As I write this it is raining.
It has been for days. And it is going to pour all
day. The lovely couple I’m marrying this evening is
going to be soooo disappointed because they
scheduled their wedding for twilight, in the gazebo
where they met. But they do have a very nice Plan B.
They will still be surrounded by people who love
them both to bits and who wish them nothing but
good, so I’ll be talking about rain during the
ceremony to give them the good news about rain on a
First, in a country where we’ve desperately
needed rain for so long, rain is good. Though,
obviously, we could do without flooding! But here in
Australia folk memory is long, so the old English
saying “Happy the Bride the sun shines on”
still has traction. But hey, given how short and
erratic British summers are (my father used to talk
about the summer he spent in Scotland and the North
of England as “It was a lovely Wednesday
afternoon”), you’d expect that.
So let’s look various beliefs about rain on a
wedding day, and the fact that in multiple cultures
rain represents fertility, renewal, and cleansing,
and, extrapolated from those beliefs, in relation to
weddings, unity and tears.
Rain Means Fertility
In earlier times, when most of our ancestors
directly depended on the growing of crops for
survival, fertility rites were a big thing. The
earth needs rain to grow new life, so it is no
wonder that rain on a wedding day is seen as good
luck and an indicator that the couple would have
lots of healthy children.
Rain is Cleansing
After it has rained everything is so clean.
So the belief arose that rain also washes away past
sadness, bad luck, or negativity.
Rain Means Renewal
In agricultural communities, renewal
relates to the leaves coming back, trees fruiting.
Spring brings new growth. After rain everything is
fresh. So rain on the wedding day came to signify a
new start, where everything bad was washed away
allowing the couple to start their marriage without
any past baggage.
Rain Guarantees Unity
There is more than a bit of semantic
connection in this one – a connection being made
between the term “tying the knot” and wetness in
general. A wet knot is almost impossible to untie,
which means a lasting marriage.
Rain Symbolises Tears
It’s not hard to make the connection
between raindrops and tears. So it is believed that
rain on your wedding day symbolizes the last tears
the bride will shed. The opposite belief, that rain
represents the tears the bride will shed during her
marriage is about the only superstition that holds a
rainy wedding day to be bad luck. But honestly,
happy tears are still tears, and what’s wrong with
shedding happy tears during your marriage. Nothing!
Have a Solid Plan B
Let’s face it. Regardless of whether rain is
good luck or bad luck, no-one enjoys having a wet
bum. Umbrellas are not a solid Plan B.
You need an alternative space that will keep
everyone dry. It also helps if the guests don't have
a long walk in the rain to reach that dry space. If
you have a workable Plan B, so that your guests are
not going to be uncomfortable during your wedding,
you’ll have a happy start to your marriage.
There are some real pluses to
cool, rainy, weather
Your flowers won’t wilt.
It makes for great wedding stories
Guests have the weather to fall back
on to open the small talk on first meeting
someone new, as you do at a wedding
No-one is going to get hot and
bothered or pass out from the heat
It’s great for anyone with allergies
– airborne pollen and dust are reduced
And you’ll still be able to pop outside
with an umbrella or two so your photographer can
capture those one-of-a-kind wedding photos in the
rain. You might even get a rainbow!