March 1, 2020
Planning your big day and looking for rainy wedding day advice? Four Chicago-area couples share their real experiences with rain on their wedding day.
Jamie & Tommy
Wedding Month: June
Wedding Venue: Michigan Shores Club
The Rain: Scattered showers started off the day for this North Shore bride. Jamie chose an indoor ceremony and reception, knowing it would put her type-A personality at ease. While she felt anxious about bad weather during her months of wedding planning, she remembers not caring nearly as much as she thought she would when it rained. The rain continued on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon.
How We Handled It: Bridesmaid photos were scheduled for early afternoon, before the ceremony. Jamie also wanted photos with her immediate family. Because of the rain, we relied on our backup plan: using the gorgeous East Porch inside the Michigan Shores Club.
This room worked well for photos because it was spacious, and had large windows that let in natural light, and light colored stone walls. We were able to take beautiful photos with all the bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearers, and immediate family.
When we caught a break in the rain, we hurried outside for a few outdoor photos too! The rain passed by dinner time and we made sure to take plenty of pretty outdoor photos before the sun set.
Jamie & Tommy’s Advice: “You already have so much to worry about – let your vendors handle the rain stress and just enjoy your day! It really goes by in a flash and it’s a day you can’t re-do, so make sure to enjoy every second.”
Taylor & Andy
Wedding Month: November
Wedding Venue: Chevy Chase Country Club
The Rain: Winter weddings can be unpredictable – it could be snowy and cold, rainy and windy, or even 65 degrees! Taylor approached planning with a mindset of not fixating on circumstances outside of her control. She eased any nerves by asking her vendors to help create backup plans.
On Taylor and Andy’s day, pockets of rain and light mist popped up all throughout the day. The heaviest rain showed up right after their ceremony, as guests gathered outdoors for their bubble exit. Looking back, Taylor says: “I was the happiest I have ever been on my wedding day. Everything felt perfect. Even rain.”
How We Handled It: Scattered rain always gives good opportunities for outdoor portraits – if you can work quickly. Taylor’s bridesmaids and Andy’s groomsmen were on top of their roles, helping to make the most of the small windows of time we had for portraits before the ceremony. We stayed close to shelter, used umbrellas, and laid down towels in the wet grass for the girls to stand on.
After the ceremony, my team passed out clear umbrellas to protect bridesmaids hair and makeup as Taylor and Andy exited the church. Those exit photos are some of my favorites!
On the way to the reception, I tracked the radar and kept an eye on our timeline to estimate how we should prioritize the remaining pictures. The rain cleared enough for us to take full wedding party photos, and bride and groom portraits at their venue before the sun went down.
Taylor & Andy’s Advice: “Weather is the area that you need to give yourself a break. Allow yourself to worry (minimally) but not get overwhelmed by the idea of what COULD happen. Focus on who you are marrying and why you’re marrying this person. Lean on your vendors and know you’ve done everything you can. YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED!!”
Nicole & Adrian
Wedding Month: June
Wedding Venue: Oak Brook Bath & Tennis Club
The Rain: Nicole was very intentional in her wedding planning. She wanted an outdoor ceremony, but was careful to choose a venue that offered multiple backup options in case of rain. When the forecast called for a chance of storms, she chose to move her lakeside ceremony to the outdoor patio to be safe. Seconds before she walked down the aisle, a drizzle started to fall.
How We Handled It: When it started to rain, Nicole almost panicked. But before walking down the aisle, she took a moment to remind herself that everything would be ok and accepted the sprinkles as a sign from her dad in Heaven.
When I saw guests starting to move to avoid getting wet, I quickly worked with Nicole & Adrian’s planner, Sarah Kathleen Events. Together we passed out my collection of umbrellas, so guests could stay at their seats and witness the vows. Eventually, the sprinkles stopped and these two shared their first married kiss!
Looking back, they laugh at the rain, and say they hardly remember it.
Nicole’s Advice: “You can’t change the weather. Keep positive and have options if it does rain. I promise at the end of the day, regardless if it rains or not, you will not remember it. You will remember being surrounded by the people you love.”
Megan & Scott
Wedding Month: September
Wedding Venue: Independence Grove
The Rain: Megan and Scott planned an outdoor ceremony, making sure to choose a venue that would have good indoor backup options in case of rain. While Megan worried a little during their wedding week, she avoided checking the forecast so she wouldn’t feel extra stress.
The morning of the wedding, it rained heavily. While Megan was tempted to feel bummed, she reminded herself that she would be getting married, no matter what the weather was doing. When the ceremony had to be moved indoors, her support system of friends, family, and vendors helped her stay optimistic and fully enjoy the wedding experience.
How We Handled It: It was pouring as we drove to Megan and Scott’s first look. We waited in the car, and after a few minutes the rain became less intense. Megan and Scott decided to still do their first look outdoors, using the clear umbrellas I provided.
Looking back, Megan says: “I absolutely LOVE our photos in the rain. Honestly, some of my favorite wedding photos are ones with Kristen’s umbrellas. We received so many compliments with our umbrella photos and they really did add a nice touch – and kept us so dry!”
The reception building at Independence Grove also had a few covered outdoor areas. We used these for portraits of Megan and Scott, their bridesmaids, and their groomsmen. We also took a few cute pictures on their wedding trolley! When the rain let up, we had plenty of options nearby for group pictures.
At sunset, we had clear skies for a few more portraits. Even though it poured for much of the day, we made the most of every opportunity!
Megan & Scott Say: “Kristen was SO extremely calm in the whole situation and made the most of it. I never felt stressed or bummed because of the rain. She helped embrace the moment and provided us with the best umbrellas and helped make sure my husband and I felt comfortable with every situation.”
Megan & Scott’s Advice: “Don’t check the weather a month ahead of your wedding for an outdoor ceremony. The weather is always changing and it is something out of your control. Know that NO matter what, you WILL get married and you will have your special day. Everyone kept telling us rain is good luck on your wedding day and I really believe that. It honestly added a nice touch with the umbrellas and without the rain, I would not have these unique photos. Focus on the day itself rather than the weather and know that no matter what, Kristen will help you through it all.”
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