Total rainouts are rare, but wedding day showers are common. In this blog, I’m sharing my advice along with extra tips from Lauren Soley co-owner and lead stylist behind Lovegood Wedding and Event Rentals.
Lauren Soley, Lovegood
Lovegood is a specialty rental company that has a vintage, eclectic vibe and is based out of New Orleans. We asked Lauren for the one piece of information she wished every client knew when contemplating an outdoor wedding. And I’m going to share with you exactly what she said.
New Orleans is 3rd Rainiest
To give you some context, according to a 2019 World Atlas Report, New Orleans is the third rainiest city in the U.S. with 59 rainy days per year, most during the summer. October is our driest month. I’ll tell you from my personal experience coordinating weddings here, total rainouts are rare, but wedding showers are not.
For the Love of Outdoor Weddings
Though the wedding industry has fallen in love with outdoor weddings, they are not without stories of heartbreak! Just ask a local band, décor rentals company, bartender or caterer. They’ve been there when the skies opened up 20 minutes before the guests arrive. With no cover, they are left soaked, with significant damage to their equipment, products, and furniture.
You Don’t Need a Hurricane to Cause Significant Damage
There is an understanding among wedding pros that you don’t need a hurricane to cause a wedding disaster, sometimes it can be as simple as a 15-minute summer shower. When you work weddings every weekend you start to see those 59 rainy days and what happens when a couple is not prepared for them.
Rain Increases the Cost of the Wedding
Rain may be good luck on your wedding day, but let’s look at the restrictions and financial consequences rain can have on a wedding day Any rental items that are damaged must be replaced. The cost to replace those items can be upwards of 3 times the rental fee. Many bands, musicians, rental companies, caterers, bartenders, photographers, and vidographers include in their contract that they have the right to refuse to perform their service if they do not have adequate protection from the weather.
Rain Back Up Plan
Lovegood asks for a Rain Backup Plan to be put in place if the forecast shows expected rain. She reasonably wants to see where those items will go in a rain backup plan. Couples who do not protect their wedding professionals can be held liable for damages to their equipment or products due to the weather.
Adjustments That Can Protect a Wedding from Rain
Wedding professionals love outdoor weddings too, and they have through experience discovered ways to protect themselves and their clients from the elements without taking away from the client’s desired vision or ambiance. Placing a stage under a band can allow them to perform at a venue that would otherwise be unsafe due to standing water. Lovegood has provided a substitute weather-proof chair option for clients expecting rain when they originally chose chairs that could not get wet. Our company brings along 100 ponchos and 16 clear umbrellas to save guests from getting soaked by an unexpected shower. I’ve seen venues rework their layouts to accommodate rain.
Safest Rain Plan Option
But the safest, surefire way to protect your outdoor wedding from the weather is to have a tent as part of your rain plan. And I know that for many of you, that is not what you want to hear. But take head y’all, reserve that tent now. Do not wait until the week of the wedding when it looks like rain. At that point, you will be hard-pressed to find a rental company with an available tent to fit your space. Tents are reserved for weddings, special events, festivals, filming, etc. When there is rain, everyone and their brother is looking for a tent. The early bird gets the worm, and if you are trying to get a tent the week or two before the wedding, you are NOT an early bird.
Instead, reserve the tent, and if the weather looks fine the week of, you can cancel and only pay a portion of the fee. Another option is to keep the tent and put off the decision to set it up. In that case, you can cancel the setup sometimes as late as the wedding day. You’ll still pay for the tent in full.
Keep in mind that once the tent is set up, it cannot be taken down. If you’ve never seen one of these go up, it is pretty remarkable. Watch this massive tent installation to see what I mean.
Avoid Unnecessary Risk
I can speak for New Orleans when I say, we know how to throw a party and we won’t let a little rain get in the way. But that doesn’t mean we are going to take unnecessary risk. It means we are going to think smart and put plans in place to deal with weather that would otherwise rain on our parade.
Lauren Soley’s Advice
And here it is straight from the lovely Lauren Soley of Lovegood, the one piece of information she wishes every client knew when contemplating an outdoor wedding:
With any outdoor wedding or event always, always have a Plan B which includes a tent. We all hope you have the best weather for your special day, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans in mind. You do not always have to go with your basic white tent, maybe spend a little extra for a clear tent if your budget allows. Some rental companies can also provide beautiful lighting to help dress up any tent and make your event even more magical!
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