Although your wedding day is the most important day of your life (possibly), it’s just another day to the Universe, which means you need to get into Boy Scout mode and be prepared. In life, we have insurance premiums, and for weddings, we have Plan B (or, Plan LB for the Lazy Bride). Sounds like work? It takes a few minutes but can save you mounds of headaches later.
The number one concern when planning your wedding is weather, especially if you’re having an outdoor ceremony and/or reception. Amidst your brainstorming about how wonderful you’re going to have everything, remember to figure out what Plan LB will be in case of inclement weather.
* Is there a nearby location that is covered and has enough space?
* Do you need to rent a tent?
*If at a hotel, is there a ballroom that can be the backup?
* For photos, is there a covered atrium or historical site that is picturesque and close by?
Having Plan LB sometimes costs extra money but think of it as insurance. Would you drive your car without coverage? So don’t risk having the most expensive party you’ll likely ever throw end up in ruins. Go through your ‘worst case scenario’ and figure out Plan LB and then put it into place – rent the tents, pay the site fee for the atrium, book the ballroom and do whatever you have to so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. And whatever you do, don’t be tempted to dump your Plan LB to save some money as you could end up paying in spades later. Consider the cost of Plan LB as part of the overall budget and something that cannot be sacrificed.
Case in point – I recently had a wedding where the morning of, the groom wanted to cancel the tents we’d ordered as back up. ‘It hasn’t rained all week and look at the sky’, he said, thus dooming himself to rain.
I explained that:
a) it was too late to cancel (they’d been setting up since the night before) and tent rentals, like musicians or photographers or any other vendors, are giving up other business to be there for your day and their full fee must be paid if you use them or not
b) we were still on the cusp of the change from wet to dry season and, being in a rainforest, we couldn’t risk it
Sure enough, at 5:20 PM, during the photos and cocktail hour, the heavens opened with a vengeance. Luckily, our tents were all set up and ready to keep everyone dry. The deluge continued for 2.5 hours and was the hardest rain we’d had in over a month. Needless to say, the groom was VERY happy we had Plan LB in place – and although it was money he was trying to save at first, in the middle of the downpour, those tents became priceless to him and all of his dry guests.
You need to assign one person to make the call as to when to spring Plan LB into action and meet with them so you’re all on the same page. Come up with a realistic ‘cut-off time’ so the decor, chairs, etc. can be moved in a timely manner. Be sure to discuss Plan LB and its timeline with the vendors, not only to keep them in the loop but to also learn from their experiences, as they will undoubtedly have some great advice and suggestions.
Decide beforehand what the criteria is for Plan LB – is it grey skies, heavy winds, the temperature hitting a certain point? Write the criteria out at the top of your Plan LB list along with the Plan, the timeline and the names and contact numbers for all involved parties. Include Plan LB with the timelines you hand out so everyone knows exactly what they may have to do and when.
Plan LB takes a little bit of work to plan but once it’s done, you can sit back and relax, knowing you’ve got your bases covered. Smart!