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  • Writer's pictureSTP Weddings

Weather Back Up Plan

While we hope this isn't a plan that has to get put into place, it is always important to think about a back up plan in case of weather. Here are a few areas of your day that you will want to have a plan in place for prior to your wedding day. [Photo by Endless Wave Studios]


If your ceremony is in an outdoor space, you will definitely want to have an alternative option. If it is at a venue, your venue can take you through the backup options and help you decide which would make the most sense for you and your guests. It is important to ask your venue for the time that you need to decide by. If your outdoor ceremony is scheduled for 5PM and there is a 40% chance of rain during that time, it may shift as you get closer. For this reason, it's crucial to know what time your venue will allow you to have until to make the final decision. Some venues have the capacity to setup both an indoor and outdoor space, while others do not.

Additionally, with a venue, you will want to make sure that all of your guests will be able to fit in the new space. It is also always good to confirm that there isn't a charge for changing to an indoor space if necessary.

For a church ceremony, you may want to consider purchasing some umbrellas for your wedding party, depending on how far the walk is from the vehicle to the church door. If you buy them on Amazon as your wedding nears, you are usually able to return them if you don't end up needing them. White or clear umbrellas are a great choice!

If you are hosting your ceremony completely outdoors with no indoor backup option, reserving a tent from a rental company is probably a smart decision. That way, if the weather is looking bad as your approach your day, you can pull the trigger on the tent. If a tent isn't in the cards for whatever reason, try to provide enough umbrellas for your guests as well as some towels to wipe off seats.

Cocktail Hour

Similar to your ceremony, talk to your venue about your options here. Often an inside cocktail hour may mean doubling up on the ballroom space. This can get tricky so listen to the venues plan and work with your wedding planner (or directly with your vendors if you don't have a planner) to communicate how this could work.


For an outdoor reception with a tent, you'll want to make sure the tent company provided you with tent walls. Talk to your caterer in advance as well to discuss any challenges they may have for getting to and from a cook tent (or kitchen) with bad weather. Take the time to also consider your guests and how they will be moving from space to space (parking to cocktail to reception). Umbrellas or a long tent to cover a walkway might make sense.


It's likely that your plan is to take photos outside, whether it be near your ceremony, at your reception venue or at an off-site location. It is important to talk to your photographer in advance about back up locations near each of your photo spots. If they are familiar with the photo locations, they may already have ideas in mind. If not, next time you are at the spot, take a look around and see if there are any covered areas that may be a good option. Your venue may also be able to provide insight on some good back up options within their space.

Stop Reading the Forecast!

For real guys, stop reading the forecast. It's nearly impossible not to but over the years, we've finally gotten to the point where we have stopped checking the forecast until a day or two before. It changes constantly and it will drive you crazy. We've even been in situations where the morning of the wedding day it says there will be afternoon showers and they never happen. It is always both directions! You should have a back up plan in place even if it is 0% chance of rain. Knowing that you are prepared will help to keep you calm if rain does decide to show up. Be confident in your plan and you'll be able to make the best of any situation!


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