“What will I do if it rains?” If you’re saying “I do” in an outdoor ceremony, this thought may run through your head more than once. Preparing a back-up plan is the most important step you can take to be ready for unpredictable weather, and to maintain your sanity leading up to your outdoor event.


Your “In-case-of-rain” plan:

Be familiar with your venue and location.  If you’re not familiar with the area, your wedding planner will be a helpful resource and can help you to research “Plan B” locations. If you’ve planned a ceremony on the beach in St. Joseph, be aware of reception locations such as The Veranda at the Whitcomb or  Shadowland Ballroom. Both are within minutes of the beach and can be found easily by your guests if your ceremony has to be changed to an indoor affair. Also consider using a beach that also has a covered areas, such as Shadowland Pavilion on Silver Beach or the pavilion on Jean Klock Beach. Either can be rented and used in lieu of a wedding out on the sand.

Consider using your reception venue as a ceremony back-up location. If your outdoor ceremony is taking place close to your reception venue, you can easily move indoors. Leave space in front of your head table to serve as an altar. This works well at location such as Millcreek Barns and the Blue Dress Barn, where ceremonies are held outdoors, weather permitting.

Be aware of how your ceremony decorations can fit within your reception. Flowers lining the aisle can be pinned to your head table as decorations. Flowers in mason jars can be incorporated into centerpieces. Special carpeting or petals can be used to define an indoor aisle space. Consider moving your arch or arbor inside, if the venue permits.

Assemble a “rain team”. Your wedding planner will take action at the first hint of inclement weather, but talk with several people who can assist in contacting friends and family, and re-directing guests to the new location. Consider creating a calling tree for family to use in contacting guests about the change in venue!


No snow? No problem! 

Some brides get married in December or January in hopes of creating a winter wonderland wedding. If the skies aren’t offering hopes of snow, plan for ways to still achieve your vision.

Incorporate wintery decorations. White Christmas lights are an easy way to create frosty illusions. Snowflake napkin rings add subtle beauty to your reception. Considering incorporating white branches in your centerpieces to mimic the look of wintery trees.

Utilize your bridal party. Time to get creative! If your perfect wedding day picture includes snow, but the flakes aren’t falling, have white confetti on hand. Your bridal party can toss it around you for a fun and unique picture.

Talk to your photographer about day-after photos. Day-after wedding photos–sometimes called “Trash the Dress” or “encore” sessions– are a popular trend right now, so talk about this possibility with your photographer. Maybe the snowstorm you were counting on will come a day late. You’ll have the pictures you want, and a fun excuse to wear your dress for a second time!


No matter what the skies are holding, if you are prepared with a plan, your wedding day can be just as you envision. We wish you clear and sunny (or snowy) skies on your special day!