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Weather Related Problems and Solutions

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In the lore of many nationalities and religions, it is lucky to have it rain on your wedding day. I can only imagine that this piece of "wisdom" developed as a result of the dismay felt by bridal couples when it does rain on their special day. The rain, being lucky, makes it easier to accept. Nevertheless, it is the clever bridal couple who plan for the weather-related inevitabilities. We offer the following ideas to make it easier to be well prepared.

I. Weather Issues Related to Location & Season

1) Backyard/At-Home Weddings
Depending on the size of your house, you may have different options for a "rain date." If it should rain, is your home large enough to accommodate all your guests, or would a back up tent be the better solution? A tent should be considered not only as an in-the-rain option, but also because it provides shade on a sunny day and a cooler environment for the food. When calculating the tent into your budget, make sure your price includes delivery, set-up and tear-down. If you are planning a rain date, it should be indicated in your invitation. If you are going ahead regardless of the weather, you can ask guests to bring umbrellas for a "just in case," and it's a good idea to have large golf umbrellas available as back up. Also, check to see if your electrical system will carry the extra load of heaters, fans and other items which will be plugged into your circuit.
2) Outdoor Wedding
An Outdoor Wedding can be most delightful, but also is especially difficult to execute. Shelter is the key to hedging your bets. Whether it is a tent or an indoor facility that is close by, some alternate plans that take into consideration the possibility of inclement weather are a must. Most couples rent a tent. Take care to have the tent placed in an out-of-the-sun spot, so your guests don't cook in the heat. Cooling systems may also be rented to control temperature in less temperate times of the year. All of your wedding professionals should be well acquainted with the outdoor site, so they can prepare accordingly. This is a venue that truly needs painstaking and careful planning to ensure success.
3) Yacht and Cruise Line Weddings
Another lovely venue for a wedding is aboard a boat. A ship, yacht, or old-fashioned river boat can all be charming locations. If you decide on an at-sea wedding, you might consider a nautical theme to go along with the location. Part of the success of a shipboard wedding is tied to weather conditions. Large cruise ships are not significantly affected by rough seas, but anything smaller may pose problems in inclement weather.
4) Foods to Match the Season
Any kind of food works at a winter wedding, but menus may be a heartier and richer than in warm weather. The winter theme can be carried through with items such as mulled wine or cider, cheese fondue, hearty soups, warm breads, bread pudding or hot fudge sundaes.

II. Beauty Regimen
1) If you are planning to have a professional do your makeup on your wedding day, ask around and find someone who comes recommended to you. If you'll be doing your own makeup, take enough time to experiment with different products and different looks. Your wedding photographer may give you some ideas of what makeup will photograph the best. Make certain to keep in mind that the extra stress of the day and/or the weather and/or your moving around a great deal may influence how well your makeup wears. A professional makeup artist can provide helpful advice and possible solutions.
2) Frizzy hair can be a real problem in humid weather. Don't panic. A trial run before your wedding day will eliminate most surprises, but can't ensure perfect weather. To get hair smooth, simply apply an antihumectant (anti-wetness) product. If the rain or humidity causes your hair to droop, for an emergency fix, use a volumizer spray at the roots.

III. Weather-Related Party Favors
1) Victorian fans made from antique-looking wallpaper samples and doilies, tied with a bow made from matching thin ribbon into a bow. These are especially lovely for outdoor, warm-weather weddings and/or for inside the un-air-conditioned church.
2) There are companies who make personalized golf-type umbrellas that work well in either hot sun or rain.

IV. Protection for Weather Emergencies
1) Better safe than sorry . . . prepare for rainy weather with several emergency, backup supplies: a raincoat, umbrella, slip-over boots or extra shoes, and a plastic tarp (for walking "to" and "from").
2) With a winter wedding or in anticipation of the sun gods staying away, preplanning is especially helpful. A white sheet or carpet runner placed strategically where you exit your vehicle will keep the bottom of your gown from getting "weather stained." If yours is a gown with a long skirt or train, lift the skirt to keep the hem off the ground. Your attendants may be asked to help you going up stairs, through doorways, or getting out of your vehicle.
3) For the possibility of rain or snow, if you are wearing your gown to your ceremony and/or reception location, outerwear and weather-appropriate shoes are wise as a standby.
4) Despite the possibility for snow and potentially difficult weather, a winter celebration can be just as wonderful, if not more so, as a wedding at any other time of year. Best of all, when budget issues are a concern, wintertime special rates may allow you to plan the wedding you have dreamed about and may give you the option of "upgrading" to a destination weekend wedding, more expensive in peak seasons, yet affordable in the winter.
5) Keeping white bridal shoes white through rain, mud, slush and on grass, can be a neat trick. The solution is to take two medium to large sized "Baggies" and split them front and in back for easy walking. Put about two inches of Scotch tape in front and back so the plastic bags won't slip off. The maid of honor can easily slip the "bootie-baggies" on and off over the bride's shoes . . . and the bride needn't even bend over!

V. Weather, Entertainers and Entertainment
1) Proximity to heaters, standing fans, fireplaces, open windows and doors, should also be avoided, if at all possible. A dry, level surface is ideal and open-sided tents make an excellent shelter from the elements. Electrical and sound system requirements and availability of parking is best cleared well in advance of the date of your event.
2) Arrange for an area or areas where your musicians can be comfortable when they perform. Check with them for their specifications and determine whether you or they will be making the arrangements. Keep in mind that musical instruments are delicate and can be damaged by strong, direct sunlight, fog, and/or mist. Proximity to heaters, standing fans, fireplaces, open windows and doors, should also be avoided, if at all possible. A dry, level surface is ideal and open-sided tents make an excellent shelter from the elements. Electrical and sound system requirements and availability of parking is best cleared well in advance of the date of your event.

VI. Weather Issues and Guests
1) Today, many guests arrive from destinations far away from the wedding's location, so creating a "Guide for Out-of-Town Guests" is a very considerate idea. Include in the Information about weather conditions at the time of year your event is planned.
2) Another way to inform guests about local weather is for the couple to create a Wedding Web Site and include in it links to local weather sites.

VII. Planning a Honeymoon
1) If you're flying out of an airport, a nearby hotel makes bad weather less of an issue and pinning down travel time, unnecessary.
2) Take along rain gear that can prove invaluable. It's worth buying and packing "collapsible," lightweight cover-ups and a little umbrella.

VIII. Weather-Related Poetry & Lore
1) According to the Hindu tradition, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck.
2) An Irish Blessings: "May there always be work for your hands to do. May your purse always hold a coin or two. May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane. May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you. And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you."

IX. Cancellation Insurance
With the price tag of weddings so high, couples are opting to pay for wedding insurance. Coverage varies with different companies, but can include such things as bad weather, wedding professional no-shows, the bride or groom getting sick and can extend to damaged property and gifts. The price also varies, but runs in the vicinity of 1% of the total cost for the wedding.

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