Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rain, Rain…Ah, Who Cares?!

Yesterday was my two-year anniversary. Unlike every day over the past week and half here in D.C. and despite the Capitol Weather Gang’s predictions of a catastrophic rain storm, March 19th was sunny, clear and – albeit a little chilly – simply a perfect day.

The best part of all of this is that this perfect weather seems to be our anniversary’s status quo. In 2011, the days before my husband’s and my wedding were gloomy; in 2012, all local meteorologists swore that the city would experience snow. The weather on both days was sunny and pleasant, and each year my husband and I laugh at the fact that we’ve been able to wear nothing more than a light jacket on all three occurrences of our special day.

This was not what we expected when we choose our wedding date, however. In fact, our wedding date was mainly chosen to accommodate my two brother-in-law’s school schedules. March 19th fell during their Spring Breaks and the date seemed to give us a reasonable amount of time to plan a wedding (eight months).

Unfortunately, my mother did not see it this way. In fact, when I announced our date, I was subjected to a barrage of negative predictions about the poor weather that would accommodate our day and assertions that all of our future anniversaries would be dampened by less-than-perfect weather. That conversation (and the several subsequent conversations we had about the very same topic over the eight months of planning) was more than a little frustrating.

You see, I didn’t care about the weather for our wedding; I just wanted to get married.

I could have cared less if there was a rain storm, ten inches of snow or a beautiful sun shining down on me on the day I was to walk down the aisle; I just wanted to get married!

Although the day turned out to be perfect – so perfect, in fact, that many guests choose to walk through Georgetown to our reception rather than take the transportation we offered to enjoy the day’s good weather – I didn’t have any interest in or expectations about the day’s weather accommodating our celebrations. Why? Because I planned everything indoors.

I’m not adverse to the outdoors – my hiking through Great Falls in both Virginia and Maryland attests to that – but I didn’t want the sky to predict where and how my ceremony or reception would occur. To that end, the only time all of my wedding participants, including myself, my fiancĂ© and our wedding parties, were to be outside was during our ten-foot walks into the church.

Many brides, however, feel differently about the weather on their wedding day. Some, particularly those planning outdoor ceremony or reception, hope and pray that the day will be glorious and provide a comfortable atmosphere for everyone. HJ always supports couples doing what they want for their day, which includes planning outdoor wedding elements. However, what we also support is creating a backup plan. Specifically, we encourage:

Creating “Plan Bs” for both outdoor ceremonies and receptions: you never know when the weather will turn scorching hot or the sky will decide that it needs to douse the area with baseball-sized hail. When choosing a location, ensure that there is enough room to have both a ceremony and reception inside. If not, you must identify and reserve second venues and create a plan for how to notify guests of location changes.

Expecting the best but also the worst: don’t ignore the typical weather in the area for the season. This doesn’t require you to select your wedding day based on the weather, but to rather be reasonable about what to expect at that time of year and plan accordingly.

Setting a decision deadline: don’t wait until the very last minute to make the decision of whether to hold your ceremony or reception inside or outside. A few hours are the minimum amount of time necessary to implement your “Plan B.”

Realizing that tents aren’t indestructible: not only can they fall down, but tents can leak. Therefore, don’t expect a tent to hold out the worst weather, or for guests to be just fine sitting under one while it pours outside.

However, what we here at HJ mainly encourage is for couples to be themselves when selecting their wedding date, but to also be rational. At the very least, we recommend letting us, your wedding planners, be rational for you!