Creating a Plan B (Rain Plan) for an Outdoor Wedding

We get it.  You’ve been dreaming of an outdoor wedding since the day you watched Father of the Bride.  You’ve been scouring Pinterest and seeing beautiful photos of wedding ceremonies in stunning gardens with millions of hydrangeas and beautiful seated dinners under a canopy of string lights.  Sounds amazing right?!  If that’s your wedding vision, we HOPE your wedding day is exactly that!

But the truth of the matter is that we live in Alabama.  In one month we could have temperatures in the 40s, temperatures in the 90s, thunderstorms, tornadoes, tropical storms…and more.  And while we hope that you get to a beautiful wedding day without a cloud in the sky, with highs in the 70s and a perfect sunset, we have to have a plan for if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate.  Here are our best tips for creating a plan B for your outdoor wedding!

  • Start thinking about your plan B BEFORE you book your venue.  We plan for the worst, but hope for the best.  Does your venue have a back-up plan location?  Are you going to have to bring in a tent?  Can the staff accommodate a room flip if necessary?  Make sure you have a plan before you sign on the dotted line with your venue.
  • Book a venue that you will love regardless if you have to enact your Plan B or not.  You don’t want to hate your Plan B and therefore be stressed your entire engagement that it will rain and you’ll hate your venue and design!
  • If your venue can accommodate a room flip (where you have your ceremony and reception in the same space), make sure you understand where your guests will go during the flip and who will be responsible for the flip.  You’ll want to plan a cocktail hour for your guests to attend while the room flip is taking place.
  • Bringing in a tent? Tents are BEAUTIFUL!  But there are lots of things to consider when planning a wedding with a tent.  Is there a large FLAT space where a tent can be installed?  How will you light the tent?  Where will the electricity for the lighting and entertainment under the tent come from?  These are some of the questions you definitely want to ask before committing to a tent.
  • Leave room in your budget for a rain plan. Unfortunately a rain plan is almost always going to cost you some dollars.  If you need to reserve a tent for your backup plan, you’ll need to pay for 50% of it regardless of if you use it or not.  If you need to do a room flip, you’ll need to budget for additional staff and food, drinks, rentals, and decor for cocktail hour.  Don’t let these expenses creep up and surprise you!  Be sure to include these in your initial budget.
  • Think about where your photos will be.  If it’s pouring rain all day and setup is happening inside your venue during photo time, where will you take photos?  Work with your photographer to create a plan for photos should your original plan not work!
  •  Purchase wedding insurance.  Sounds dramatic right?  But think about.  If you’re investing this much money on anything else (jewelry, a vehicle, a house) you’d insure it, right?  For a couple hundred dollars you can protect your financial investment no matter how awful Mother Nature is to you on your wedding day.
  • Don’t let the weather ruin your day!  The weather is the ONE thing you can’t control, and you definitely don’t want to let it ruin your big day! If you go out side your dress might get a little bit dirty.  You might get a little wet.  And you might not have the sunset photos you dreamed of.  But you’re getting married!  And it will be the best day ever, no matter what it looks like outside!


Want to see an example?  We worked with Hillary and Ben to plan a stunning outdoor wedding.  Unfortunately Mother Nature reared her ugly head and Hurricane Nate came through Birmingham, and our outdoor plans had to be moved indoors.  Our plan B was just as amazing as plan A (as it always should be), and their wedding day was absolutely perfect!  See more of that beautiful wedding here!

Here’s hoping that the weather is perfect on your big day and you don’t need a plan B after all!

Photo by AL Weddings

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