Outdoor Ceremonies: “Weather” or Not
Many brides are opting to have their ceremony on-site at their venue, either 1) in the same room as the reception, 2) in a different room, or 3) outside in a garden, deck or gazebo on the property. More and more couples are booking venues that are able to accommodate outdoor ceremonies simply because it seems to be a “picture perfect” way to combine the beauty of their ceremony with the beauty of nature and the great outdoors.
Most outdoor ceremonies are held between the months of April and October because those months usually have the best weather. However, we all know that the weather in New England doesn’t always cooperate with our plans. Just last year there was a massive snowstorm in late October and it was 90 degrees on marathon Monday in April! There are no guarantees from Mother Nature, so we suggest having a back-up “Plan B” that you can quickly switch to and still be equally happy about, especially if the outdoor ceremony becomes a nightmare weather scenario for you and your guests.
At a recent wedding, heavy rain was in the forecast, but it had not yet started, even though the skies were threatening. With half an hour to go before the start of the ceremony, the event manager kept checking with the bride as guests reluctantly began to assemble outside, their eyes glued above to the dark, foreboding clouds gathering overhead. The bride’s heart and mind were firmly set on having an outdoor ceremony… and she wasn’t budging. “Unless it starts raining, we’re having the ceremony outside”, was repeatedly her answer. The guests, the JP and the DJ, with all his expensive DJ/PA equipment and microphones waited outside in a humid, 95 degree late afternoon sauna… and then the thunder started. Within a few minutes guests of all ages, dressed in their finest clothes, were suddenly scrambling for cover as the wind picked up and tossed buckets of rain over everyone. The bride quietly watched from her window inside and then, finally, decided to move the ceremony indoors. Plan B indeed…
Having your mind made up that the ceremony will be outside “no matter what” is allowing the fantasy ceremony vision to block out the reality of the situation and ultimately inconveniencing your guests, the JP, DJ or musicians, event staff, and everyone else involved in making the ceremony flow smoothly. Attendees and staff at your wedding will end up with wet hair and damp clothing for the whole night.
We’ve also had an 11 am outdoor ceremony planned in late October where it was 30 degrees outside at 10:30 am. Guests wouldn’t even go outside from the warmth of the venue to be seated until the bride was almost ready to walk down the aisle. They brought coffee and hot chocolate with them to fight off the cold. True story…
We are not certainly trying to be “Debbie Downers” here, but as full-time, professional wedding entertainers, we have seen it all. The last thing we want is for anything to go wrong at your wedding. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. Cold, hot or rainy weather should not alter the outcome of a great wedding day… it will not ruin your wedding as long as you create a “plan B” that you can accept and equally embrace if it becomes necessary to implement. Don’t let a vision of perfection prevent you from accepting the reality of the circumstances at hand. A smart bride plans her wedding with an open mind so that even if an outdoor ceremony must be cancelled at the last minute, her “plan B” means the day can still be a success with minimal inconvenience for her guests and everyone else involved.