Quick! Name your number one wedding fear. If you said rain on your wedding day, you're likely in good company. Many couples — especially those who plan outdoor affairs — worry nothing more than a mere drizzle could ruin the whole day.
But, says Aviva Samuels, owner of Kiss the Planner in Palm Beach, Florida, "Five years from now, the very last thing on your mind will be the weather on your wedding day. You are marrying the love of your life, and that is for a lifetime. In the grand scheme of things, rain is probably the least tragic thing that you will encounter."
In fact, rain on your wedding day can actually be a good thing! Here, 11 reasons you'd actually want it to rain on the big day. And yes, we're serious.
1. Rain makes for one-of-a-kind wedding photos
If you've ever seen wedding photos captured in the rain then you know exactly what we're talking about. "The mist and the soft light look so romantic and can't be easily recreated on a sunny day," points out Aspinwall. Not to mention all the great props you can use, like clear umbrellas and colorful rain boots. Many photographers will even tell you that they actually prefer shooting on a cloudy or rainy day.
"Photos with umbrellas can be so cute that you might even wish for rain," says Samuels. "Multi-colored or completely clear, there's an artistic opportunity to take advantage of with rain." In fact, if you fear rain is in your forecast, Samuels suggests silk-screening the bridal party's names on the umbrellas to level up the photo (not to mention that custom umbrellas would make for unique gifts for your wedding party!).
2. Rain gives you an excuse to cuddle
As Nicole Harris, co-founder of One Last Frog in Southern California, reminds us, "Rain is romantic." Think of it this way: A light drizzle or a huge downpour will encourage you to cuddle close to your new spouse under the same umbrella — or find fun ways to warm one another up or dry one another off! Plus, Harris says, "The patter of the rain on umbrellas and the windows is the sweetest sound you'll hear, and is a sound that is associated with romance."
3. Wedding flowers last longer in the rain
You can't wait to see your centerpieces, only to find that when you've arrived to your tented reception, they've succumbed to the heat and wilted. But that won't happen on a rainy day, says Rhae Adams, owner and lead designer of Found in Nature in Kansas City. "Flowers are less likely to wilt in rainy conditions," she says. "Overcast skies, cooler temperatures and humidity all generally make flowers happier than sun, heat and dry air."
4. A rainy wedding makes for a great story
Wedding day "disasters" may not seem funny in the moment, but one day you'll love telling your children — or, heck, anyone who will listen — the epic story of how you battled a big storm on your wedding day to your grandchildren, Samuels says. "Everyone loves a good story, and if hurricane winds ripped your wedding arch down or a torrential downpour caused your updo to go south or makeup to melt, you can be the hero of the story that persevered and loved every moment of it, the good, the bad and the ugly."
5. Rain makes for wedding day rainbows
What comes at the end of an awful storm? "If it rains and the rain stops, the perfect rainbow backdrop can be created," says Harris. And, she adds, "it's free of charge, thanks to mother nature."
6. Rain on a wedding day means good luck!
What does it mean when it rains on your wedding day? You might have thought it was a sign of a bad luck, but it's actually quite the opposite! "In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing. So whether you are superstitious or just prefer to look on the bright side, think of it this way: Who couldn't use a little good luck on their big day?" says Samuels.
7. Rain forces wedding vendors to be at the top of their game
One of the best things about rain, according to Callie Bracket and Christyn Wilkins, sisters and founders of a wedding planning company We Tie The Knots, is that your vendors will be extra careful and pay more attention to detail in order to keep you, the bride, happy.
8. Rain gives your guests something to talk about
There's nothing like a little rain to bring a group of people together. "There's just something about the environment that inspires a feeling of camaraderie in guests, leading to more attentiveness, participation and fun for everyone," explains Stephanie Aspinwall, owner and event designer at Pretty Entertaining in Washington, D.C.
9. Rain creates a romantic wedding atmosphere
There's a reason some of the hottest kissing scenes in movie history take place in the rain; it's so romantic! Plus, you really can't beat the sound of rain beating down on the roof or tent of your venue. It creates such a dreamy sound backdrop during a wedding, say Bracket and Wilkins.
10. You don't have to worry about overheated wedding guests
If it's raining, one thing you don't have to worry about is overheated guests. "Rain cools down the venue," note Bracket and Wilkins. And if you're already planning on a tented wedding, that could be a great thing.
11. Rain reduces airborne pollen and eliminates allergies
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the last thing you may want on your wedding day is hot, sunny skies — the perfect conditions to kick your allergies into high gear and turn your nose and eyes red, says Adams. "Rain reduces airborne pollen," she explains, "so if it's allergy season, you and your wedding party will feel better."
Real Brides Share How They Dealt with Rain on Their Wedding Day
The idea of rain making your wedding even more special isn't just hypothetical — here, brides share stories of how they dealt with rain, for better and worse.
"We were married in September on an island off the coast of Maine. It was an outdoor ceremony and the week leading up to our nuptials was perfect: clear skies, high 70s, and no chance of rain. The morning before our wedding, it was beautiful out. It wasn't until I was dressed and ready to go that the skies started to darken. The rain held out until we said, 'I do.' Moments later, it started to drizzle and we all moved under the tent. Thankfully we had one. Like all true island weddings in Maine, however, the ground was just grass so as the rain started to pour, everyone kicked off their wedding shoes and danced in the mud.
