Beating the heat (and other weather woes) on your wedding day

It's been a wild weather ride these past couple of weeks in Portland, Oregon. We've had a chilly and rainy early June 2017 and now as we approach July we're hitting 100-degree temperatures. This reminds me of the summer we did a wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes for almost 200 people that took us through the full complement of sun, overcast, and finally rain late in the evening. Thankfully, the couple had made weather plans: renting scores of white golf umbrellas from Barclay Event Rentals, providing tent heaters, using the site's two existing covered areas wisely, and checking the weather forecast regularly with the option of adding more tents if necessary.

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Image: EJP Events

 

Most of us often think of rain as the only thing to prepare for when planning an outdoor Portland wedding, but unusually hot temperatures can throw a monkey wrench into the works as well. Here's a hot-weather planning checklist for your outdoor wedding or event:

  • Make sure you have shade and ample drinking water for those warm summer wedding days. Visit the ceremony site around a similar time of day and see where the shade and sun tend to fall; plan your seating configuration accordingly.
  • Offer your guests parasols and hand fans for use during the ceremony.
  • If temperatures approach the 90s or >gasp!< even higher, rent portable A/C units and fans for un-airconditioned indoor spaces; or swamp coolers and spray misters for outdoor events (warning: misters cool well, but they will get your guests wet! So place them carefully). Large fans can also be good for bringing a breeze into a tent. Talk to your venue manager and rental company about the electrical needs of all these appliances and ensure that there are enough power connections and amperage to support this. You'll also want a way to hide all the cords and prevent guests from cord-trip accidents.
  • Have a "chilling station" featuring large tubs of iced washcloths, spray bottles with essential oils like peppermint and lavender, and iced water dispensers.
  • Keep a tent with breathable fabric shadewalls on reserve if you're planning a wedding in the summer months. If the weather is nice and you don't need it, you can always cancel it by the deadline for a nominal fee.

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Image: Blaine and Bethany Photography

Whatever weather you're trying to prepare for, make sure to get your backup arrangements in well in advance, as many rental items sell out and backup venues can get booked up.

Don't forget, that even if your wedding is indoors, weather can affect the drivetime/photo schedule, your hair style, shoes, travel arrangements, and your comfort level. Plan for umbrellas from your favorite rental companies (I like Barclay Events and Bella Umbrella for umbrella rentals; and Luna Bazaar for parasols), perhaps consider valet parking or golf carts, and think about extra shoes and hair touchups.

Is there any possible way to know the wedding weather in advance? I recommend two great tools: The Farmer's Almanac for historical data, and also Accuweather.com for forecasts. If you pay for a premium membership, Accuweather.com will present a detailed, hourly 15-day forecast as well as give graphical historical data. No forecast is perfect, but I've found this one to be really close. On the day itself, the DarkSky app is great for realtime weather updates.

Here's hoping for perfect weather on your special day.

 

A version of this post originally appeared on the blog in July 2010. This post contains links to affiliate shopping sites and EJP Events may be compensated if you make any purchases after following these links.

{ Photo of the Day } McMenamins Edgefield April Wedding

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Photo: Photobystinson.com

Congratulations to Cassie and Brad on #brassie17! This wedding is extra special to me, as it involves many people who I'm lucky to know personally. It's always fun to get to do a wedding with friends. Cassie and Brad were married in the Ballroom at McMenamins Edgefield on a lovely spring April day in the Troutdale/Columbia River Gorge area, Oregon. 

Where wedding websites fall short

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Photo credit: Madeline Ball, licensed by Creative Commons

Newly engaged? If you've started planning, that likely means heading to the computer. What you’ll come across are many websites that provide some of the same things a coordinator does: a to-do list, a list of vendors, and hundreds of articles about anything and everything wedding related. If you're not sure if wedding coordinator is in your budget, or you want to take on the planning yourself, these websites are amazing resources. However, there are several things a website can’t do:

  1. Tailor a plan unique to you and your partner. A coordinator can sit with you and your partner—and your families if they are involved—and go over each individual detail of what you would (and really wouldn’t) like to see on your big day.
  2. Give you advice from years of experience. A wedding coordinator that has been at this for a while has seen a lot of weddings, and this means they can pass all of this knowledge along to you as a bride or groom.
  3. Provide day-of coordination. This is one thing that couples often forget. While some feel they can handle the preparation ahead of time, it’s easy to overlook how many things need managing on the big day. Hiring a coordinator means someone is assigned to this, and you and your family and friends can focus on enjoying yourselves.

If you have experience with planning your wedding over wedding websites, good or bad, let us know in the comments! 

— Malia Robinson-Exo and Emee Pumarega, May 18, 2016

 

 

 

 

There’s no such thing as “just” when it comes to Wedding Day Coordination

I get a lot of requests for Wedding Day Coordination that begin: "We just really want someone that can keep the flow going and keep us on schedule."

Let's break this down:

Keep the flow going.

What is "flow" when it comes to a wedding, anyway? I interpret it as that magical mix of timing and logistics that makes your wedding feel joyful and unplanned, while at the same time using every moment allotted to you by the venue and your vendors to the best possible advantage.

How does flow happen? Well, it doesn't "just" happen. A wedding day coordinator will normally put in 20-30 hours of preparation before appearing at your wedding. This includes collecting all of your contracts and paperwork and reviewing all policies to ensure understanding of everything you have arranged and what you are entitled to; research into your wedding design; confirmation of venue and vendor policies; and understanding you and your families' preferences and decisions about what you want to achieve on the day. Often the coordinator will condense this information into an event plan. Twenty to thirty hours. And that's just pre-event.

Keep us on schedule.

On the day of the event, in order to keep the flow going if it gets hung up or stops, a wedding planner may have to deal with a multitude of issues behind the scenes. Here are the most common ones:

prep time, especially hair and makeup, not going as scheduled
transportation and parking woes
decor issues: wrong color, wrong piece or fit
missing items and going back for them
lateness of vendors or bridal party

Even if everything goes 100% perfectly (and the reality is, it doesn't) a wedding day coordinator still must be constantly available to act as a surrogate host, direction-giver, traffic controller, scheduler, and people-mover. They must be on site well before you or any guests or vendors arrive, and stay on site long after everyone has departed. These duties will take 12-16 hours to complete on the wedding day itself. Not to mention 1-2 hours of rehearsal time explaining the procedures to the wedding party and family; and the little post-rehearsal errands that always seem to come up.

In sum, while your wedding day planner's job is to "just keeping the flow going and keeping everything on schedule", in order to do that, they and their staff must put in upwards of 48+ hours of solid on- and off-site work that culminates in your well-run wedding day.