What You Should do if it Rains on your Party

garden party when it rains

So you’ve finished planning the perfect garden party. The food is ready to go, the decorations are in place and the entertainment is sorted. 

But you’ve just checked the weather, and instead of bright blue skies, a storm is on the way to rain on your parade. Typical! 

Don’t worry! We’ve created this guide to make sure the show can still go on, and it’ll still be as great as you pictured it. So sit back and get ready to find out how you can still make it work when it rains at your outdoor party.

If you’re looking for more party advice, check out our party planning checklist. It’ll give you the best tips and tricks and we’ve even included a printable party plan to help keep you on track! 

Plan Ahead

The best way to deal with rain at an outdoor party, is to think ahead. This means considering the food, location, entertainment, games and decorations before the party.
It’s a great idea to have a plan in mind way ahead of your party in case it does rain. We’ll go through the back ups you should keep in mind in case the weather doesn’t go your way on the day.

Move Inside

It seems obvious, but the best way to deal with rain at an outdoor party, is to get out of it! But where can you go? 
Well of course, the obvious choice at home is the kitchen and lounge. Have your furniture set up to make sure it’s ready in the event of a sudden downpour. If you’re worried about space, check out our guide on how to host a party at home. It’s full of great space creating tips to make sure you can fit your guests in comfortably. 
If your house isn’t large enough to cater for all your guests. Try the garage. Move the car out, and take all the clutter upstairs so it’s out of the way. We know it’s not ideal, but it can give you a bit more space in the meantime if it looks like the storm will pass.
You also could consider hiring or buying a gazebo if time is on your side. It’ll mean the event can still go on in if it rains on your outdoor party. But be careful if there’s high winds or a storm scheduled. You don’t want your gazebo blowing away in the middle of your party! 
If you suddenly have to move inside if you rains at your outdoor party, get the furniture, food and electrical items inside first. 

Sort out your Party Food

If your outdoor party is relying on a BBQ to cater for your guests, you’ll need to get it covered as soon as possible. If you have a covered and safe area to cook the food on the BBQ, there’s no need to ditch the burgers and hot dogs! Just cook them outside out of the rain and serve them to your guests inside instead. 
Got no where to put your BBQ out of the rain? There’s still a few things you can do. Although you were originally going for that classic barbeque taste, you can still serve great food to your guests.

Get the Grill On

When you don’t have too many guests to cater for, throw the food on the grill setting on your oven. Although it won’t have the authentic barbecued taste, it’ll still taste great if it’s well seasoned and has been marinated. You can also fry the burgers and sausages instead if you’re grilling space isn’t large enough. 

Have a Takeaway Number on Hand

If serving your plan A BBQ food isn’t an option, you can think about ordering a takeaway. There aren’t too many guests out there that won’t be happy with some pizza instead! Have a phone number for your local takeaway ready in case you need it. This is a good idea in case it suddenly rains at your party.

Switch to Buffet Style Food

If you have more time to plan for the weather, prepare some buffet and finger food instead. Chances are that you were planning on serving cold side dishes at your BBQ, so these are still fine regardless of the weather. 
For main dishes, you could try batch making some curry, pasta bake, enchiladas or casseroles. If you’ve not got time to prepare anything, you can always ask for help! Ask your friends and family if they can each bring some food to make sure there’s enough to serve everyone. 

Stock up on Frozen Food

When the weather forecast keeps changing it’s mind and you’re not sure if the BBQ will be able to go ahead as planned, it’s a good idea to stock up on frozen food.
If it rains, you can quickly put it in the oven and get it ready for your party. Just make sure to read the instructions regarding defrosting to make sure the food is safe to cook from frozen. And if the weather does brighten up and you don’t need to rely on frozen food, it’s no problem! It won’t go out of date quickly so it’ll still get eaten meaning it’s not a waste of your money! 
Check out our complete guide to party food for more tips! 
what to do when it rains at a party

Think about Games and Activities

Depending on what type of games and activities you had planned, you may have to change things up if it rains on the day of your party. 
If you’re planning a children’s birthday party, here are some good indoor party game ideas:
  • Musical statues
  • Pin the tail on the donkey
  • Pass the parcel
  • Treasure hunt
  • Musical chairs
But if you’re planning a wild party and want some drinking games to keep everyone entertained, check out the 10 best drinking games for large groups or small groups
You could always switch your party up into a games night too if you’ve only got a small guest list. Here are the best games you can play if it rains on the day of your party.
  • Charades
  • Cards against Humanity
  • Pictionary
  • Joking Hazard
  • Jenga

Don't Forget the Decorations

So hopefully you’ve managed to save your party decorations from the rain. But if you’ve moved the party inside, it doesn’t mean you have to ditch your themed decorations. 

Bring the outdoors indoors, and embrace your theme regardless of the weather. Take a look at our tropical beach party theme guide for some great ideas. If this Hawaiian beach party theme can work indoors, then we’re sure whatever theme you were planning will work too! 

Reschedule as a Last Resort

If you’ve gone through this list of ways to still go ahead with your outdoor party if it rains, and you still think you need a sunny day, it might be an idea to reschedule. 
Try and reschedule it later or earlier in the day. Changing the time, rather than the date of the party is a much better option. It’ll save both you and your guests a lot of hassle reorganising plans. 
If scattered showers are forecast for your outdoor party, you might be able to still host it outdoors. As long as you’ve got the food under control, it’s still possible to have a garden party on a rainy day, as long as it’s not torrential. It can be a good idea to have some umbrellas and ponchos available if your guests want them. Just make sure it’s light rain and still safe. 

Never host a party outdoors in storms or extreme weather. If this is the case and you can’t move inside, your only option is to change the day unfortunately. 

Stay Positive!

Although the weather isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean you can’t host an amazing party. After all, parties are just a great way to spend time with your friends and family, so don’t let the weather get in the way. Follow these tips and try and move the party inside, plan your food, activities and decorations ahead of time and keep smiling! 
Don’t forget to check out our party planning timeline too! It’s full of great tips and advice and includes a printable party plan to help keep you on track! 

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