What Should I Wear to an Outdoor Wedding When the Forecast Is Rain?

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    • Rain in the forecast should influence your dressing decisions, but several other considerations impact your final outfit choice for an outdoor wedding. If the level of formality is listed on the invitation, choose outfits that adhere to standard suggestions for formal, semi-formal and casual guest attire. The location of the wedding is also a consideration -- rain on an open beach is more problematic than rain in a shaded woodsy grove. An outdoor evening wedding with rain in the forecast is more likely to be cold than an afternoon wedding. If a back-up location or rain plan is listed on the invitation, you may not need to change your attire at all since the alternative locations are likely sheltered.

    General Attire

    • For women, semi-formal sun dresses are standard attire for outdoor weddings in warm spring or summer weather. To adjust for rain, avoid satin or shiny fabrics that display water spots. Solid colors also show water more so than patterns. For warmth, a wrap, shawl or shrug keeps your bare shoulders covered without sacrificing formality. Long hems are more likely to collect mud or dirt, so opt for cocktail or knee-length dresses. For men, a sports jacket is a less formal option than a full suit that will still provide warmth in the event of a cool rain shower. Lighter colors are cooler in hot weather, but are more likely to show water. Instead, opt for lighter weight cotton and linen blends in dark fabrics to reduce water spots but keep you from overheating when the sun is out.


    • Comfortable, waterproof footwear is essential for your comfort if an outdoor wedding may experience rain. Fabrics like suede can be ruined by water damage, so opt for waterproof fabrics like leather or patent leather instead. Cotton cloth shoes will dry quickly, but they will not keep your feel dry or warm. Since rain will make the ground muddy and unstable, opt for flats instead of heels, but do not choose flip-flops or sneakers as they are likely too casual for a wedding. Elegant details like ankle straps or gems ensure that your footwear is still wedding appropriate. Another option is to bring an extra pair of shoes in your bag or car. If the ceremony is outdoors but the reception is inside, exchange your wet shoes for the dry pair once the reception starts.


    • If moderate rain is unavoidable, bringing additional coverage will protect you and your clothes during the ceremony and, if applicable, the reception. A fitted waterproof jacket or slicker in a decorative print or respectable solid color provides warmth and protection from the rain. A waterproof sun hat or scarf tied loosely around your head provides head protection from moderate rain, but if an umbrella is required, opt for a small, clear plastic umbrella that won't obstruct the views or comfort of people sitting near you. If the event is more casual, consider bringing along a clear plastic poncho. Even if you don't wear it, you can drape is over your seat to keep yourself dry if it rains before the ceremony.

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