“February is the reason people live in Florida,” the historic lakeside house events manager said last May when I asked him if an outdoor wedding would be a good idea then. “Ask any snowbird. It will be magnificent, ”she practically guaranteed.
And so on on the promise and premise of a blue sky, the wedding plans unfolded: an outdoor ceremony on the lakefront lawn, a sleeveless dress, photos on the wooden dock at the twilight as guests enjoy appetizers on the outdoor brick patio under the strands of market lights. They would then move inside the charming house, where six tables for 10 people would be beautifully set for dinner and crowned with centerpieces lit by candlelight in cream and blush-colored roses.
Of course you know me now, I made up every detail right down to DC’s tuxedo nails (sterling French love knots). As my perfect plan fell into place, the vision sped up in my mind like concrete.
So, two weeks before the wedding, when Katie Scully, owner of Blue Ribbon Wedding & Event Design, who was coordinating the day of the event, asked, “What’s your rain plan? “
I said, “Plan for rain? “
“In case of rain.”
“Our plan is that it’s not going to rain,” I replied as if she had asked, what if the moon fell from the sky and landed on your head?
“Well, just in case. “
Although I thought it was a complete waste of time, five days before the wedding I dutifully called a meeting with the caterer and event manager to explain how the event would unfold in the unthinkable case of rain.
When we were done, we unanimously agreed, “Well, that’s not going to happen. “
Over the next four days, however, the forecast for Saturday turned darker. A black cloud formed on my wedding day, moving the storm needle from possible to certain.
I still had hope. However, I have learned in life, and it has taken decades, that if anything is meant to be – no amount of optimism or denial, or even their powerful combination, that I can muster with the strength of one. hurricane – it will be.
The rain started in the morning and didn’t stop. Temperatures dropped and winds picked up. At 10 a.m., I reluctantly called Scully to tell him to implement the rain plan.
The problem with imagining your wedding a certain way for months on end (good 73 degree weather, no wind, perfect hair, warm guests, clear skies) is that you really can’t see it any other way.
Scully placed the umbrella stand near the front door. Guests arrived inside and were directed to the main hall for the ceremony. After the ceremony, they flocked to the back of the house for drinks and appetizers, while caterers turned the ceremony hall into a dining room. Everything went smoothly.
“The wedding was wonderful,” said a guest afterwards.
“Even if it couldn’t be outside,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“Outside? I thought that was how you planned it from the start.
And, you know, now I can’t imagine it any other way.
The moral of this story: however you envision your outdoor event – whether it’s a birthday, graduation party, retirement party, birthday party, or party. anniversary or wedding – and despite how beautiful the almanac indicates the weather will be, have a backup plan.
“As a wedding coordinator, my goal is not to have to go to the bride with questions on the wedding day,” said Scully, who earned her bachelor’s degree in event management and is a certified wedding planner. . “On a day when the emotions are high, you don’t want to find out on the fly. ”
Unionized columnist Marni Jameson is the author of two books on the home and lifestyle, and the brand new “Shrinking the Size of the Family Home – What to Save, What to Let Go” (Sterling Publishing).
Plan B: Prepare for the unforeseen events of the wedding
Wedding planner Katie Scully offers this advice for the big day:
To be realistic. “We all want to say, ‘It’s not going to rain,’ but you just can’t, ‘said Scully. Besides rain, other factors can also force a change of plan, including wind and extreme temperatures. “You have to be in front. “
Enlist pros, so trust them. Because I had discussed the rain plan with those working behind the scenes, I only had to make one call to activate it. The pros took it from there. “By discussing this up front, we can go into problem-solving mode rather than spending time soothing the bride or getting caught in a room with her distraught mother,” Scully said. “Leave it to us. “
Focus on comfort. What is most important, what is your party like or what does it look like? They are your favorite people. You want them to be comfortable. And that can mean sacrificing your vision. “Thanks to sites like Pinterest, many brides focus so much on visual appeal that they forget about all the other senses,” she said. These barn weddings look romantic, with the lace dress against the rustic barn siding, but the photos don’t capture the funky animal smells, poor insulation, bugs, dirt and noise from the barn. the road.
Consider a tent. If you have an indoor bad weather backup plan, you don’t need a tent. But if you can’t fit everyone inside, line up one at least a month in advance. Most cities require you to obtain a permit, which can take a few weeks and require a fee. The rental company will likely charge you at least a partial fee to have the tent available whether you use it or not.
Stay away from the cold. Have a basket of blankets and shawls in light neutral colors for guests to grab. The outdoor radiators are also nice.
Stay dry. If it is raining or threatening to rain, provide cover and have an attendant provide umbrella-covered escorts for guests.
Keep calm. Put water bottle trash cans on ice if temperatures are high and avoid the beach wedding on the sand, Scully said. “We all burned our feet on hot sand.”
No nuisance. Before your event, be sure to have the site professionally sprayed for insects. And let patrons know they can find bug spray behind the bar.
And, despite the rain, they lived happily ever after.