Celebrity wedding planner David Connolly from Rich Bride, Poor Bride has joined Weddingbells as a guest blogger answering all of your burning wedding-related questions.
Are the risks of an unpredictable forecast worth the reward of the magic (and often cost savings) winter weddings bring? Absolutely! Here are some tips to help you navigate through the unique challenges the season brings.
If Mother Nature creates a vista that isn’t in your vision you can rent a walled, entrance canopy tent to keep your guests protected from the weather and the less than perfect scenery. Likewise, if the view from the reception room is of a storm that might cause guest anxiety/early departure or is of mud-puddled, frosted grass that looks nothing like view in the brochure, consider changing the view either by drawing the curtains, installing semi-opaque sheers over the windows or focusing the attention on you through lighting and a gorgeous backdrop.
A comfortable, well-functioning coat check area is vital and an easy DIY project if one isn’t available at your venue(s). You’ll need: Standard-sized coat racks (large enough to accommodate approximately 30 coats each) as well as perforated ‘double-numbered’ tickets pre-hung on the hangars to aid in recovery. There should also be ample, available seating to change out of snow/rain boots into dry shoes and a place to store the wet footwear. Finally, stickers or tags guests can write their name on and affix to their umbrellas makes returning a mass of black umbrellas easier at the end of the night. If guests choose to wear snowy or muddy footwear into the ceremony space, make sure they walk around the centre aisle to their seats and that any foot wiping mats are removed before the bride’s entrance.
Be sure your vendor contracts include an ‘Act of God’ clause in the unlikely event that a blizzard or freak sleet storm prevents your wedding from happening. You may also want to research the growing popularity of wedding insurance.
If a sparkling snowy wonderland is vital to the success of your vision renting an artificial snow-making machine, the kind used for ski hills or movies, provides a guarantee. Their rental cost is variable depending on the surface area and amount you desire. For example: A machine that can produce 2.5 tons of artificial snow rents for approximately $2500.
Have a phone call chain of people in place to communicate with your guests and vendors should your day be postponed. Or supply a number to your guests to call if it becomes a day-of decision.
Remind your guests to include extra, weather-related travel time in their planning.
Typically groomsmen who don’t have appropriate overcoats to wear with their tuxedos or suits forgo outerwear all together. This is a mistake as they will be called upon in inclement weather to help get people safely to their cars or shuttle buses. Tell them to forgo style for a warm coat, gloves and hat to protect them from harsh weather. One of them should also be responsible for creating and transporting an inclement weather ‘emergency kit’ of salt, anti-freeze, an extra windshield scraper, jumper cables and an emergency flashlight.
Brides should have vehicles large enough to accommodate the dress, coat, stole, wrap and umbrella. If time allows, travel in sweats and dress at your venues if the possibility of getting water or mud and slush on your dress are irreversible. Otherwise, a contingent of people to lift hems and carry umbrellas will be required.
Ask your venue rep what their specific ‘weather’ procedures are. Do they have on-site staff to shovel and salt? How busy is the local plowing company they use? How soon before your arrival are their driveways, parking lots and walkways cleared? Do they have golf umbrellas available for your use?
Make peace with fact that anything is possible, everything is subject to change and that adding the intense emotions of a wedding to the already highly emotional holiday season requires patience, preparation, humour and balance.
Find David on Facebook at Facebook.com/theaislefile