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Bride and groom kissing under an umbrella, near a cherry blossom tree in the rain

What if it Rains at my Elopement

Oh Mother Nature, she can be unpredictable even in the most predictable of seasons! Since elopements are most often outdoors-focused, having rain in the forecast can set couples off into a spiral of stress. The "WHAT IFs" and "WHAT TO DOs" begin to overshadow the joy leading up to the big day - which is not what we want! In this post, I’m going to go over some planning tips for what to do if it rains at your elopement. So that you can approach your elopement excited and prepared for anything! There really is no bad weather when you have the right attitude and focus on what’s important - that you finally get to marry your best friend!!

How to Prepare for a Rainy Elopement Day

Okay, so to answer the big question of "what happens if it rains on my elopement day?" lets go over some tips I've learned after photographing manyyy times in the rain!

1. Check the weather forecast

Bride and groom walking down the lane with clear umbrellas on their elopement day

But not TOO much. Remember that we can't control the weather, and stressin about it does nobody any good! Yes, it can be a good idea to check the weather forecast for your elopement day, after all, we want to be prepared! Knowing there's a chance of precipitation can be helpful in preparing yourself and your vendors for the potential of changed plans. BUT, I do not recommend checking all day every day for 2 weeks as it can change so quickly. In the end, it will be what it will be! Your photographer should be keeping an eye on the conditions if they're like me, they will notify you if there are any changes that need to be made!

2. Plan Ahead

couple eloping in the woods in the rain

As is important with every elopement in the great outdoors; plan ahead so you're not stressing last minute over any details. When it comes to preparing for rain at your elopement, here are a few things you can do to be on top of it:

  • Pack smart. Bring rain gear (waterproof not water resistant!) Pack those layers and extras to change into if we get soaked. Get some clear umbrellas to protect you from getting too wet while still being sturdy and photo-friendly. Have towels handy in the car, extra shoes and socks to swap out. And have hiking gear ready for muddy or slick trail conditions. As your elopement photographer, I send out a packing list to my clients to help prepare them well in advance!
  • Have a backup plan. If you’re eloping in a national park or public area, check to see if there are any trail or road closures that happen in difficult weather. Discuss alternate locations with your photographer if your original plan is no longer accessible. Your Airbnb, a pavilion or a restaurant can be good options. If you're having a backyard elopement consider renting a tent or canopy for guests.
  • Prepare your team. Whether that's your guests, friends/fam, or your vendors; be sure and keep everyone in the loop! Everyone is there to support YOU - so don't be shy about asking for help!

3. Be Flexible

We can plan all we want, but in the end, having a flexible mindset is key to a successful elopement. The reality is, things may not go exactly as we mapped them out. But, that doesn't mean the day can't be just as perfect in its own unique way.

The beauty of elopement is you can most likely rearrange the timeline however and whenever you'd like (giving adequate notice to your vendors of course!) Consider booking 2-day elopement package if you want more flexibility in your timeline. If anything, plan to have an all-day elopement, that way you're not confined to a couple of hours, and at the mercy of the weather for such a short period of time. Soo often the skies clear up after a couple of hours, or the morning will be all sunshine until late afternoon. You never know! Booking your photographer for an extended amount of time gives you more freedom to rearrange things in accordance with the weather conditions.

4. Find Shelter

Okay so maybe the forecast realllyyy isn't letting up, and you can't postpone the time or day. If possible, find locations that have some shelter! This could be a gazebo, a pavilion, a greenhouse; or even some really dense wooded forests can provide protection from a downpour! If you don't have any sort of venue booked for your elopement, talk with your photographer. They may have some ideas for areas that can provide shelter nearby should you need it!

5. Embrace the Rain

Elopement in the rain tips. Bride and groom splashing in the water

Lastly, embrace the rain! Rain can create some of the most beautiful and moody backdrops for your elopement photos. As much as I LOVE those warm, sunny golden hours - overcast lighting can be really nice and romantic! They even say rain on your wedding day is good luck so hey, that's cool!! Don't be afraid to get wet, for at least a portion of your day. Maybe consider having some portraits, or a first look done indoors first. That way you can document yourselves all dry before heading outdoors! Having an elopement on a rainy day really doesn't have to be a bummer. In fact in can be a blast!

I love to approach rainy elopement days with a positive attitude - and if your forecast shows rain I hope you will too! Just remember; the most important thing is that you are marrying your partner, rain or shine.

I hope that answered any questions you may have in regards to what happens if it rains on my elopement day! If you have any other concerns feel free to reach out. PS: Be sure and check out my Winter Elopement Guide if you're wondering what to do in the snow at your elopement!

Happy elopement planning!

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