Romance in the Rain: What if it rains on my Elopement Day?

Real Weddings
tips, tricks & info

 Some of the best wedding photographers and planners in New Zealand. The Journal is Lost in Love’s way to share the tips, tricks & stories to help you elope in nz in style

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When it comes to planning your elopement, the one thing that is completely out of your control is the weather. Questions going through your mind will be – ‘What if it rains?’ ‘What if it’s too cold?’ 

Never fear, at Lost in Love, we have navigated all kinds of wedding-related situations, in all kinds of weather and we have some tips for you in this article to help calm your fears. You may not be able to control the weather but you can certainly plan for surprises and enjoy your wedding day going off without a hitch. Having rain on your elopement day will never be a problem again!

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Will it rain on my elopement wedding day?

It’s worth asking this question and planning for it just in case, so you can be the best prepared that you need to be. 

New Zealand’s weather is not easy to navigate and it’s worth being aware that we can have 4 seasons in one day. While that can be true, the weather in Queenstown can be very settled in comparison to the rest of the country, so a bit of rain on your elopement day is inevitable.

Queenstown in the seasons:

Summer –

Queenstown is well known for its perfect blue skies and scorching temperatures in the Summer months of late Dec – March. You will want to have plenty of shade at your wedding venue, and if there isn’t any, then make sure to provide some for your guests and you can also plan for the use of umbrellas and fans. The temperatures drop dramatically once the sun goes down, but this isn’t until 10 pm at the height of Summer, so you can also make use of the long golden evenings. Once that sun is down, make sure you have some warm clothing and rugs in place if your reception is outdoors. 

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Autumn – 

Autumn is one of the region’s most picturesque seasons, especially in the historic village of Arrowtown. The trees there put on a brilliant display of changing colours which people from all over the world come to appreciate. The weather itself is pretty perfect, with warm sun-drenched days and cooler evenings with the light fading a lot faster than in Summer. The area can also get some cold snaps at this time of year and an overcast sky is more likely, which is actually a photographer’s dream as the brightness of a blue sky is harder to work with. Autumn will bring some pretty spectacular blue sky days, a scattering of cloudy ones and lower temps so make sure to prepare for all the potential in the months of late March through to the end of May. 

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Winter – 

As you can guess, it gets bone-cracking cold in the depths of Winter in Queenstown. If you are dreaming of a white wedding then it is advisable to pack a thick pair of thermal tights under your dress and to hunt down furs for warmth. There is still a good chance of some cracker blue sky days but beware that just because the sun is shining, it won’t mean that day will be warm! You might also consider keeping your movements minimal as the weather can and sometimes does disrupt roads and travel due to snow storms. The middle of winter is in July, so keep that in mind and if you would like to avoid the extreme temps then look at holding your wedding in late August/Early September. July is also known as the driest month in the year for Queenstown. It has been known to snow even in late Sept/early October, although it is officially Spring you can almost guarantee those pretty snow-capped mountains will stick around. 

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Spring – 

The spring season in the deep south is well-loved for its crisp mornings, blue skies and pretty blossoms everywhere. Cute baby lambs start to make an appearance and the temperatures are definitely warmer during the day. The warmth will fade towards the end of the day and it is important to plan for cooler evenings as we move towards Summer and the light extends so that the nights are eventually warmer. Between September and mid to late December, it can still be chilly in the morning and eves and there is a chance of rain storms across the region, which are more likely during this season – but those beautiful bluebird days definitely do feature over the months of late Sept – Dec. Watch out for high pollen days which can trigger allergies so make sure to pack antihistamines if you are susceptible and if you have never had hay fever, do not be surprised if you experience it during Spring in Queenstown. 

On average, Queenstown has 1921 hours of sunshine per year. The average annual rainfall for Queenstown is 913mm.

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It can pay to try and not check the weather until the day before the wedding, which I know is very hard to do. If you can’t help yourself anyway, try to take the forecast with a grain of salt as the weather can be very changeable in the mountains and even when the forecast may be for rain all day, there may not be a drop. 

It is important to remember that even if it does rain on your wedding day, you will still be getting married. There are many ways to make sure that things go smoothly and that the day will still be beautiful in spite of a few raindrops. 

Here are some tips to help avoid a rainy elopement and to make the best if you cannot avoid it! 

What if it does rain on my elopement wedding day?

Keep it in mind that even if it’s raining in one area of Queenstown, it could be sunny across town.
It could be on-and-off showers that quickly pass and just so you know, it’s a photographer’s dream to capture you in the light which falls right after a rainstorm. If you are having an outdoor ceremony, chances are there will be a covered area nearby, whether it is just a group of trees or a shady spot. You can also plan for this and hire a stretch marquee or other form of shelter.

Sometimes there aren’t any places with large covered areas close by, in this case, you may want to consider moving the ceremony into an indoor space that accommodates both the wedding party and guests. If all else fails and it rains on your elopement day despite everything else going perfectly (this does happen sometimes) try to remember that your guests won’t care about getting wet, they are there to celebrate with you! And they bring their own umbrellas too….

A good idea is to book some accommodation that is aesthetically pleasing, with some lush views and is large enough to hold your ceremony. With this, you can still get married on the day and we can reschedule your wedding portraits to another day when the weather has improved.

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If you are staying at a hotel then they often have conference rooms that can be used and a covered balcony or deck which will serve as a ceremony spot.

At Lost in Love, we have connections with local art galleries and wineries with event spaces, so you can rest assured we will pull out all the stops to create your dream ceremony space if the weather has made things impossible for an outdoor venue. We have even held a wedding ceremony in a flower store!
The Queenstown Gardens has a romantic white pergola that can be used if you would like to keep your wedding outdoors, or undercover and the cost is low as it is free to use. This option would suit smaller wedding parties and guest lists.

What about rescheduling?

In case you were not aware, moody and overcast are a vibe. Clouds add drama to the photos and give you the look of a dramatic, contrasting mountainscape. But if it is absolutely bucketing down and the weather does prevent us from sticking to the plan, then we are more than happy to reschedule your wedding portraits. We are used to the elements and last-minute changes that they can cause, so consider yourself in good hands with the Lost in Love team!

It pays to keep a couple of days after your elopement date free of any tours or full-day activities, and should we need to, we can look at rescheduling your heli flight and photography.

If your celebrant is not available on the following days, we will make sure the ceremony takes place on your elopement date and then reschedule your photo shoot.

If you don’t let yourself freak out about the weather, most likely your elopement day will go perfectly. You don’t want to obsess about the weather but you do want to be prepared for all situations so that you can then focus on the important part – marrying your best friend in an epic location, which will most likely be one of the most important moments of your life. A little rain on your elopement day can add so much character to your photos!

We at Lost in Love have plenty of clear umbrellas for the happy couple and your celebrant and if you have guests, you can hire some umbrellas or parasols for them, from a local wedding hire company, or buy inexpensive ones from Kmart. Have your Plan B backup plan (indoor ceremony) just in case there is terrible weather or you are travelling far away from your home base. We will keep an eye on the forecast the day before the event and reschedule or act accordingly if needed.

If you are getting married in New Zealand, there is always a chance of rain on your elopement day. That is just how it is, but the important thing is, not to stress over it! Your elopement day will most likely go perfectly, even if there are downpours. Just look at all the beautiful photos of couples who got married in the rainy weather and just embraced it!

Don’t let a little rain stop your dream Elopement!

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Tips, tricks & Info

Being based in Queenstown, New Zealand - one of the world's most stunning wedding destinations - we have seen our fair share of elopements, therefore we have put our collective wisdom together to create The Ultimate Queenstown Elopement Guide

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