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How to beat the British weather at your outdoor wedding

Most couples dream about a picture-perfect outdoor countryside wedding with wall-to-wall sunshine. But what happens if it rains on your wedding day?

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Wedding planning
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Although the rain may be an unwanted wedding guest, there are steps you can take to ensure that the precipitation doesn’t put a dampener on your celebrations. Discover how you can prevent the wet weather from raining on your parade with our rainy wedding day tips.
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Is rain on your wedding day good luck?

Did you know that some cultures see rain on your wedding day as good luck? According to Hindu tradition, untying a wet knot is more challenging than unravelling a dry one, meaning your marriage will be strong. Some people believe that rain signifies a fresh start for newlyweds, washing away negative memories of the past. Others believe that it predicts health, wealth and fertility. 

Whatever your beliefs, having a positive mindset can completely alter your approach to wedding planning for wet weather…

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Devise a rain plan

We highly recommend checking the weather forecast for Dover and Kent in the days leading up to your wedding day. If the weather forecast is looking dreary, your first port of call should be to contact your venue. Any experienced wedding venue will help you create a plan B for outdoor wedding ceremonies. With any luck, they will have an indoor space that can be used as a backup.

The Solton Manor team has the knowledge and experience to help if the weather is against you on the day. Any planned outdoor ceremonies can be quickly moved into The Dutch Barn (we have done this many times!), offering plenty of space to exchange your vows in front of 200 guests. We can then transform the barn into a bustling reception venue with a fully-stocked bar, stage and even a dance floor. Guests can have a good time and party the night away whilst the rain lashes down outside. 

Alternatively, we can hold your rainy day wedding ceremony in our beautiful Grade II-listed manor house, which is jam-packed full of history and charm. We are currently building a new ceremony space which will offer further shelter from the elements – more details on that soon!

Have umbrellas on standby!

It’s always a good idea to have a selection of umbrellas on standby for the wedding party and guests. You can store them in a basket by the entrance in case any guests need to make a quick dash to the car, or to use as shields when heading outdoors for any sheltered photo shots. 

Purchasing lots of brollies can be expensive. However, there are several companies that hire out wedding umbrellas, such as To Have & To Hire. You could opt for a traditional look with white umbrellas, or go for something a bit brighter. Transparent brollies are great for bridal party photos, as they are less distracting. Once they’ve done their duty, umbrellas can be used as wedding favours or even as quirky decor choices – more on that below.

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Create fun rainy day décor for your wedding

The best way to beat the great British weather at your outdoor wedding venue is to go all-out and include it in your decor. Think colourful umbrella walls, wellington boot centrepieces, and romantic wet weather quotes. “You are my sunshine on a rainy day” springs to mind here!

Lean into those nature vibes with your flowers. Wildflower arrangements with plenty of foliage and potted plants or herbs as wedding favours all work well. You could even decorate your tables with crystal clear tableware and glassware to mimic the timeless beauty of raindrops. Lighting is also an important consideration for wet weather weddings. Fairy lights, lanterns and candles can add a gentle glow to the venue, further enhancing that romantic feel. 

Rethink your reception food and drinks

A rainy day calls for comfort food and hot drinks. You could swap out the BBQ and summer salads for a slow-cooked stew or traditional roast dinner. Our fantastic catering team are renowned for their great British wedding classics, including roast breast of Suffolk chicken, braised English lamb shank and cold cut rare venison loin. All perfect wet weather choices!

Warming beverages like hot chocolate, gourmet coffee or English breakfast tea can help take the edge off on those colder days. In the evening, guests can opt for a hot toddy or mulled wine as they party into the early hours.

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Rain-proof your bridal look

There are numerous ways to rain-proof your hair, makeup and outfit. It’s important to be practical about potential weather restrictions. For example, that cathedral length bridal train may not be ideal when travelling around the grounds. You could add small hooks to avoid it from trailing on damp ground, or don a furry coat for warmth. You could even break out some wedding wellies – these look fantastic in outdoor festival-style wedding photos.

If you’re planning on wearing your hair down with a bouncy blow dry, it might be worth switching to a sophisticated updo. These tend to hold much better in wet conditions. And make sure your makeup artist uses waterproof mascara to prevent those panda eyes!

Get creative with wedding photography

Many wedding photographers say that rain clouds make for the most beautiful scenery. The bigger the cloud, the more dramatic the photo. Try to find sheltered spots around the grounds so you don’t miss out on those outdoor photo opportunities. Umbrella shots can work wonders, as do romantic kisses in the rain. And make sure you’re ready to dash outside if a rainbow appears!

Group wedding photos may be easier to accomplish indoors. Pick a spot that shows off the venue, as well as including aesthetically-pleasing styling. Your venue should be able to help move furniture out of the way or incorporate props if needed.

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Achieve the ultimate wet weather wedding at Solton Manor

Let time stand still as you celebrate the most cherished day of your life at Solton Manor. Our exclusive wedding venue in Kent provides the perfect blank canvas to say “I do”, no matter what the weather. Contact our experienced wet weather wedding planners today to discuss your dream outdoor wedding!