How to Build Weather-Proof Wedding-Day Backup Plans for Snow, Rain and Extreme Heat

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters.

Illustration by Melissa McFeeters

Not surprisingly, when it comes to being prepared for intense (and usually unwelcome) weather on your wedding day, seasoned expert Lynda Barness of Philadelphia’s I DO Wedding Consulting says, “It’s all about the planning.” Here, she shares ways to make sure your Plan B is in the works well before that five-day forecast.


The Weather: Extreme Heat! You knew your guests would be warm during your outdoor vows exchange, but by the time your makeup artist arrives, it’s 104º, and the humidity is off the charts.

The Plan B: If you’re bound and determined to tie the knot under the summer sun, you absolutely must provide comfort for your guests. Scatter big buckets filled with ice, water bottles and damp washcloths, and make suntan lotion and umbrellas available.

Pull It Off: If you’ve hired a planner, that’s what he or she is there for. And if not, says Barness, assign the gathering of these items to a few groomsmen, who don’t have as much pre-wedding primping to do as the bridesmaids.


The Weather: Pouring Rain! The almanac you’ve been staring at since the day you booked your outdoor celebration answers on your wedding day with a big fat raincloud that dashes your dreams of an open-air soirée with a torrential downpour.

The Plan B: You don’t just need to know what room inside your venue your wedding will get moved to; you need to know who will be moving it, when, and where every last thing will be, from the new location of the chuppah to where you’ll hide before walking down your new indoor aisle.

Pull It Off: Work with venue staffers to glean all the specifics of their rain plans, have them laid out in your contract—and then, says Barness, rehearse both the indoor and outdoor plans with your wedding party, so there’s zero chaos on your Big Day.


The Weather: Piles of Snow! Expected or not, Mother Nature offers her contribution to your white wedding in the form of two feet of powder and ice.

The Plan B: You’ll need somewhere for people to put their boots, Barness says, and backup plans for transportation (old-fashioned trolleys aren’t exactly all-terrain vehicles) and stranded vendors.

Pull It Off: Have Uber and four-wheel-drive SUVs on hand in case transportation doesn’t show, speak with vendors about their emergency plans (many will have a peer for a backup, whom you can approve), and talk with your venue about checking guest’s snow gear.

This article originally appeared in the spring/summer 2014 issue of Philadelphia Wedding. 

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