This post was originally on our previous blog, but I felt after this past weekend, I really needed to re-post it. The entire Northern California area was shocked on Saturday with unexpected rain, and lots of it. While I was lucky enough to have had a wedding that was indoors for everything, others were not, and I have heard numerous heartbreaking stories of cancelled weddings, or re-located weddings. This is extremely difficult to plan for, even when you do have a back up plan, if the weather report was as off as ours was, there are sometimes where nothing can save it. The best thing to do is to have as much of a plan as possible, including a cancellation or re-location plan. Things happen all the time to interfere with weddings and events, and trying to be as prepared as you can be will hopefully help you avoid the pain that many others have endured. Here was the original post:
Recently, I've had the honor of doing so many great outdoor fall weddings. But, in the past month, three of them got a nice wedding gift from mother nature; rain. While I try to prepare for everything, there are some things I cannot control. While it isn't always a happy phone call or email I have to make, the truth is, the earlier you are prepared for the possibility of rain or other inclement weather, the better. Here are some tips to help you out:
1) Always have a backup plan: you cannot predict everything, so if your wedding is falling in any months where rain could be a possibility, the best thing to do is to have a plan in place as soon as you begin your wedding planning. It's not worth it to plan an outdoor wedding and hope that it doesn't rain. I suggest finding out from your venue what backup plans they have and indoor options that are available to you. For a wedding I did at the beginning of October, that wasn't an option, as it took place at a private home. I had (thank goodness) placed large tents on hold 8 months before the wedding. You do risk the chance of losing some money with this plan, but if it's your only option, do it. I was relieved to know that we had tents and flooring being installed three days before the wedding, while other couples were frantically trying to secure tents. Make sure you order the flooring as well, as it doesn't help too much to have a tent put up over muddy ground.
2) Accept defeat when you have to: I really hate to make the rain call, it hurts me as much as it does my clients, but the sooner the decisions are made to go with the rain plan, the better everything will flow. We've done a few game time decisions, but sometimes, you don't get to make the board room you are being put into look as good as it can. If your wedding is on a Saturday and you see the report on Thursday that the call is for 80% storm weather, take that as a very high chance. You still have time at that point to make a call to your florist or rental company to secure more items or change your current ones to fit with the new location. You'll be happier and more comfortable knowing that you have made your plan B location look as good as it would have outdoors.
3) Make the guests comfortable: say the weather calls for slight scattered showers for a brief period of time on your wedding day, and you make the call to go for it. Make sure that you (or your fabulous coordinator) secure enough umbrellas, canopys, etc. for your guests to be comfortable. Remember, they are dressed up for your wedding, and to expect them to sit on wet seats doesn't always go over well. When the rain was approaching for last Saturday's wedding, I made a run to Walgreens and purchased every umbrella they had and came equipped with plenty of towels to dry off the seats right before the guests arrived. The guest were very appreciative and it made the cold, foggy, wet weather not as bad! Even the groom secured some coffee and we had a nice little coffee station set-up for guests to warm up by.
4) Protect your dress, hair and makeup: you've spent enough on it all, why let the rain ruin it? Make sure you have a large golf umbrella, and many helping hands to help hold up all sides of your dress. One drop in the mud, and even a shout wipe can't help that! Make sure to also have a small can of hairspray (usually your coordinator will have this on-hand in the emergency kit) for the frizz that usually comes with the damp weather, and a white sheet to place under your dress if you will be standing outdoors for any photos.