Oh no! It rained on my wedding day!

10 questions to ask venues when you’re worried about rain/SNOw on Your wedding day

There’s always a chance of rain, but we all know some months are more prone to it than others. Here’s a list of question to ask the venue when rain is a concern:

Inclement Weather Contingency Plan
1. Do you have/what is the weather contingency plan? This just means, what’s the back-up plan in case it rains or snows?

2. Is the rain contingency included in the contract? For some venues it is – especially during winter months. That means they’ll have a back-up space available. For other venues it’s not automatically included, so we recommend that you ask about it. Make sure the weather contingency plan is in the contract and not just a verbal agreement.

3. Are there additional fees to have a back-up space available?

4. Ask them to show you the room/space where they’d move your event. If you’re serving food outdoors, check the back up space for that too.  Will it be comfortable? What’s the setup going to look like? 

5. Some venues don’t do a weather contingency clause in the contract or they’ll present the option of paying the standard fees to occupy their outdoor and indoor space even though you might not use the indoor space, but just to have it – just in case. In that situation, weigh the likeliness of rain/snow and ask how they’ve handled those situations in the past.

Flame For Ceremony (if flame is N/A for you, skip to #8).
6. If a flame is required at your ceremony, confirm that the flame is allowed in the back-up space.

7. If it’s allowed, ask about: 

a.  additional fees or required permits. Sometimes having a flame indoors requires having additional staff to watch over the ceremony, which they charge you for.

b. Depending on the fire code in that jurisdiction, a fire permit may be required.

c. Similarly, ask about whether a certain type of flame is allowed or not allowed. Hindu ceremonies usually involve a small, open flame. The keywords here are open flame. Some venues won’t allow an open flame indoors and instead allow an enclosed candle for example. The reason this is important is, if  your ceremony requires you to pour items into the flame throughout, the enclosed candle isn’t going to work.

The Mandap/Archway
8. The mandap or archway is important to consider when it comes to rain/snow. Does the ceremony space have a gazebo, archway or other structure that will be decorated? If yes, then a back-up plan is necessary for that too, since those structures won’t be available in the indoor space. Ask your decorator about set up times too. They might need more time to set up if they’re building a mandap vs. decorating an existing structure. And sorry to say, this might add to your cost too.

Guest Seating Chairs
9. Confirm the chairs that will be used indoors. Most venues have nice, white garden chairs for outdoor events. They might not use those chairs indoors. Ask and clarify.

To Tent Or Not To Tent
10. Some venues will suggest tenting your original outdoor space. Here are some follow ups to consider:

a. Tenting can be pricey ($10,000) just for the tent
b. Is a ceremony flame (if necessary) allowed inside the tent?
c. How far is the tent from the parking area/where your guests will arrive? Let’s assume it’s pouring rain that day, is it practical for guests to walk in their sari’s and suits to the tent?
d. Where will all the umbrellas go? How will they look in the photos?
e. Again, assume it’s pouring rain. Will the sound of rain falling on the tent disrupt the video?
f. If you’re getting married on a holiday weekend, such as T-Giving, Labor Day, Memorial Day etc. ask about availability of the tent and people to set it up. Most venues outsource tents and companies may close/take those weekends off. 

These questions apply to all outdoor events. 🙂

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