Do you live along the East Coast? And are you getting married this weekend? Chances are you are sitting on pins and needles wondering how Hurricane Irene is going to affect your dream wedding. And who can blame you! You, your finance and your families have invested a lot of money, time and emotion into your big day. Regardless if it's Irene or the Blizzard of 2012 (I know I should bite my tongue) you need to think about the worst case scenario. My job as a planner isn't to drop a bomb on your big day, but to provide you with the advice and direction to make the best out of a bad situation.
If you're one of those unlucky brides this weekend, and you don't have a wedding planner, now is the time to employ that over organized aunt, cousin or friend. Given that you are already under a lot of stress, you're going to want someone other than yourself, your mom or your bridesmaid who will have a more objective point of view to be the point of contact from this point forward. As crazy as this sounds this will allow you to relax, take deep breaths and let the stress fall on someone else. However, make sure this person is good in stressful situations. You don't want your POC (point of contact) to make you more stressed than you already are so don't choose someone who get's emotional easily. You want someone who can take control and handle things without your involvement. Just remember, if they make a decision without you and you don't like it…don't turn into Bridezilla. They are doing their best in the hot seat - just go with it as their intentions are in the right place. Once you've "employed" POC be sure to contact your vendors and let them know this is the point of contact for the day (or days) leading up to your wedding.
I know you've obsessed over your wedding for months, but don't obsess over the weather. Keep in mind there is nothing, and I do mean nothing, you can do about the weather. What I do recommend is to have your POC check the weather…let them obsess. Also let them touch base with your venue and vendors as the weather reports file in. If your wedding is taking place outside or in a tent this will your POC and the vendors to make the call to move the wedding inside to a different location. If it's any relief, there's an old wives tale that says if it rains on your wedding day it’s good luck…
If you're in a weather emergency situation pull out your contracts and double check your vendor's Force Majeure. Many contracts have a Force Majeure clause which will allow a vendor out of their contract in the event that any acts of God such as a hurricane, tornado, riots, strikes, etc…(situations that are out of their control) take place. Some vendors are not willing to negotiate their Force Majeure. Rather than omit this clause see if they are willing to reschedule your wedding within six months with no penalty or see if they are willing to refund some or part of your money. It never hurts to ask and get it in writing. I can tell you from experience however, 99.99% of all vendors will go to the ends of the earth to deliver on their contract no matter what the situation. I've seen bands load into a venue in almost flood like conditions…bottom line we are all wedding professionals who want your big day to be a success regardless of the situation!
However, if you must cancel your wedding due to a major weather catastrophe talk with your vendors about rescheduling your wedding for another date. No it's not ideal, but do you want to put your loved ones in the path of danger for the sake of your selfishness? Unless you're Bridezilla chances are no. So talk to your vendors and ask them if they are willing to reschedule for a later date with no financial penalty. The only vendors that may have to charge you something at a later date may be your florist and caterer as they are providing you with perishable items.
A few years ago I was supposed to attend my cousins wedding in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the morning of the wedding there was a major storm that caused flooding, washing out roads making driving impossible. I hated to do it, but I had to drop out…As a planner I have seen Best Men, grandparents and even sisters not make a wedding because their flights or travel plans were affected by bad weather. If the weather where you are isn't catastrophic to the point of canceling, the show must go on without them. With today's technology I recommend getting the Skype cams out allowing those that couldn't make your wedding be a part of your wedding regardless of the situation. They might not be there physically but they can be there through technology…it's an amazing thing isn't it?
Remember you can't control the weather, but you can be prepared so check your local Emergency Management Offices for additional information.
For anyone getting married this weekend along the East Coast I wish you all the best and most of all please be safe.
Until next time - Cheers!