing day, regardless of rain. Their navy and silver, rustic and vintage, modern and sparkly wedding was still so perfect. And that cake table was a show-stopper!

When you get a note like this from the mother of the bride, you know you did a good job that day.  🙂 We love you, too, Victoria!

Hello, Renee. There are not adequate words to express our gratitude for the excellent job and service you and your staff provided. We all talked about the wedding for days after. Kate said it was everything she wanted and it was the wedding I always dreamed of for her. Even my husband, who thought we could it ourselves, was amazed! I want to go back to the day so I can experience it again! Also all the vendors you recommended were awesome. You have a gift and a talent and I am so glad you are sharing it with the rest of us! Most grateful, Victoria

We also designed Kate and Michael’s wedding invitations (white lace laser cut wraps with navy inserts and a deer antler monogram) — and made sure that small details like their “date night jar” and other fun pieces were featured. Our hearts are full when we get to work on weddings like this one. We know we truly relieved some stress for them and helped them enjoy the day of their dreams! We got to do the time-sensitive stressful stuff — and they got the perfectly planned day.  🙂  Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Peyton!

Photo by ChelseaJean Photography Chelsea DeKnikker

Wedding vendors:

  • Venue: McCrory Gardens
  • DJ: Sieff Style
  • Florist: House of Green
  • Cake: Cake Lady
  • Photographer: Chelsea Jean Photography
  • Videographer: Wholly Cowen
  • Makeup/Hair: Jodi Hunter
  • Wedding Stylist: Hitch Studio

 

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