10 Tips for Brightening Up Your Wedding Venue on a Dreary Day

It’s every bride’s worst nightmare: rain on her wedding day. Even brides whose weddings and receptions are indoors fear even the slightest hint of mist. If you’re planning on holding everything from the marriage ceremony to the throwing of the bouquet outdoors, though…pick your favorite pun or cliché. You get the idea.

They look pretty happy even with the umbrella, don’t they!
Photo Credit: Tom7

What matters isn’t keeping yourself up nights worrying about getting soaked to the bone as you walk down the aisle. What matters is coming up with a few contingency plans in case the weather doesn’t work in your favor.

1. Your Attitude

The first step of this is to change your attitude about rain. Think of how cozy and happy you feel when you are warm at home and the rain is falling outside. The rain can be soothing and can increase the “warm-fuzzy” feeling of being cocooned inside. The goal is to come up with some things that will help your wedding feel the same way if a storm hits.

2. The Tent

Obviously you’ll want to have a tent on standby. You’ll want a good tent that is sturdy enough to keep rain out and warmth in. You’ll want the tent to have “walls” to prevent the wind and water from affecting a dance floor or blowing decorations off tables. If you can get it, you’ll want a tent with “windows.” You might want to rent two – one for the ceremony and one for the reception, with a covered walkway between them.

3. Umbrellas

If you can’t afford a separate tent for the ceremony and are absolutely against converting your tent space from a ceremony to a reception space, tell all of your guests to bring umbrellas. Have a few extra for those who forget and to keep you, your new spouse and your marriage officiant covered (literally).

HINT: Buy matching umbrellas for the wedding party and your marriage officiant. They’ll look great in the photos! (You can also ask that your guests bring umbrellas that fit a specific color scheme.)

4. A Generated Power Supply

In addition to a tent, you’ll want to have some sort of power supply and waterproof coverings for anything electrical. Most venues that offer marriage services will have some sort of generator on hand, but if you’re using a public space, you may need to rent one.

5. Boots Are Cute!

Buy some really cute wellington boots to go with your wedding dress as early as possible. Don’t trust that the ones you want will still be available the week before your wedding ceremony.

Rain gives you beautiful photo opportunities like this one!
Photo credit: John Hope

6. Hay Is Your Friend

Hay will be your savior; it can be laid down to soak up water and prevent a natural “floor” from getting muddy. Having a bale or two nearby is a good idea. It’s true that you won’t be able to lay it down once everything has gotten started, but if you have advance warning of the storm or the storm starts earlier in the morning, you’ll be glad you thought ahead. If you’re working with a venue that regularly offers marriage services outdoors, they’ll likely have some of this handy.

7. Twinkly Lights

Twinkly lights make everything beautiful and cozy. String the twinkly lights up around the inside of your tent or under your canopy. Most brides stick with basic white light, but “sprinkling in” a few bulb coverings in your wedding colors along each strand can add a beautiful and festive touch.

8. Candles

Candles make everybody look pretty and feel warm and protected. Get some tea lights and put them in tall glass jars or other candle holders. The goal is to have high sides to help amplify the heat of the flame and to keep it from being blown out by breezes or wind.

Some couples skip all of this and simply decide to get wet. There is something to be said for this approach. It’s cheaper, and it will definitely make for a memorable wedding ceremony (though you might want to offer at least your marriage officiant the option of having someone hold an umbrella over him or her)!

Erin Steiner is a blogger and writer who has been published all over the web. She also works with clients like Media Shower (whose blog is home to the very popular post “6 Ways to Pitch the Perfect Guest Post“) and a variety of others.