You've waited your whole life to walk down the aisle, and in the event of a natural disaster you may have to wait even longer. Hurricane Sandy hit the East coast last week causing damage, power outages, coastal flooding and even the loss of homes for some. Firstly, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the storm this past week. Many of us, including our team at Bridal Reflections, have never experienced a storm of this magnitude, however we did learn a great deal along the way both from personal experience and from our fabulous brides-to-be.
As a bride and groom-to-be, the last thing you want as a couple is to worry about a super storm disrupting your wedding day. Whether your wedding is scheduled during hurricane season or in the winter months when snowstorms may occur, you may want to take the proper precautions should Mother Nature decide to work against you. Here are some helpful tips to "weatherproof" your wedding day!
IMPORTANT PLANNING TIPS
Research your wedding date and location! You can consult the Farmer's Almanac for weather patterns and pick a location that is dry and moderately warm. If you are getting married outdoors, consider a backup option such as an indoor location or a tent. Make sure to include the rain venue on your invitation or inform your guests that the wedding will go on rain or shine. It may be a wise idea to have a tent from the start so your guests are protected from wind, rain, and extreme temperatures. Also, make sure your venue has a generator on hand to deal with any loss of electricity. It's also a good idea to have large golf size umbrellas on hand so that you and your bridal party can safely enter and exit the ceremony and reception. Call your venue and make sure that there is a coat room for your guests to store their belongings and umbrellas. With a little creativity umbrellas can go from an eyesore to a prop and make for some fun photos! Having your bridal party wear rain boots for a portion of the day is another functional and adorable photo opportunity.
If it does rain on your wedding day have a member of your bridal party carry day-of emergency kits, such as the famous Madame Paullete's Professional Stain Remover Kit (sold at Bridal Reflections). This can be used to fight any mud stains among other types of stains you may encounter. Have all your makeup, hair products and tools with you and keep them in the Bridal Suite if one is available. This will allow you to touch up throughout the rest of the evening. Have your hair stylist and makeup artist instruct one of your bridesmaids while they're dolling you up that morning, this way they can help you look your best throughout the day.
VENDOR POLICIES & COMMUNICATION
When planning your wedding it's important to ask vendors what their policies are in case of a natural disaster or major storm and how they've dealt with these situations in the past. You always want to work with companies and vendors who communicate well with their clients. Prior to the storm we called many of our clients to reschedule appointments. We knew our phones were down, as were the phones of many of our brides so we offered regular updates on our social media platforms and also provided an email address for brides with emergency situations. We were in constant communication before, during, and after the storm. Many brides posted their concerns regarding appointments and fittings to our Facebook wall and inbox to which we were able to respond right away. Others expressed words of gratitude for being in contact throughout the storm which was rewarding.
Once we did get our telephone system up and running we learned that many of our clients were very understanding and just wanted to "hear our voices" on the other end of the telephone line. If you have fair enough warning of a bad storm or natural disaster heading your way, it may be a good idea to call your vendors for alternate communication options, perhaps a cell phone number or email address.
Here at Bridal Reflections we fitted brides and bridesmaids in the dark by flashlight, working in shifts to take the dresses to the home of a head seamstress -- who miraculously still had power after the storm -- to be worked on. We have never missed a wedding, and wanted to make sure that did not change. In fact, one of our brides was so thankful that she shared a photo of her and her husband getting "Married by Candlelight" in their church which still had no power. She looked so beautiful and the loss of electricity became a seamless part of the ambiance.
ENSURE THE SAFEY OF YOUR GOWN
Once you do become aware of a storm heading to your area you will want to take the necessary steps to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your gown. If you are in a flood zone, take your gown to a trusted family member or friend's house for safe-keeping. You can also call the salon you purchased the gown from and see if they have any options for you. If you are unable to do so, then store the gown on the second floor of your home in a garment bag and a watertight container if one is available.
ALERT GUESTS & REMAIN OPTIMISTIC!
If you have relatives and friends coming in from out of town call them and alert them of the weather forecast. Assure them that their safety is most important and you understand if they cannot attend the wedding. If your wedding does continue to take place during a state of emergency there will most likely be some things that "go wrong," such as a vendor cancellation or some guests that could not make it. Try to remain calm, optimistic and don't sweat the small details, in the end you'll have a story to tell your children and a partner to share the rest of your life with. If your wedding does get postponed to a later date think of it as some extra time to relax before the wedding. After all -- the planning is already done!