So your wedding is a few days away! You’ve carefully planned every last detail and now all you have to do is show up and have a great time! But there’s a little tropical formation in the Gulf that might be planning it’s own party in New Orleans, so what in the world are you going to do now?
Let me start by saying the following steps are for less severe storms and weather events - if there is a high chance of a mandatory or recommended evacuation (usually a Category 3 or higher storm is cause for more concern), your wedding vendors will need to prioritize their own safety and that of their families. When they
Step 1. First, do not panic. I know this your first time planning a wedding in a hurricane, but your vendors have probably handled similar situations before. Your vendors care about your wedding and they care about putting their best foot forward at all times. I have seen firsthand how flexible vendors are willing to be to ensure that your wedding still happens and is as perfect as possible. In the event of a more severe hurricane threat or a recommended or mandatory evacuation , your vendors may have to switch to prioritizing their own safety and welfare first. For an evacuation type event, your wedding will most likely be postponed. But what I say above still applies, as soon as we are able, your vendors will be back to make your wedding a success.
Step 2. Let’s rewind. When you booked your vendors hopefully you and/or your planner checked the contracts to see what each vendor will do in the event that they are not able to fulfill their obligations. If not, go ahead and review your contracts now. Usually, they will say that if the event is moved to another date and they cannot make it they will find someone else to do the event in their place, or they will specify whether or not they will give you a refund.
Step 3. Another step back, if you purchased wedding insurance (I recommend it, especially during hurricane season, which is technically June 1-November 30), review that policy now to see if any deposits that are lost might be covered by your policy.
Step 4. Now start working on your back up plan. You should primarily work with your wedding venue or planner to discuss the possibility of rescheduling the wedding. Sometimes this means moving the wedding a few hours earlier in the day (particularly if the city enacts a curfew). Other times it may mean moving it up a day, or postponing it to another date entirely if the weather is looking especially threatening. Another option might be using a different venue - especially when your venue is owned by a company that runs multiple venues.
Step 5. If you have a couple of options with your wedding venue, run those by your next vendors in order of their importance to you (for most people this would be the photographer and the band or DJ for the reception.
Step 6. Ask your venue and other vendors when they need a final decision, and keep your eye on the weather as that deadline approaches.
Step 7. Update your wedding website. Explain the contingency plan there, and explain that if you do enact the contingency plan you will update that page accordingly. Anytime someone asks you about what is happening direct them to this page and encourage them to bookmark it so they can check back.
Step 8. Make your decision. Your venue and/or planner will be able to help you decide if rescheduling your event is necessary.
Step 9. Alert your other vendors and guests (update that handy wedding website page!) of the schedule changes.
Step 10. Enjoy your wedding! It may not have turned out exactly as you planned, but there are certain things you and your wedding vendors cannot control. Plus you and your new spouse were able get through rescheduling your entire wedding in a few days together! With that under your belts you can be extra confident that your marriage will weather any storm (get it?) life throws your way, and that’s really what all of this is about at the end of the day.