What to Do When There's Rain in the Forecast for Your Outdoor Reception (and You Don't Have a Backup Plan)

Emily Steffen Photography

Not even rain can dampen a bride's joy on her wedding day. However, if the bride in question is hosting her reception outside, a downright downpour might cause a big-day meltdown. So what happens when an unforeseen storm threatens to ruin picturesque outdoor celebration? Our etiquette experts weigh in on how to prevent a sudden storm from spoiling an outdoor reception.

No matter what season you've chosen for your nuptials, there is always a chance that Mother Nature will toss an unexpected downpour into the mix. Therefore, creating a stormy weather contingency plan is absolutely necessary. However, there are a number of last-minute preparations you can make to prevent rain from ruining your wedding. Whether you prefer to go local for your wedding supplies or choose to order online, be sure to rent a tent in case of showers. You may be able to snap up a tent last-minute from a regional retailer that specializes in homewares, or purchase one from an online vendor that offers overnight shipping. If the worst happens and a tent is out of the question, purchase aesthetically pleasing umbrellas to offer attendees, and encourage guests to bring their own gear in case of a sudden downpour.

If your reception location is adjacent to an indoor venue, you may also consider renting out a room in case of a torrential downpour. Your options may be scarce if your wedding is only weeks, not months, away, but securing a backup indoor wedding venue may save your celebration. Smaller receptions with limited guest lists may even be able to squeeze into a residential space if you have a close friend or family member who is willing to volunteer their home for the occasion. No matter how you choose to deal with the inclement weather, be sure to keep guests informed of any changes to your plans with a friendly call or email.

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