When you envision your perfect wedding day, you probably don’t picture a dreary, rainy day. However, for many couples this is a reality. Well have no fear because Amanda Lankarge, a 2022 bride, is here to save the day! Amanda made her rainy wedding day the celebration of her dreams! If you are anxious about the weather forecast for your big day, learn from Amanda as she shares how she came to terms with Mother Nature and shares tips for planning ahead to make the best of your wedding and your wedding photos, even in the rain! Because when life gives you lemons, you’ve just got to make the lemonade of your dreams, and rain might not ruin the day after all!
Meet Amanda – and learn the story about how she got here today!
I got married in 2022 in Newport, Rhode Island. My husband and I were married last fall. The nine months prior to that, I indulged in so much wedding planning. We were so excited and I was working on every detail of the day. Of course, what’s the one detail you can’t control? Mother Nature. She brought rain on my wedding day. Was it expected? No. And was it a little disappointing at first? Absolutely. I mean, it’s not what I envisioned when I pictured my coastal wedding for years and years. But, you know it’s what you make of it. You can’t control it – but how you handle it. So, I’m just really excited to share some tips that I followed to prepare for it.
You think rain is going to be a damper but there’s something so magical about it. And my wedding was still a fairy tale. You know, I worried for so long, like oh my gosh, like it’s just gonna ruin the day. It didn’t whatsoever. We had our perfect fairytale wedding. So I’m hoping that couples that are listening in today can kind of have their mind at ease. As I share my story, share some perspective and hopefully share some tips that are helpful in case you have a wedding that is mainly outdoors and rain happens on your day.
Amanda reached out to us about being on the show and sharing her story. I’m so grateful because in our field, it can be something we take for granted. This is such an important topic! Believe it or not, it actually rained on my wedding day, too. I got married in August – Labor Day weekend. My wedding was outdoor-tented and on the land. Amanda’s was near the water. But, everyone always tells you that rain n your wedding day is lucky. I think they were just trying to make themselves feel better!
Oh my gosh, so many people said that to me. But then I realized that in every Nicholas Sparks movie, there’s a kiss in the rain! Maybe there is something really magical and romantic about it. And there really was it added some character and just this whimsical factor to the day.
Well, let’s jump right in! Can you tell listeners about some questions or things they should be thinking about when planning a potentially rainy wedding day?
Yeah, so my husband and I got engaged in December of 2021. We immediately began wedding planning. From the start, we knew Newport was the spot we were going to get married – and we looked at 7 or 8 venues. Regatta Place really struck us because it was fully coastal – panoramic views of the water around you. You’ve also got the covered boat dock to get married under. We loved it. We say we chose Regatta Place but I think it chose us.
So, I think there’s a question there. When you’re touring places and you’re seeing everything on a nice sunny day, seeing all these photos at golden hour, you need to ask what happens when it rains. What does it look like? Before even signing our contract, I asked my sales director to share rainy wedding photos with us. I never thought we’d actually have a rainy wedding day but I’m glad I asked for those samples. It was nice to get different perspectives on the photos – some brides did clear umbrellas, owned it or just had alternative locations for photos. It’s one thing to ask and be told, but it’s something different to really see it and visualize the difference. Make sure you love the rainy day plan as much as you love the sunny day plan.
I think that’s a really great point that, I mean, obviously, you’re clearly a planner in your mind. Because for you to even think that way prior is such so advanced of sometimes how people are even thinking. So for our listeners, that’s a great suggestion.
Absolutely. I don’t think people sit there and say I hope it rains on my wedding day. Maybe I’m wrong, but it’s important to know you love the plan rain or shine. It just put our mind at ease for whatever Mother Nature brought that day.
When you were looking at those photos that your venue was providing you, what was your main takeaway from them?
I think something that was really critical was that I loved the clear bubble umbrellas. So, I made sure that I got them far in advance. You can wait until the week of and hope they get there on time, but you can’t guarantee it. I knew that if it rained, I wanted to have those umbrellas for photos, bathroom runs, everything. So we bought enough for our wedding party and factored that into the budget. I knew if I didn’t use them, I could return them – no money lost! So a definite take away was being prepared with something I knew I liked: the clear umbrellas.
