Rain on your wedding day is good luck, right? That’s what I tell all of my couples who are lucky enough to experience Sedona with rain! I know a rainy elopement isn’t in everyone’s plans but every couple should be prepared. What happens when you see the rain emoji pop up on your weather app? Don’t let the panic set in. This is my full guide for preparing for rain on your wedding day including back up plans, what to pack, and more! As a bonus I’ve shared one of my favorite rainy elopements with you that took place in Sedona, Arizona so you can see the magic that can happen when there’s rain!
Let’s get started!
My biggest piece of advice for a rainy elopement day is to be PREPARED. When you choose to elope in the outdoors you are choosing to roll with Mother Nature. I like to joke that I can control the weather and usually it works out pretty decent for my couples. As you’ll see in the elopement story later, sometimes Nature isn’t working out for us and we need a new plan!
First things first, don’t completely freak out when you see the possibility of rain unless you’re in a place like the Pacific Northwest or Iceland. As an elopement expert, I always talk to my couples about the possibility of rain throughout the entire elopement planning process. As a rule of thumb I don’t start truly talking about a backup plan until 3 days out.
A rain back up plan will look different for every wedding couple. Some decide roll with it and pack the clear umbrellas and the show must go on no matter what. Other couples may decide to move their wedding to the day before or day after, depending on everyones schedules. Depending on your elopement location and flexibility, you can change locations to avoid rain.
Most of my own elopement couples choose to stick to their original wedding date and we may try to change timing around. Usually this looks like starting the day earlier to have more daylight or we may shift things around depending on what the storm is doing.
Let’s talk about all of my practical tips for preparing, including what to pack!
From a photography standpoint, seeing rain in the forecast can definitely be a bit stressful. Photographing in the rain comes with some key knowledge that can make or break your photos! Here are my top tips after photographing a dozen elopements in the rain!
Steve and Mariah decided to elope in Sedona, Arizona on New Year’s Day with their pup Ruby and their closest family. They are laid back people who love more low key adventures. These two connected with the idea of eloping because they didn’t want their wedding to feel like a big performance full of stress- can I get an amen?
Winter weather in Sedona is always a tossup and I love being upfront about that with all of my couples. You never know if you’ll get a beautiful, 55 degree and sunny adventure, rain, or if you’ll get a snowstorm. The weeks leading up to Steve and Mariah’s day were dry and sunny so when we saw the rain in the forecast we prepared for the worst.
Let’s just say I’m glad we did!
To say they had a rainy elopement is an understatement! It was pouring sideways almost the entire day.
A huge multi-day storm ended up hitting northern Arizona on their wedding day causing endless rain, highway closures, and even some snow on the red rocks! We ended up making the most of this storm by splitting their elopement into two days. The first day, the day full of non-stop, freezing rain, held their ceremony, celebratory toasts, family photos, and a few rainy, moody portraits! We tried to stop into a brewery but unfortunately it was closed and we all were wet to the bone!
We called it quits for the day, the couple enjoyed their dinner warm and dry, and we made a plan for the following day.
The next morning, it was still raining. As an Arizonan I usually jump up and down when I see rain but not after the day we had before! Luckily as we drove up to our trail for the adventure the rain stopped! The clouds were kissing the mountains and there was a fresh layer of snow on the red dirt. My artist heart was singing! I’ve always loved shooting in gloomy weather when it somehow stays dry.
Steve and Mariah were able to exchange their vows without being under an umbrella, and it was so dang beautiful! There were small waterfalls flowing off the rocks and the desert plants were soaking up the moisture. We even got lucky and the sun came out to warm us up!
We ended off the adventure playing in some puddles and reflections. It ended up being absolutely perfect rainy elopement, despite the change of plans!
Hello!! We are the Wilder West Team! We are a husband and wife photo video team based in sunny Sedona, Arizona. Caitlyn is the lead photographer and your personal elopement guide aka elopement wizard, question-answerer, location scouter, and designated hype woman. Chad is the lead videographer who you can expect to supply all the dad jokes, carrier of the Mary Poppins backpack, and mountain goat to get all the rad shots! We’ve been lucky enough to call this place our home for the past 5 years, going on 100+ adventures with couples from all over the world.
We’d love to show you around our home & help you plan your dream Sedona elopement experience.
We believe that all couples deserve to have an adventurous and meaningful wedding experience that reflects them and their love. Let’s work together to design your “best day” from start to finish. We can’t wait to hear all about what you are dreaming for your elopement experience so we can work together to make it happen seamlessly and care free.
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Looking for more elopement inspiration? Here are some more blog posts for you to check out:
The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Sedona Elopement & Wedding
Sedona Engagement Session Guide-Tips, Locations, & More!
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