Does a rain backup really matter that much?

posted 3 years ago in Ceremony
  • poll: What do we do about the site without a backup ceremony rain space?
    Have everyone sit at the reception tables : (24 votes)
    56 %
    Have a standing ceremony in the cocktail space : (9 votes)
    21 %
    Find another site for the ceremony with an indoor option and keep the reception on site : (3 votes)
    7 %
    Find another site entirely, for both the ceremony and reception : (4 votes)
    9 %
    A creative option I'll explain to you in the comments : (3 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 3
    686 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Our venue doesn’t have an ideal rain back-up option, it didn’t bother me at the top as i loved the venue, but as it gets closer i’m starting to wonder if maybe i should have thought that through a little more! Is there somewhere that you could make arrangements to have on standby in case it does rain but not have to use if it doesn’t? good luck, it’s all these logistical things that wear you out pretty quick!

    Post # 4
    411 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    could you possibly put up a tent over the center area and then have large outdoor umberllas for guests? I know these are sun umbreallas but you get the idea.

    Post # 5
    187 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    First of all, totally gorgeous ceremony site!  I really hope you don’t have to worry about the rain!


    I don’t think a standing ceremony is a terrible idea as long as it’s relatively short, and you provide chairs for older relatives that will need them.  This just happened to my DH and I last week.  We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony site picked out, and it literally only rained from 1-1:30 which was the time of our ceremony! We ended up having the ceremony in the same room where we had our reception and it turned out just fine.  They pushed the tables towards the back of the room, and set up the chairs as they normally would for a ceremony.  Could your venue do something like that?  You said there was another room where the cocktail hour will be.  Could they have the ceremony in the reception room and set it up normally, and then during the cocktail hour set it up for dinner?  I personally wouldn’t want to go out now and find an alternate ceremony site because I think that will just cause more stress for you.  Whatever you decide to do your ceremony will still be beautiful and you will still be marrying your best friend! 🙂

    Post # 6
    121 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

    I voted standing as long as the ceremony is short and there’s chairs for those that need them.

    Post # 8
    1590 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Everyone is different. To me it did. We’re getting married in March and I wanted a nice indoor ceremony option.

    Post # 9
    926 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Back up for weather was a must on my list (it ended up being the deciding factor on our venue choice)!  Our venue would set up chairs in aisles like ceremony style in the reception hall.  They would not have the dinner tables out yet.  Then after the ceremony when people disperse for cocktails and mingling, the venue would turn over the same room into the reception space, adding the tables, chairs, linens, etc.  Could yours do this?

    Post # 10
    388 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    We chose our wedding venue because of the view….  We had the same concerns, there wasn’t a rain back up plan.  The only option for a massive downpour would have been to go under the reception pavilion with a view of the back of a house.  It was a risk, but it ended up working out.  We don’t have too many washout days in this area in the month we got married, so we just went with it and hoped for the best.  If the weather had started looking bad in the 10 day forcast I would have gone into panic redecorating mode…. but really we needed just 15 minutes without a downpour, so even if the forecast had called for light rain it would have stilll worked.  


    Post # 11
    1793 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Last Fall there was a bride on the knot who did not have a Plan B for rain for her outdoor wedding.  She deeply regretted it because it DID rain and they had to scramble to find a place to cram everyone in and do a quick ceremony.  It was far from what she had envisioned for her ceremony, it was very rushed and she was very disappointed.

    When any of our girls are planning a wedding they know that if they want an outdoor wedding they HAVE to budget in a plan B (we pay for their wedding) or we don’t move forward with plans.  

    Post # 12
    9859 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    would it be possible to have the reception tables pushed against the walls and the chairs set in rows for the ceremony, then you go and have your cocktail hour and the tables are shifted into place? 

    I’ve seen this done for many venues where one space does double duty!

    Post # 13
    3635 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    You have to have a plan B that you’re ok with just for your own sanity.  You can tell yourself a million times that it won’t rain, but when there’s a 10% chance in the 10-day forecase you will freak.the.fuck.out.  Promise.  I knew it wouldn’t rain, but I was totally chill with the idea that it might, because our backup space was almost as gorgeous as our ceremony space.  It was just a little cramped and people would have to shuffle around a little while they set up the bar and dinner tables, etc. 

    FWIW, it would have been standing, also.  Our ceremony would have been if it was almost 100deg and I decided at the last minute to rent chairs for everyone (there were 10 already for the old and infirm). 

    Post # 14
    7281 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    A rain back-up plan thst you are happy with doesn’t matter…. right up until the moment that you need it. The real question is… what kind of bride are you. Are you the kind of bride who needs things to look just right and go according to your plan? Or are you the eff it, I don’t give a crap kind of bride who easily rolls with the punches and is thrilled just as long as she gets to say “I do!”? If you are the “just right and according to plan” bride/couple, then make sure that you like the rain back-up just as much as you like the original plan. If you are the “eff it” bride/couple, then you will probably be safe going with a venue whose rain plan is not quite to your liking.

    I was a “just right and according to plan” bride, so I chose an indoor ceremony that was surrounded by windows (even the roof was entirely glass). I got the feel of an outdoor ceremony with the full control of an indoor ceremony. I seriously would not have been able to sleep for months before the wedding if we had planned an outdoor ceremony. The chance for things to go wrong would have been too much for my type A personality.

    I was recently MOH in an outdoor ceremony wedding. The bride tried to pretend that she was an “eff it” bride, but she wasn’t… at all. And when the rehearsal day happened, and it was snowing at the beach when the average temp was supposed to be 62 degrees she lost it. Full on ‘zilla. We set up the indoor ceremony without even telling her because she refused to accept that her outdoor ceremony plan wasn’t going to happen. And the next day, when it was 48 degrees with 15mph winds coming off of the ocean she kept walking outside to “check the temperature” and got more depressed as the morning wore on. It was her wedding day, and she was just so sad because her plan didn’t work out the way she hoped that it would. I finally had to sit her down and tell her that the ceremony would be inside, that she was not allowed to “check the temperature” anymore, and that it was high time to get over it so that she could enjoy the day. It’s been months since the wedding, and she is still disappointed because she just didn’t like the back-up plan that had to be devised.

    So really ask yourself what kind of bride/couple you are, what level of risk you can tolerate, and go from there. Good luck!

    Post # 15
    3514 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Get a tent!

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