Rain is a very real part of eloping adventurously, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin the day! You’re likely eloping because you wanted something other than a cookie cutter wedding day, and have your own, unique, getting married experience. If rain ends up being on the forecast, you can choose to look at it as simply a part of your story, or come up with a “rain plan”.
Keep reading for my tips and expert advice for a rainy elopement day.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear.”
…is a good general rule of thumb. Obviously, if it’s unsafe to be outdoors as a crazy weather system rolls through, you’ll want to implement a backup plan. But trust me, it is so much fun to embrace the elements and work with mother nature rather than run from her!
When you have the right gear, you get to experience the outdoors like not very many people do. And to have an experience like that the day you get married, makes for a pretty cool story if you ask me!
My 3-Tier System to Help You Decide Whether to Pivot
Forecast doesn’t show any thunderstorms, chance of rain 60% or less in your area. The rain likely won’t be consistent for the entire day, and you might even welcome it if you’re eloping on a typically hot day. Days like these sometimes bring the most epic sunsets with all the clouds and colors.
I vote: embrace!
Forecast says 90% chance of rain, cloudy through and through, likely won’t see the sun at all. This is totally up to you and how much you love dark and moody both in photos and in real life. I personally loooove this type of weather! It may not rain consistently, which means you can put the umbrellas down here and there. You’d have to be ok with the bottom of your dress getting muddy, wearing rain gear most of the time, and holding an umbrella. This one just depends on your comfort zone and taste for adventure.
I vote: tie between embrace and pivot.
Forecast says thunderstorms all day. Dang. Since it’s not safe to be in, you’ll have to do your ceremony indoors and consider spending the day doing indoor activities unless the weather lets up.
I vote: pivot.
What Pivoting Can Look Like
In any scenario, talk to your vendors ahead of time about your ‘rain plan’. It’s good to have one in place so that you can rest easy leading up to the day and know that whatever happens, you have all yours bases covered and are ready to have a good time!
MOVE YOUR CEREMONY INDOORS:
You can have your ceremony indoors. A great reason to pick lodging that is both cute and spacious enough for this very reason. If you choose to elope in an area that gets a lot of rain, I would prioritize picking lodging you would also be comfortable with getting married in.
MOVE TO A DIFFERENT LOCATION ENTIRELY:
I’ve heard of people pivoting from Yosemite to Big Sur on their elopement day due to a wildfire. Depending on your situation and everyone’s schedules, you could simply drive away from the bad weather and have your elopement somewhere else.
ELOPE THE DAY BEFORE OR DAY AFTER:
This all depends on the weather, what your vendors say, any scheduling conflicts they may have, etc.
Check the average weather patterns for the last 5 years. That should help you gauge what to expect for your day or change the date entirely. Search the date, your elopement location and average weather for the last 5 years.
Pros and Cons of Eloping in the Rain
- Less Crowds because most people are not prepared for rain – but you are now that you’re reading this article!
- Romantic Moody Vibes – just like the movies
- Vibrant foliage – have you ever taken a walk through the woods after a good rainfall? The colors are so bright and beautiful!
- Gushing Waterfalls
- Cooler Temperatures if you’re eloping on a typically hot day
- Potential for RAINBOWS!!!
- Do it for the plot – you’ll get mad respect from everyone when you tell your story!
Honestly, if you are prepared with the right gear, it’s hard to find any! As long as you can stay warm and dry, you will have a good time. Make sure your photographer is comfortable shooting in the rain (like I am!) and knows how to keep their own gear dry so they can document everything with ease. Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
- Find rain gear that’s still cute in pictures. A clear dome shaped umbrella will keep you dry and won’t clash with any of the colors in your wedding attire. Clear ponchos will keep your outfits visible or you could pick a solid color that complements what you’re wearing. You can find a cute white rain jacket to complement your wedding dress or if you have a non-white dress, a jacket color that complements the color you’re wearing.
- Limited Hairstyle Options – If you have straight hair, it won’t hold a curl even with the best of products. My advice is to come up with a beautiful braid option so that if it your hair stays looking fabulous and in place. If you have naturally curly hair, pin it away from your face and let it do its thing! I personally love letting curls go natural – but I am no hairstylist. Consult your hairstylist for their expert guidance.
What to Pack for a Rainy Elopement Day
- waterproof makeup
- waterproof shoes – not water resistant – (more on this below)
- rain jacket // Clear Poncho // Rain Pants (either or)
- clear umbrellas
- extra Socks
- extra undergarments
- handwarming packets
- gloves (optional)
- thermal layers, smart wool is a great go-to
- change of shoes in the car
- a good attitude – these things happen. There is no such thing as “perfect weather”
- Prepare your guests (if any) with this list as well as your ‘rain plan’
Rain Friendly Elopement Attire
I know you want to look chic on your wedding day, and I don’t think you need to sacrifice style for comfort when you are choosing to elope!
Here are a few things to consider while choosing your outfits and their practicality for the day:
- Choose a light weight dress and the comfiest hiking shoes you can find. Nothing is worse than feeling bogged down or your feet getting sore after just an hour or two. You want to be care-free and in the moment as best you can, so make sure your attire is as comfy as can be!
- Consider a dark colored dress if you are worried about mud. I personally love the muddy ombré look but to each their own!
- As mentioned earlier, pick a hairstyle that’s hard to ‘ruin’ in the rain. Beautiful braids are my go-to, but you can also bobby-pin it around your face and let it do its natural thing. Be the little fairy princess you’ve always dreamed of on your wedding day!
- I realize most of this advice so far is geared toward women but dudes don’t seem to have as many variables to think about. My biggest advice for guys is to have comfortable shoes and please make 1000% sure that they are broken-in beforehand! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had guys complain about their feet on their wedding day even after I gave them this advice. Please don’t skip this advice! If you want to wear loafers for your portraits, wear the waterproof shoes and switch once you get to the location. Definitely don’t hike in fancy loafers unless you are absolutely certain they won’t hurt your feet!
Indoor Activities for a Rainy Elopement Day
Lastly, if your elopement day ends up totally rained out, take some time to think about the following questions to help you IMAGINE what fun activities you could incorporate on your rainy elopement day:
What does a typical date night look like for you? The kind you put some effort in.
Is it a cozy night in, cooking scrumptious meals together? Baking yummy deserts?
Dancing in the kitchen while you wait for UberEats?
Stargazing with a telescope?
How about making fun cocktails or mocktails together at your AirBnB?
Are you big Thrift Store hoppers?
Historial Museum lovers?
You can recreate some of those moments in photos, to encapsulate the memories of your interests at this time in your lives together.
Rain Friendly Elopement Hairstyles:
This is all up for preference but my personal favorite braids. Braids will always stay in place and you can get really creative with the type of braid you choose.
PIN VIDEO – PIN VIDEO – PIN VIDEO
Rain Friendly Elopement Shoes
Did that help?
If you are in search for a wedding photographer, I’d love to help you plan and photograph all of the memories of your elopement. As an expert elopement photographer, it is my greatest joy to help couples IMAGINE what the best day ever could look like for them. Full of meaningful, personalized touches that really encapsulate your relationship and commitment to each other.
I am passport prepared and ready to travel anywhere in the world.
Reach out to learn more!