It's been one of the driest summers on record but I was brought down to Blighty with a bump last weekend when it rained solidly during our post wedding day pool party brunch. But... all was OK, we had a back up plan! The British weather is nothing if not unpredictable, and being lulled into a false sense of sunny security can spell doom for outdoor weddings in the summer months. So, despite the blissful heat, we’re talking rain on your wedding day today, and how best to plan for it.
PLAN A ALONE IS NOT AN OPTION
No matter whether you’re planning a mid July wedding and the same week for the previous umpteen years has been golden and sunny, you can’t afford not to plan for rain. In fact I insist with all my couples that we have a wet weather plan. A solid plan B in case of a downpour is a non-negotiable and is something I always build into the planning process nice and early.
This is of course the most relevant to you if you’ve got dreams of a woodland wedding, outdoor ceremony or marquee wedding, but it’s a step that absolutely shouldn’t be skipped no matter your venue.
drizzle or downpour?
You know your guests and their temperaments best, and you need to decide how much rain is too much! Will a shower during a drinks reception be a real issue for you and your loved ones? Are you set enough on your outdoor sections of the day to furnish your guests with umbrellas and smile through the raindrops? Or will you need to activate your plan B and head somewhere warm and dry at the slightest sign of threatening dark clouds? Think about where you’re comfortable, and use this to help you build your rainy day contingency plan.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
If your Plan B involves a location switch, you need to discuss timings with your planner, venue and other key suppliers. I always have a time in place, already in the plan, where we must make a call regarding rain. Typically this links to set up timings and how quickly we can spring into action and move things to a covered alternative. Don’t go down to the wire with this deadline – you want to leave your suppliers enough time to set up the internal option beautifully BEFORE it starts raining, and not to have to run around like crazy. You want to show your guests that everything is under control, and a smooth, serene transition rather than a stressful at-speed switch is the best way to do this!
It might be a plan B, but it doesn’t need to look like an obvious back up. It’s worth taking the time at your initial venue visits to think through the use of space both inside and out in case the heavens do decide to open on the day. Knowing you’re ready with a second, beautifully designed space away from the elements will help you to stay relaxed.
Space to Mingle
If you’re having a marquee wedding, you’re in charge of the floorplan for your event. Therefore, it’s really crucial that you have your rainy day plan in mind when you do your initial marquee mapping so there’s no last minute risk of having to cram everyone into a space that wasn’t designed for it. Make sure that you’ve planned for enough space for your guests to mingle at an emergency indoor drinks reception as well as sitting to dine and hitting the dancefloor.
Putting these simple steps into action will help you face whatever the weather decides to throw at you feeling cool, calm and unflustered.