I think also knowing that if it’s gonna rain, you can’t change it. So, just embrace it. From there, after seeing gallery examples and then getting to the week of my wedding to realize it was going to happen, I was looking at examples online of couples in rainy wedding photos. I used that to bring the rest of our vision to life. Was it exactly what we wanted or planned initially? No. But we embraced it and owned it.
The other thing was to think about if it rains, do you want your photos at your venue or d you want to go somewhere else?
I was just going to say that! You beat me to it, but yes: if it’s going to rain, turn to your resources. Go to your venue, you photographer, videographer – ask them what they suggest for locations. They will be able to help you determine the best spots for those photos. It’s also important to remember there’s a difference between a washout and drizzling on your wedding day.
Yeah, absolutely. On our day, it wasn’t a complete washout. We were able to get through our photos in our ceremony with no rain. I think when you are battling Mother Nature, there are some things you need to be flexible with, with your timeline or different locations for things. But also, it’s important to stay true to yourself to about what are your non negotiables and how to balance the two.
For example, we moved our first look location on the day of our wedding due to impending weather. Did it actually rain during our first look? No, but I knew that our first look location was not right at our wedding venue, it required golf carting over to a different spot. And I knew we were battling the timeline and Mother Nature. So we were flexible. We moved our first look spot to our venue. Now, looking back – we’re glad we did because it was at the spot that we got married!
But even before that decision, my photographer was my right-hand decision maker. She called and said she already had ideas of where to go if we had to move indoors. At our final meeting, she presented the options to us and it was so helpful. So, just know that your vendors are the professionals for a reason. They will work with you and make sure you get the non-negotiable pieces you really want. For me, that non-negotiable was photos with a water backdrop. So, we were really lucky we could do photos on the boat dock under the covering. We were able to still stay true to what we wanted while also being flexible with the day. And I think it’s important to balance the two, if weather is going to impact your day.
I love that. I think that couples need to be realistic and start thinking ahead about things – especially if any component of their wedding day is outdoors. You did this so well – doing research, asking your vendors, preparing, and then knowing your non-negotiables. But, I think there’s also so emotions tied to all of these changes. Can you walk us through what that was like for you?
So, for our wedding – we got married at the end of October. The summer we had was very dry, and all I could think about was: does this mean we’ll have a wet fall? So, I wound up being the bride who was looking at the Farmer’s Almanac and trying to prepare. But, in reality, you can’t trust weather predictions until about 10 days out. We made a weekend out of our wedding and held a welcome dinner Saturday. We had guests so excited because it looked like it was going to be a perfect 70 degree sunny day. The week leading up to the wedding, it was that sunny forecast. So, no pun intended, but I took the weather off my radar in that week leading up. But one night that week, I refreshed the weather app and saw a 70% chance of rain on Sunday. And I was like, what, like, where is this coming from? Then, saw that there was a system coming up the coast that they weren’t really sure how fast it was going to move.
Oh no! That must have been so difficult.
I think it was so disappointing because it was once forecasted to be 70 and sunny, then all of a sudden, we’re a few days before the wedding and it’s changed so drastically. It was a lot for me to process. My husband was telling me and reminding me that it didn’t matter – we’d still get married. In the grand scheme, of course he was right. But, as the bride who has dreamt of my wedding day for years, it took me a little longer to cope and process. I think that processing just looks different for everyone. I had to really sit there and wrap my head around it, knowing I couldn’t change it.
The biggest piece of advice I have for couples: you don’t want the disappointment to linger into your wedding weekend, because you want to make sure that you’re fully present. You want to be able to make those memories – because if you let it damper your experience and cause you stress, it will just be disappointing to look back on later. I may not have totally known that beforehand, but the best thing I did was process that beforehand.
