When hosting an outdoor wedding or party, the greatest fear is always that the weather will not cooperate with your plans. Will it be too hot or cold for guests to be comfortable in the great outdoors? Rain? Bugs? Way too much sun? Producing outdoor parties and weddings do present additional challenges and as all planning professionals know, the key to stress management on event day is to understand your challenges and have a strong plan for any contingencies that may happen.
Here are some tips on how to negotiate with that uppity woman upstairs -Mother Nature- just in case she decides to crash your party:
PITCH A TENT
Or at least have one on hold with a rental company. Maybe that view you wanted to have for your setting is compromised with a tent in the middle of it but it is far worse to have guests that resemble drowned rats or have them sitting out the festivities in their cars because of a lack of planning. Tents these days don’t have to be ugly. Many companies have made a business out of creating ideal settings in the great outdoors. Many of their tents are even climate controlled. Small tents or a covered area to keep food and beverages away from direct sun and bugs are a must. You don’t want your buttercream icing or your guests to melt in the sun.
DON’T BUG ME
Consider odorless citronella candles, lighting that won’t attract bugs after dark (small bulbs like Christmas tree lights work great) or a pre-event visit from a pest control or lawn service can minimize the possibility of pests like bees, mosquitoes and flies at an outdoor party. If you have a problem with bees or have guests that are allergic, minimize fragrant floral arrangements that would attract their attention. Most of these bugs are worse at some parts of the year than others. Do some research and plan accordingly. If flies are suddenly a problem, have a couple of oscillating stand fans handy. When the air moves around, there seems to be less of a fly problem.
Whether you are landlocked or at the beach, wind can be a factor. If you are using candles, place a hurricane globe or barrier around them to protect them from the elements. If you are wearing a long veil, make sure it isn’t going to blow into candles. I have seen several actually catch on fire and the material is very flammable . If it is REALLY windy, consider skipping the cathedral length veil or anchoring the bottom with some tiny fishing weights. Tablecloths are also likely to take flight on windy days. You may need to use tape or something else to anchor your tablecloths on a very windy day. Rubber bands work really well; simply gather the fabric at the bottom corners of each table leg and wrap the rubber band around it. Pull the fabric to balloon it over the rubber band so you can’t see it, like you would blouse a shirt over the top of a belt. You can also make tiny bean bags out of coordinating fabric. Sew a tiny clamp from the hardware store to the bean bag and pinch it to the hem to weight it down.
BE MY GUEST
Select chairs that won’t be too hot if your wedding or party is in the sunshine. Opt for wood instead of metal if possible, and do something fun with your wedding program like designing it in the shape of a fan if the weather is predicted to be hot and humid. If it’s uncharacteristically chilly the day of the event, make sure coffee, tea or hot toddies are added to the beverage menu, and for hot days serve lemonade and plenty of ice cold water as guests arrive so they can stay hydrated prior to the reception.
HAVE A PLAN B
Yes, the safest bet is to have a plan B. We can predict a lot of things, but the weather isn’t one of them. You’ll stress less with a solid backup plan in place ‘just in case.’
Check out this link to The Weather Channel.com to research what the average temperatures and weather conditions are for your proposed event or wedding date and location before you set the date.