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Dan Jones, Wedding Officiant

Embracing Ceremony Blog

Fair Weather Weddings

Everyone wants a picture-perfect wedding day! Sadly, statistically not everyone gets one. That is, if you’re measuring by conventional standards.

Here is my favorite success story. I was officiating a wedding in the middle of August in Connecticut. That is the time of year on the East Coast often referred to as the Dog Days of Summer. Hot, humid, still air that suffocates. I was glad my black suit was not requested for this wedding ceremony! A “cold” front blew through the day before and the wedding day dawned – and remained – crystal clear and still with temperatures in the very low 70s. Picture-perfect!

Sometimes it goes the other way. Contingency and the right attitude are the weapons you’ll need in your tool chest. By right attitude I mean acceptance. If you can truly accept whatever weather is thrown your way and make that part of the happy memories of the occasion, you’re way ahead of the curve and well on your way to assuring yourselves a fabulous wedding.

If your wedding venue offers an indoor option and you’re willing to use it, know that in advance and have clear parameters as to how you’ll decide to make the switch. Some venues may have logistical matters that help put the timeline in motion, usually involving set up when multiple uses for the same space are required.

Your unique wedding location, particularly in northern New Mexico may not have an indoor option. In this case you can again have a clear plan of action so that the day-of decision making isn’t stressful. Will the wedding go on as planned, at the appointed time, regardless? Will you wait 15 minutes, 30 minutes if there’s a passing shower? Will you provide umbrellas? A mountain wedding location can be notoriously challenging due to fast changing weather and late day storms. Are your guests hardy? Are your vendors adaptable? Provide information on your plans to all these people ahead of time. If the wedding may go on during a shower advise everyone to bring rain gear. If you’re in the shoulder seasons, have everyone bring a wool layer or cozy outer layer. The saddest thing I see (and I see it repeatedly) is to have a bride and groom and their wedding party with chattering teeth throughout the ceremony. Not memorable – at least not in the way you hope!

Consider the following challenges:

  • Rain (snow?) – be prepared with proper gear
  • Wind – plan on it. Have sufficient anchoring for everything
  • Temperatures – plan your wardrobe for comfort
  • Sun – Orient guests so they’re not blinded and hopefully not cooked!

I started with a happy story and I’ll end with another one with a different twist. This wedding was in an open field on the outskirts of a ski village. The couple and a large entourage of friends and family stayed in a mansion for a long weekend and planned their wedding near the house. The appointed hour came and the winds howled, snow was dumping down and darkness was settling in quickly. This intrepid group, most of them skiers, was excited; some of us put on our snowshoes. We were prepared and as a wedding celebrant it has remained one of my most memorable weddings. The couple had a joyous ceremony and celebration following. The keys: attitude and preparation.


The bride's laughter says it all!
The bride’s laughter says it all!

Want more information on this topic? Email Dan at Dan@EmbracingCeremony.com

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