bride and groom under an umbrella

Dear Christie | What if it Rains at My Outdoor Mountain Wedding?

advice for rainy day weddingsImage by melissa marie photography exclusively for Mountainside Bride

Dear Christie,

I found your website as I was searching for Blowing Rock videography…let me start of with introducing myself…my name is Dunja (pronounced doon-ya) and I am getting married May 3,2014. I’m so nervous considering we have 192 days till our mountain wedding! We have ceremony and reception venue in place but pretty much nothing else…haha! I am also very nervous because our ceremony will be outside…so since it is beginning of May I am hoping it won’t rain that much…not sure what we are going to use for our decorations or anything…if you have any any any advice please share….I am looking forward to hearing from you!


rainy wedding day bride and groom with blue umbrellaImage by Concept Photography exclusively for Mountainside Bride

Dear Dunja,

How exciting! I was a May bride in western North Carolina as well! I think May is an amazing time to get married there. The trees are greening up and there are flowers everywhere!

That’s the good news.

The bad news is you cannot control the weather. I lived for four years in western North Carolina. During that time, I’ve seen it rain every weekend in May, and I’ve also seen it perfectly dry and sunny for weeks. That is the way of the mountains. One minute it’s sunny, the next it’s pouring, or snowing, or hailing. You just can’t predict what will happen. This is not meant to freak you out; it’s just meant to prepare you.

But here’s the deal: Worrying about the weather won’t change a thing EXCEPT your stress level and your ability to enjoy yourself during what can be a magical time. And I’ll tell you this: look through the hindsight advice from real weddings and, rain or shine, one of the biggest hindsight regrets mountain brides have is worrying about the weather. Why?  Because worrying won’t stop the rain, nor will it may it sunny.

My advice to you is spend less energy worrying and more energy working out a Plan B with your planner. I’ve written a post about creating a Plan B, especially for mountain brides. Basically, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, splurge of a tent or have an alternative indoor venue nearby. Even if it doesn’t rain, a tent will protect your guests and your food (including your wedding cake) from the sun, which can start getting strong in May.

Another piece of advice is to remember that your wedding will be perfect not matter what, but only if you let it. Yes little things will go wrong here and there, but that doesn’t mean you can’t love every minute of your day. And it doesn’t mean you’ll have to look back on your wedding with regret. I’m reminded of my in-laws who experienced one disaster after another befall them on their wedding day: pesticide poisoning, hangovers, gale-force wind, you name it!. Thirty years later, it’s a story they laugh over. They’re still in love, and the perfection of their wedding (or not) had nothing to do with the rest of their life together: Read their crazy wedding story HERE.

Finally, I’ll end with some more good news. Rainy day weddings can be beautiful. The diffused light makes for gorgeous photography, and many brides and grooms have fun splashing around for whimsical portraits in the rain. I of course have written a post about rainy day wedding weddings, including tips for preparing for them and a healthy dose of portrait eye candy :-)

Need more proof that a rainy wedding can be amazing? Check out real raining day weddings on the Mountainside Bride, including: Rainy Day Blowing Rock Wedding with Shabby Chic Details and this Rainy DIY Wedding in Pisgah Forest.

I really hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions. I’m happy to help!