How to Create a Weather Contingency Plan for Your Outdoor Wedding

I distinctly remember checking the 10 day forecast for my outdoor wedding and bursting into tears upon seeing the threat of rain because I had no Plan B. By taking the time to develop a weather contingency plan, you can ensure a lovely wedding day, rain or shine. There's no need for you to shed tears over your outdoor wedding, unless they're happy tears! 

General Weather Considerations

Plan Alternative Photos Plans

Talk with your photographer about ways to capture unique, beautiful photos, even if the weather isn't nice. Perhaps you'll have a photoshoot in the snow, under an umbrella, or even in a classic car!

Consider Event Insurance

While wedding insurance might seem like an extra expense, it would protect you from losing money from disasters ranging from stolen gifts to a tornado strike.

Book a Backup Venue

If possible, book a community center, fire hall, theater, or church reception hall as a backup venue. You can hope for the best that your first choice venue works out, but you'll have peace of mind knowing you have somewhere else to go if you need it.

Make a Final Call

I'll never forget sitting through my husband's college graduation in the pouring rain because the school made the call to have the ceremony outside over 24 hours in advance, when the weather report seemed okay. For your wedding, you can make the final call about 3-5 hours before the ceremony begins. Confirm this plan with your vendors, but this time frame should give you time to see how the weather will be, and give your vendors enough time to set up accordingly.

Communicate Your Plan

Your plan should include a schedule of where guests and vendors should be and how supplies should be set up. Clearly state on your wedding invitation or wedding website what the weather contingency plan is and collect cell phone numbers when you ask guests to RSVP. Delegate friends or relatives to help announce the final plan on the wedding day. For example, your maid-of-honor could text all of your wedding guests whose last name starts with A-D, etc. 

Rainy Weather

Bring Umbrellas

Not only will umbrellas keep your guests dry, they can be used as a charming accessory in wedding party photos.

Move Somewhere Else On-Site

If possible, book a venue that has both indoor and outdoor facilities. I recently coordinated a wedding where the couple planned to set up tables for an outdoor reception, but there was a barn on the same property that they were able to set up in when they realized it was going to rain.

Book a Tent

If you book a venue that has absolutely no indoor or covered option, ask if they would allow you to rent a tent in the event of rain.

Bring Spare Shoes

If you're outside in soft wet grass, shoes with spiky heels will sink right into the ground. The bride and bridesmaids should pack flats or even rain boots. The bride can cover up rain boots with her dress or show them off for some cute, unique photos.

Postpone the Ceremony

If you have no where else to go, consider postponing the ceremony anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to wait out a shower.

Cold Weather

Hot Beverages

Consider having a dispenser of hot coffee, cocoa, or cider for guests to sip on while they're waiting for the ceremony and reception to begin.


Colorado is known for unexpected snow showers! Even if you're getting married in May, you may want to have blankets on hand just in case guests need to bundle up during your ceremony.

Program by  DWE Haus  // Photo by  Jon Stars

Program by DWE Haus // Photo by Jon Stars

Hot Weather

Water Bottles

For your guests' safety, make sure to provide plenty of water bottles to the wedding party, helpers, and guests so everyone can stay hydrated.

Fan Programs

If you're planning a summer wedding, consider handing out paper fans with your ceremony order of events printed on them. They'll keep your guests cool and informed!

Humid Weather


The bride should talk with her hairstylist about a hairdo that will withstand humidity. Also, try using anti-frizz hair products such as Frizz Ease.


If it's so humid it feels like you're swimming, the bride and bridesmaids will likely need to fix their makeup throughout the wedding day. Remove shine with Clean & Clear's oil absorbing sheets and pack spare makeup for touchups.

Good Luck!

Bad weather doesn't have to ruin your wedding day, especially if you take a little time to think through a weather contingency plan. It's an old saying that a rainy wedding means good luck in your marriage! Remember, no matter what the weather is like, at the end of the day, you'll be happily married!

Sources: Reflective Bride // // Married by Josh // The Knot