We’re enjoying all the autumn vibes here in the PNW. And for Seattle, when there’s fall, there is usually some rain. If you’re planning a big event outdoors, the last thing you want to deal with is a soggy wedding dress, or soggy sandwiches at a work luncheon, or really soggy anything. Luckily, there are 3 things you can do to prepare for stormy weather and keep your guests happy and dry.
Have an Indoor Space Available
This seems like a no brainer, but in the frenzy of planning this can often be overlooked. If you are renting an outdoor space, your venue probably has a back-up location available. Ask who will make the call to move things indoors and what this will entail on your end.
If your venue doesn’t have an indoor space, plan to create some cover. Canopies and tents are popular at outdoor events for a reason. My friend’s neighborhood association recently held a community picnic that was interrupted halfway through by a downpour. This meant neighbors huddled together, chowing down barbeque, while water streamed down the sides of canopies. But what better way to build community than commiserating over shared misfortune! Everyone was fine and had a good time because they weren’t completely soaked. A bonus to renting cover is that if the sun is out, guests can get a little shade as well.
Coordinate with Your Team
Talk with others on your team. Think planners, caterers, or florists. Event professionals have most likely dealt with rain before, so don’t hesitate to ask for their input. Make sure anyone involved in setting-up, using, or cleaning up the outdoor space knows what the plan will be in the case of rain. I once started constructing a wedding arbor on a hotel balcony for an outdoor ceremony, but soon had to move things indoors because of bad weather. The team rearranged the reception space, and things turned out beautifully.
Keep Rainy Day Necessities On Hand
Depending on what kind of event you are hosting, consider purchasing umbrellas. Brides and grooms, for example, need to move around a lot to greet guests, take photos, cut the cake, etc. Think ahead about what sort of shuffling your guests will need to do to get an idea of how many umbrellas you will need. Clear umbrellas are a very popular choice when photos will be taken, since they are the least intrusive color-wise and make the photographer’s job a little easier with lighting.
Some other items that might be useful for guests include rain ponchos, towels, space heaters, hair dryers, and socks. For those who will be tromping through the elements for photos and the like, consider bringing boots, rain jackets, or a change of clothes.
Rain doesn’t have to ruin your special event. With some planning, you can keep things dry and running smoothly. Most importantly, remember to laugh a little if the weather turns on your big day. Damp socks feel like more of an inconvenience than a crisis if you can manage to keep a smile on your face.
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