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Archive for March, 2009

According to an old wives tale, rain on your wedding day is suppose to be good luck to the happy couple.  However, most brides do not envision their special day being soggy and wet.  Living here in California, we are blessed with a dry season that generally runs from mid-April to mid-October, with the summer months (June, July, August) being virtually rain free.  However, in my many years living here, I have seen the occasional suprise rain storm show up and seriously threaten an otherwise perfect wedding day.  My advice to my clients….always have a back-up plan!

So, what can you do.  First, if you are having both ceremony and reception inside, then rain isn’t really going to be a problem for you.  But if you’ve always dreamed of that “perfect” outdoor wedding, then you are indeed at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Here are some solutions to keep Mother Nature from “raining on your parade”:

1.   Consider having an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception.  Most of the wedding day will be spent at the reception.  Therefore, this is where the potential of rain ruining your plans is the biggest threat.  The ceremony is usually short and sweet, about a 1/2 hour or so.  If you have the reception indoors and it’s raining during ceremony time, then the ceremony can easily be moved inside to a foyer area or even done table side (your guests are seated at the tables in the reception area while the ceremony is happening in the front of the room).  This is not obviously the most ideal situation since I’m sure that garden or beautiful view would have been a more romantic setting.  However, it does mean that in an emergency, your wedding day isn’t completely ruined.

2.  Consider putting a tent or awning on hold for that day.  Many rental companies will allow you to put a non-refundable deposit down for a tent or awning with a cancellation policy of a week before your wedding date.  Most long range weather forcasts are usually pretty accurate within a weeks time.  While you may forfeit a few hundred dollars in your deposit if it doesn’t rain, you will be so happy and relieved if it does rain that you did think ahead.  Calling a tenting company a few days or even a week before your wedding hoping to rent at tent at the last minute usually doesn’t work out.  The company needs time to schedule employees to set it up or the tents may already all be rented out.  Not planning ahead may leave you high and dry, or in this case, soaking wet.

Of course, rain isn’t the only thing Mother Nature can whip up to cause trouble at your outdoor wedding.  Wind and heat are also big problems.  In the heat, make certain that you have plenty of shade and water available for your guests.  Tents or awnings, umbrellas, parasols or fans during the ceremony, these are nice touches to make your guests more comfortable.  For favors, be certain that they don’t melt in the heat (chocolate is really bad for this).  Make certain that your decorations can withstand wind.  Even the slightest breeze can send rose petals flying or blow out your candles on the tables.  Use hurricane lanterns to cover your candles and be careful how tall and top-heavy your centerpieces are.

With a little planning for Mother Nature’s fury, your outdoor wedding can be everything you’ve always dreamed of!

Happy Planning!

Karen 🙂

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