Outdoor weddings have undoubtedly become more and more popular. I’ve been seeing more and more couples taking their wedding party to the backyard, the courtyard, the beach, or wherever else a clear sky can be seen.
We had ours in a garden nestled under tropical trees overlooking the beach. The sun was high up in the afternoon, and everyone without sunglasses squinted throughout our ceremony. My face had collected sweat by the time my groom and I were permitted to kiss, and I didn’t feel as pretty as when I walked down the aisle. We were glad it was a sunny day, but I wouldn’t lie about hoping that it wasn’t THAT hot.
While I was indeed “walking on sunshine” on our wedding day, I couldn’t say I had nary a care for the sweltering hot temperature that day. (Photo by Iwan Photography in Bali)
If I was slightly unsettled even with clearly good weather on our wedding day, how much more would it be for couples whose outdoor weddings got rained on?
Here’s a post where I wrote about what four of my married female friends felt when the sky sent showers on their wedding day.
Knowing that the weather is out of our control, how can couples prepare for the least-liked weather conditions?
There are logistical steps that you can take to have a Plan B so that you and your guests don’t end up getting soaked in the rain and waking up the next day with a flu. Check out my post on 25 Things to Consider When Planning an Outdoor Wedding.
Dust and Carla were able to push through with their garden ceremony amidst the drizzle. Come dinner time, rained cats and dogs and everyone couldn’t step out of the venue. Click the photo to read about their story. (Photo by Oak St. Studios)
We all know that a Plan B is a Plan B because it’s not Plan A, our preferred plan. And for a bride and groom, that really sucks.
So how can you prepare yourselves mentally, emotionally, and more importantly, spiritually for any kind of disappointment that bad weather could bring on your wedding day?
Here are 5 steps you can take to prepare for any weather you wake up and sleep to, on the day you say “I do”:
1. Think about how you can showcase God’s creativity through your wedding.
I believe that God allows us to bring out our creativity on our wedding day. After all, He’s like a Father who’d like to see His children use their talents. We ought to create excellent things because our God is excellent.
Now, think of how you can make your wedding look just that - excellent. Oh, for sure your ideas abound! The good news is that we all want our wedding day to be superb, and that’s not a difficult thing to do.
Next, think about what a poorly executed wedding would look like. It obviously doesn’t showcase God’s creativity. List down the elements of such a wedding so you can really imagine them with your fiancé.
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash
This time, ask yourselves these questions:
• If the flowers that you’ve been wanting to use for your wedding fail to bloom on THE day, are you failing God?
• If the sun dries up the lake where you wanted to get married in, are you failing God?
• If it rains on your wedding day, and you have to bring all your guests indoors for their safety, are you failing God?
The answer is definitely no because these things are obviously out of your control. So if you have anything on your “poorly-executed-wedding-be-like” list along those lines, scrap them.
When we end up feeling bad about not getting something we want, is it because we are just too insistent on what we want?
The exercise above is one way to help us check our intentions when we make certain decision for our wedding (or in life!). I know you will be planning excellently for the things that you can control, so be easy on yourself! God is already pleased at the intent and the effort you’ve put into planning!
John and Rachelle were all set for a beach wedding reception but it rained. Moving indoors didn’t stop them from delivering great entertainment to their guests - filled with lots of impromptu singing! (Photo by TJ Medrana Photography)
2. Use your wedding funds wisely.
Anything unplanned that happens on your wedding becomes too painful to handle when we put in too much of our resources in it.
If an outdoor wedding gets rained on, and you have to revert to Plan B, then the effort, time, and money you put in for your venue and all your outdoor decors no longer give you the full return on investment. And this hurts couples badly. Sometimes we can overlook the cost of effort and time, but not easily money. Why? Because we tend to be more attached to our money, and we earn it through effort and time after all!
So what’s the antidote? Decide wisely where you put your wedding fund into.
When you take a biblical perspective on spending your wedding money, you make wiser decisions. What does spending look like in the Bible? That which will honor and celebrate Him. There are tons of Biblical scriptures on it. Here’s a list of some of them.
An example of how a couple could be spending their wedding fund with God in mind is this:
Lillian and Thomas chose a beach wedding to complement their water-loving personalities (God likes how we embrace our uniqueness.), to showcase the beauty of the natural scenery (God created them after all!), and to share the Gospel during the ceremony even to passers-by (Wow, that’s letting go of any privacy on their wedding day!).
But if you’re telling me, “Hmm, we’re not choosing our venue for all those reasons, just that it’s really pretty and it suits us!” Then that’s totally fine too!
You can now then check your choice against your budgets.
If your choice of venue stretches your budget beyond what you can afford, especially that you will need to spend also on any rainy-day logistics (like tentage or renting an alternative venue--read my post about that here), then it might not be the best choice.
I’d be careful about “praying for that venue that is 40% beyond our budget because God grants the desires of our hearts!” Yes, He grants the desires of our hearts, but only if they are the desires of His heart too! And I don’t think He wishes any of us to begin married life at a deficit. More on the topic of Weddings & Money here.
In the end, whether it’s a church venue, a palace, a garden, or the slope of a volcano where you are getting married, God is okay with any venue, as long as you are choosing it for Him and using the resources that He has given you wisely. And when you choose Him, of course you are also choosing to make it safe for your guests!
