Planning an elopement is supposed to be less stressful than planning a big, elaborate wedding, right?! But thinking about things that are out of your control- like the weather- can bring on some serious anxiety. Whether you are planning an elopement that is six months out or your big day is coming up soon, we hope these tips can help you get organized, ease some of the stress, and make your special day run smoothly!
If you are planning to have an elopement outdoors, then you should take a deep breath and try to remember that you have no control over the weather. Even though you can’t control it, you can still set your expectations and plan ahead! Plus, having a positive outlook can help make the day magical -no matter what the weather may be!
There are several places around the San Francisco/Bay Area/NorCal that have such amazing views that it is 100% worth it to take the risk and plan a wedding outdoors- even during the rainy season. San Francisco is generally on the cooler side compared to the rest of the Bay area. So, keep that in mind as well. Some of our favorite locations are:
Planning an indoor elopement these days can be difficult, but not impossible. If you still feel super stressed after reading all of these tips, then trying to find an indoor location may be a better fit for you.
Having a plan B… and C… is often a good idea. And discussing those plans with your photographer is so important! Communicate! It is key. On your elopement day, your photographer might be the only vendor you have around to help. It is so important to keep communication open with them in the planning process- especially about the forecast. It will help make the day run smoother with less unwanted surprises or changes. Your photographer can help you select a backup location or can help you plan for weather disturbances.
Weather sites & apps are incredible! Obviously, most people already use weather apps to plan their days/weeks, vacations, etc. We just want to remind you of a couple of useful places to do some additional research on weather predictions and trends. Hopefully, having this information can help you better make decisions for your elopement.
Buy an easily moveable canopy- We like using this one!
Rent a clear tent- This is a great way to be outside in any weather and still have romantic, unobstructed views! Talk to your venue if this is an option- they may have a rental company suggestion that they have worked with before. Also, check ahead and think- Will it be cool or muddy? Do you need to consider heaters or flooring as well?
Protection for your wedding dress-
– Buy a bridal petticoat– it can lift your dress just enough to keep it safe and off the ground.
– Spray the hem of your dress- you can use Scotchgard on your own, but you might want to take it in to get professionally protected.
– Wear a short dress- this is always a fun option!
– Ask for help- ask a friend, family member, or bridesmaid to be responsible for helping you pick up your dress, watch for puddles, etc. People always want to help the bride on their big day, so don’t feel weird about seeking help.
– Have a second dress for the reception- if you want to make a costume change after your elopement ceremony, then the rain is your perfect excuse to get a second dress!
Cute rain boots- Hunter boots are in style and make for adorable, unique photo ops. Or, you should at least consider having a spare pair of shoes just in case! There are also so many fun wedding-themed shoes on Etsy.
Makeup & Hair- Think waterproof! And bring extra backups- or consider having your hair and makeup team stay if you’re hiring someone!
Pack Bride & Groom Umbrellas- we love clear umbrellas that make for classic photographs, but you could also use your wedding colors/theme or fun rainbow umbrellas to make a statement!
Umbrellas for guests- You have a lot on your plate already, but it could be a good idea to quickly order some umbrellas for your guests as well. You don’t want grandma getting drenched! Also- they can be used as a wedding favor if you’d like.
Pashminas- These are just a little something extra for bridesmaids, mother of the bride, etc. to keep people warm if it’s cold and rainy.
Cozy Throws- Small blankets are a nice touch for guests if needed for colder weather too.
Personalized Cozy Mugs- If it’s rainy, then it is most likely a little chilly too! A warm cup of coffee or tea to share as a couple could be a sweet way to start your adventure. They will make for adorable pictures as well. (Check out Etsy for ideas!)
Small Towels- These will be useful for so many reasons if it rains. Drying off chairs, damp guests, etc.
Check out a list of other emergency elopement day items to pack below!
Check vendors’ contracts- sometimes live musicians have clauses for the rain, or maybe you need to consider additional flooring, carpets, etc. in case of bad weather. Will there be extra charges that you aren’t prepared for in the event of rain? Make sure you look into these little things, so you aren’t surprised or caught off guard.
Wedding Insurance- This is a personal preference. Maybe if you’re having a small elopement without too many vendors, then it won’t feel necessary. Or, maybe getting insurance can give you peace of mind. Either way- take a moment to look into it. Check out The Knot – this is a useful article to help you make your decision!
No matter where you choose to elope, there are a few things you should consider bringing with you that could end up saving the day. (These are in addition to all of your essentials of course.)
The bride and groom are the stars of the ceremony! Their attitude will set the tone for the entire celebration. Get ready to roll with the punches and welcome the weather—remember, rain on your wedding day is actually good luck!
It’s like raaaaaaiiiiiiin…. On your wedding day! 🎵
Use the rain to add a little silliness/whimsy into your ceremony or celebration! Here are a few ideas, but the options are endless! Have fun with it!
There are several reasons why having rain on your wedding day isn’t so bad! Like the awesome bright side of gorgeous & unique pictures! To ease your fears & give yourself a reason to hope for rain- check out Brides.com’s 11 Reasons You Want Rain On Your Wedding Day (Seriously!)