How to cope with rain on your outdoor wedding day

Rain, rain go away.

No bride or groom wants rain on their wedding day, but unless you plan a destination wedding (and even then, one of my friends flew all the way to St Lucia to get rained on) there is the possibility that it could happen. Here are my top tips on how best to deal with the good old British weather and why you shouldn’t let it put you off your tipi wedding.


“But what if it rains?”

Is such a common question and very often from parents. I always answer that it’s the same as at any other venue. Barn, stately home, hotel, all will likely have an outdoor space that you would like to use for photos and your drinks reception. If you are unable to use it, yes, it is disappointing but you still have your inside space. It’s exactly the same with an outdoor wedding. Your beautiful off-white tipis will provide you with a reception venue that – by the time you finish dressing it - will be totally unique to you and will wow your guests.

What’s your wet weather plan?

Make sure you have a wet and dry weather plan eg ideal plan is welcome drinks outside, back-up plan is on your dance floor. Consider a small separate undercover area for an outdoor ceremony, even if you reserve it but don’t put it up in the end. You never know, you could end up with a scorcher and need it for shade. Most suppliers will have a ‘mini’ version that’s in keeping with your main tent. In the grand scheme this will be a small cost, but you will feel better knowing any weather combination is catered for.

If it’s just a light shower forecasted, you could always ask your guests to come prepared with their umbrellas and make sure you have one for you.

If budget is tight you may have opted to have seating across your dance floor in your tipi/marquee. Just bear in mind that if it does rain you will want one central area for your drinks reception.

Don’t watch the long-weather forecast.

Try not to watch the weather forecast too far in advance. It won’t be accurate and is an unnecessary emotional rollercoaster, at a time in your life when you really don’t need it. Make your wet weather plan, then try and stay away from the weather apps until a few days out, when it’s likely to be a bit more reliable. I played this exact game for the month of August (our wedding was on the 21st). Every time I saw a forecast for sun I was on a high, which sank to a low when a couple of days later the prediction changed to rain. In the end we had our marquee going up on a cool drizzly day, our ceremony practice in the rain and a gorgeous sunny day for our wedding.

Think of your photos

If you do have rain, embrace it. Have some funky umbrellas and wellies in back up (you can always return them if you don’t need them) and have a look online at some of the fab quirky wet weather photography around.  Discuss with your photographer in advance and be prepared to be a bit flexible on the day. If it’s raining when you had allocated time for photos, spend some extra time with your guests and duck out when things hopefully brighten up. Rainy clouds and showery days make for beautiful and dramatic skies and you never know, you might get lucky and get a rainbow.

When you need to pop outside

Hire or beg, borrow and steal a selection of umbrellas to place by the entrance to your tipi/marquee, for when your guests need to make the dash to the posh loos.

On the day

I highly recommend having an on the day coordinator to keep everything on your day running on track. They will be there first thing to ensure everything is set up as it should be and all the jobs that would normally be assigned to your bridesmaids and ushers can be given to them. They can also help set up your back up plan if you need to. One of our coordinators, Kim, had a situation where there was a torrential shower just before the bride was due to arrive. She got everything moved into the tipis so guests didn’t really know any different when they arrived. Luckily things dried up and the couple were able to go outside and have a short blessing at their ceremony arch.

Hay bales

Hay bale seating is really popular but the main downside with bales is you run the risk of being charged damages if they are returned wet. A few bales outside your tipi/marquee could be easily brought under cover if needs be. But if you are using bales for your ceremony, this is just something to bear in mind. Bales are a bit itchy, so are generally covered by couples with blankets or covers. This of course would protect the bale to a certain extent from a light shower and even if you make it through your ceremony dry, no one is going to want to go out and pack away 30 plus bales once the party has started.

Often folding chairs can be less stressful, as if they get wet they just need a little wipe down and they will be ok.

It’s important to say that none of our couples who had rain on their wedding day felt it spoiled things in any way. Yes, sunshine is the cherry on the cake, but it’s people that matter, not the weather. Embrace it all, make memories, cuddle up round the fire. It’s such a rare and special thing to have everyone you love in one place. So, take it all in, enjoy and don’t worry about the things you can’t change.

Sunshine or rain, let us help you make your tipi wedding dreams a reality. Light and airy inside, our tipis are super versatile and can be used as single standalone tipis or joined together to create the optimum space for your guests.

Quality furnishings and lighting options, paired with the cream canvas and natural wooden poles provide a beautiful blank canvas, ready and waiting for you add your personal style. The tipis sides can be lifted to let those gorgeous views inside and when it gets a bit cooler, light up the indoor fire pit for a lovely atmospheric finish. 

If you have the vision, but feel a bit overwhelmed let us help you with more than just your tipis. We are outdoor event experts, who love bringing together a team of awesome suppliers to help you achieve your dream wedding.

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