Weather Week: Making a Plan for Your Rain Plan

making a rain plan for your wedding

While preparing for inclement weather will likely be the least fun part of the at-home wedding planning process, you need to be aware of, and assume responsibility for, your options if faced with unfavorable weather.

If you are facing poor weather such as rain, wind or less than ideal temperatures, many things in your wedding plans may change, most notably your tent setup. You may need to add sidewalls or a tent top, add a whole tent, rent another generator, rent heaters or even install a floor. You should work out a detailed “poor weather” plan with your tent company during contract negotiation, and be ready to execute it if needed, in the weeks leading up to the wedding.

Bad weather is not solely a concern for your tent vendor. Any changes you make should be relayed to all others on your wedding team, including the caterer and entertainers. If there are major changes to the event flow, they may need to alter their equipment order accordingly. If you have any elevated floral arrangements and the forecast is windy, for instance, you may want to talk to your florist about making those centerpieces low on the table.

The best way to plan for unknown weather on your wedding day is to reserve equipment to cover every scenario. This means paying a fee for equipment you may not end up using. Seem unfair? It’s actually not. Tent and rental companies have a fixed amount of inventory and it’s their business to rent it out. If the tent sidewalls are brought to your event but never installed because the rains never came, or the propane heaters are rented but never turned on because the temperatures never dropped, the equipment was still reserved for your event and could not be rented to anyone else.

 I realize it’s no fun to run up the rental bill in the last few days before your event, but consider the potential alternatives: hot or wet guests, ruined food and shoes, and unhappy memories. Having the options at the ready means that you are prepared either way, whether the weather stays nice or not. The big pieces of your final tent rental plan, such as the number of tents and flooring, will need to be finalized at least seven days before the wedding, depending on your contract.The tent company needs time to schedule their staff to deliver and install larger items such as flooring and tents before the rest of your wedding professionals arrive. Provided they are in stock, smaller items like sidewalls, fans, heaters and generators can possibly be added to your contract a day or two before the wedding, but you may incur an additional delivery fee.