Yes! I think that’s such a great perspective. As a vendor, it’s so interesting to watch, too. Because I can see in phots when someone’s upset or bothered. It really is important to try and work through things beforehand. But, speaking of rainy wedding phots – I think they can be so beautiful and unique.
There’s no shadows the lighting so beautiful, like rainy days can make for some of the most beautiful wedding photos!
People are not blowing smoke – overcast days really are better for photography! I mean, they make for some interesting moments… like when I fell in the mud on my own wedding day. The mud is actually still preserved on my gown, ha! Speaking of: that’s something to talk about. If it’s rainy on your wedding day, your dress is going to get really dirty. I mean, it will whether it rains or not. But, rainy days can make it worse.
Yes! It will absolutely get dirty any wedding day. But, I was lucky – mine didn’t get too dirty. Maybe a little bit on the train. But I was really lucky. I think it’s important to just embrace it: your dress will get wet and dirty. Another thing is hair and makeup. I think that’s something brides get paranoid about. Am I going to look drowned? Am I going to look like I’m rain soaked? And the answer is no. Your professionals are there. It’s funny – there was actually a moment where there were 5 people around me with umbrellas to help make sure nothing happened to my look. So, I know it can be a fear but don’t let it be – you’re going to look gorgeous! By the time you’re dancing, you’re going to be sweaty anyway!!
That reminds me of a small tip! Collect some rainwater from your wedding day. My three children were baptized with rain water from our wedding day.
Oh, my gosh, Sara, I’m so glad you shared that. Because that just makes me so happy. You know. And it’s all about perspective, right? Life gives you lemons make lemonade. You made the best of it. I have friends now that tell me the umbrella photos are their favorites from our wedding day.
We actually worked with our photographer since the two days before the wedding were sunny and she offered to capture some portraits at the venue in case it did rain. We wound up with these beautiful bonus photos. I just wore my rehearsal dress, not my wedding gown, but we still had some of those special photos. So, maybe talk to your photographer about coming to your welcome dinner or rehearsal if it’s possible. Ours also mentioned if I put my flowers in water, I could do my hair and makeup, wear the dress and go out a few days later for photos, too. That wasn’t something I needed, but it’s something to consider. You could also do an anniversary photo shoot in your wedding attire and get some of those photos.
There’s something else I wanted to ask about: wedding insurance. Is this something you took advantage of?
No, I didn’t even know about that!
So, in our contracts we encourage clients to take advantage of wedding insurance. It’s a small cost – but speak to your own insurance company (yes! The one you get home insurance from). There’s so many reasons to consider it – weather, COVID, really anything that could cause a cancellation. Basically, it helps protect the couple if they decide not to move forward because of whatever reason that’s preventing them from having their wedding, they can get a portion of their money back. It’s a whole other topic – but just something I wanted to mention.
It’s so funny that you say that because at our wedding because it rained, we had a very unique situation. My husband is the lead singer in a band and they were performing a set. They kicked off the reception, actually, before we transitioned to a DJ. But, in the middle of the band’s performance, a fuse blew. It didn’t impact the DJ or lights, but it messed up the band. We all laughed and our DJ transitioned things for us, but things can absolutely happen!
What are some key points that couples should be asking and thinking about to prepare themselves for non-ideal weather on their wedding day?
Make sure you have a plan A and B that you love.
Be flexible, while also really staying true to what it is that you want that day. Let your vendors help you navigate your non-negotiables. They’re professionals for a reason.
Take the time to process the change in weather before your wedding day. Get what you need to make the day happen the way you want. But know that no matter what – it will still be a fairy tale.
Just embrace it. It’s your day. And you know, it sounds cliche, but when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Our wedding was the best possible lemonade and perspective, and attitude is everything.
What We Discussed
Meet Amanda + Her story (1:42)
Tips for planning, rain or shine (8:29)
Non-negotiables on a wedding day (14:19)
How to deal with disappointment (18:52)
Muddy wedding dresses (27:36)
Wrap-Up Question (37:22)
Links Mentioned in the Episode
Amanda’s wedding photos by Faith Dugan Photography
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