Beat Weather Event Blues
Well, as far as sunshine goes, I don’t think we can plan for all our outdoor events this year to be bathed in sunlight! The only predictable thing about the weather is that we all know it can be shockingly unpredictable. So, if you are planning an al fresco party or outdoor wedding day, you absolutely must factor in the possibility of poor weather conditions. A little planning now could salvage your event from a soggy disaster later. Here are some ideas to help you beat weather event blues:
-If you are using a marquee, make sure that your hire company do a rigorous site visit before the event. Discuss with them the suitability of your chosen area, as you may find that the idyllic spot that you have in mind is on ground liable to flood if there was a downpour or that it is too near trees that could damage the structure in windy conditions
-Choose your marquee flooring wisely – moisture can seep through, so consult your suppliers and opt for something fairly robust and that is insulated – you don’t want a waterlogged dance floor to scupper any killer moves!
-Draw out a plan of your site. If you are erecting marquees and providing portable bathrooms, make sure that you create paths between them that are canopied, should it rain, or provide shade if it’s hot.
-If you are using a marquee add a decked outdoor area for guests to enjoy the sunshine or, for a permanent venue, use a terrace area for some cooler outdoor space. Parasols add extra shade in summer while patio heaters and cozy blankets keep off the chill off.
-TLC insists that all venues we use have in built air conditioning and heating systems to allow us to adapt the temperature inside depending on the weather on the big day. Rooms and marquees will get warmer when everyone has arrived so flexible temperature control is essential and we monitor the temperature throughout the day.
Have fun with the whole situation. I know every bride wants a beautifully sunny day for their wedding but let’s face it, it can’t happen for everyone – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you set out with the idea of ’embracing’ whatever the weather throws at you, you can get through your day with a lot of fun and laughter.
-For wet weather, bridal party wellies are a must! Go flamboyant, bright coloured and patterned – or, if you’re really organised, get them monogrammed with the couple’s married initials. We’ve never had any returned yet!
-Likewise, umbrellas – have bespoke brollies created for the bridal party, which will provide a colourful and dry backdrop to your wedding photos, and a great take-home gift for guests.
-Make sure that you have an indoor and outdoor option for photographs. We often erect a clear gazebo over terraces, so at least if the weather is bad the bride can keep dry whilst in the background is that million-dollar view of the gardens.
-Check the weather conditions ahead of time and plan. Also, think about where the sun will be at different times of the day – your venue should help here – so you can position the marquee and your photographs to make the most of a sunset, but not have the sun blinding the bride during her photographs!
Handling the heat
If you are lucky enough to get a very sunny day for your wedding, that can also prove just as tricky, and planning to beat weather event blues is needed here too.
-An idea that I love is to present your order of service printed onto or attached to a coloured hand held paper fan. Ideal to keep the ladies cool. No dripping make-up here!
-In extreme heat (well there is a chance in the UK!) serve plenty of iced water in funky coloured bottles and hand round iced towels for guests to freshen up with. Also, consider cool-air systems in your marquee and plenty of shade on the lawn – yurts, canopies, anything to keep the heat at bay!
Catering the climate
Keeping your guests comfortable is of the utmost importance, and so adapting your wedding or party catering, to beat weather event blues of the culinary kind, is key.
-For cooler days, go for a variation on mulled wine or even mugs of hot chocolate are popular, and we are serving lots of mini handmade pies in individual dishes this year, duos of soups in one bowl and lovely sticky pudds with individual jugs of custard. Traditional and popular.
-If it’s warm, iced glasses of homemade lemonade or mini fruit iced lollies (vodka or Pimms lollies for the adults) are ideal and to keep them shaded, provide your lady guests with lightweight Chinese style parasols.
-Think lighter options with a cold starter and dessert for the warm weather and consider serving a chilled cocktail on arrival or, as is popular in Mediterranean countries, offer guests a glass of good chilled red or rose wine. Serve mini artisan ice cream cones or have an ice cream van at your reception – vintage and popular with the children.
One thing is for sure though, as a seasoned event organiser and someone who plans meticulously to beat weather event blues, my motto has always been ‘We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not!’
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