Mandee and I worked on a super fun Cape Cod rehearsal dinner today and transformed Grange Hall in Sandwich in to a super fun place to gather friends and family before an awesome weekend of wedding festivities! Casual Gourmet catered a clambake for them and guests also enjoyed tours of the Nye Museum, part of the Bride's family history!
So you have your heart set on an outdoor ceremony, eh? Beach? Backyard? Open field? All beautiful locations on the Cape (obviously), but not so pretty when the weather does not cooperate. I always tell my brides that the one thing we cannot control is the weather, and unfortunately, you cannot control it either. So no matter what, if any part of your event is outside – ceremony, cocktail hour, photos – you will need to have a rain plan or back up option available. Here are some locations you can take into consideration when putting together your rain plan. And trust me – if you don’t have a rain plan, and it rains, it will be a nightmare!
If your wedding reception is taking place at a Cape Cod venue – resort, hotel, ballroom, etc – and your ceremony is outside at that venue, or maybe even off site at your favorite beach, be sure to talk through back up options with your catering manager at the site. You may need to have the ceremony in your reception area, which would then limit the amount of set-up time for the reception. They may have an open ballroom or venue space you can use and keep on hold for you at no charge for a rain back up. Just be sure you get that figured out, maybe even at the time of booking, to be sure that the week of the wedding you have a back-up in place.
If your wedding reception is in a tent at a private home, rented home, or venue there are two options for you. You can either have your ceremony under the reception tent on the dance floor, or you can talk to your tent company about a back up ceremony tent. This tent is usually on the order early out and then you can make the decision the week of the wedding if you want it or not.
I have actually had brides that are getting married outside also secure a church as a back up plan. If your ceremony is on a beach and your venue does not have a back up plan, or it just really does not make sense or you just really do not want to, have your ceremony under the tent, then you could contact a local church and secure the date and time as your back up. Basically what you are paying for at the church you can consider your rain insurance plan.
One thing to really keep in mind about your rain plan is that it will, in some way, shape or form, affect your time line. The reception space may need to be ready up to 2-3 hours earlier if you need to be under that tent. So be sure to keep your vendors up to date if the rain plan needs to go into action. And be sure you have a solid plan on how to let your guests know if the location has changed significantly – like from a beach to the church.
And if it rains on your wedding day, you have to do your best to not let it upset you. It is the only thing out of your control! Be happy that all of your friends and family are there to celebrate with you – rain or shine!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
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