Our photos were absolutely gorgeous. In the background you can see huge clouds rolling in and the sky darkening. I don't think our photos would have been half as magical had there been clear skies. And while my wedding dress got stained all across the hem with mud, I didn't get upset. I kicked off my sandals and danced in it. Afterward, I never got my dress professionally cleaned. Now every time I see that mud stain on the bottom, I'm reminded of how beautiful that day was. I'm also reminded that sometimes when things go wrong in life, it's best to just embrace the storm and ride it out.
Something amazing can come out of it."
"I was married two years ago in what can only be described as a monsoon in Florida. Our wedding was all outdoors; we were promised the venue had never had a wash out. Well, we set the record. It rained sideways for hours. The venue was flooded up to the mid-calf level. The cake was sitting in an un-air conditioned garage — which doubled as the groom's quarters — sweating. But somehow the rain only delayed our wedding 30 minutes. I told my bridesmaids to bustle me up — the rain was over, but the mud was there to stay — and to get everyone in line.
Our friends and family scrabbled to get the chairs dry and the decorations out. A few items had to be ditched, but no one noticed. I was never once anxious, which isn't like me at all. All I can remember is my groom telling me no matter what he would marry me. And we did — we got married. Because of the storm, the sunset was so stunning it made our photos magical. You would never know it was the wedding that almost wasn't. The real kicker is my new sisters-in-law carrying the sweating cake to its home through a gate and winding path and a tiny wooden bridge.
It was the most magical day of my life."
"My husband and I chose our wedding venue because of all the outdoor photo-ops. A barn, lake and an apple orchard sealed the deal. We planned our ceremony in the apple orchard. I had ornate vintage details like gold frames and paper fans ready to hang on trees. We had a special arch made out of branches for the alter. And we splurged for a hot apple cider station to warm up guests on our fall morning affair. Then, it rained and everything was wet. We could have still held the wedding outside, but I didn't want our hair to get frizzy.
So we moved it inside and actually scored big. Our guests were going to stand outside for our quick vow exchange since the venue charged an absurd amount for chairs. But inside, the chairs we free! And I got great photos using pretty white umbrellas as photo props."
"We had a backyard wedding at my best friend's home outside of Chicago. It was in the 80s and humid, and right as we said our vows, the ominous clouds erupted into thunder. We all kind of giggled — small wedding, 60-some guests. As we walked down the aisle as man and wife, it started to sprinkle, then it rained harder. Everyone scrambled to the tent where the reception was to be held. It only rained for about 20 minutes, and then a gorgeous rainbow came out, the temperature dropped ,and humidity broke.
It was like God orchestrated the timing on the whole thing. And I have the pictures to prove it."
"There were multiple road and bridge closures in the area that affected our guests' ability to get to the church on time. Then, our reception hall's basement flooded, knocking out the facility's furnace. So, we had an unheated reception in Illinois in February. Our guests wore winter coats over their finery while eating. And after the reception, on the way to our wedding night accommodations, we navigated flooded roads in an unrelenting rain storm. But rain did not ruin our wedding day. The goal of a wedding is to get married — and that was accomplished.
As long as the bride, groom, and officiant show up, isn't that what matters? Plus, my husband and I were both old enough at the time of our wedding to know there is no such thing as a perfect day. Things happen. Weather happens. Wardrobe malfunctions happen. Events don't always go according to plan. You just roll with whatever life throws you and consider it an adventure."
"Having in August wedding in Florida meant a few sprinkles as the ceremony ended. Several guests had walked from the hotel to the ceremony, so I felt terrible that my guests would get wet! It was a struggle for me and my new husband to get into our limo without getting soaked. But, this was the perfect occasion for the guys attending to show how great of gentlemen they were. They held doors and helped people in and out of cars as we went from the ceremony at a local church to the reception at the hotel.
The rain actually helped cool the temperature too."
"It poured on our wedding day. Our picture session got cut drastically short as everyone was getting soaked and we were all freezing. I got my dress muddy, and I ruined my hair running from the church to the limo after the ceremony. We had a BBQ dinner planned, as our venue had a huge patio — for which I had painstakingly planned the decor. Needless to say, the patio was closed completely for the duration of the reception, and the BBQ turned into a strange makeshift buffet set up in the venue. And the ambiance was somewhat detracted from with the huge yellow 'wet floor' signs everywhere.
But rain didn't ruin our day. The thunderstorm was atmospheric in our reception venue, which featured glass walls, and it also made everything dark and cozy, which complemented the candlelight inside. The photos?
Well, I didn't get many of the outdoor nature shots I'd hoped for, but our photographer captured some awesome candid shots of us all huddled in the limo, the girls wrapped in the men's' damp jackets, drinking champagne and laughing. And best of all, the rain kept everyone together. The dance floor was packed and everyone socialized in the reception area, while on a sunny evening, they would have been scattered around the patio and venue gardens."
"My mother-in-law, ever the planner, checked the weather forecast for our wedding day several days in advance. Once she saw there was a chance of rain, she picked up matching black umbrellas for everyone in the wedding party to have on hand. And when our photographer saw all of us with our umbrellas arriving at our house, the scene of our post-ceremony photos, it gave her an idea. She instructed us to hold up the matching black umbrellas on the front porch of our 1920's Tudor-style home. The result was one of my favorite photos from the entire wedding: The bridesmaids were all dressed in black dresses, the groomsmen in black suits, me in my white gown, my husband in his black tuxedo and everyone was smiling through the rain while holding our black umbrellas.
It's a stunning black-and-white photo that captures the timelessness we were going for in our wedding decor and photos, and the element of fun we incorporated throughout the big day."