Here comes the rain…wait…I mean bride!
A rainy wedding day.
The Sunshine Coast is such a beautiful part of the world. From the hinterland rolling hills dotted with cute towns such as Maleny, Montville and Mapleton to the gorgeous stretches of beach. The past few years have seen so much rain delivered to the coast and today was no exception. However, despite the wintery 17 degree maximum and pouring rain I decided to head down to the beach for a run with Gracie (some clients may know of my beautiful Blue Staffy child!). Here I was, on the beach and in the rain and it made me remember my wedding day in which it poured raining. Like, Noah and his Ark style rain – it was ridiculous.
The Queensland summer’s day started out beautiful with a few dotted fluffy clouds passing around the sky aimlessly. The conversation of if it was going to rain throughout the ceremony frequently arose between my best friend and I and each time came to an inconclusive answer. The makeup artist and the hair stylist all arrived (yes – I wanted to be pampered on my big day and didn’t want to do my own makeup!) and the sky was looking good. As I was leaving and heading to the ceremony, I was feeling good about the weather. A few sprinklings of rain didn’t drown my spirits and I was hopeful to have the beautiful garden wedding under the gazebo as planned many months prior. It was a stunning set up in my mind – beautiful petals scattered down the isle, a stunning view of the Glass House Mountains for the guests to googly over before I arrived and little cute baskets holding my DIY rose petal cones ready to be thrown in joy.
As the wedding car approached Maleny, I noticed a HUGE looming black storm cloud over the horizon of the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland. Here it came! I rocked up in the red convertible Mercedes to which the owner of the ceremony location ran out and asked before I got out of the car to walk down the isle ‘we are considering moving your ceremony inside, the weather is not looking too good’. …..I had to agree. What was before a storm cloud on the horizon had now approached to be a green, lightning filled fury from the heavens! I told the driver to drive around the block a few times to give everyone a chance to move to the back porch of the restaurant and then I made my grand entrance!
Things went well throughout the ceremony – the shade cloth above me was holding back some of the rain as we read our vows. Every so often I would feel a drop or two on my shoulder as it soaked through. I looked at my husband and just giggled at the luck of having a summer Queensland storm rolling over you whilst you are pledging your life to one another. But in luck, the ceremony finished and as we were pronounced husband and wife, the crowd joined us quite quickly as we all dashed down the makeshift isle to get inside out of the rain. And did it rain! It poured the whole night of the reception inside the restaurant from where we had the ceremony. This meant: no outdoor photos of the wedding and guests, no garden shots, sunset shots. I was determined to get at least one shot inside the gazebo we were suppose to be in so I trudged out in the rain. This also meant my hair falling out of its curls but luckily my makeup was fine (one thing I was sure to keep dry!).
I’ve been at countless wedding preparations as a makeup artist where the chance of rain as threatened to put a dampener on the day (excuse the pun). I’ve seen brides cope really well and some not so much. For those of you planning an outdoor wedding and you happen to encounter a ghastly tropical storm, torrential rain or even a flood. Here are some tips I found whilst trolling the internet:
1. Your not alone!
Rain on your wedding day means the atmosphere was sufficiently unstable to support enough rising air and consequently, precipitation. It is quite a common thing. What else could it mean?
Your wedding day was someone else’s funeral, another person’s graduation, another person’s car accident, and just another day for another 60 million people who experienced rain that day.
As we all tell ourselves to make us feel not so upset or stressed, in some cultures rain is good luck. It can represent cleansing or a stronger unity in the marriage. The Hindus originate that belief that a wet knot is harder to untie. Since marriage is often referred to as tying the knot. Rain also is a symbol of fertility to agricultural farmers. Crops were and are the main source of stability and income so it was thought to provide a long happy marriage!
Try not to stress – have a back up plan and regardless of rain, hail or shine: You will get married. You will have fun. Everyone will enjoy your wedding.
2. Clouds and Rain can make EXCELLENT wedding photography.
Sunny days are beautiful things, but the harshness of the sun can sometimes hinder a spectacular shot. Photographers are pretty crafty these days and are able to overcome this but as a photographer, we always look for the days that are cloudy to produce some stunning dramatic shots.
Here are a few shots from local Sunshine Coast Photographer Artography where clouds and rain have worked a treat. Maleny is such a gorgeous place for rainy weather photography! You can checkout their blog HERE.
3. Prepare for the unexpected: must-have items.
Okay, you want an outdoor wedding on the beach and the forecast is 90% chance of rain 10 days out. Don’t leave it to the last minute to plan an alternative. You don’t have to break the budget to make sure your guests aren’t drowned rats by the time the champagne starts flowing.
Umbrellas: You can pick up an awesome Umbrella or 10 for AUS$2.99 from ikea! If you buy a bunch of these and pop them near the entrance for the guests they are guaranteed to feel a lot more calm when the fluffy greys start looking threatening.
Gumboots have come of age lately with some gorgeous styles available. They can be quite a fun addition to your bridal party and very effective in photography. You can pick up a pair at Target for as low as $14.99 or for those wanting a bit more quality go online to the Wellies website.
4. Backup Ceremony Location
For the more temporary and small chance of rain scenarios, think about having decorated a few undercover areas near your outdoor ceremony location if the weather forecast is bleak. Somewhere guests can get to quickly if it does decide to rain. Gazebos, shelters and even woody areas where trees are dense can help keep you and your guests dry. You can actually purchase or hire portable gazebos and tents for quick assembly too and make them look quite nice! A few hundred dollars spent can save a lot of stress!
For the “its going to rain cats and dogs’ scenario, you need to be ready. Have a chat to your reception location (pray that is indoors!) and ask them about using it as a back up plan to your ceremony in case it rains. Most of the time, they are quite understanding to how important your wedding day is and will try as hard as possible to make it perfect.
5. Collect your luck!
Sunshine Coast based wedding consultant Michelle Brodie from Our Wedding Consultant and creator of a fantastic wedding organizing ‘Your Perfect Day’ suggests a fantastic idea to keep a special memory of your wet wedding day. Why not bottle that heavenly rain and keep it as a memento! Turn an old light bulb into a rain holder and preserve a little bit of your wedding day to hang each Christmas on the tree maybe?
6. Keep Calm and Party!
Keep your attitude cool, calm and collected (including you bridal party!). You are marrying the man of your dreams, your family and friends are there to celebrate and everyone is going to enjoy it regardless. They will just have a few extra stories about the weather!
In the end, I was happy to have an amazing wedding and enjoyed the company of family and friends. I got married and that was the whole plan. Everything else (wet wedding shoes included) was a bonus to make it a memorable day!
What was your experience with a rainy weather wedding and could you suggest anything else to make it more bearable?
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