April Showers and Your Wedding: How to Successfully Plan for Inclement Weather

We’re officially in the midst of Spring (!), otherwise known as one of the historically rainiest times of the year. So, what does this mean for your spring wedding, or getting married in the face of potentially inclement weather in general? These wedding professionals share their tips on forming a ‘plan B’, precautions you should take before committing to an outdoor wedding, and more.

When to Plan for Bad Weather

The short answer: always. Even if you think you’re safe opting for a tropical or sunny locale, you never know what’s going to come your way. Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group notes that weather is unpredictable, and that you should always do your research regardless. “Some destinations are more hurricane-prone, while others are completely out of danger year-round. Even tropical destinations can have inclement weather, ranging from a short sun shower to a tropical rainstorm or more.”

It’s also important to consider that rain shouldn’t be your only concern. According to Heather Rouffe of Atlas Event Rental, “No matter what, you should always have a plan B. Even if it’s not rain, there could be a high wind situation or it could be unusually cold.”

What a ‘Plan B’ Typically Looks Like

Every wedding’s backup plan is going to look different depending on location, but there are some general guidelines that we recommend setting in place. This can be as simple as securing a tent rental, but in more severe cases, it requires a bit more planning.

Kristen Gosselin, owner of KG Events & Design says, “This can include having a separate venue booked in case the event needs to be relocated. For example, when planning events that are taking place in the fall on Martha's Vineyard (hurricane season), we always recommend having a structured venue reserved as a backup location. We especially recommend doing this when it is a tented event that is on or close to the water.”

Above all, consult the employees of the venue where you’re getting married. Velez notes, “Trust the wedding department — they live in the destination year-round and can tell if a rain shower will pass, or if you’ll have to move inside. Luckily, destination wedding resorts are very flexible with their options. You could simply need to move your ceremony time back an hour!”

Precautions and Alternative Options to Consider

If you’re fully committed to having an outdoor wedding no matter what the weather holds, just be mindful that there are precautions you can take in addition to having a worst-case scenario backup plan. For example, keep a watchful eye on the weather leading up to the event and consider alternatives for things like travel that may be affected.

Rouffe advises lining up some key questions before booking your venue, including how inclement weather could potentially affect your vendors. “Go over all of this in advance with your vendors and factor in what your plan B order will be and how it affects your budget. Also, consider if you are happy with this should plan B take place — if not, you may wish to consider another option rather than an outdoor wedding.”

If you’re the budget-conscious type of couple, know that you have alternative options as well! Jamie Chang, creator of Passport to Joy says, “Your plan B doesn't always have to cost you anything (or much). If you don't want to have to worry about any possible plan B costs, choose a wedding venue where you won't have to bring anything in and instead can use a space onsite as your backup. You can also always provide umbrellas, blankets, or misters to help with the weather situation and these items aren't super costly.”

While it does require a bit more legwork to ensure that your wedding remains weather-proof (and dry!), the peace of mind of having a plan set in place to fall back on is invaluable. You’ll be grateful you took the extra steps to do so, and you won’t have a worry in sight on your big day.


Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.