Wedding Tip Wednesday: Plan B for outdoor ceremonies


You can plan all of the details, like the food, flowers, entertainment and photography, for the wedding day. One thing you can’t always depend on is mother nature. She can throw you a curveball days or hours before your wedding. If your ceremony is taking place outside, that requires quick strategic thinking.
‘Imagine yourself as one of your guests,’ says Kathy Piech-Lukas of Your Dream Day. Would you want to sit in a chair outside in the cold, wind and rain for 30-45 minutes? ‘I certainly wouldn’t, and neither do your guests.’

Kathy had this scenario not once — but twice — last fall. In both instances, it was 50 degrees with light drizzle and 15 mph winds. In both instances, neither bride wanted to move the ceremony indoors. Luckily, she had warning in the few days leading up to the wedding that the weather might not cooperate for the outdoor ceremonies. To prepare, she had the clients purchase small throw blankets, which cost around $3 each at Wal-Mart, to put on every third chair. As guests arrived, they were escorted to an indoor welcome reception which served water, iced tea, coffee, and the open bar. They stayed there until ten minutes before we were to begin the ceremony outdoors. By the time everyone found their seat, it was time to begin the ceremony, which lasted 15 minutes. As guests left the ceremony area after the nuptials were done, Kathy’s ‘dream team’ (as she calls them) collected the blankets and folded them up for the family to take home later that evening.
Guest feedback was positive — she says that, ironically, she didn’t have one complaint about the weather. Guests thought the blankets were a great touch, and they were pleased that the couple kept their comfort in mind and that they thought to do that for them. Kathy also thought that because guests were able to relax beforehand, they weren’t in a state of mind to complain about the weather. Both welcome receptions cost the couple less than $100 combined — very few guests wanted alcoholic beverages before the ceremony! Most wanted coffee and tea to warm up. One father of the bride said the blankets and welcome reception ‘was some of the best money he spent that day because it set the tone for the rest of the event.’

It is always a good idea to have a ‘plan B’ for your outdoor ceremony ready to go, but you can also make slight accommodations with early planning to still keep it outdoors. Other ideas? Hand and feet warmers for your guests, umbrellas, or special heel covers for the ladies’ shoes. (Moist grass and ground mean shoes with heels will sink into the ground. Depending on the style of chair, it too can sink into the ground if it is too moist.) Under no circumstances should you have an outdoor ceremony during a thunderstorm or tornado — postpone the ceremony until it passes, or have it in the same room you will have the reception. has a great app that can show you within 10 minutes of what the weather will be like on the wedding day as far as 12 hours in advance.

If you need a wedding planner be sure to contact Kathy, she is wonderful!

Kathy Piech-Lukas
Your Dream Day


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