I’ve always loved the quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you plan to to fail.” There’s a ton of truth in that. If you’re looking at having your wedding in the panhandle of Florida, this should be your battle cry. Maybe you saw the beautiful beaches and are dreaming of having a picturesque ceremony take place on the white sand followed by an outdoor wedding reception on a lawn or deck. Sounds amazing right? I wish I could say that this perfect scenario plays out for all of our weddings but every now and then mother nature decides to throw some curve balls. Although rain on your wedding day is a sign of good luck, this can wreak havoc on all the hard work you’ve put into your wedding plans and add some unnecessary stress. With over 9 years in the Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30-A, and Fort Walton Beach area, let us give your some helpful destination wedding tips.
#1: Choose your wedding venue carefully.
You’d think this was a no-brainer but not all event venues (especially in the panhandle) are equipped with a back-up indoor space. So ask these venues the right questions. Here’s a few:
- If my event is outside, do you have indoor space in case of rain? If so, is it available to us and what is the cost?
- If there are multiple weddings at your venue, how do you decide who gets what room?
- When do you make a rain call to move things inside?
- If there are no indoor options, will the venue allow us to rent a tent?
#2: Speaking of tents, put down a deposit upon booking your venue!
A lot of our destination clients can wait for the rain to pass to get in their 20 minute ceremony but if there are having their reception outdoors at say a beach house or a venue that has no indoor space, there is a chance the rain may come back again. You then find yourself in a pickle because so many of your reception elements have to be preset (tables, centerpieces, cutlery, cake, etc.). The best thing to do is reserve a tent as soon as you lock in your date and venue. While the deposit is generally non-refundable, you can’t afford NOT to do this. Like having an insurance policy, it’s not until you need it that you wish you had it. With so many weddings happening in the area, the last thing you want to do is wait until the “day of” and play Russian roulette with the tent companies. If you can find one that is available, chances are the rates are going to be high due to supply and demand.
#3: Find out your vendor’s policies are regarding rain.
If your vendor is contracted for a certain amount of hours and there is a weather delay, do they charge extra for any time overage? Will they even work out in the rain?
As an entertainment company, rain is an obvious concern for us. We strive to do all we can to accommodate our client’s wishes, but we can’t put the couple’s event, their guests’ safety, our employees’ safety or the gear in jeopardy. Chances are that same gear is booked out the very next day for another client’s wedding. For our live musicians, unless they are under a covered area, they can’t play in the rain with their personal instruments. For our DJs and Photo Booth personnel, we have a 3 strike policy when it comes to rain. Assuming it’s dry, we will set-up as planned outside until the first few drops of rain. Once that occurs, we will pull all gear until the rain stops so we can minimize any damage and hopefully continue on without any hiccups due to water damage. The client has the option at that point to move our team inside (we’ll reset at no cost to the client) or wait until it stops and we’ll re-set outside again as fast as we can to reduce the time delay. If it rains a second time outside on the gear, we have to strike the gear until an indoor solution can be figured out.
In the last two years, we’ve had a ton of rain during wedding season on the Emerald Coast. These tips, if followed, will allow this rain to slide right off as you move on to an even more fabulous Plan B. We know this area like the back of our hand so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.