Chill Out! 3 Ways to Banish Bad-Weather Anxiety For Your Outdoor Wedding

Because doing a no-rain dance isn't always the answer

Updated 12/01/16

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Do you spend a lot of time worrying that a drizzle, downpour, or deluge will wash out your outdoor ceremony and reception? Alanis Morrisette’s lyrics are just plain wrong: It’s not “ironic” to have rain on your wedding day – it’s stressful! Weather stress often occupies occupy the brain space of even the mellowest bride. Why? Because the weather is the one thing that is utterly 100% out of your control. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re planning a wedding.

Here are three tips to help you counteract your bad-weather anxiety:

1. Make necessary backup plans.
Rent the extra tent. Locate an indoor ceremony site you can live with. It’s sloppy seconds, we know — not your mother’s garden where you always envisioned getting married — but at least you’ll be prepared for the worst case scenario.

2. Check the weather history of your wedding date.
Download the app from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, plug in your zip code and wedding date, and get the data on your wedding date. Use these real facts about the likelihood of rain to combat your free-floating anxiety about you’re your mantra. Literally say to yourself, “Historically, there’s a x% chance of rain that day; I can live with that." This will help you stop overestimating the possibility of rain and at the same time, help you get used to the factual likelihood of rain. The $4.95 you spend on the app may be some of the most peace-of-mind-giving dollars you spend during your engagement.

3. Understand that you may be redirecting feelings of being out of control onto the weather.
There’s so much going in your life right now that may be making you feel out of control – all the changes in your identity as you leave your single life, changes in your family relationships, changes in your relationship with your soon-to-be spouse. In short, when so much feels not in your control, it can be easier to obsess about the weather than actually experience the sadness about, say, leaving home and growing up. The weather is a lightning rod around which this feeling coalesces. It’s your unconscious trying to work through these other life changes. Just knowing this can help give meaning, context, purpose, and perspective to your weather worries. Next time, instead of ruminating about rain on your wedding day, why don’t you whip out your journal for five minutes to check in with yourself instead?

Allison Moir-Smith is a bridal counselor specializing in engagement anxiety and cold feet.

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