Brides in Cornwall and Devon

Planning For a Wet Wedding

How to plan for a wet wedding

Worried the weather will rain on your parade? Learn to embrace the elements with a little help from Wed's wet wedding wisdom...


Worried the weather will rain on your parade? Learn to embrace the elements with a little help from Wed's wet wedding wisdom...

Rain on your wedding day. According to Alanis Morissette, a matter of reflective irony. For the rest of us, a nuptial wild card to be treated with primal dread.



Tyron Mackenzie

Put simply: the great British weather cannot be trusted. After countless hours planning, coordinating, choosing and negotiating, it seems so unjust that your wedding can be sabotaged by erratic storm fronts from the North Atlantic.


But what sense is there in stressing over something about which you have no control? In fact, why are sunny weddings any more desirable than rainy ones? Did 'Singin' in the Rain' do nothing for the downpour's public image?! An increasing number of couples are now opting for winter dates, taking the chance to save money on suppliers, and instead focussing on creating a snug and cosy venue inside.  

If you can't bring yourself to hope for rain, what you can do (as the old adage goes), is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst - and we're here to help you do just that. 


Picshore Photography

CONTINGENCY, CONTINGENCY, CONTINGENCY

It's easy to see why people bury their heads in the sand, like a superstition: "if I plan for rain, the universe will give it to me." But when it comes to budget, don't relegate wet weather contingencies to a 'would like to have'; your guests will thank you for it!

It's not possible to hold an outdoor wedding with no solid back-up planning - "Plan B is very often the new Plan A!" says Tracy Edwards at Blue Fizz Events (bluefizzevents.co.uk). "So why not embrace the idea of 'romance in the rain?'"

Top tips: the basics

    Umbrellas. Lots of them. According to Tracy, umbrellas can make all the difference. Having baskets of brollies is a simple contingency plan; they keep your guests dry and if the skies stay clear, a canopy of hanging, colourful umbrellas can look spectacular. Inspire Hire (inspire-hire.co.uk) has a selection of umbrellas available to hire, from classic ivory to punchy patterned designs.
    Speaker system. Summer weddings tend to take place in marquees, and when battered by the wind, they make an almighty noise. A microphone and speaker system will ensure the speeches still get heard.
    Comfort food. If the ten-day forecast is looking really grim, call your caterer. They could potentially change summer salads and couscous for something more warming.
    Wardrobe enhancements. Ask your bridal boutique about adding small hooks so you can lift the dress as you travel over damp ground; a pair of welly boots add an extra dimension to photos, while waterproof make-up will prevent panda eyes.
    Make it a part of the day. The best way to beat the rain is to go all-out to include it. Think little umbrellas in drinks, hurricane lamps, table flowers in welly boots - the works.


Picshore Photography

BRIDE IN BOOTS
Team your frock with a fabulous pair of wellies. From elegant ivory styles with bows to pastel pink and multi-coloured designs, these cute boots from Funky Wellington Boots are just the ticket for radiant rainy day style.
www.funky-wellington-boots.co.uk





AL FRESCO LOCATIONS
We're a little more restricted than our American cousins; we can't just arrange a pop-up wedding wherever we feel like, as ceremonies must take place within a permanent, licensed structure.

There are dozens of breathtaking outdoor venues in Devon (many of them right here in these pages), but each will have a 'wet weather' option. You'll know you've found the right location when the thought of actually using it doesn't give you a pang of disappointment.

It is always worth doing your research; if a venue only shows images of sun-kissed exteriors, try to find others yourself; someone will have had a rainy wedding their before - and Google can usually find them.

Jenny Phipps of Jenny Wren Weddings and Events (jennywrenweddingsandevents.co.uk) ensures all her brides have thoroughly investigated the compromises involved if things have to be moved inside.  "Pretty gardens are lovely, but if you can't use them you don't want to be stuck in a stuffy function room or a bar without any character," she says.


Hayley Savage

Top Tips: location
    Kid's corner. If you had planned garden games to keep the little ones entertained, Jenny suggests a 'quiet corner' somewhere in the venue.  "Books, games and beanbags will be popular, and give them a chance to crash out and have a snooze."
    Talk to the registrar. When you meet, try to stress how much you want the ceremony be outside (whatever the weather). Rattle through all your preparations for if the heavens open (maybe even put a brolly or two aside for them as well!).

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY

Your wedding day will zip by in a flash; when the clouds disperse and the brollies dry, photographs and video will be your chance to relive the whole day again. And whether you like it or not, the rain was a part of what made your day so special.

Anyone who has seen Richard Curtis' 'About Time' (shot in Cornwall) will know how ethereal and dramatic a good shower can be. Photographer Paul Keppel (paulkeppel.co.uk) is keen to reiterate the 'don't fret' message. "If it rains on your wedding day, try not to see it as a bad thing. It just gives your photographer a chance to be more creative - so don't be afraid to go outside."  

Paul even suggests that, in some cases, a rainy day can make for better photographs than clear blue skies and blazing sunshine. "Clouds give a really soft light as opposed to harsh shadows from the sun, and, with HDR (high dynamic range) pictures, they can give a really stunning, dramatic look. Or if it's really hammering down, we can set up a remote flash behind the couple and light up the rain itself - it looks stunning!"


Hayley Savage

Top Tips: photo and video
    Check your suppliers' equipment is 'weather sealed'. Most professional grade cameras and lenses will be pretty robust, so nothing short of a full typhoon should stop them from venturing outside. Do you really want a supplier that can't withstand a bit of mizzle?
    Discuss the wet weather plan in detail. Most suppliers will do a site visit with you, or have already worked at a location before. Discuss all eventualities: showers, downpours, even mist! Then plan exactly where the photos will take place: locations, timings, crazy/creative ideas, right down to who will hold the dress for you!

A FEW DROPS OF HOPE

No, you can't control the skies, but you can certainly make the best of what you've got. A rainy wedding is considered good luck in Hindu tradition, symbolising fertility and purification, and Jenny certainly agrees that your attitude is more important than the weather itself.

"I've seen couples become obsessed with their 'wedding forecast'. Yes, it's good to have an idea of what to expect, but don't get too hung up on it. If you pin all your hopes on glorious sunshine, you'll only feel let down, affecting your overall mood on the day."

If all else fails, these last top tips should hopefully cheer you up...

Top Tips: thinking positive

    Italians (who are, admittedly, accustomed to better weather) have a saying: 'Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunate'. Or 'wet bride, lucky bride'.
    Remember this as the rain falls: a dry rope might be easier to handle. But the wet knot is harder to undo.


Hayley Savage


SMILIN' IN THE RAIN
Rebecca Ritson didn't let some Cornish showers rain on her parade....

We woke to a gorgeously sunny day: blue skies across the moors; garden games on the lawns. However, by 2pm the humidity had crept up, bringing with it intermittent, but heavy, showers. This meant we couldn't get married as I'd wished: outside under my mum's lovingly decorated arbour.

However, the Trevenna team and my bridesmaids brought in all the flowers we'd used to decorate the venue the previous night (we hired Trevenna for two nights) and we had already placed battery powered candles in the sconces on the wall, strung fairy lights down the stairs and hung a garland my mum made from leaves and flowers across the lintel above the aisle. It looked lovely.

Although I would have loved to be outside, the rain couldn't spoil the day. The showers blew in and out, so between spells of rain we got some gorgeous shots under the arbour and in the trees. The pictures with the white umbrella form some of my favourite shots.

And, I would never complain about the rain...because, after the ceremony, we were blessed with a stunning double rainbow. Priceless.

words Christopher Wasey

Copyright Wed magazine 2014


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