Rain At An Indian Wedding

Rain at an Indian Wedding is a guide on what to do if rains on your wedding day. You will also get tips on how to plan in advance so that if it does rain you’re prepared.

I went to an Indian wedding in Newport Beach, California in mid July and it rained…actually it poured.  Who would have thought??? The couple wasn’t prepared for that as no one would expect rain in mid-July in Southern California.

The venue and planning team kicked into gear and moved the ceremony indoors. The decor team made a new mandap inside and the guest chairs were arranged in the ballroom.

Mid Summer Unexpected Rain at an Indian Wedding

Luckily the venue didn’t have an issue with an indoor ceremony flame! The wedding ceremony was moved forward but the whole schedule got thrown off by two hours. They didn’t serve dinner until 10pm. That was really late for their guests and they had to pay overtime for the venue’s staff. At most venues the latest dinner can be served is 9pm, to avoid overtime charges.

They spent in overtime fees and the consumption bar which they had to keep open as guests waited around.

Rain at an Indian Wedding and How To Prepare

This is a guide to prepare for wedding day rain. If it happens, you’ll be prepared. When I’m talking about outdoor Indian weddings, I’m referring to the ceremony as most Indian wedding receptions take place indoors.

1. Ensure the venue has a backup space available in case it rains. FYI, most venues do but it’s important that you see it to ensure it suits your needs.

2. Ensure the backup space is in your venue contract.  

3. Some venues may charge a fee to hold a backup space for you. 

4. Ensure the venue allows an open flame, in their indoor, backup space.

5. Talk to your decor team about what they’d need in case the ceremony has to be moved indoors. If your mandap or altar was created from a gazebo/structure, how will the decor team build something new? Are they prepared for that possibility?

Tents, Chairs and Umbrellas

6. Most wedding venues give you those nice, white garden chairs for outdoor ceremonies. But those chairs are not used indoors. Instead they setup their standard banquet chairs for indoor events. If you rent chiavari chairs for the ceremony, those can be moved indoors.

7. You might be wondering about tenting instead of moving everything indoors. Tenting is definitely an option and here’s a list of things to consider:

a. tenting can be pricey (anywhere from $3-$10k). Scroll down to read a couple stories about tenting at Indian weddings.
b. tent companies may not may not allow an open flame inside.
c. will the sound of the rain hitting the tent cause issues in the audio of your video?
d. setting up a tent takes several hours. It’s not something you can make happen on the spot. Tents are a possibility when you have at least 3-5 days notice.

8. If it rains, your guests are going to have umbrellas with them. The last thing you want is a photo with an umbrella sticking into your aisle way. Arrange a bin for guests to tag and place their umbrellas.

{Tenting Anecdotes from Real Indian Weddings}

This is an excerpt from a featured wedding on ShaadiShop. This couple decided a few days before the wedding that they’d need a tent.

Last Minute Tent: Rain at an Indian Wedding

A few days before our wedding we decided to put up a clear tent with the help of our planner.
Dealing with putting a tent up, last minute, was a little stressful. Doing things last minute isn’t our style. However it’s one of those things you don’t know you’ll need. And if you don’t need it you don’t want to incur the cost, as it can be pricey.

At that point there was limited time and availability of tents. We had to choose one quickly and go with it. We selected a transparent tent and worked with our vendors to make sure everything went smoothly. And we got lucky that it didn’t rain on our wedding day but it did rain the day before. The vendor had put the tent up the night before so the grass was protected. In the end tenting was worth it. The temperature really drops at night; and if we hadn’t put the tent up, I think guests would’ve left right after dinner.”

Canopies for Hot Days

This is a story about the canopy that you often see at wedding ceremonies to shade guests from the sun. Shveta Dhillon the principal planner at A Panache Affair, shared this story with us:

We had a beautiful outdoor Sikh Ceremony at an inland venue in the middle of August. It was HOT. A canopy to provide shade was a must.

Despite our recommendation to go with a different vendor, our client chose a vendor. This vendor doesn’t have a lot of experience with making canopies. But they did have all of the equipment necessary. Such an elaborate setup requires at least 12 hours to prepare. And the decor team needs time to drape etc.

The vendor was inexperienced and waited until the morning of the wedding to start making the tent. An hour before the ceremony was supposed to start they had only just laid the foundational structure for the canopy. As they pulled up the fabric it collapsed as the fabric was too heavy for the weak structure.

At that point there was no other option than to move the ceremony indoors. That major change delayed the entire ceremony.

{Take Aways}

  • Expect the unexpected
  • There’s more involved in your backup plan than simply moving everything indoors. This guide walks you through everything you need to know.
  • Venues understand that no one controls the weather and that’s why they have a backup space for weddings. Their policies (fees, what is/not allowed) around the backup space vary.

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Cover image: Lin & Jirsa Photography