As an independent celebrant, based in Snowdonia I specialise in outdoor ceremonies. One of the biggest uncertainties when planning an outside ceremony is undoubtedly the weather. With Snowdonia being one of the wettest places in the UK, yes, your concerns are warranted!
But, as with everywhere else in the UK, the rainfall is seasonal, with the highest rainfall between October-January. Interestingly if you are considering a wedding in North Wales, rainfall on Anglesey is significantly lower, due to the low, flat landscape.
No one wants to consider rain, or even snow, on their wedding day. Although your vision consists of blue sky and sunshine, planning for adverse weather should be part of your wedding preparations. If you can, start planning early - it will save you a lot of last-minute stress.
Here are some things to consider in your preparations:
Venue: If you are getting married at a venue, then make sure you have made an adverse weather plan with them. Ask about timescales – when do you need to decide on the location of the ceremony - indoors or outdoors? Has the venue allocated a private area for you if you do move inside?
Outdoor shelter: Ask your venue if they have a gazebo or marquee that can be erected in case of rain. If you are getting married on a beach or some more rural, then consider investing in a white gazebo as a backup plan. Have your best men on standby on the morning of the wedding!
Celebrant or Registrar: If you have chosen a celebrant led wedding, the celebrant will have flexibility in their timings and so, if you need to have a rain check for half an hour, this should be possible. If you have booked a registrar, they will likely have less flexibility with their timings, as they often have multiple ceremonies in one day.
Footwear: Have alternative footwear at the ready. Depending on your own style and wedding theme, consider boots, walking boots, white wellingtons or even a matching pair for you both.
Umbrellas: Although obvious, these will save you and your guests if you have no undercover alternative for the ceremony. Think big, white or clear golfing umbrellas. Have a look online for wedding-specific options!
Consider your guests: Give your guests a “heads up” on their invite with an “in case of rain” note. That way they will be prepared for you. Consider providing extra blankets, towels or umbrellas to stop guests from getting cold.
Photography: Speak with your photographer. If you have chosen an outdoor location, cloudy skies can often create a great atmosphere and the photographer will know how to make the most of the light. Make sure you have discussed your desired shots before the day, so the photographer can adapt their plan accordingly.
Work with all your vendors: Will your plan for flowers work in case of rain? Have you booked musicians to perform outside? – what will happen if you move to an indoor space? Consider waterproof make-up and hairstyles that will hold in the damp air.
All your vendors will be wedding professionals, and no doubt will have encountered bad weather before, but it is important to have a conversation with them regarding how they will deal with your special day.
Organise your groomsmen/bridesmaids: Make sure you've allocated tasks and the whole wedding party knows what to do if rain arrives. Plan, allocate tasks and communicate before the day so everyone is prepared!
But most of all…. remember to take it all in your stride and stay positive. It’s completely normal to be a little upset about rain, but don’t let that feeling consume you. If you can stay upbeat, your guests will too. After all, it is supposed to be good luck if it rains on your wedding day. So, embrace it! If you’ve planned well, the photos will be beautiful, and your wedding will be memorable, intimate and romantic whatever the weather!