Weather-Proofing Your Wedding

I just had a wedding cancel today.  It was supposed to happen this Tuesday in New York City but the grooms' flight is on Sunday and they expect Hurricane Irene-related travel issues.  I'm running around now cancelling flowers, cancelling the officiant, the wedding cake, the limo and telling my assistant he has to stay home!  I'm trying to get refunds or transfer deposits to the new date.

They sure are glad they have a wedding planner to deal with this stuff for them!

So, let's talk about what you should do in this situation, starting with things you can do to plan ahead:

1.  Always have a rain plan.  Always.  We have offices in Boston and New York where the weather is unpredictable, unlike say, California.  We are used to renting tents, dance floors, cook tents, generators and so forth.  Make sure your rain plan includes a location for the ceremony and cocktail hour, not just the reception and make sure your tent has sides! 

2.  Buy wedding insurance.  I like Wedsafe.  For a few hundred bucks, it's great for peace of mind.  Basically, in the event of an "act of God" such as a hurricane, you'll get the money you've paid for the wedding back.  If you live in an area where natural disasters or major storms are an annual (or semi-annual) occurrence, it's a good investment.  And hopefully, of course, you'll never have to submit a claim.

3.  If possible, avoid choosing a wedding date during obviously risky weather seasons, especially if you have many guests traveling to attend.  This is exactly why we have so few winter weddings (November-March) in New York and New England...our snowstorms are unpredictable.  Now, hurricane season is so long and hurricanes so seldom make their way this far north, so planning a wedding this time of year is completely reasonable.

4.  Review the "Force Majeure" clauses contained in most vendor contracts.  This clause protects everyone in the event of a natural disasters and explains the policy for rescheduling.

5.  Hire a wedding planner so you don't have to deal with any of this stuff yourself!

Have you ever had to cancel or reschedule a major event like a wedding, because of a storm or other weather issue?
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