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Everything to Know About Outdoor Wedding Backup Plans

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Planning an outdoor wedding? You need a backup plan. Learn about the importance of planning for inclement weather on your wedding day.

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Your wedding’s style, venue, food, flowers, entertainment, and more remain squarely within your control. That’s why you carefully plan your wedding day after all! But in between all of the details you are in charge of for your wedding, there is one specific thing you cannot control no matter how hard you try: the weather.

Yes, you might absolutely recite your vows on one of the most stunning days of your particular season. But there’s also a very real reality that it could rain. So, what do you do? How do you best prepare? Can event insurance help? We’re breaking down all of the outdoor wedding backup plan details below, and we think you’ll definitely feel more prepared after reading through our notes.

Why do I need to have a backup plan for my outdoor wedding?

As we mentioned, the weather is the one thing you cannot control on your wedding day. You can celebrate with bright sunshine, or there can be dark skies (or a downpour) happening overhead. It truly is a roll of the dice, no matter how you analyze what the forecast may or may not decide to do.

Some brides will even consult the Farmer’s Almanac when considering wedding dates!

The one way you can place control square back into your hands and keep all of the money you are investing into your wedding day safe is to have a backup plan. Essentially, this means creating a fully indoor alternative plan that keeps everyone dry while also allowing you to celebrate. Remember: your goal is to get married! That can happen inside or outside.

How do I create a backup plan for my wedding day?

Creating a backup plan for a wedding day is actually really simple. The hard part is being open to it! Let’s talk about wedding venues first.

Wedding Venues

Choosing to get married at a wedding venue is helpful for many reasons. One of the most important is that most wedding venues typically don’t just have outdoor locations. Even though a locale’s outdoor spots might be beautiful, many spaces will also have ballrooms on hand. The key thing is to tour both to ensure you love the venue’s indoor spaces equally as much as their outdoor spaces. If you can’t say that’s true, choose another venue!

Non-traditional Venues

Where things get a little trickier is when you’re getting married at an outdoor location (think: a park or beach) or at home in a backyard. In these instances, indoor or covered locations might not be as plentiful. But there are still things you can do!

Parks

Many community parks, for example, have pavilions. They can work in a pinch because they’re covered. Just make sure to book a pavilion when you’re first inquiring about celebrating in a park!

Beaches

If you’re planning a beach ceremony, chat with the community office to see if there are covered decks nearby in the event of rain. You can also opt to officially get married at a home, restaurant, community center, hall, or venue.

Backyard

In the event that you’re hosting a backyard wedding, the biggest thing you should do is to book a tent and a floor. Most tents have walls you can roll down to keep everyone dry inside. The flooring helps to keep everyone off of the ground that might be wet. Of course, you can also move the celebration inside the house. But most homes are not equipped to suddenly welcome a large crowd. A tent is your next best bet because it keeps everyone out in the backyard where there’s more room.

I have event insurance. Won’t that help if it rains?

We highly recommend purchasing event insurance for your wedding day. In fact, most wedding venues require it! But, in the case of rain or even snow, the short answer as to whether or not event insurance will help is… it will not help. It’s not designed to!

Event insurance is important to have to keep you safe from an Act of God, which boils down to a weather emergency (think: hurricanes, blizzards). The entire city or town where you plan to wed would need to be told to stay home and completely off of the roads (aka: a State of Emergency) in order for event insurance to help. Drivable rain or snow, unfortunately, does not qualify.


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I’ll be so upset if the weather is awful on my wedding day, but I still want to have fun. What do I do?

Having a backup plan in place that you like is the first step to ensuring you can still enjoy your wedding day, even if everything has to occur inside. The next thing to do is to enact your plan!

Most venues will ask you to make the call 24-48 hours in advance, but there are instances in which you can decide what to do on the morning of your wedding. Never ever wait until the last second to move things inside. That causes unnecessary stress for everyone involved!

Look on the Bright Side

The other thing to remember is that rainy or overcast wedding days have some of the most beautiful light. Cloud cover helps to eliminate harsh shadows caused by bright sunny days, which means your photos can have a beautiful, soft quality to them (and no concerns about squinting.) Plus, you can purchase clear umbrellas that have a slightly more luxurious feel (for very little money) to use during your portraits.

Rain, snow, or another type of inclement weather is simply a reality if you’re planning an outdoor event. But with a backup plan ready to go, you can avoid so much stress. While you plan, ask your vendors how they handle the rain. Trust their recommendations and enact your backup plan with time to spare. Then embrace the weather! No matter whether the sun shines or the clouds open, your family and friends will still be by your side, and you will still get married. That’s what matters most!

Are you having an outdoor wedding? Do you have a wedding backup plan?

What are your inclement weather plans for your wedding day? Is there anything else you would add to our recommendations? Let’s keep the conversation going in our community!

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