So you have been dreaming of an outdoor wedding; for you, mother nature is the best decorator. So what happens when the weather decides that it wants to crash the party? Have no fear – with a few preparations, and the right outlook, bad weather won’t be as bad as you may think.
1. Choose seasons wisely – Even if you are a risk taker, try your best to not plan your outdoor wedding during the hottest months of your location, or during the rainy season. Also, in some areas you can keep in mind the time of day. Many people who live in tropical environments may only experience brief one to two hour showers during the day. Locals typically know the time of day when it will rain, so if midday rain may be the usual, try to plan an evening or early morning wedding.
2. Beat the heat – Even if 85 degrees is good for you and your groom, consider the fact that it may not be so comfortable for your guests. If heat may be a factor in your outdoor wedding, remember to provide tents and/or plenty of shaded areas. Any wedding that is going to be outdoors should have large fans readily available and plenty of cold drinks for everyone. Remember in warmer seasons bugs can also be an issue – mosquitoes bees, and wasps are just a few of the pests that could ruin your day. Have the area exterminated one to two days before, and take other precautions to ensure that your guests aren’t swatting away flying predators while you are trying to say ‘I Do’.
3. Ceremony outside and reception inside – Outdoor weddings are beautiful and great. Ceremonies are typically fairly short, but when it comes to the reception, you want everyone to hang around and celebrate with you for a bit. Indoor festivities after your ceremony insures that everyone is comfortable, and also can provide a location for ‘plan B’ in case the weather decides not to cooperate with your ceremony plans.
4. Try to find a venue that has an indoor alternative - The last thing you want is to have to stress about rain, or extreme heat. Most venues will only have one wedding at a time at their location. So when you are reserving your venue, ask about the ability to move the ceremony indoors in case of bad weather. Have a backup plan, and a specific person in your party who you have discussed all ‘bad weather’ related changes with ahead of time. That way there will be no chaos or confusion if the time comes to make the switch from outdoors to indoors. If you do not have the ability to choose an outdoor alternative, reserve tents that are enclosed on the sides as well as overhead. Small fans should also be placed in the tent to keep air circulating.
5. Consider event insurance - Purchasing event insurance will help recover any costs that may be involved in having to reschedule or move your event at the last minute.
6. A note on your invitations - Let your guests know of your ‘plan b’ on the invitations ahead of time, this will help prevent any confusion at the last minute. You can also designate a way for them to find out if plan b is in effect when your wedding day comes. You could do this many ways – guests could check your social media updates, and/or call a specific person or two. This will help ensure that speculations are not made, and that guests are routed to the appropriate location. Make sure that your alternate location is near the original one, so that guests who are traveling can still arrive on time. Adding an extra 30 minute drive may mean that half of the people you invite miss your ceremony.
7. Choose appropriate wedding party attire -Realize that weather has a role in your wedding. It may not be the best idea to have your groom wear a three piece suit, or for your bridesmaids to wear long gowns. If you are going for outdoors, think light and care free. This way, if it does rain, your bridesmaids won’t have muddy trim on their dresses. Also purchase coordinated umbrellas for each of them. They can always be returned if they go unused. Also, plan for your hair to be styled in a way that is less affected by bad weather.
8. Stay light-hearted - Bad weather may have come in, but why not work with it instead of against it? Having a dance in the rain, or some steamy wedding shots in the elements helps you to embrace your day regardless of the outdoor conditions. Just remember to wear water-proof makeup!