Recently, at summer’s end, we had the pleasure of hanging out with the crew from Hybrid Moon for a little get-together at PGE Park. Also there were our friends Holly from Hitched Weddings and Events, Monica from Divine Designs, Jill from The Sidewalk Studio, and Eric from All Wright Music.
We were enjoying the warm weather (sigh — it seems so long ago), a few hot dogs and brews, and supporting our Portland Beavs as they were being trounced by the Tacoma Rainiers, when suddenly, all the lights in the ballpark went out. I could see the MAX train going by up on the hill, and it stopped as well. All the streetlights were out too.
As we would later discover, a tree had fallen in the neighborhood, taking down a couple of power lines that served the park. (The irony of PGE Park being in a blackout was not lost on us.) Our group, all event professionals, milled around for about 20 minutes while the park staff tried to get the power back on. For a minute, it looked like they would be able to resume the game, but eventually they realized that they could not get full operations and they decided to postpone the game until later in the week.
Because it was a summer night, and outdoors, we could all still see our way to the exits. But of course I wondered what we would have done had we been inside the Rose Quarter or some other indoor venue. It also got me thinking about emergency plans for weddings. We always try to perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis for all of our event sites. This helps us look at areas where additional staff may be needed and where we should be planning for problems, including things like power outages, adverse weather, crowd congestion, and the like.
So I’m just throwing this out there to say, what’s your emergency plan? An emergency isn’t always the unthinkable rare event. It could be as simple as that power outage at PGE Park, or a broken toilet. Make sure you or your coordinator are talking to the venue manager and key players so you, the bride and groom, don’t have to be the go-to person should a hitch show up in your carefully-planned day.