As far as planning for a wedding goes, we're all about Plan A. There's definitely something to be said for projecting complete optimism out to the universe and upholding an unwavering faith that things will go smoothly. However…without wanting to temp fate, as far as your ceremony is concerned, it pays to have a Plan B up your sleeve and we recommend making sure (that if it comes down to it), you can not only live with it, but genuinely love it. Without a contingency, inclement weather will literally put a dampener on your mood, your guests, your day and your hair! Consider the following options, tips and advice for smooth sailing in case of a storm...
Plan A - Under Cover
If your heart is truly set on a particular ceremonial setting, perhaps of significance (the proposal site?) or you simply cannot imagine substituting it for an indoors space, consider having a small marquee on standby rental (preferably transparent, for uninterrupted views of the surrounding setting). Speak to decor hire companies about the logistics of how much notice they would reasonably need to set this up if called upon, and be prepared to most likely pay for the 'reservation' in full, even if you don't need it on the day, the silver lining of this scenario being that you are blessed with fine weather instead!
Re-locating to a Rustic Indoor Space
For celebrations unfolding in the countryside against a spectacularly open setting or maybe under a magnificent tree, consider charming nearby community halls as gorgeously rustic, wet-weather backup spaces, complete with timber floors and maybe an old stage! Often inexpensive to hire for the day, as a just-in-case precaution (possibly less even than a stand-in marquee) the ceilings will almost certainly have beams or fixtures perfect for stringing garlands of flowers or fairy lights, for instant indoor ambience. Similarly, for city settings, consider renting a rustic warehouse space or empty loft, embracing the exposed bricks and stringing garlands of festoon lights from ceilings. A simple backdrop, an aisle lined with pillar candles or strewn with petals and the symmetry of the space will make for a beautiful Plan B.
Reception Spaces, Utilised Further
If your ceremony was to take place out of doors at a separate location, consider any potential areas at your reception venue or restaurant, that may serve as a perfect backdrop instead. We love wedding venue Harvest's separate Bakery Space, with its rustic patina and exposed wooden beams - a perfectly beautiful Plan B (worthy of a Plan A)! Discuss the possibility with your venue or restaurant, of reserving any additional spaces for this exact purpose, just in case, and what that entails.
Sourcing an Alternative Space
Chat to other vendors such as your caterer, florist, photographer and celebrant for their tips and suggestions of any spaces as a Plan-B location. Having worked on countless other weddings in the area, they'll no doubt have the best local knowledge of any hidden gems, worth considering.
A Grand Residential Backup Plan
If you're hiring a large house or private residence to accommodate the bridal party or immediate family anyway, consider adding to the house criteria whether it has any spaces that could double (if needed) as an alternative ceremony location. Be sure to scope this possibility out with the owner when making the booking, as well as discussing any additional costs or public liability insurance required, were this scenario to eventuate. As an aside, we love that this possibility doubles as a great excuse to hire a really amazing pad, just in case!
Flowers & Styling
Almost no space cannot be transformed into something whimsical and romantic with the help of an abundance of fresh flowers. While outdoor settings naturally require less florals than an indoor blank canvas, chat to your florist about how much notice they would require in the days before the wedding, should additional blooms be needed, to transform a new ceremony space. These needn't be highly formal arrangements, and could be as simple as hanging foliage garlands, an aisle spilling with blooms cut from their stems, or the the re-location of a fresh floral arch, intended for the outdoor ceremony space anyway.
Spreading the Word
Don't forget to designate the responsibility of letting all guests know of a back up location or last minute change of plan, to a team of friends, family or bridal party members, each armed with a list of guests contact details. Similarly, if your Plan-B location requires additional transport (such as a bus), we recommend having this on booking standby, just in case, ensuring sure no one's left stranded in wet weather on the day!