From blazing sunshine beating down on an outdoor wedding, to incessant rain flooding the big day, the Great British Summer is a beast unlike any other. We need to be prepared for all kinds of weather in the UK.
Choose a Wedding Umbrella
When it comes to planning your wedding day outfit, the weather weighs heavy on your final choice as a guest. Should you have a jacket or a light cardigan? Should you opt for a coat? What if it gets too hot? Where will you seek shade?
The answer lay in a piece of kit that many of us take for granted – the brolly. Made for shielding us from rain, as well as pretty, cotton versions for keeping the sun of our face, the umbrella is an essential part of any summer wedding outfit (or for winter nuptials, for that matter too).
For the bride and bridal party
White wedding dresses were not tradition until after Queen Victoria wore a white, lacy dress for her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840.
White is a beautiful colour and one that suits most skin tones and hair colour. Shimmering and beautiful on a bright summer’s day, should a grey cloud roll across the horizon, there needs to be an umbrella to shield the bridal party from the first few raindrops as they seek cover.
White wedding umbrellas are therefore the order of the day and with prices such as these, you can afford to invest in more than one. With pretty scalloped edges, there is a femininity and softness to this umbrella too, perfect for complementing the wedding dress and not detracting from it.
And with mother of the bride and mother of the groom dresses and attire often complementing the wedding party in pastel shades, a white wedding umbrella is an ideal, non-distracting accessory too.
Wedding dress attire
For a formal wedding, guests will make a herculean effort to look fashionable in their formal wedding outfits and thus, an umbrella to match needs to have the same vibe about it.
Bright, block colours are on the agenda this coming wedding season and so it makes sense that an umbrella need to complement this kind of outfit perfectly. Avoid clashes of colour by choosing a complementary colour or shade, rather than trying for the perfect match.
But, rather than the ‘everyday umbrella’ look, ring to changes with a different shape. Pagoda shaped brollies are fantastic. Opt for a plain block colour that sits well with your outfit, but its curvy shape and peaked dome means it looks a lot dressier than an ‘everyday brolly’.
1950s styling is also popular, especially for summer wedding guests. With cinched in waists and flirty ballgown skirts, 1950s inspired outfits are incredibly popular. Again, your umbrella would complement this rather than detract from it.
From a vintage rose umbrella to a polka-dot brolly with frilled edging, there are many brollies that go with this era of fashion.
As well as softly tailored outfits and pretty colours, many wedding guests choose to ensure that their own quirky style is still shining through, no matter what the occasion. And thus, the penchant this summer season for clear plastic macs and bags bodes well for those of us who enjoy the understated quirkiness of the clear, plastic dome umbrella.
For the gentlemen
From the groom and best man to ushers and page boys, the gentlemen guests also need to stay dry in the event of a summer shower.
Men’s walking umbrellas are those which have a certain je ne sais quoi. Longer and larger than most other brollies when folded, the gentleman can use this umbrella similar to how he would use a walking cane. When not needed, the curved handle fits beautifully over the forearm.
If rain is threatening, the groom or his best man could keep it close or, as is the case at most formal weddings, the chauffeur will be the one who ushers in the bridal party under cover of an umbrella.
A compact men’s brolly is also an ideal accessory, especially when it comes with an extra carry option. However, the wooden varnished curved handle stops it looking too informal, a common problem with functional accessories like umbrellas.
As for colour, sticking with black or dark colours such as navy, is the way forward for a successful complementary accessory, whether the gentlemen are in black or grey suits.
For the outdoor ceremony and reception
In fact, for a wedding being planned for the outdoors, the mere pounds these umbrellas cost mean that when you are planning your wedding, you could have a stash of them ready for use by your guests.
Steer clear of those festooned with cartoon characters and motifs, opting instead for no-fuss, clear plastic dome umbrellas. This way they are not overly distracting, especially as they could look a little ‘childish’ for such a well-planned and organised wedding.
Or, if you have a colour theme, you could choose one with a matching coloured edge to the dome. Perfect for creating cohesion across the entire wedding and reception landscape.
For stashing in the wedding cars or transport
Whether you are travelling to your ceremony on foot, in a horse and carriage or in a vintage car, having a stash of inexpensive brollies to hand for those ‘just in case of rain’ moments is a great move.
Stick with the tried and tested plain coloured compact brolly or choose one with a pattern, geometric, striped or floral, that sits well with the wedding party attire and theme.