Right now we are in the rainy season here in the Riviera Maya of Mexico. Although the Caribbean hurricane season technically runs from June through November, it is mid September through mid November that most locals know to be soggiest time. Predictably, around this time of year there comes a spike in posts, emails & questions by panicked brides planning their beach wedding, scrambling for advice on how to deal with a weather forecast promising them a wet wedding day. It is for you, my worried Beach Bride, that I offer these seven tips for dealing with rain at your destination wedding.
1. Keep Calm and Ignore The Weatherman
It’s funny how often a friend or family member points out that we have been getting a lot of rain, because they see it displayed on our weather forecast. Usually I’m like “Huh? What rain?”
Just for fun, check out the extended forecast for Cancun or Playa del Carmen. What do you see? I would be willing to bet there is some variation of a cartoon cloud on any given day of the year. Maybe it is paired up with a sun, or some rain drops, or even a lighting bolt, OR maybe the Weatherman is covering his butt and is predicting all of the above, everyday!
I have come to realize the Mayan Riviera is quite unlike any place I have ever lived before. (And I’ve lived in a lot of places!) The weather is extremely unpredictable! Right now I look out my window and it is sunny, but it rained on me for five minutes this morning while I was practicing yoga on my rooftop, and I know that ten minutes down the road they could be having a torrential downpour at this very moment! I have also had countless days where I have watched black clouds looming directly overhead, rumbling with thunder promising one heck of a storm, and then — Nothing. Not even a drizzle. In the same strange way, I have been playing with my son in the pool under the blazing Mexican sun when we are suddenly, mysteriously being rained on — but the sun is still shining!
The point is, it’s almost impossible to predict if you are going to get rain on your wedding day, or if it will be enough to be a problem (see below) so don’t panic if you see rain in the forecast. If you plan to get married in the Riviera Maya, it is best to expect the unexpected with the weather, and just take the forecast as you would your horoscope; with a grain of salt.
2. Just a sprinkle
With this crazy weather in mind, you need to understand that more often than not, when it does rain here in Playa del Carmen, it is usually just a sprinkle or a short, furious downpour. My husband and I are from Vancouver, Canada, and there when you see the grey clouds roll in you had better get your favorite shows lined up on Netflix, because you are gearing up for days, weeks, or even months of dreariness!
Thankfully, that is not the case for the miles of beach stretching from Cancun to Tulum. Yes, you may get rain on your wedding day, but odds are that it will not be of the calibre to ruin your beach wedding.
3. Tinker with the timeline
Let’s assume that your wedding day has arrived, and the clouds are threatening rain, the Weatherman is promising rain, and the locals all concur. The odds are still in your favor that a short burst is all you have to contend with, so consider your options for shuffling the wedding day schedule. Sometimes all it takes it moving the ceremony back an hour, or switching the photography timeline to avoid a soggy wedding dress. Talk to your wedding planner, call your photographer or other vendors, and explore your options.
If the forecast calls for a 10% chance of rain at 1pm, and a 90% chance of rain at 4pm, then you have a rough idea of what will need to be moved to when. If you have chosen your wedding vendors with care, chances are good they will accommodate you however they can. Which brings me to my next point —
4. Forewarned is forearmed
— And this is perhaps the most critical tip! The time to learn about your wedding planner’s, photographer’s, or venue’s rainy day back up plan is not, I repeat not when you are four days away from saying ‘I Do!’ to your Fiancé.
No. The time to learn about your vendors’ rainy day back up plan is before you say ‘I Do!’ to your vendor!
Everyone here has some level of experience in working with rain. It comes with the territory when you work in the tropics. How your team handles Mother Nature’s unpredictability can make a huge difference in the outcome of a rainy beach wedding.
5. Sometimes it is to be Plan B
It never ceases to amaze me how many couples go into planning a destination wedding in the Mayan Riviera, and have no Plan B for rain! You want to get married on the beach in Mexico. I get it; you want to feel warm ocean breezes on your skin and the late day sun kissing your cheeks, as you exchange vows with your feet buried in the sand.
But seriously, as beautiful as Mother Nature can be, she can also be a total Bitch!
I know you don’t want to think about your Plan B. You want to focus on the perfection that will be your wedding day, and that’s fine. I’m all about putting those positive vibes out into the universe. But I will tell you, it will definitely eliminate a lot of stress for you if you consider and plan for a back up ‘dry wedding’ that you can live with. If you know your worst case scenario, then it takes away a whole lot of the stress and worry that comes with planning a wedding outdoors.
6. Look on the bright side of a rainy day
No matter what you do, or how much you plan, sometimes it just works out that Yours is to be a rainy wedding day. What is a Beach Bride to do? Does she mope, or moan, or sulk, or sigh? Does she lock herself in her room and cry?
No. A Beach Bride doesn’t.
She puts on a bright smile, and digs deep for a cheery disposition, keeping in mind that she has many guests who have traveled, and saved, and taken time off work to be with her on her special day. She makes the best of it!
Go out and buy cute umbrellas for you and the bridesmaids to carry. It will keep you all dry and look amazing in wedding photos! Do whatever you have to do to put a positive spin on the situation. Make good memories for everyone!
7. Clouds are actually a good thing
From the wedding photographer’s point of view, a cloudy wedding day is a dream! Cloudy days offer the best light, which equals you looking as yummy as can be in your wedding pictures! There will be no squinting into the sun while you say your vows, or funny shadows across your face.
And the heat! Let me tell you, it gets hot, hot, hot here any time of year, and especially if you are wearing anything more than a bikini! Clouds and a little drizzle can actually be a welcome relief to a Bridal Party or their wedding guests.
Of course, if rain is in the cards for your beach wedding and all else fails, just remember that rain on your wedding day is supposed to be good luck! I’m a big believer in this, being happily married and having gotten rain on my wedding day — In the DESERT! Sheesh! What else can you do but just roll with it and enjoy yourself?
Let’s hear it. Are you worried about rain on your wedding day? What’s your rainy wedding day Plan B? Leave your comments below!
***And of course if you, or somebody you know, happen to be looking for a fabulously talented wedding photographer with tons of personality in the Riviera Maya, then contact us today for a free consultation!