OVER­COME WED­DING WEATHER OB­STA­CLES

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - CELEBRATION -

Weather is one rea­son why sum­mer, with the prom­ise of warm tem­per­a­tures, is such a pop­u­lar sea­son to tie the knot. But just be­cause sunny skies and ris­ing mer­cury are par for the course, that does not mean Mother Na­ture won’t in­vite her­self to the fes­tiv­i­ties — and at­tempt to up­stage happy cou­ples in the process.

Some feel it’s good luck for cou­ples to get rain on their wed­ding day, but many cou­ples would trade in a lit­tle of that luck for clear skies. How­ever, weather can be fickle, and cou­ples who build con­tin­gency plans into their wed­ding fes­tiv­i­ties are much more likely to cope well with in­clement weather than cou­ples with­out such plans.

Have so­lu­tions for sun and heat. Cou­ples don’t want their wed­ding guests or bridal party mem­bers pass­ing out due to heat ex­haus­tion. Make sure to of­fer shade if the cer­e­mony or re­cep­tion is out­side. Stock the area with cold bot­tles of wa­ter or a chilled le­mon­ade stand. Have fans and um­brel­las avail­able just in case guests need a way to pro­tect them­selves from the sun.

Strong storms. Over the course of hot and hu­mid days, storm clouds can de­velop and roll in. Af­ter­noon thun­der­storms are quite com­mon on sum­mer days. Ac­com­mo­date for sud­den down­pours by host­ing early lun­cheon re­cep­tions or en­sure there is a plan B that in­cludes a cov­ered area. Cou­ples should stash spare shoes or even rain slick­ers in a car to keep their wed­ding at­tire pro­tected against rain as they dash be­tween venues or take pho­tos.

Em­brace the rain. Vivid skies with light­ning or over­cast days can make for unique and strik­ing wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy. Cou­ples needn’t look at the down­side of rain, but rather they should see the op­por­tu­ni­ties for one-of-a-kind mem­o­ries.

Keep a gen­er­a­tor on standby. Storms may knock out power. Some re­cep­tion halls or ban­quet fa­cil­i­ties may have their own backup power, but be sure to ad­dress how power out­ages are han­dled. If need be, bring in a por­ta­ble gen­er­a­tor to keep the re­cep­tion room cooled by fans.

Plan for wind. Coastal out­door wed­dings present beau­ti­ful back­drops for wed­dings. But be­ing near the shore may mean ac­cept­ing windy con­di­tions. Tie down tents and use weights to keep wed­ding pro­grams or other pa­pers from catch­ing a cur­rent. The bride and her wed­ding party should opt for free-flow­ing tresses so they needn’t worry about in­tri­cate up­dos com­ing un­done.

Main­tain a sense of hu­mor. It’s im­pos­si­ble to pre­dict wed­ding day weather, but stay­ing calm, go­ing with the flow and laugh­ing at things they can’t con­trol can help cou­ples make mem­o­ries that last a life­time.

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