Extreme Weather When Planning a Wedding

Extreme weather – weddings

Wow, what a summer! The kids have gone back school but September’s still a busy month for marquee weddings. I’ve been involved with some beautiful marquee weddings in Sussex and Surrey this year. I’ve had the best time with some fantastic couples but I have had to contend with some cases of extreme weather. As a wedding planner specialising in marquee weddings, most of my weddings take place outside in private grounds. I love marquee weddings at home, it’s such a great option if you have the space. The only thing is… no one can predict the weather! As an experienced wedding planner, I always have an adverse weather plan, and that doesn’t just mean wet weather but also extreme heat, and snow in the winter. The most important thing is you and your guests are comfortable and happy. I am about to share my top tips on extreme weather when planning a wedding.

I think attitude is an important factor when considering adverse weather. You need to be open to the possibility that weather won’t be what you hoped for. You’re marrying the love of your life, all your family and friends are there, are you really going to let the weather spoil it? 

‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst’ is my moto…

Wet Weather 

Alanis Morissette sung about rain on your wedding day, apparently it’s supposed to be lucky, a symbol of fertility, new starts, unity and renewal. Some say it represent the last tears the bride will shed for the rest of her life. You may not hope for wet weather but remember this if the rain falls: a dry rope might be easier to handle, but a wet knot is harder to undo.

My Tips for Wet Weather

  1. If you haven’t booked your wedding yet and are worried about wet weather, consider having a nice spring marquee wedding in April. It’s generally the driest month of the year.
  2. Make sure there are plenty of umbrellas available for your guests to get between exposed areas i.e. from the marquee to the toilet – you need to protect those made up faces, hair styles and outfits. Brolly Bucket hire umbrellas for events nationwide. Their stock is neutral and elegant, and they hire baskets too.
  3. You don’t want your guests to be cold so if they can get cosy under a blanket during the speeches, they’ll thank you. Brolly Bucket hire blankets too.
  4. It’s important to have a microphone and speaker system in place to ensure the speeches are heard over any wind/rain.
  5. If your summery menu is looking inappropriate for the weather you can speak to your caterer, they may be able to make small changes to side dishes for example and provide something a bit more hearty/warming if necessary.
  6. Ask your bridal boutique about adding small hooks so you can keep your dress dry as you walk over damp ground.
  7. Look on the bright side – a rainy day can make for better photographs than clear skies and blazing sunshine. Clouds give a soft light whereas with bright sun you get harsh shadows. Photographers can get creative in the case of rain too, they can even set up a remote flash behind the couple and light up the rain for a really stunning effect. And hey, you might get a rainbow… and how cool would THAT look in photos?
  8. I can advise you if the marquee is going to be big enough in case your guests can’t be outside. I can also suggest the best places within the grounds to pitch the marquee if the weather threatens to be a problem. 
  9. I’ll take care of practical solutions to boggy ground (it’s a glamourous job!)
  10. The majority of my weddings still take place May-September but there’s no reason you can’t have a winter marquee wedding at home. Tipis are super cosy with their open fires and reindeer hydes on wooden benches. I can plan your catering around ‘winter warmers’, maybe a twist on comfort food classics? I’ll discuss adequate heating for the marquee and welcome guests with warming Moscow Mules or mulled wine.  
Image – Hayley Rose Photography

Extreme Heat

The perfect marquee wedding is sunny and warm without being too hot. We’ve experienced some heatwaves over the last couple of summers and they can be as challenging as rain when it comes to keeping your guests comfortable. Perhaps even more so with the dangers of dehydrations, heatstroke and sunburn.

My Top tips for Extreme Heat

  1. Where possible, place floral arrangements out of direct sunlight to avoid wilting as much as possible.
  2. Order paper hand fans. Could your stationer easily turn your order of service into a hand-held fan? I think that’s a lovely idea!
  3. I will make sure nothing reflective is left outside in the sun if there’s a fire risk. Same goes for candles and smokers… I will monitor them! 
  4. Consider melty makeup and hair frizz scenarios. Ask your MUA and hair stylist for advice. If the weather’s looking scorcio you may want to consider an up-do in order to keep cool.
  5. We’ll ensure there’s plenty of cold drinking water available for your guests to avoid dehydration. I’ll make sure staff keep dispensers and ice topped up.
  6. We can discuss placing sweat survival kits in the bathrooms. We can include Evian water spray, sunscreen, insect repellent, deodorant/body spray, blotting paper/powder (for shiny faces).
  7. You may want baskets of flip flops, sun hats, parasols and sunglasses available for your guest’s comfort. Citronella candles are also great to have on hand to keep bugs at bay.
  8. I will make the most of any shady areas and let you know if I don’t think there’s enough shade. 
  9. Try to do photos in the shade to avoid squinty eyes. Dappled light through trees looks stunning anyway. Parasols and sunglasses look cool in photographs but make sure your guests take off their glasses for some shots… we want to see those eyes!
  10. If your ceremony is outside, and you have the option, try to schedule it at a time when the sun is not at its strongest i.e. before 11am, after 3pm or in the evening. Also think about where your guests will be seating and if the seats are likely to be uncomfortably hot. A meal at sunset in hot weather is ideal. 
Image – Matt Tyler Photography

Also don’t forget, the weather isn’t the only thing that can affect the vision for a perfect wedding day, there could be medical emergencies, things could go wrong with suppliers. That’s why you need a planner, so you can enjoy your day while I deal with any mishaps. Gliding around like a swan!

I specialise in marquee weddings in Sussex and Surrey so if you’d like to arrange a consultation to discuss your event please contact me.

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