Preparing for Weather Issues on Your Wedding Day

Amanda and Andrew's Wedding...coming soon!
Photo courtesy of Carden's Wedding Photography
No matter how hard you try, there's one aspect of your wedding day that you can't control- the weather. Bad weather, from extreme heat and winds to heavy rain and snow, can really put a damper on your plans. But it's important to keep in mind that even though you can't control the weather, you can certainly prepare for it.

Hire wedding professionals that you can count on not only to show up in bad weather, but to guide you through the challenges that come along with it. A Wedding Planner can be invaluable in these circumstances as he or she can handle all of the weather-related stress so that you can enjoy your day. If possible, try to purchase wedding insurance. No one expects a hurricane or blizzard on their wedding day, but these things can happen and in some cases they can even postpone your "I Do's". In these situations, certain insurance policies have the potential to prevent you from losing everything you've spent.

Consider the weather throughout every step of the planning process. When searching for your venue, look for spaces that will work rain or shine. If you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, that's fine, but make sure the site has a Plan B that you're equally comfortable with. Many venues have covered or indoor options that can be used in case of inclement weather. If you don't love Plan B, keep searching. The last thing you want is to wake up on your wedding day, realize it's raining and know that you'll have to get married in a backup location you hate.

If you're planning an outdoor reception you'll definitely want to investigate tent options. Many venues already have tents onsite. Make sure they have sides and appropriate flooring in order to handle extremely wet days. No one wants to be damp or stand in the mud all night.
Suzanne and Ben's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography
Don't just consider precipitation when visiting potential venues- think about temperatures as well. If your ceremony is outdoors, will it be in direct sunlight, or will there be shade? Does the church or historic mansion you're using have air conditioning? Will your tent have fans or space heaters to accommodate unusually hot or cold temperatures? Asking these questions early on will help you avoid stress later.

Dress appropriately for the season. I know that sounds obvious, but when you fall in love with a heavy beaded gown in an air-conditioned store, you're not always thinking about the fact that it could be 100 degrees on your wedding day. The same thing applies for your bridal party. Dress lengths, fabrics, and accessories are all important. If your wedding is in the winter, opt for longer dresses and shawls to keep your bridesmaids warm. If you're getting married during a notoriously wet month, try to avoid fabrics that water spot easily. 

Work with your florist to select blooms that are hearty enough to withstand heat, cold, wind, rain or snow. Consider ordering extras of smaller items like the groom's boutonniere so that you'll have a back-up if it wilts. On the day of your wedding, try to keep flowers indoors or in water as long as possible.

Incorporate details and decor that can work to combat any weather issues you may run into. Program fans or water stations at your ceremony are a perfect way to help beat summer heat, while a basket of complimentary wraps or a hot signature cocktail can keep guests warm if the temperature drops.
Jessica and David's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Childress Photography
Wind can definitely be a problem for outdoor decor. Keep programs together in baskets rather than setting them out on chairs. If you're planning on using candles- especially unity candles- keep them in tall votive holders or hurricanes so that they stay lit. Consider LED candles for items like luminaries that could easily topple over in a strong breeze. 

As your wedding day gets closer, keep an eye on the forecast, but don't obsess over it or panic too early. It might change a million times before your day arrives. If bad weather looks like a strong possibility, reach out to your vendors to hash out all of the details and make any necessary changes. Find out when you would need to make the call to use the Plan B site at your venue so that it's set in time. If your forecast calls for rain, stock up on extra golf umbrellas for guests who might forget them and make sure your venue has walk-off mats in place so they don't slip while entering the building. Umbrella bags and coat checks, or at the very least coat racks, are also essential. If snow is predicted, make sure the venue is prepared to salt and shovel. If severe storms and power outages are a possibility find out if your venue has a back-up generator to avoid leaving your guests in the dark. 

Consider whether or not your timeline needs to be altered to account for slower travel times in harsh conditions. You may have to rethink any sort of send offs you had planned. Be prepared for the fact that some out of town guests, especially those flying in, may not be able to attend in severe weather.
Madeleine and Eddie's Wedding
Photo courtesy of mkPhoto
Check with your hairstylist to make sure that the style you chose will still hold up in whatever weather the forecast is calling for. Be sure that your veil is tightly secured in case of heavy winds. If it's storming hard on your wedding day, try to get dressed at your venue. If that's not possible, have your bridal party hold your gown off of the ground to avoid puddles and mud in your path and don't put on your shiny white shoes until you're ready to walk down the aisle. 

Talk to your photographer about alternative places to shoot if the weather's too uncooperative, but try to get a few shots outside if at all possible. Have fun with it. Pick up some colorful umbrellas or rain boots for your bridal party to pose with. Don't be afraid to trudge through the snow for a bit in your Uggs. Rain, snow, wind and clouds can make for beautiful and unique pictures. If going outside is totally impossible, see if your photographer is willing to do a Day-After Session when the weather clears so you can still have the photos you dreamed of.

Do your best to be prepared, make sure you vendors are all on the same page and just go with it. You can't change the weather, but you can change your attitude about it...and in the end, that will make all the difference.
Stacey and Justin's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Sofia Negron Photography

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