No matter how organized and well planned your wedding day is, the weather is one aspect you cannot control. In Minnesota, hot, cold, windy, rainy, snowy and stormy weather all can and do happen. So while outdoor ceremonies are very popular in our area, it is essential that you have a real bad weather plan identified and ready to execute. That was never more true than last weekend.
Scattered thunderstorms had been forecast for Saturday afternoon, but we woke to sunshine on Saturday morning, and a revised forecast indicating that the rain would hold off until around 7pm. In light of that the couple and venue moved forward with plans for an outdoor 4pm wedding ceremony. At 3:40pm the skies grew suddenly dark, the temperature dropped, and radar showed strong, possibly severe rain to the west, and heading our direction. When the first lightning was sited the bride and groom made the call that the ceremony needed to be moved indoors.
With only 20 minutes until the scheduled ceremony start time, everyone scrambled to help. The venue staff moved the chairs into the barn loft (the bad weather ceremony location), turned the lights on upstairs, quickly mopped the floors and turned large fans on to try to cool the space down a bit. The DJ and my tech support moved the sound system to the loft and did a quick sound check. The bridesmaids and groomsmen moved the floral decor and unity ritual props and table into the loft, and the parents greeted guests and directed them to the loft for the ceremony.
The skies opened and rain poured down about five minutes before ceremony start time, but the processional began and the ceremony was underway, on time, in the dry loft space of the barn. The cooperation of all parties involved was wonderful; the couple was calm and relaxed about the last minute change; and the ceremony came off without a hitch. But all of that was only possible because of the on site bad weather option that was available. There was no time to contact all guests and route them to a different location, as would have been necessary if a park ceremony had been planned, for example.
This story demonstrates the necessity for a real, executable bad weather backup plan, for while all couples hope for a picture perfect wedding day, it doesn’t always happen. As last Saturday shows, if you’ve got a good contingency plan in place an unexpected rain event can be only a minor blip in your day. Disaster averted, couple married, guests safe and dry, and the celebration enjoyed by all.