bride and groom kissing in the rain at their elopement in sedona arizona

Elopement Planning Resources

How to Prepare for Your Rainy Elopement Day- Guide & Elopement Story!

February 15, 2023





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Husband & Wife Elopement Photography & Videography Team
Based in Sedona, Arizona, ready for any adventure!

Meet Caitlyn & Chad


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!

What to do if it rains on your elopement?

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.

How to Prepare for Your Rainy Elopement Day

Let’s talk about all of my practical tips for preparing, including what to pack!

  1. Bring waterproof layers. You may not have to wear these the whole time! Some couples decide to wear them while hiking and then take them off for portraits. Of course you can always keep them on so you are comfortable!
  2. Wear good shoes. Mud and heels don’t mix. Consider switching to a stylish pair of water-resistant or waterproof hiking boots. Wear some wool socks too!
  3. Prepare your guests. Encourage them to wear appropriate clothings and shoes too! Their comfort and safety are priority over the fancy attire!
  4. Two words- Clear Umbrellas! Bring a clear umbrella for you and your partner and encourage guests to bring one too. You can find them on Amazon! If not clear umbrellas, try to stick to black for aesthetic purposes!
  5. Make sure your elopement location is safe. Could there be flash flooding? How about lightning? This could change up your plans!
  6. Consider indoor activities. If it’s truly cold and miserable all day long, go inside! Check out a local brewery, coffee shop, or even an art gallery!
  7. Waterproof makeup. Make sure you specifically ask your makeup artist for waterproof makeup. If you’re doing your own make sure you’ve done your research!
  8. Have fun with it! Don’t be afraid to dance in the rain!

Tips for Wedding Photography in the Rain (for photographers!)

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!

  1. Pack your own rain gear! My favorite things to pack are grocery bags (yep!!) with rubber bands, microfiber cloth, lens hoods, a rain cover for my backpack, my own clear umbrella, raincoat, and hand warmers.
  2. Do not, under any circumstances, take your lens off either in the rain or afterwards. If you do this you camera will fog up in the inside and you will not be able to shoot.
  3. Going off of #2, I shoot with 3 camera bodies with different lens on each.
  4. Don’t forget to constantly wipe your lens with the microfiber cloth so your photos aren’t blurry.
  5. Get creative! Have fun with puddles, clouds, rain drops, and the umbrellas!
  6. Take into consideration how your couple is feeling. This is the most important part! If your couple is miserable, their photos are going to show it. Keep checking in on them! Make sure they are comfortable and warm.

Real Rainy Elopement in Sedona, Arizona

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!

Hello rain, sun, snow, and everything in between!

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!

Meet Your Elopement Photo & Video Team

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.

Sedona Elopement Packages

  • Offering 4 hour, 6 hour, 8 hour, 10 hour, and 2 day Packages
  • Unlimited planning assistance including help with locations, timeline building, permits, wedding licenses, & more.
  • Exclusive list of location ideas for your elopement
  • Custom day of timeline & itinerary 
  • Online gallery with your epic photos with personal printing rights
  • The option to have me sign off as your ordained officiant if you want to a completely private, just the two of you elopement.
  • The option to add on my awesome, adventurous ordained officiant Kat to your package.
  • No travel fees since I’m a local!!

Photo Only Packages Beginning at $4500

Photo & Video Packages Beginning at $7000

Contact Us Now to Start Planning Your Sedona Elopement

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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