Rain on your wedding day does not mean good luck.

It's what people always say when the weather turns stormy and the bride seems to be getting distressed. Here's the thing, though: rain on your wedding day does not mean you'll have good luck in your marriage or life or whatever. It means that today it's raining. 

It makes me cringe every time I hear someone say it. I understand people are trying to lighten the situation and bring positivity to what some might consider a ruined day, but it's just rain for crying out loud. If your apple cart gets upset because you have unrealistic expectations of perfection on your wedding day, you might have some bigger problems. 

I bring this topic up because I once heard the story of a bride who insisted on having her ceremony outside, even when the weather was obviously worsening (actually, I've heard this part of the story many times with a variety of different outcomes). When it began pouring and all the guests ran inside, they continued the ceremony (for some reason) and she was so upset her guests missed the big moment that she locked herself in the bridal suite and refused to come out for an hour and a half. Someone finally gave her anti-anxiety meds and she emerged puffy-faced, make-up dripping, and having had missed the first part of her reception.  On the other hand, my brother and his new wife, who got married outside, in Seattle, on a floating dock no less, told their guests, "it's Seattle, so bring an umbrella." 

I'm sure you're probably waiting for me to tell you the step by step guide to planning your wedding around rain and offering suggestions on how to handle the logistics of the day if the sky does open up. Well, I suppose I should do that since I'm a wedding coordinator and all. But instead, I'll just say, hire a coordinator and she'll take care of all that shit. Instead, I'd like to rhetorically ask you which of those two marriages, from the scenarios above, do you think started off on the right foot? 

That's right, I tricked you! This post isn't exactly about rain on your wedding day. It's about the symbolism of weathering the proverbial storm when you have rainy regular life days after you're married. You can't control whether or not it rains on your wedding day, just as you can't control what your spouse is going to do or not do, or their mood that day, or how they love you. Rain isn't good luck or bad luck, it's just what happens sometimes when Mother Nature is cranky, or hangry, or sleep deprived, or stressed at work. It usually doesn't have anything to do with you but if you let it get to you, then whole day will be ruined.

So instead of locking yourself in a room and having a massive meltdown, do just as you should on your wedding day and plan for rain and then adapt and overcome. HAVE A STRATEGY FOR DEALING WITH THE RAINY DAYS:

  • Say 'sorry' a lot and mean it. Say 'thank you' a lot and mean it. These simple gestures make an enormous difference in your relationship.
  • Talk about how you can deal with each others' grumpies. Sometimes I need to vent and my husband would always offer suggestions on how to fix it and it drove me bananzas. I finally communicated with him (when there was less steam shooting from my ears) that I really just needed someone to listen to me for a few minutes, not help me fix it. 
  • I've never read The 5 Love Languages, but I know a number of people who have. I'm not necessarily promoting the book, but I do appreciate the concept behind it: knowing how you each show love to one another. For a long time I was bothered by the fact that my husband isn't outwardly romantic; he doesn't make any grand romantic gestures. And then I came to the conclusion that he will never be that kind of dude. It's just not how he is wired. Now I don't expect him to make grand romantic gesture and get frustrated when he doesn't and I instead recognize his more subtle ones: making breakfast on the weekends, paying for dinner when we go out (even though I hold a very strong belief that it's not a man's duty to pay for my meals), and sending me cute dog videos that he knows I'll love to watch (and probably start crying over). 

If you know me, you know I'm a firm believer in marriage counseling, or marriage coaching as I like to call it, BEFORE things start to get shaky-- pretty much from the get go. I don't believe we innately know how to come from very different backgrounds and upbringings, combine our lives, and be married to another person. If you and your spouse (yes, BOTH OF YOU) can determine a strategy for dealing with the occasional gray skies, or even a torrential downpour every once in a while, you'll likely be eons beyond your peers in marital success. You'll also both be actively engaged in the everyday "maintenance" of your marriage (like Motorpool Monday for all my army veteran friends out there). 

And as far as rain on your wedding day? Well... hire a coordinator and bring an umbrella!