Eric and Kelly had such an elegant, welcoming and God-honouring wedding that didn’t break the bank. (Photo by 9 Frames Photography)
3. Pray and ask God about your choice of venue and setup.
You’ve heard this before: “Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)
When it’s time for you and your fiancé to choose your wedding venue and setup, first, pray about it. Remember, praying is seeking God’s desire for you. And as you both pray for what He desires for you both, He’ll work in amazing ways to speak to your hearts, and make them want what He wants for you.
Then dive into the Word. Communicating with God is a two-way action. Just praying without seeking for His instructions is like talking to your counsellor without giving your listening ears to know what they think. Getting into the Word is also a way to affirm if what you are desiring is what God desires for you both.
Which part of the Bible do you go to when you’re in the middle of making a big decision? And I’d consider picking a wedding venue as a big decision. It will define most of your other wedding decisions!
I don’t have a prescription on which scripture would help you exactly, because there are tons. I suggest you read this article on How Do I Study a Specific Topic in the Bible. It will suggest to you using a concordance. When you search for topics using an online concordance like Bible Study Tools, I suggest looking up some of these words to study scriptures about them: “decisions,” “plans,” “wisdom,” or “hospitality.” As for why I included the word “hospitality”, read my fourth point below. As you pray with your partner, write down the words that come to mind that you’d want to study.
When you make decisions based on what God wants for you, then it should be easier to heal from disappointments when your plans don’t prosper. What happens if your wedding day still gets a weather that you don’t prefer after you’ve prayed, heard from God and obeyed God when you both decided on a venue? You get full assurance that it’s the weather that God wants for a bigger purpose!
Ina’s dream of an outdoor wedding was rained on, which led her to learn more about her now husband. Click on the image to read her story. (Photo by Icebox Imaging)
On the note of prayer and studying the word: This whole period of wedding planning is a great opportunity to exercise your praying muscles and develop Bible study habits. You and your fiancé will be making TONS of decisions together. While your decisions would seem to only be relevant to a one-day event, they have long-term effect. So I really believe that this is a period when you really have to prioritise even more your time with the Lord. You will be busy planning the wedding, but prioritising your time with God will realign you with the real purpose of this season. How I wish I heard about this when I was in your place!
4. Think of the wedding venue that you choose as your home on your wedding day.
Your wedding venue, every area of it, is your home on that special day. If anything, it’s your first home together as a married couple! You are welcoming your most loved people to that place that you meticulously prepared for their coming.
This said, won’t the way you design the wedding venue similar to how you would get your home ready if you were to invite them to your actual marital home? You’ll probably even pour out more resources on your wedding day than any other occasion you would host in the future. What a great act of hospitality!
One picture of hospitality in the Bible is found on 1 Peter 4:9 which says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” The next verse goes on to say that, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
In the first point, I talked about how God is pleased with you when you use your talents to plan, organise, and design the venue on your wedding day. The verse above affirms that!
Then I talked about spending your wedding funds wisely on point # 2. And this verse also encourages us to be faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms! I believe that you having money to spend on your wedding is just by God’s grace! Isn’t that cool?
So in the case of your wedding venue and setup, what you need to prioritise is how to make people feel comfortable in the space, how you can make them feel accommodated through your logistics and programme, and how you can do that while using your skills and talent within what you can afford. All of these already showcase excellent hospitality!
One of the things we enjoyed the most during our wedding was sitting with our guests. Mike and I enjoyed hosting people for meals in our homes as single people. Fast forward to marriage, we have been doing together what we started on our wedding day! (Photo by Iwan Photography in Bali.)
5. Remember that God is the God of all weather.
Undoubtedly, more couples prefer a clear sky and just the right amount of sun compared to rain on their wedding day, given the type of venues being booked nowadays. Even couples who choose to do their event indoors definitely find it more convenient to have a rain-free weather, as going to the venue on a rainy day can be a hassle for the guests (think long dresses getting wet upon getting off the car!).
So I assume that there are more soon-to-be wed couples PRAYING for sun than those praying for rain.
I turned to a friend to seek a counsel on whether or not it’s biblical to pray for good weather. She said, “Yes. It is biblical to pray for anything including good weather for special occasions. But remember that God’s answer is always ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’”
That shouldn’t be a surprise to us, but somehow, it still surprises us and hurts us when bad weather meets us.
“This is the day (rain or shine) that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. *Italics are mine.
When we pray for something and God answers it, it is for His glory. If He says “no” and it rains when you prayed for a sun shiny day, that’s also for His glory. It may be difficult to accept because it’s not what we want, but that’s really the deal and is what glorifies God ultimately.
When it rains on your wedding day, God is not punishing you. Firstly, no one punishes someone using something that’s good. Rain is good because He created it. Secondly, God is not in a punishing mode when a certain weather that we don’t prefer shows up at the wedding and marriage that we’ve submitted to Him. He has a story for it that we may not understand immediately, and that’s another reason to pray--so that God reveals to you what His purpose is for the weather that He’ll bring on your wedding day.
So, gorgeous bride, take comfort that you can have a beautiful wedding, no matter what the weather becomes. You can also take inspiration from this post.