Rain on your wedding day is supposed to be lucky. It's a symbol of fertility, of new starts, unity and renewal. Some say it's supposed to represent the last tears the bride will shed for the rest of her life, but those of us who are married know that one is bunk.
For years, Mother Nature smiled on all of my Caribbean destination weddings and we never had a drop of rain. But you can't do almost 500 weddings in the tropics without ever having showers, so it was bound to catch up with me at some point. In the last couple of years, we've had to use our Plan B on several occasions. However, I'd like to point out that in several recent cases, the brides and grooms told me that it had rained on every single one of their pre-wedding events too, so maybe it wasn't my fault.
I've always said that the bride and groom's attitudes totally determine what happens when something goes wrong at a wedding -- and we've seen everything go wrong over the years, not just bad weather. Believe me, a little rain is preferable to family members fighting, medical emergencies and couples drama between your friends. But it's all about how the bride and groom handle the necessary shift to the inclement weather Plan B that makes the difference in whether or not everybody ends up having fun at the wedding.
Jacquie and Tim's wedding last November was a great example of how, when the bride and groom keep smiling through whatever happens, every single family member and guest keeps smiling too. They'd had rain at their engagement party, bridal showers and even their bachelor/bachelorette weekend, so the wedding party told me it was going to rain even before it was in the forecast. I groaned.
It didn't just rain at Jacquie and Tim's wedding -- we had a mini pop-up tropical storm, I swear to God. It went from looking wet and grey out to sudden 50-plus mph winds. Plan A was the beach. Plan B was the porch. For Jacquie and Tim, we had to move to PLAN C (inside entirely) -- and that just never happens.
At the last minute, we had to tear down an entire wedding reception, setup inside a multi-million-dollar villa and flip it over into a wedding ceremony venue -- and make it look good! We couldn't use the porch because the wind and rain were so intense they were blowing 20 feet across the deck and hitting the big glass windows. The palm trees in the back of the photos are actually bent over sideways!
The ceremony was beautiful. It's probably hard to believe that Plan C could be just a great as the original -- but it was. The venue was gorgeous, the bride and groom were blissfully happy, everybody was smiling and laughing. And my staff was wet through all the way to the underwear, for eight hours, while we pulled this thing off. But we did it. And everybody had fun and danced all night. Our decision to move the DJ and bar inside was stellar and once the decision was made to move the ceremony, we adjusted everything from that point on.
Here's the thing -- IF the bride and groom had been upset and/or angry about the rain and having to execute Plan B, and then Plan C, nobody would have had fun. When the bride is smiling, EVERYBODY is smiling. The minute the bride is upset, the groom is angry and her mother flips out. That's how it works. I've seen it in action.
I've also seen perfectly calm brides who weren't pleased (but were holding it together) about the weather get tormented by mean members of the wedding party who didn't seem to understand that the role of the bridesmaids and the moms when something is amiss is to SUPPORT the bride and tell her everything is going to be okay, not run in and out of the bridal suite announcing that grandma's hair got wet when the rain showers started after she'd been seated.
No seriously, it upsets me when I watch people with questionable motives trying to get the bride and groom upset or pissed off on their wedding day. In the case of rain, we have it under control. It may take the wedding planning team a few minutes to adjust the plan, but unless the ceremony is on a remote beach with no tent, there's always a Plan B. It just takes a few minutes for our team to execute it. And it does not help us accomplish our goal quickly when wedding guests are yelling at us that we should have had umbrellas for every single wedding guest, or that we should have 10 hair dryers on hand, or that we should have had a tent on the beach when the bride and groom knew all along that Plan B was the villa.
I'm a wedding planner -- not a freakin magician! I cannot control the weather. And odds are that if you're attending a wedding at a private villa, we're not going to have 50-plus umbrellas handy for you. The bride and groom would have had to purchase them for their wedding and instead they decided to spend their money in other ways. If there hadn't been rain, it would have been a huge waste of money. So please, if you find yourself a guest at a wedding that has a sudden weather problem, stand back and be quiet and let the professionals do their jobs. We have it under control but we cannot move, dry and re-setup a wedding ceremony while people are bitching at us. And how do you think overhearing that makes the bride and groom feel? It just gives the mean people more ammo.
The crazy thing is that, even when the guests are party poopers because of the weather, weddings always turn out beautiful and fun. We've yet to have an entire wedding ruined because of Mother Nature. And hours later, after they've been fed and watered significantly, the guests and wedding party who were nasty to us during the most stressful and busy times usually make a point to apologize for their behavior before they leave. Because, they admit, the wedding was wonderful and they had a blast. We appreciate the apologies, but we'd like it even more if they just used their manners while we're going 100 mph trying to triage a situation.
Remember this: You are getting married. In the grand scheme of things, the rain will be something that won't matter down the road. None of the little side baloney matters -- it's about the two of you. Trust that your wedding planner has it under control until she says she doesn't -- then you can worry. And if you are a DIY bride and groom, let this blog be a lesson to you that you need to have somebody other than yourselves in charge of executing your Plan B should the weather flip on you at the last minute. You're not going to be moving chairs and fixing things when you're dressed to walk down the aisle.
Take a look at the fun staff-made, behind-the-scenes video from Nicolette and Nate's Valentine's Day wedding last month -- all of their events were supposed to be outside and everything had to be moved inside. If this doesn't prove that weather has nothing to do with having a spectacular wedding, I don't know what does!
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!